Beer, Ski & Snow: Your Ultimate Sapporo Tourism Guide
A quick guide to Sapporo, the ultimate tourist destination you need to see.
Japan is a very popular tourist destination and there is no question why. It offers an array of activities to cater to couples, families, and people living the single life. In the northern island of Hokkaido lies Sapporo, the island’s capital and biggest city. Although it is not mentioned very often, Sapporo offers a world of possibilities and activities for tourists and travelers. If you’re looking for a place to relax and do a bit of soul searching, or to be active and get to know the local scene and culture, Sapporo has it all. Sapporo is home to some of the most exciting events in Hokkaido and all of Japan, including the annual Sapporo Snow Festival.
Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and also the heart of the island’s economy. Surrounded by mountains and ridges, Sapporo was established in a large portion of flatland in the midst of Hokkaido’s rugged terrain. The city acquired the official title in 1868, and celebrated the 100 year anniversary in 1968 with parades and a massive celebration throughout the city. This celebration was also filled with an air of accomplishment as the city was bombed to bits during World War II but was reconstructed decades after the war.
Sapporo has emerged from the ashes to become the 4th largest city in Japan and biggest in Hokkaido. The city’s population is right below 1,918,100 people which is not very big, however, due to the city’s tourist and traveler scene it seems to be very populated. Known as one of the most diverse cities in Japan, it has always been home to big events. Sapporo was elected to host the 1972 Winter Olympics. It was the first Asian city chosen to host the Winter Olympics, and has hosted a number of professional events and competitions since then. It is estimated that Sapporo hosts some 14 million visitors per year, making tourism the city’s bread and butter.
There is no questioning Sapporo’s tourist appeal. It’s one of the most traditional Japanese cities you can visit and it still offers a great combination of sight seeing, historic venues, Japanese cuisine and culture combined with an active nightlife and modern festivals. The clash between traditional Japanese culture and modern entertainment is what sets Sapporo apart from other Japanese tourist destinations.
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival is held every February and attracts almost two million visitors each year. The festival is mainly carried out in Odori Park and features ice sculptures, snow statues, live shows, music, performance art shows, local and international music acts, and more. The Susukino Ice Festival is also carried out as part of the Sapporo Snow Festival and follows a similar program, schedule, and features. The third venue that completes the festival is the Sapporo Satoland, an agricultural theme park designed to host events and to work as an organic food-processing facility. All three venues work in unison during February to bring the Sapporo Snow Festival to life.
Sapporo has a rich tradition of breweries and beer history. The first brewery was set up in 1876, giving birth to a beer culture that would eventually live up to its name. Today, Sapporo is home to massive, state-of-the-art breweries that produce beer and provide tours that attract thousands of tourists each month. The tours offer beer tasting, factory tours, historic facts about Sapporo and its beer, and the chance to purchase the final products directly from the manufacturer.
Parks, Music & Other Festivals
Hokkaido’s government has invested plenty of money into Sapporo, and it’s easy to see where. The city is host to dozens of gigantic parks, all of which are fully equipped with restrooms, shaded areas, and beautiful landscaping. Most parks take part in one of Sapporo’s many annual festivals. They are a great chance to get a feel for the local Sapporo scene with local bands and people of all ages attending.
The Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara is the main musical venue in Sapporo. Located in the Nakajima Park in Chuo-ku, it is home to the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra. The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra is a local professional orchestra organized in 1961, which has become one of the city’s most colorful attractions. They offer nightly shows and play a wide range of live music genres.
The open-air stage in Sapporo Artpark is another magical must-visit music venue. The Pacific Music Festival is held there every year, and it’s one of Asia’s most popular music festivals. The Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara is also a co-host of the Pacific Music Festival every year.
Skiing enthusiast should be very excited about visiting Sapporo. During the winter time it provides a beautiful, peaceful setting to do some quality skiing. Sapporo can cater to all skiers, from amateurs trying to polish their skills to professionals staying in shape during their time off.
Sapporo is definitely a hidden gem in northern Japan. It offers a great escape for anyone who loves snow, beer, and exotic cultures. If you are in Japan visiting, Sapporo in Hokkaido is a must, no questions asked.
Rail Lines - Sapporo, photo, #1445742, rail line
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