Things to Do and See in Sapporo: The Capital of North Japan

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Things to Do and See in Sapporo: The Capital of North Japan

The main metropolis on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is filled with bustling restaurants, stylish cafes and a thriving nightlife scene you wouldn't expect from one of the country's most sparsely population islands. Here are eight things you shouldn't leave the city without doing on a visit to Sapporo.

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Things to Do and See in Sapporo: The Capital of North Japan

Sapporo Beer Museum

Photo by Ruth Hartnup/Flickr

One of Japan's most beloved beverages, Sapporo is the oldest brand of beer in the country, founded in 1876. This factory turned museum not only teaches you the history of the drink itself but gives a fascinating insight into Japanese history, along with allowing visitors to taste their range of different brews.

Curb Market

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One of the largest of numerous wet markets found around the city, Sapporo's Curb Market fills up with the freshest seafood every morning before it opens at 6AM. Hokkaido has long been known as one of the best places to get seafood in Japan, the surrounding waters are teeming with delicious sea treats such as snow crabs and sea urchin. While the market is open till the afternoon, it's recommended to get there as early as possible as this is when the produce will be freshest. Raw seafood cut into sashimi or sea urchin is the food to try here but if that's not your style then you can also find stalls grilling up fish or boiling up some delicious crab.

Mt. Moiwa

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Towards the south of the city, if you make it up to Mt. Moiwa you'll be rewarded with incredible views over the sprawling metropolis of Sapporo. Along with Hakodate on the southern point of the island, Mt. Moiwa is one of the most beautiful night views in Japan looking out towards Ishikari Bay. If you're not up for climbing to the top or the weather isn't looking so good, you can take a cable car to reach the viewing platform at the top. You'll also find a restaurant there with stunning views over the city.

Sapporo Ramen Alley

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The perfect aftermath to a day traipsing around the city, Sapporo's Ramen Alley is full of delicious noodle restaurants lining its streets. Sapporo in particular is famous for its ramen, and there's no better place to eat your way around its culinary offerings than here.

Sapporo TV Tower

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The most iconic building in the city, the TV Tower stands at the heart of Sapporo, offering stunning views over the metropolis and surrounding mountains from its viewing platform. The tower is particularly beautiful during night when it's all lit up with an orange glow, similar to the famous Tokyo Tower.

Odori Park

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An oasis of green that slices through the core of the city, Odori Park is like a miniature version of New York's famous Central Park, surrounded by the city's sky rises. The park is always beautifully maintained and from here you'll get a good view of the Sapporo TV Tower in the background.

Historic Village of Hokkaido

Photo by MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

A fascinating window into what Hokkaido was like in the 19th century, during which the island started to undergo significant development. This walk-around museum features around 60 historical buildings showcasing different styles of architecture and culture from around Hokkaido. Next to the village you'll also find the The Hokkaido Museum which details the island's history including the aboriginal Ainu culture.

Bankei Ski Area

Photo by MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr

While there are a number of great ski resorts at a short drive from the city, if you're short on time then head to Bankei Ski Area. At just a short 20 minute drive from the center, Bankei still has plenty of slopes for skiers of different levels to try out. There's also a kids snow park offering a number of snow-related activities for those children can't ski.


Apart from the multitude of things to do within the city's limits, Sapporo is in the perfect location to explore the surrounding area, with a number of exciting day trips within an hours drive. Once you're ready to move on from the city head to some beautiful places like Shakoten Peninsula or Lake Toya, just a couple of hours drive from the city.

To book a rental car from the airport for your trip to Sapporo (Japanese only): 新千歳空港のレンタカー予約