Priced from: $2,670 per student
Abashiri is a small city in the northeast of Hokkaido. Although there are other attractions, the major attraction is the Abashiri Prison which was used to house the worst criminals in the country. The harsh conditions of this prison as well as the extensive security measures meant that escapes were few. Although the old prison is now a museum, there is a new maximum security prison that is in use and houses Japan's worst criminals to this date.
The Mt Tento Observatory is also worth visiting. You can observe drift ice and enjoy an excellent view of the Sea of Okhotsk. Kitahama station is also close to the Sea of Okhotsk and you are able to have a cup of coffee while enjoying the view of the sea from a different angle.
Asahikawa is a city on northern Japan's Hokkaido island. To the east, a cable car runs up Mount Asahi, location of the Asahiyama Zoo with its polar bears, penguins and orangutans. Closer to the center, restaurants in the Asahikawa Ramen Village offer the city's signature soy sauce–based noodle soup. Malls line the pedestrianized shopping street of Kaimono Koen, stretching north from Asahikawa train station.
Asahikawa hosts a famous Yuki Matsuri (snow festival) every February ....... not to be missed!
Hakodate is a city in the south of Hokkaido and was originally a port which eventually flourished into a thriving city location. It is overlooked by Mount Hakodate which is accessible by cable car but can also be hiked or reached by car. The view of the city from the summit is breathtaking and is especially picturesque at night. There is also an old fort called Goryokaku; although the arsenal and a well is all that remains of it. There is a festival in mid May which re-enacts the history and period when the fort was built.
The fish markets in Hakodate are within a few minutes walk from JR Hakodate Station. Be sure to try the seafood specialty, ikura salmon roe, while you are at the fish markets!
Niseko is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan, particularly a favourite ski location for Australians. Located approximately two and a half hours drive from Sapporo New Chitose Airport, it is famous for its light powder snow and spectacular mountain range. There are a large variety of runs for both beginners and experienced skiers and snow borders. Niseko is also popular for off-piste skiing, alpine and tree skiing.
Sapporo is located in the central part of Hokkaido and claims to be the winter sports capital of Japan.
The climate differs due to the influence of ocean currents. Winter in Sapporo is cold with heavy snowfall and summer is pleasantly dry and cool.
The capital of Hokkaido is a young city that has developed into Japan's fifth largest city. Western culture was introduced from the very outset of land reclamation that occurred during the Meiji era.
Unlike any other city in Japan, it forms a vast green land of many parks. The streets are laid out in checkerboard fashion and are also named and numbered consecutively.
Sapporo is the air gateway to Hokkaido and a great starting point to tour the island.
This 1.5km promenade runs east-west through the city centre. Decorated with fountains, sculptures and flower beds, large numbers of people visit the park to enjoy the many annual festivals. The park serves as a site for the Snow Festival in the first week of February, the Lilac Festival in May, the Yosakoi Soran Festival in June, the Beer Garden and Summer Festival in summer, the White Illumination in winter and various other events. Situated in the park are about 4,700 trees such as lilacs, elms, Japanese zelkovas, azaleas and about 50 cherry blossom trees.
Sapporo Clock Tower
The Clock Tower is the symbol of Sapporo and is designated as a national important cultural asset. It was constructed in 1878 as a drill hall of Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University).
The large clock, manufactured by E. Howard and Co. of Boston, has four faces and is driven by weights. The bell, known for its clear sound, was manufactured at the Akabane Branch Factory of the former Ministry of Industry. A wooden placard with the calligraphy of “enbujo” (drill hall) hangs above the main entrance. It was written by Tomomi Iwakura, a statesman who played an important role in the Meiji Restoration. The word enbujo was said to be suitable for the building because it’s an academic building used for martial arts training.
In the tower building, a video shows the mechanism of the clock and bell, and a scale model of the clock is displayed. Visitors can learn about cultural properties in Sapporo and throughout Hokkaido by using computers, viewing photo panels and reading books.
Hours: 8:45AM – 5:10PM (last admission 10 min. before closing) Often closed Mondays.
Admission: 200 yen for adults (180 yen for groups of 20 or more)
Free for elementary and junior high schoolers
Access: A 5-min. walk from Odori Subway Station
Former Hokkaido Government Office Building
Nicknamed "Akarengo (Red Brick)", the old Hokkaido Government Building was built in 1888, modelled after the Massachusetts State House.
It is an exemplar of Meiji architecture. The leafy forecourt is now an oasis for visitors. The redbrick building is a reconstruction; the original building burned down due to poorly installed chimneys. A stone marker on the north side of the building shows a floor plan of the Hokkaido Development Commission headquarters, which were situated in this building. The Hokkaido Archives inside are open to the public.
Hours: 8:45AM – 5PM
Access: A 10-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station or Sapporo Subway Station (Namboku and Toho lines)
A 10-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Tozai, Namboku and Toho lines)
Sapporo TV Tower
The Sapporo TV Tower was constructed in 1957 as a radio tower. 147.2 metres in height, it is a landmark of the city and is situated at the east end of Odori Park. Now it’s a sightseeing spot that houses an observation deck, souvenir shops and restaurants. The view from the observation deck, 90 meters above the ground, is splendid. In the foreground are buildings in central Sapporo, and Odori Park, the site of White Illumination and the Sapporo Snow Festival. In the distance is a panorama of mountains in the Teine ski area and the Ishikari Bay.
Hours: 9:30AM – 10PM from Apr. 1 – 30, 9AM – 10PM from May 1 – Oct. 31, 9:30AM – 9:30PM from Nov. 1 – Mar. 31
Admission (observation floors above the 3rd floor): 700 yen for adults, 600 yen for high school, 400 yen for junior high school, 300 yen for elementary school, and 100 yen for kindergarten or younger.
Note: Discounts for parties of 15 or more
Access: A 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station
JR Tower Observation Deck
Opened in March 2003, the view from JR Tower's 160 metre high Observatory "Tower 38" is overwhelming. This observation deck is on the top floor (38F) of JR Tower, a commercial complex that houses shops, restaurants, department stores and a hotel. From the deck 160 metres above the ground, nothing gets in the way of the awesome 360-degree panoramic view. On the observation deck, a café sells coffee by day and drinks by night, and there’s a souvenir shop.
Hours: 10AM – 11PM (last admission at 10:30PM)
Admission: 700 yen for adults, 500 yen for high school and junior high school, 300 yen for elementary school
Access: A 5-minute walk from Sapporo Subway Station (Namboku Line)
The Ainu Center is a 10 minute walk from JR Sapporo Station. The Ainu, an indigenous people, lived in Hokkaido long before its modern development. The Ainu Center introduces the history, lifestyle and culture of this people and the activities of the Hokkaido Ainu Association. Visitors can deepen their understanding through records and displays.
Hours: 9AM – 5PM
Access: A 10-minute walk from Sapporo Subway Station (Namboku Line) or JR Sapporo Station
Located in downtown Sapporo, Nakajima Park is known for its abundance of floral displays and water. Mt. Moiwa can be seen in the distance. In the Meiji era, the park was a timber yard for timber felled in the mountains and floated down the Toyohira River. Now, it’s home to Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara and the Hokkaido Museum of Literature. Festivals, sports events, and gardening fairs are held in the park. The park is popular for boating in summer and cross-country skiing in winter. Along the Kamokamo River, where carp swim, many wild birds and ducks are seen. Residents and sightseers can enjoy nature right in the middle of a big city. The park also contains the Nakajima Sports Centre, the winter Sports Museum, a swimming pool, a Japanese garden, a rose garden and an amusement park.
Hasso-an is a teahouse, built in the 17th century, situated in Nakajima Park and designated a national important cultural asset. Built by Enshu Kobori, master of the Enshu School of tea ceremony, its windows subtly reflect the outdoor light on the tatami Japanese floor. Admission is free.
Access: Take the Namboku Subway Line to Nakajimakoen Station or Horohirabashi Station
From JR Sapporo Station take the “Kei 55, 56 or 66” JR Hokkaido Bus to Nakajimakoen-mae, Nakajimakoen-iriguchi, or Horohirabashieki-mae bus stop.
From JR Sapporo Station take the “79-ban” or “89-ban” Chuo Bus to Nakajimakoen-iriguchi or Horohirabashieki-mae bus stop.
Note: Taxi fare is about 1,000 yen from Sapporo Station
Kirin Beer Garden
Kirin Beer Garden is near the downtown, within easy walking distance of Susukino. Draft beer from barrels is the perfect accompaniment to the thick-sliced lamb dipped in a special sauce. Enjoy draft beer and griddled-cooked lamb in a spacious hall with a vaulted ceiling.
Hours: 11:30AM – 10PM
Access: A 2-minute walk from Nakajima-koen Subway Station (Namboku Line)
Susukino is the largest entertainment district north of Tokyo. There said to be some 4,500 bars and restaurants, including Ramen Yokocho, a famous alley of noodle shops.
There are two stories of how Susukino got its name. One is that the area was a field (no) of pampas grass (susuki) when development started. The other is that the area is named after Tatsuyuki Usui, who oversaw construction of the red-light district in 1871 and whose last name includes the Japanese character for pampas grass (susuki). Today it’s a bustling nightlife district that gets more crowded with each passing hour of the evening. Women can drink here without having to worry about their safety. Recently, hot spring hotels with saunas have become popular. The district is popular with not only locals, but also visitors from the rest of Japan as well as overseas tourists.
Access: A 2-minute walk from Susukino Subway Station (Namboku Line)
A 5-minute walk from Hosui Susukino Subway Station (Toho Line)
Ramen shops line both sides of this alley. Visitors can try Sapporo ramen with one of three stocks (miso, soy, salt) and various toppings (scallops, corn, butter). Every shop has its own secret soup and its own special flavour. The alley is popular among sightseers and those ending a night of drinking in Susukino.
Hours: 11AM – 3 AM for most of the ramen shops
Access: A 3-minute walk from Susukino Subway Station (Namboku Line)
A 5-minute walk from Hosui Susukino Subway Station (Toho Line)
Sapporo Underground Shopping Malls (Pole Town and Aurora Town)
These two underground shopping malls form an inverted “L”. The vertical line is Pole Town, which stretches 400 metres north-south from Odori Subway Station to Susukino Subway Station on the Nanboku Subway Line; the horizontal line is Aurora Town, which stretches 312 metres east-west from Odori Subway Station to Sapporo TV Tower. Both sides of these pedestrian corridors are lined with shops selling clothes and commodities, and there are restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops. Shoppers here don’t have to worry about weather. The underground malls provide good access to department stores and other buildings. Sapporo Transportation Information Center is at the intersection of the two malls.
Hours: 10AM – 8PM (varies by shop and restaurant)
Access: A 2-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Namboku Line and Tozai Line) to Aurora Town and Pole Town
A 2-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Toho Line) to Aurora Town
A 1-minute walk from Susukino Subway Station (Namboku Line) to Pole Town
Paseo Shopping Mall
Paseo is Spanish for “promenade,” and the corridors of this underground shopping mall form welcoming promenades. The mall houses 200 shops in 7 zones. Shoppers can enjoy the newest fashion trends. There are cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy international cuisines. The mall connects directly to JR Sapporo Station and Sapporo Subway Station. Shop without worrying about the weather outside.
Hours: 10AM – 9PM (shops), 11AM – 9:30PM for most restaurants
Access: Connected to JR Sapporo Station
A 3- minute walk from Sapporo Subway Station (Namboku and Toho lines)
Apia Shopping Mall
Apia is an underground shopping mall that extends between Sapporo Subway Station and JR Sapporo Station. The north-south passage is named Central Avenue, and the east-west passages are named Fashion Walk and Culture Walk. The tenants sell clothing, food, books, watches, jewellery, Hokkaido souvenirs and more. Six underground plazas include Taiyo no Hiroba (plaza of the sun), where sunlight enters through a glass dome installed at ground level, and Komorebi no Hiroba (plaza of light filtered through trees), which is softly lit. You can enjoy shopping and strolling in the mall.
Hours: 10AM - 21PM for shops, 11AM - 21:30PM for most restaurants
Access: Connected to Sapporo Station (JR, Namboku Subway Line, Sapporo Ekimae Bus Terminal). A 2-minute walk from Sapporo Subway Station (Toho Line).
Shopping Malls on the southside of JR Sapporo Station
On south side of JR Sapporo Station there are department stores, hotels, restaurants and more. Also, there are underground malls of shops and restaurants. Apia and Paseo are two such malls (see above). Visitors can enjoy shopping and eating near JR Sapporo Station and Sapporo Subway Station. Visitors shouldn’t miss the discount shops beneath the elevated railway tracks. These sell computers, TVs and other electrical goods. There are also a large number of restaurants.
Access: A 3 to 5-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station or Sapporo Subway Station (Nanboku and Toho lines)
Tanukikoji Shopping Mall
The Tanukikoji shopping arcade extends 1 km east-west from the West 1 block to the West 7 block. Shops sell kimonos, musical instruments and other specialty merchandise. There are also video arcades and movie theatres. Shops with long histories stand next to newly opened ones. At the West 5 block is Tanuki Daimyo Shrine, constructed in 1973.
Access: A 3-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Namboku and Tozai lines)
A 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Toho Line)
A 3-minute walk from Susukino Station (Namboku Line)
Odori Shopping District
In the downtown districts of Odori and Susukino, fashionable new goods displayed in the show windows of department stores and other shops attract shoppers. The Odori district showcases trendsetting goods. Web pages of the Sapporo Central District Shopping Mall Vitalization Association introduce shopping malls on the West 1 to West 4 blocks.
Access: A 3 to 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Namboku, Tozai and Toho lines), Susukino Subway Station (Namboku Line), and Hosui Susukino Subway Station (Toho Line).
Nijo Fish Market
The history of this market dates from 1903, when it started retailing seafood. Crabs, scallops, sea urchins, fish, other fresh and dried seafood, and vegetables and other seasonal bounties of Hokkaido await shoppers. For residents and sightseers, Nijo Fish Market is the place to find these. Bargaining is part of the fun. Vendors explain how to cook your purchases. Nijo Fish Market now accommodates over 50 shops which display and sell all sorts of Hokkaido delicacies. The market includes long established seafood, don and sushi restaurants and is brimming with vigour.
Hours: 7AM – 6PM (varies by shop)
Access: A 5-minute walk from Odori Subway Station (Namboku, Tozai and Toho lines) or a 5-minute walk from Bus Centre Mae Station (Tozai Line)
Ishiya Shiroi Koibito Park (Chocolate Factory)
Shiroi Koibito Park is a veritable fortress wonderland of chocolate. There is the Chocolate Factory, where Shiroi Koibito cookies (now a symbol of Hokkaido) are manufactured; Tudor House, which is a reminiscent of Medieval England; and a field used by Consadole Sapporo, the local pro soccer team. At the park, visitors can try their hand at making sweets. Visit to see, learn, taste and experience the world of confections.
Hours: 9AM – 6PM (last admission: 5PM)
Admission: 600 yen for adults (500 yen for groups of 20 or more), 200 yen for junior high school or younger (150 yen for groups of 20 or more), Free for those age 3 or younger
Access: Tozai Subway Line to Miyanosawa Station then walk 7 min.
From Sapporo Station Bus Terminal, take the JR Hokkaido Bus from platform No. 4, 5 or 6 to the Nishimachi kita nijutchome bus stop.
Sapporo Factory is a commercial complex constructed at the former site of Sapporo Breweries, which was founded in 1876 as Kaitakushi Breweries. The complex includes shops, restaurants, a hotel and a fitness centre in historic redbrick buildings. Try Nijo-kan and Sanjo-kan for apparel, home furnishings and household goods, and Renga-kan for souvenir and craft shops. Nishi-kan houses the hotel and a conference hall and Frontier-kan houses a supermarket. In the atrium, the centrepiece of the Factory complex, there’s a stage that can be viewed from corridors on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors. On the 3rd floor of Renga-kan, Sapporo City Photo Library traces the history of the city’s development with photos of life, culture and buildings. On the 4th floor of Nijo-kan, Sapporo Meissen Porcelain Museum, whose collection is certified by the Meissen Porcelain Inc. of Germany, awaits visitors. With over 140 shops and facilities for shopping, entertainment and dining, as well as a hotel, Sapporo Factory is Japan's first and largest shopping centre.
Hours: 10AM – 8PM (shops), 10AM – 10PM (restaurants)
Access: From the Sapporo Seibu Honkan-minamiguchi bus stop, take the “Higashi 88” Chuo Bus Factory Route and get off at the Factory-mae bus stop. Or walk 5 minutes from the Exit 8 of Bus Center-mae Subway Station (Tozai Line). Or walk 12-minutes from Sapporo Subway Station (Toho Line).
Note: Taxi fare from JR Sapporo Station is about 600 yen.
Sapporo Beer Museum and Beer Garden
This red-brick-architecture, recalling the pioneer days of Hokkaido, dating back to about 130 years ago, is a unique museum of beer in Japan. The first beer brewing in Japan, originated in 1876 in Sapporo, was conducted under Hokkaido Development Agency, from the advice of its hired foreign experts who happened to find natural hops in Sapporo. Here, you can learn the history and technology of the first, oldest beer brewery along with the development of Hokkaido. In the same site, Sapporo Beer Garden is open for you to taste the fresh beer and the famous dish of Genghis Khan Mongolian barbecue.
Opening hours 9:00~18:00 Closed (December 30~January 4)
Access Take Chuo Bus [Kan 88] Factory Line, from Sapporo or Odori.
Taxi fare Approx. 1,000 yen from the city centre (approx. 15 min.)
Sapporo Winter Sports Museum
Sapporo Winter Sports Museum is at the Mt. Okura Ski Jump Stadium. It displays exhibits of historic Olympic medallists, the International Miyasama Ski Games and the Winter Universiade.
Ski jumping and speed staking simulators let visitors experience these events. At a theatre in the museum, an animated 3-D video introduces the origins of skis and skates, and another video shows Winter Olympic highlights. Children and adults alike can deepen their understanding of winter sports. Selected exhibits are described in 9 languages.
Hours: 9AM – 6PM from May 1 –Oct. 31, 9:30AM – 5PM from Nov. 1 – Apr. 30
Admission: 600 yen for high school or older (540 yen for groups of 30 or more), Free for junior high school or younger
Access: About 20 minutes from JR Sapporo Station by taxi (about 2,000 yen). Or from Maruyama-koen Subway Station (Tozai Line), ride the “Araiyama-sen Nishi 14” JR Hokkaido Bus to the Okurayama-kyogijo iriguchi or Okurayama-jump-kyogijo-iriguchi bus stop and walk about 10 minutes or ride the “Shuttle Bus Nishi-jugo” JR Hokkaido Bus to the same bus stops. The shuttle bus operates Sat., Sun., and national holidays between late Apr. and early Nov.
Marayuma Zoo and Marayuma Park
The park and the precincts of Hokkaido Shrine, which adjoins the park, are known for beautiful cherry blossoms. The Hokkaido Branch of the Japan Weather Association uses the Yoshino cherry tree (Prunus yedoensis) here as an index of the date of cherry blooming. Many business people, students and families visit the park in early May to enjoy cherry blossoms at their peak. During the peak season, barbequing is permitted and people enjoy griddled lamb. The park is installed with tap water supply and public toilets. Hokkaido Shrine is at the northern end of the park, and Maruyama Primeval Forest is at the southern end of the park. Athletic fields, a baseball stadium and tennis courts are also here. Maruyama Zoo and Maruyama Kids’ Land are situated within the park grounds.
Marayuma Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Hokkaido, it houses about 1,000 mammals, birds and reptiles of 200 species. The zoo is the only one with a gorilla in Hokkaido. There’s a bear house, where seven species of bear can be seen. The chimpanzee house has a 15-metres-high jungle gym so that visitors can watch their behaviour. Monkey Mountain is popular, as is the petting zoo of sheep and goats.
At Maruyama Kids’ Land, situated in the zoo, children can ride the Loop & Cork and the Viking. Kids’ Land is popular among children and adults alike.
Hours: 9AM – 5PM from Feb. through Oct., 9AM – 4PM from Nov. through Jan. Last admission 30 min. before closing.
Admission: 600 yen for adults
Access:From Maruyama Koen Subway Station (Tozai Line), take the “Nishi #15 Dobutsuen-sen” JR Hokkaido Bus to the Dobutsuen-mae bus stop, or walk 15 minutes.
Note: Taxi fare is about 1,500 yen from Sapporo Station
Mt Moiwa Ropeway
Mt. Moiwa (elev. 531 metres), a sightseeing spot in central Sapporo, commands a splendid view. It is known for its natural splendour, including that seen in the primeval forest there. It’s popular among tourists throughout the year for views of green leaves, autumnal colours and trees covered with snow. The observatory deck at the summit commands a splendid view of central Sapporo, the Ishikari Bay and Mt. Shokanbetsu in Mashike. The view at dusk and in the early evening is romantic. The night view of central Sapporo, a carpet of lights, is breathtaking. To reach the summit, visitors can drive up Mt. Moiwa Sightseeing Road, climb any of four hiking trails, where visitors might encounter Yezo foxes, or ride a gondola that connects with a free shuttle bus to the top. Those interested in historical building shouldn’t miss the Ogura Residence, near the gondola station at the foot of the mountain.
10:30AM – 9:30PM from Apr. 9 to May 31, 10:30AM – 10PM from Oct. 1 to Nov. 19, 11:00AM – 8:00PM from Dec. 10 to Mar. 31, 11AM – 3PM on Dec. 31, 5AM – Noon on Jan. 1, 11AM – 9PM during the Snow Festival
Hours (observatory deck):
10:30AM – 9:30PM from Apr. 9 to May 31, 10:30AM – 10PM from Oct. 1 to Nov. 19, 11:00AM – 8:00PM from Dec. 10 to Mar. 31, 11AM – 3PM on Dec. 31, 5AM – Noon on Jan. 1, 11AM – 9PM during the Snow Festival
Closed (gondola): Apr. 1 – 8, Nov. 20 to Dec. 9
Closed (observatory deck): Apr. 1 – 8, Dec. 1 to 9
Closed (sightseeing road): Apr. 1 – 8, Dec. 1 to Mar. 31
Charge (o/w): 600 yen for adults, 300 yen for children
Access: From Susukino Subway Station (Namboku Line), take the tram to the Ropeway iriguchi Station, and then walk 8 minutes
Note: The tram is more convenient than the bus, because the tram departs every 6 minutes or so.
Or take the “Kan 12” JR Hokkaido Bus to the Ropeway-mae bus stop, and then walk 4 minutes
Note: Taxi fare is about 1,500 yen from Sapporo Station to the gondola station.
Sapporo Ainu Culture Promotion Center (Sapporo Pirika Kotan)
Visitors can enjoy learning about the livelihood, history and art of the Ainu, who lived indigenously on Northernlands, where they have developed a unique culture.
Visitors can also see and use traditional Ainu handicrafts made by Ainu living in Sapporo.
Hours: 8:45AM – 10PM (9AM – 5PM for the exhibition room) Closed: Mon., Nat’l holidays, and the year-end and New Year’s holidays (Dec. 29 – Jan. 3)
Admission: 200 yen for adults (180 yen for groups), 100 yen for high school and younger (90 yen for groups)
Access: 40 minutes by car from downtown Sapporo; 90 minutes by car from New Chitose Airport
Or ride the “No. 7” or “No. 8” Jotetsu Bus from the Odori itchome bus stop to the Koganeyu Onsen bus stop, and then walk 5 min.
Or ride the “No. 12” Jotetsu Bus from the Makomanai-eki bus stop to the Koganeyu Onsen bus stop, and then walk 5 min.
Sapporo Disaster Prevention Center
Visitors can learn about the prevention of fires and other disasters and about how to behave in disasters through various simulations. There are five simulators, for earthquakes, fire extinguishing, evacuation in smoke, and more. On the first floor, visitors can sit in a real fire engine.
Address: Nango-dori 6-chome Kita, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo Contact: 011-861-1211
Hours: 9:30AM – 4:30PM
Closed: Mon., the last Tue. of each month, the day after a national holiday, and the year-end and New Year’s holidays
Sapporo Science Centre
This museum familiarizes visitors with science, using displays related to snow, which is characteristic of Northern regions. There are more than 300 displays which address living things, the environment, outer space and Northern regions. Visitors can learn about science through the interactive exhibits. Don’t miss “Virtuarium,” an audiovisual presentation on the birth and evolution of life; the planetarium, one of the largest in Hokkaido; and a machine that produces artificial snowfall. Visitors can learn about science through computer programs in the computer lab. This museum is full of new displays related to multi-media.
Hours: 9AM – 5PM from May to Sep. 9:30AM – 4:30PM from Oct. to Apr. Last admission is 30 min. before closing.
Closed: Mon. (if the Mon. is a national holiday, then closed that Tue. instead), the last Tue. of each month, the day after a national holiday, and Dec. 28 – Jan 4
Admission: 700 yen for high schoolers or older (exhibition rooms), Free for junior high school or younger, 500 yen for high school or older (planetarium)
Access: A 5-minute walk from JR Shin Sapporo Station or 1-minute walk from Exit 1 of Shin Sapporo Subway Station
Historical Village of Hokkaido
This outdoor museum has restored buildings from the Meiji era (1868 – 1912) and the Taisho era (1912 – 1926), from various regions of Hokkaido. They stand in verdant Nopporo Forest Park. It is divided into 4 zones: residential, agricultural, mountainous and fishing. Sapporo Station, the head office of Otaru Shimbun Press, shops and households are restored in a historical streetscape. A horse tram runs through the village. In winter, you can experience the Hokkaido winter by riding a horse sled. Seasonal events allow visitors to experience the lifestyle of Hokkaido’s frontier days.
9AM – 5PM from May through Sep.
Admission: 830 yen for adults, 610 yen for college and high school students from Apr. through Nov., 680 yen for adults, 550 yen for college and high school students from Dec. through Mar.
Access: From Shin Sapporo Subway Station (Tozai Line) or JR Shin Sapporo Station, take the “Kaitaku-no-mura yuki” JR Hokkaido Bus to the Kaitaku-no-mura bus stop.
Historical Museum of Hokkaido
This historical museum is in Nopporo Forest Park. Permanent exhibits cover history from 1.2 million years ago to around 1970. These include a georama of Hokkaido in the Jomon era (14,000BC to 400BC), tools of the Ainu people, farming implements from the development period, and records of life after the World War II. Audiovisual displays address life in the future.
Visitors can learn about history of Hokkaido from special exhibitions, lectures and hands-on activities. The museum keeps 140,000 important records that have been donated by many people, preserving them for future generations.
Hours: 9:30AM – 4:30PM (last admission: 4PM)
Closed: Mondays, the year-end and New Year’s holidays (Dec. 29 – Jan 3), and some national holidays (for further information, see the official website)
Admission: 500 yen for adults, 170 yen for college and high school students, Free for junior high schoolers or younger
Access: From Shin Sapporo Subway Station (Tozai Line), take the “Kaitaku-no-mura yuki” JR Hokkaido Bus from the Kita lane No. 10 platform to the Kinenkan iriguchi bus stop.
Sapporo Snow Festival
The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of Japan's largest winter events. Every winter approximately two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures.
The Snow Festival began in 1950 when local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park. The Festival has grown from these humble beginnings into one of the biggest and most well known of Hokkaido and Japan's winter events.
The festival is divided into three main sites:
Odori Site - The main festival is situated in Odori Park. Here you can see a variety of snow and ice sculptures, snow stages and entertainment.
Makomanai Site - Here you will see many giant statues, snow slides for children and the massive snow sculptures that have made the festival famous worldwide.
Susukino Site - Sapporo's entertainment district becomes a crystal wonderland with more than 100 ice sculptures lining the main street.
Sapporo Ski Resorts
Hokkaido is famous for its powder snow and snow sports. Some of the most popular ski resorts in Sapporo City include Sapporo Kokusai Ski Ground, Sapporo Teine Ski Zones, Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Ground Fu's Snow Area and Bankei Ski Area. Operating months are from late November to early May depending on the location of the ski resort.