25 Best Things To Do In Sapporo, Japan - Updated 2021

things to do in sapporo
Kenrick
Kenrick
Updated

The gateway to Hokkaido, Sapporo, is one of the best places to visit in Japan. As the country’s fifth-largest city, there are many sights to explore and things to do around the metropolitan area. The city’s dynamism is owed in large part to its role as Hokkaido’s political, economical, and cultural center. Its popularity extends way back to the 1970s, when it became the first in Asia to host the Winter Olympics. Today, the city is more popular than ever, thanks in part to the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, which attracts millions of tourists every year. Then, there are unique attractions like the Sapporo Dome and Sapporo Beer Museum — the latter is the only beer museum in Japan. Scroll down for the 10 best things to do in Sapporo, Japan.

1. Learn about Japan's agricultural history at Sapporo Agricultural Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Known as Hokkaido University Museum’s predecessor, Sapporo Agricultural College is a place where students can learn how to integrate traditional farming methods into modern-day agricultural practices to improve agricultural output. The on-site farm, which used to be the students’ area for studying agriculture, eventually became open to the public. There is also a general museum that showcases exhibits pertaining to volcanic rocks and the natural world, complete with English narration for your convenience. The surroundings of the museum are a wonderful place to simply relax and take in the beautiful views.

Sapporo Agricultural Museum

Address: 001-0019, 7 Chome-3-2 Kita 19 Jonishi, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0019, Japan

Website: Sapporo Agricultural Museum

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

2. Check out unique ornamental plants at Botanic Garden Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens Sapporo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user 663highland used under CC BY 2.5

Botanic Garden Hokkaido University features the second-oldest gardens in all of Japan with its wide variety of native plant species. There are multiple gardens that grow roses in a variety of colours as well as a greenhouse to keep tropical plants in a humid environment. In addition, there are also museums on the premises that educate the public about the local history. This is a garden perfect during all months of the year.

Botanic Garden Hokkaido University

Address: Japan, 〒060-0003 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, 北3条西8丁目

Website: Botanic Garden Hokkaido University

3. Admire the panoramic skyline of Sapporo from Asahiyama Memorial Park

Asahiyama memorial park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Asahiyama Memorial Park, also known as Asahiyama Kinen Koen, is a peaceful place to relax given its panoramic views of Sapporo’s skyline. At night, you can expect to be surrounded by colourful city lights. You can drive up the hill and spend some time enjoying the view. If you visit in February, you can attend a unique snow festival being held here.

Asahiyama Memorial Park

Address: 4 Chome-1 Sakaigawa, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0943, Japan

Website: Asahiyama Memorial Park

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

4. Marvel at the beautiful SAPPORO FlowerCarpet

SAPPORO Flower Carpet
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This is a short festival that you must try to catch if you can. Happening in mid-June for about three days, Sapporo FlowerCarpet can be visited at the same time as the flower festival at Odori Park. Expect to be surrounded by a sea of flowers as the road gets covered in colourful blooms. During the evenings, the whole road is lit with candles—making it a beautiful scene to witness.

SAPPORO Flower Carpet

Address: 4 Chome Kita 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0003, Japan

Website: SAPPORO Flower Carpet

5. Explore the unique Historical Village of Hokkaido

Historical Village of Hokkaido
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Showcasing over 60 beautiful historical exhibits, this open-air museum is a must-visit destination in Sapporo. Situated about an hour away from Otaru, this is a lovely break from Japan’s bustling cities. It’s a treat for history buffs and people who are interested in learning about Hokkaido. Here, you can spend at least three hours just checking out the various exhibits. You can really get a feel of how a historical village would function, and how the people contributed to building the community.

Historical Village of Hokkaido

Address: 50-1 Atsubetsucho, Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 004-0006, Japan

Website: Historical Village of Hokkaido

Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 9am - 4:30pm (closed on Mon)

6. Have a romantic picnic with your partner at Maruyama Park

Maruyama Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user KimonBerlin used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Maruyama Park is a lovely place to visit if you wish to have a cosy and relaxing picnic or simply spend some quality time with your partner. This park is based on the more famous Maruyama Park in Kyoto. The park hosts a number of fun attractions that are sure to keep the little ones entertained, including Maruyama Zoo, Athletics Stadium, and a shrine. Sit under the beautiful cherry blossom trees with a blanket, a bottle of wine, and a picnic basket.

Maruyama Park

Address: Japan, 〒064-0959 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Miyagaoka, 3

Website: Maruyama Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

7. See wild animals up close at Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo

Maruyama Zoo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Rsa used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Situated within the popular Maruyama Park in Sapporo, this zoo is a great place to bond with kids and show them all the different animals that are only native to Japan. There is an admission fee for adults, but children below the age of 12 can enter for free. Enjoy spending time with animals such as penguins, polar bears, wolves, and a variety of birdlife. There are also a few eateries in the vicinity if you get hungry.

Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo

Address: 3番地1 Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0959, Japan

Website: Sapporo City Maruyama Zoo

Opening hours: Thu - Tue: 9:30am - 4pm (closed on Wed)

8. Take a long walk at Sapporo Odori Park

Odori Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user redlegsfan21 used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Sapporo Odori Park is another popular site that is frequented by tourists and locals alike. Situated in the centre of Sapporo, this sprawling park caters to world-famous sports tournaments. Aside from that, it also features well-manicured lawns as well as huge flower beds with a variety of local and imported blooms. The park is so huge that it divides the whole city into north and south. For entertainment, do check out some of the activities offered here.

Sapporo Odori Park

Address: 7 Chome Odorinishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0042, Japan

Website: Sapporo Odori Park

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

9. Go on a shopping spree at Ario Sapporo

Ario Sapporo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user モンモン used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Containing hundreds of stores that sell everything you might want, Ario Sapporo is a famous shopping complex located in Naebo. Aside from almost 100 stores, you can also find plenty of restaurants and bars here so when you are done shopping, you can stop by at one of the eateries for a proper meal. The stores here are reasonably priced and offer high-quality goods. Outside, there’s a garden where you can chill out with a cup of coffee.

Ario Sapporo

Address: 9 Chome-2-20 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi Ward, Hokkaido 065-8518, Japan

Website: Ario Sapporo

Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)

10. Sing along to your favourite songs at Story's BAR Rotus

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Story'sBAR Rotus on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A vacation in Japan is incomplete without an evening spent in a karaoke restaurant. If you need some courage before you hit the stage, there is a mixologist and bartender manning the bar who can prepare your favourite drinks and cocktails just the way you like them. Once you get hungry, check out the food menu and enjoy the delicious dining options available here, from lip-smacking appetisers to cooling desserts.

Story's BAR Rotus

Address: 6 Chome Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0805, Japan

Website: Story’s BAR Rotus

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 8pm - 2am; Fri - Sat: 8pm - 3am (closed on Sun)

11. Marvel at the beautiful statue of William Clark at Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user yuichiro anazawa used under CC BY 3.0

This place is home to a variety of statues, one of which is the famous Dr. William Clark. The word Sapporo Hitsujigaoka means “hill with sheep,” and you can see a lot of sheep grazing here during the day. It is fascinating to watch them go about their day as you relax. The statue of Dr. William Clark is the highlight of the place, with his famous words inscribed below the statue: “Boys, be ambitious!” It also offers a beautiful vista of the plains in the background, making for a very Insta-worthy photoshoot.

Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

Address: 1 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-0045, Japan

Website: Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

12. Check out some interesting art exhibits at Sapporo Art Museum

The Big outdoor stage of Sapporo Art Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kiyonobu Ito used under CC BY 2.0

Situated in a forest just a few distances from Sapporo Station, Sapporo Art Park is an amazing open-air garden dedicated to arts and crafts and featuring beautiful sculptures. Promoting a culture of artistic interest amongst the public, this park is great for art enthusiasts who want to see some of the best art exhibits in the city. You can enjoy a walking tour with a professional guide who is willing to explain the meaning of each exhibit, or you can choose to be independent and walk around the premises at your own pace.

Sapporo Art Museum

Address: 2 Chome-75 Geijutsunomori, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 005-0864, Japan

Website: Sapporo Art Museum

Opening hours: 9:45am - 5pm (daily)

13. Shop till you drop at the famous Tanukikoji Shopping Street

狸小路商店街(Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade) - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Tanukikoji Shopping Street is a great place to spend a free evening with stalls selling a variety of products. Feast your eyes on the colourful décor, buy all the duty-free chocolate you can get your hands on, or purchase some interesting souvenirs to take back home for your loved ones. Once you are done shopping, you can find plenty of eateries and street food available here.

Tanukikoji Shopping Street

Address: Japan, 〒060-0062 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, 南2・3条西1~7丁目

Website: Tanukikoji Shopping Street

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

14. Enjoy some delicious ice cream at Milk Mura

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Young or old, we all love this delicious dessert. At Milk Mura, you can find a wide variety of ice creams as well as alcoholic drinks. The ambience is absolutely adorable, with warm eye-catching lighting everywhere and cute cutlery for your enjoyment. If you are confused about what to get, be sure to ask the waitstaff or the owner for recommendations. Be a little adventurous, and you might just find your new favourite drink.

Milk Mura

Address: Japan, 〒064-0804 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Minami 4 Jonishi, 3 Chome−7−1

Opening hours: Tue : 1pm - 11pm; Wed: 5pm - 11pm; Thu - Sun: 1pm - 11pm (closed on Mon)

15. Enjoy a chocolate-filled day at Shiroikoibito Park

SHIROI KOIBITO PARK
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Shiroikoibito Park is an entertainment park and a huge chocolate factory where you can buy all the chocolate your heart desires and watch it being prepared. There is a souvenir shop where can purchase sweets for your loved ones as well as a café where you can sip a hot beverage. Try unique chocolate variants such as chocolate popcorn, chocolates in the shape of toys, or chocolates in various flavours.

Shiroikoibito Park

Address: 2 Chome-11-36 Miyanosawa 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 063-0052, Japan

Website: Shiroikoibito Park

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

16. Go cross-country skiing (from USD 56.0)

What better way to enjoy Sapporo than to go on cross-country skiing? Perfect before heading out to the annual Sapporo Winter Festival, this skiing experience will take you on a journey through snow-covered forest areas. For this particular experience, you don’t need to brush up on your skiing skills since the host will teach you the basics. In just a matter of hours, you’ll be happily gliding downhill and enjoying the rush that comes with it. You will also see foxes, deers, and rabbits along the way, so make sure to say “hi” to them. The ski area caters to different levels of expertise, and there’s no limit to how far can you go.

Cross Country Skiing & Powder Snow

Duration: 2.5 hours

66 reviews

17. Live out your dream as a ninja (from USD 47.0)

Are you familiar with the famous Japanese anime, Naruto? If yes, then this is your chance to live out your dream as a real-life ninja. On this experience, you’ll be meeting with a ninja master, who will teach you the ways of a true shinobi. The first thing that the master will teach you is self-defense, which is required for any sort of combat. As you go along, you will learn how to sneak quietly and use the fabled shuriken — yes, those star-shaped blades really do exist. You will also learn how to use swords. In no time, you will become the ninja you so envisioned and learn greatly from the process.

Ninja Experience in Sapporo City

Duration: 1.5 hours

235 reviews

18. Be inspired by artworks at Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

北海道立近代美術館
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user K. Takeda used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Let your creativity spark while viewing the artwork collections here at Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art. This museum, located a few blocks away from Odori Park, displays artwork from renowned global and local artists. However, that is not all that you will see here. Exhibits of ancient and contemporary art collections regularly grace the halls of the museum. Artists from Hokkaido are given the spotlight on the museum’s halls, with works of artists such as Tamako Kataoka, Kinjiro Kida, and more. There’s also a spot reserved for famous painters from the “School of Paris”, which includes works of painters such as Jules Pascin.

Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Address: Kita 1-jo Nishi 17-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo

Website: Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Opening hours: 9:30am - 5:00pm (daily)

Price: Adults - 510 JPY (5 USD); Students - 210 JPY (2 USD)

19. Dig into delicious crab and lamb dishes at Sapporo Beer Garden (from USD 68.0)

Looking for a perfect way to end the night? Then, have dinner at one of Hokkaido’s top-rated restaurants, Sapporo Beer Garden. This is not your usual restaurant though — this is an all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant serving all kinds of fresh foods from the ocean. Headlining the recommended food to order is their sumptuous crab legs. It is, of course, best paired with a refreshing glass of Sapporo Beer. Also, try out their lamb, which is highly rated by visitors. Do try to reserve a slot earlier though, as the restaurant easily gets fully booked. Once you’re fully set for dinner, make sure to try out every item on the menu since you’re given lots of time to do so.

Sapporo Beer Garden (サッポロビール園) in Sapporo - Crab and Lamb BBQ Buffet

645 reviews

20. Get a bird's-eye view of the city from Sapporo TV Tower (from USD 6.0)

Sapporo has its own tower to rival Tokyo Tower. Sapporo TV Tower is one of the city’s most famous landmarks, dating back to the mid-20th century. From the top, the view is simply amazing. Of course, the city view is inevitable, but there are more sights to notice and take hold of. From the distance, one can see the Ishikari countryside, Japan Sea, and of course, Odori Park. That park is popular among tourists as well, so you hit two birds with one stone when you pay a visit here. Plus, there’s no need to worry about climbing a flight of stairs, since the way up is through elevators. Since this is Japan, you can expect WiFi even at the observation deck. But why would you want to retreat virtually when the physical view is nice and invigorating?

Sapporo TV Tower Ticket

Duration: 1 Day(s) Duration

594 reviews

21. Have a fun-filled trip to the Ishiya Chocolate Factory

石屋製菓チョコレートファクトリー 白い恋人パーク(Ishiya Chocolate Factory SHIROI KOIBITO PARK - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user t-konno used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you’ve ever been to Sapporo, one of the famous souvenirs that people will recommend to you is a Shiroi Koibito cookie. It definitely is worth buying, thanks to its uniqueness and decadent flavor. Twin layers of thin butter cookies sandwich a bar of white chocolate inside, making for a sweet treat. This treat came from Ishiya Chocolate Factory, which offers tours for visitors like you curious about the process of making that delectable cookie. Huge panes of glass offer a glimpse into the factory itself. You are more than welcome to participate in cookie-making workshops, too. As your tour concludes, don’t forget to buy a cookie or two from the souvenir shop.

Ishiya Chocolate Factory

Address: 2 Chome-11-36 Miyanosawa 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 063-0052, Japan

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 600 JPY (6 USD)

22. Go horseback riding in the countryside (from USD 202.0)

Escape the city for a while and experience the countryside with a little horseback adventure. Here, a tour guide will give you chance to explore the countryside near Sapporo. This tour takes you on a two to three-hour ride through pristine trails and forested areas. Luckily, you won’t get tired here, thanks to the unique view of the eight-peaked mountains and plenty of fresh air to take in. Guests of all ages are welcome to try out this experience — the instructors will teach the inexperienced on how to ride a horse, Old West-style. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your transportation since a round-trip, pick-up service is included.

Sapporo Horseback-Riding Tour with Round-Trip Transport

Duration: 3 hours

3 reviews

23. Learn to make soba noodles (from USD 53.0)

For the unfamiliar, soba noodles are thin buckwheat noodles. They are either served chilled with a dipping sauce or as a hot broth. Crafting your own soba is a rewarding experience, wherein you learn a thing or two about the process of noodle-making. Luckily, this restaurant located a minute away from Susukino Station offers soba-making sessions. Here, you will be getting your hands dirty on mixing and preparing buckwheat flour to create your very own soba noodles. At the end of the tutorial, you will also be sampling your own creation so listen carefully and pour everything you’ve got into the noodles you’re making.

Feel free to experience soba making in the center of Sapporo.

Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes

24. Savor the city's famous beer at Sapporo Beer Museum

Sapporo Beer Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user K. Takeda used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Do you know that there is only one beer museum in Japan? Indeed, there is only one and it is in Sapporo. Discover the history of beer in Japan at Sapporo Beer Museum. Here, you will discover the storied past behind one of Japan’s most successful beer brands — Sapporo Beer. There are two ways to tour the museum: either you opt for the free tour or pay upfront for a guided premium tour. Either of the two, there’s a tasting session at the end of the tour so you can sample the city’s renowned beer and beverages. Make sure to visit the museum shop to bring home some mementos from the trip.

Sapporo Beer Museum

Address: 9-2-10 Kitananajo-Higashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 065-0007

Website: Sapporo Beer Museum

Opening hours: 11am - 6pm (closed on Mon)

Price: Adults - 500 JPY (5 USD); Kids - 300 JPY (3 USD)

25. Take a picture at the iconic Clock Tower

Sapporo-Clock-Tower-2018
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Bjørn Christian T... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Amidst towering building and concrete structure, you will find an oddball in the heart of Sapporo: the city’s iconic Clock Tower. The tower itself dates back to the 19th century, when it was constructed to serve as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. The wooden structure is a dead giveaway to its storied past. Oddly enough, the clock didn’t originate from the locality. Instead, it was imported from Boston, USA. Inside, you will find exhibits about the building and the city’s past on the first floor. Going upstairs, various clock displays and a spacious ceremony hall will remind you of American Midwest buildings from the past.

Sapporo Clock Tower

Address: 2 Chome Kita 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0001, Japan

Opening hours: 8:45am - 5:10pm

Price: 200 JPY (2 USD)

Have a blast in Sapporo, Japan

Sapporo, being the economic and cultural center of Hokkaido, holds many important attractions that you should never miss. From the legendary Sapporo Beer Museum to the city’s TV tower and dome, there are many sights to behold and things to do which shall keep you busy for days. So, plan your next trip with this list in mind and have a blast enjoying one of Japan’s most visited cities.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Kenrick Buduan loves writing. He writes about various stuff, focusing mostly on analysis of society and technology. He contributes to various news platforms too. As a writer, he yearns to travel...Read more

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