How to Enjoy Sapporo

About Sapporo

population: 1,970,052 [Nov,1 2019]

Sapporo is located in the west central part of Hokkaido, the 5th largest city in Japan and has a lot of tourist attractions, enticing millions of visitors all the year. The capital of Hokkaido, northern-most prefecture in Japan, which functions as a hub of the island in the fields of politics, culture and economy.

Relatively newly developed city, the development commission and government of Hokkaido prefecture, which is called ‘Kaitakushi’, was established to explore the undeveloped land of Hokkaido, so that its main office was settled in Sapporo in 1871.

Unlike any other city in Japan, the streets are laid out in checkerboard fashion like New York City and are also named and numbered consecutively. This is the newest city in Japan and its citizen have been get together to live here from several prefectures of Japan, which has been creating a unique culture in this country.

Sapporo is a air gateway to Hokkaido, one of the starting point for a tour of the beautiful island. With its two airports–New Chitose, actually in Chitose city, and Okadama–the capital city is conveniently connected to Honshu, the main island, as well as to the main cities of Hokkaido. The city is also linked with Hakodate, Asahikawa and Kushiro by JR trains, airplanes and inter-city express buses, which are also major cities of Hokkaido.


Sapporo is the heaviest snow town which has over a million population in the world. The average amount of snow is over 300cm. Temperature is the lowest in the end of January to the midst of February. That’s why Sapporo has a big event in this period called Sapporo Snow Festival which has been continuing since 1950. 

Average temperatures and snow in Sapporo for last 10 years, sourced by Japan Meteorological Agency.
Average temperatures and snow in Sapporo for last 10 years, sourced by Japan Meteorological Agency.



In the main-land of Japan, Honshu, cherry blossoms called Sakura in Japanese blooms from the midst to the end of March. But in Sapporo, we have cherry blossoms in the beginning of May. Sakura makes us feel Spring has come. So that we think Spring is from April to Jun. This is 1 month later than Honshu. Because of very short Spring, all Spring flowers are bloom coincidently such as sakura and plum called Ume(梅). As if flowers usually blooming in March in Honshu has been waiting this moment.


Summer is short as well. July and August. It is usually said that the end of August is the beginning of Autumn, especially in the mountains. 


September and October. We have the first snowfall in the end of October. It’s the beginning of Winter. Beautiful Autumn leaves are seen everywhere not only Jozankei and Houkheikyo. Hokkaido University has a famous Ginkgo trees way which is the popular Autumn leaves looking site where many visitors come to enjoy.


November, December, January, February and March are Winter in Hokkaido, Sapporo as well. The half term of the year is in Winter. So we enjoy several kind of  winter sports and activities. 


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