Discover Sapporo: The Ultimate Winter Wonderland!

by Milana

Sapporo is a city located on the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. It is known for its beautiful winter scenery and exciting winter activities. In this blog post, we will explore why Sapporo is the ultimate winter wonderland and what winter attractions it has to offer.

Why Visit Sapporo in the Winter?

Sapporo’s Winter Climate: Sapporo is known for its cold, snowy winters, which last from November to April. The average temperature during this time is around -6°C (21°F), making it perfect for winter sports and activities.

Popular Winter Events in Sapporo

In addition to the Sapporo Snow Festival, there are many other winter events that take place in the city, including:

  • Sapporo White Illumination: A beautiful light festival held in December, featuring over 520,000 LED lights.
  • Sapporo Winter Sports Festival: A two-day event featuring skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports.
  • Sapporo International Ski Marathon: A cross-country skiing event held in February.

Sapporo is the ultimate winter wonderland, offering a variety of winter activities and attractions that are sure to please any traveler. Whether you’re interested in skiing, snowboarding, or simply enjoying the winter scenery, Sapporo has something to offer. So why not plan your next winter vacation to Sapporo and experience the magic for yourself?

Top Sapporo Winter Attractions

Sapporo Snow Festival

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most anticipated events of the year in Sapporo. Held annually in February, this festival draws in millions of visitors from all over the world to marvel at the incredible snow sculptures on display. The festival dates back to 1950 when local high school students created a few snow statues in Odori Park. Since then, the festival has grown in size and popularity, becoming a symbol of the city and a major tourist attraction.

During the festival, the main attraction is the enormous snow sculptures that tower over visitors. Each year, different countries and regions are invited to participate in the festival, and they create their own unique sculptures that showcase their culture and traditions. From a giant replica of a famous building to a detailed depiction of a mythical creature, the sculptures are truly a sight to behold.

In addition to the sculptures, the festival also features ice skating rinks, food vendors selling local delicacies, and a variety of performances and events. Visitors can also participate in various snow-related activities, such as sledding and snowshoeing. The festival is a magical and unforgettable experience that captures the essence of winter in Sapporo.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Odori Park

Odori Park is a beautiful and expansive park that runs through the center of Sapporo. In the winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow covering the ground and a host of winter activities available for visitors to enjoy. There are many reasons to visit Odori Park in the winter, but perhaps the biggest draw is the annual Sapporo Snow Festival that takes place there.

Aside from the festival, Odori Park has plenty of winter activities to offer visitors. There are several ice skating rinks set up throughout the park, including one that offers ice bikes for visitors to ride. There’s also a giant snow slide that’s perfect for families with young children.

But even if you’re not interested in winter activities, a stroll through Odori Park in the winter is a magical experience. The snow-covered trees and the gently falling snow create a serene and peaceful atmosphere, and there are plenty of picturesque spots for taking photos. Plus, there are several cafes and food vendors along the park where you can warm up with a hot drink or a bowl of soup curry. Overall, Odori Park is a must-visit destination during the winter months in Sapporo.

Sapporo Beer

Moerenuma Park

Moerenuma Park is a unique and futuristic park located in Sapporo that was designed by the famous Japanese architect, Isamu Noguchi. In the winter, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with a variety of winter activities for visitors to enjoy. Moerenuma Park is an excellent destination for anyone looking for a break from the traditional winter activities of skiing and snowboarding.

One of the main attractions of Moerenuma Park in the winter is the large snow dome that visitors can explore. The dome is made entirely of snow and features a series of tunnels and chambers that visitors can wander through. There are also several snow slides inside the dome that are perfect for visitors of all ages.

In addition to the snow dome, Moerenuma Park also has several cross-country skiing trails and snowshoeing paths that wind through the park’s beautiful landscape. There’s even a large man-made hill that visitors can climb to get a panoramic view of the park and the surrounding mountains.

Overall, Moerenuma Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience a different side of winter in Sapporo. Whether you’re interested in exploring the snow dome, skiing through the park’s winding trails, or simply admiring the unique and beautiful architecture of the park, there’s something for everyone at Moerenuma Park.

Moerenuma Park

Winter Sports in Sapporo

Sapporo is a winter sports paradise, with numerous opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Here are some of the best winter sports activities to enjoy in Sapporo.

Skiing and Snowboarding

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-packed winter activity in Sapporo, then skiing and snowboarding are a must-try. With several ski resorts just a short distance from the city, there’s no shortage of slopes to tackle. The powdery snow that covers the slopes in Sapporo is unlike any other snow you’ll find around the world, making it the perfect destination for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.

One of the great things about skiing and snowboarding in Sapporo is that there are options for all levels of experience. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you’ll find slopes that cater to your level. The resorts in Sapporo also offer lessons for those who are new to skiing and snowboarding, so even if you’ve never tried it before, you’ll be able to hit the slopes in no time. And with a backdrop of stunning winter scenery, skiing and snowboarding in Sapporo is truly an unforgettable experience.

Go Skiing in Japan

Recommended gear for skiing and snowboarding

Your skis, snowboards, boots, and bindings you can rent there, but here are some gear we recommend you have:

  1. Ski/Snowboard Goggles: In Japan, you can expect to encounter a variety of weather conditions, including snow, sleet, and fog.
  2. Ski/Snowboard Helmet: A helmet is an essential piece of safety gear for skiing and snowboarding.
  3. Base Layers: To stay warm and comfortable on the slopes, invest in a good set of base layers made from moisture-wicking fabric. Look for materials like merino wool or synthetic blends keep you dry and insulated.
  4. Insulated Jacket and Pants: To stay warm and dry in the snow, invest in a good-quality insulated jacket and pants. Look for materials like Gore-Tex or other waterproof and breathable fabrics to help keep you dry and comfortable.
  5. Gloves: Keeping your hands warm and dry is essential for a successful day on the slopes. Look for gloves with good insulation and waterproofing, as well as a comfortable fit that allows for dexterity and grip.
  6. Backpack: A good quality backpack is essential for carrying all your gear and supplies on the slopes. Look for a pack with a comfortable fit, plenty of storage options, and convenient features like hydration compatibility.

Ski Favorites

Skiing Japan

Ice Skating

Ice skating is another popular winter activity in Sapporo, with several rinks located in and around the city. One of the most popular rinks is located in Odori Park, where you can skate under the beautiful Sapporo TV Tower. The rink is open from December to March and offers skate rentals for those who don’t have their own. There’s nothing quite like gliding across the ice surrounded by the stunning winter scenery of Sapporo.

Another popular ice skating destination in Sapporo is the Sapporo Ice Arena, which is open year-round and offers both public skating sessions and lessons. The arena is also home to several ice hockey teams, so you might even catch a game if you’re lucky. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, ice skating is a great way to experience the winter wonderland of Sapporo while having some fun on the ice.

Where to Eat in Sapporo in the Winter

When it comes to dining in Sapporo during the winter, there are endless options to choose from. You can warm up with a hot bowl of ramen at one of the city’s many ramen shops, or indulge in a hearty seafood feast at a local izakaya. For a unique experience, head to a traditional yakiniku restaurant where you can grill your own meat at the table. And, of course, no visit to Sapporo would be complete without trying some of the city’s famous soup curry. Whether you’re in the mood for comfort food or want to try something new, Sapporo’s winter cuisine will not disappoint.

Sapporo Ramen

When it comes to comfort food in Sapporo, nothing beats a hot bowl of ramen. Sapporo ramen is famous for its rich, miso-based broth and thick, chewy noodles. You can find ramen shops on nearly every street corner in Sapporo. Each has its own unique spin on the classic dish. Some popular toppings include slices of pork, butter, corn, and bamboo shoots. And don’t forget to slurp your noodles loudly, as it’s a sign of appreciation in Japanese culture. So, if you’re looking for a warm and satisfying meal during your visit to Sapporo, be sure to try a bowl of the city’s famous ramen.

Japanese food - ramen

Popular ramen restaurants in Sapporo

  1. Ramen Shingen (らーめん信玄): This popular ramen spot is popular for its rich, creamy miso broth and tender chashu pork. The restaurant also has a cozy, traditional atmosphere, with wooden beams and paper lanterns.
  2. Menya Saimi. Menya Saimi serves up some of the best shio (salt) ramen in Sapporo. The broth is light and savory, and the noodles have a perfect texture. The restaurant is small and cozy, with only a few counter seats and a handful of tables.
  3. Ramen Republic. This food court in Sapporo Station is home to several popular ramen shops, including the famous Sapporo Ramen Kyowakoku. It’s a great spot if you want to try several different types of ramen in one place.
  4. Ebisoba Ichigen (えびそば 一幻): If you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll love the shrimp-based broth at Ebisoba Ichigen. The restaurant also offers unique toppings like tempura shrimp and grated cheese.
  5. Sumire (すみれ): Sumire is a Sapporo institution, with multiple locations throughout the city. The restaurant’s signature dish is their miso ramen, which is hearty and flavorful. Be prepared to wait in line, as this place is always packed!

Soup Curry

If you’re looking for something a bit different than ramen during your visit to Sapporo, be sure to try the city’s famous soup curry. Unlike traditional Japanese curry, which has a thick sauce, soup curry is a lighter, brothy version that’s perfect for colder weather. The dish typically includes a variety of vegetables and meat, such as chicken or pork, and is served with rice. Some restaurants even offer vegetarian or seafood options. Soup curry can be found all over Sapporo, but some popular spots include Magic Spice, Suage, and Picante. So, if you’re in the mood for something warm, flavorful, and unique, be sure to give soup curry a try during your trip to Sapporo.

Popular soup curry restaurants in Sapporo

  1. Magic Spice. This restaurant is often considered the birthplace of soup curry in Sapporo and is famous for its flavorful broth and tender meat. The restaurant has several locations throughout the city, but the original one in Susukino is the most popular.
  2. Suage: Suage is a cozy, family-run restaurant that serves up delicious soup curry with a variety of toppings. The broth is thick and flavorful, with a hint of spiciness. The restaurant is located near Sapporo Station and is a popular lunch spot for locals and tourists alike.
  3. Picante: Picante is known for its creative soup curry dishes, which often include seafood and unique spice blends. The restaurant has a lively atmosphere and is a great place to go with friends. There are several locations in Sapporo, including one in the trendy neighborhood of Nakajima Park.
  4. Garaku: Garaku is a more upscale soup curry restaurant that uses high-quality ingredients, such as Hokkaido-grown vegetables and local meat. The restaurant has a sophisticated atmosphere and is a great spot for a date night or special occasion.
  5. Tsubara Tsubara. Tsubara Tsubara serves up some of the spiciest soup curries in Sapporo, with options ranging from mild to “level 100.” The restaurant has a cozy, rustic atmosphere and is located in the popular neighborhood of Maruyama.
Soup Curry

What to drink in Sapporo

Sapporo is famous for its beer. So if you’re looking for a drink to try during your visit, you can’t go wrong with a glass of Sapporo beer. The Sapporo Beer Museum is a popular attraction. There you can learn about the history of beer production in the city and even sample some of the local brews. In addition to beer, Sapporo is also known for its sake, a traditional Japanese rice wine. There are several sake breweries in the nearby town of Otaru that offer tastings and tours. And if you’re looking for something non-alcoholic, try a cup of hot chocolate or matcha latte to warm up during the winter months.

Sapporo beer

Don’t miss out on the winter wonderland of Sapporo!

Sapporo truly is the ultimate winter wonderland. From the stunning snow sculptures at the Snow Festival to the thrilling skiing and snowboarding slopes. There’s no shortage of winter activities to enjoy in this charming city. And let’s not forget about the delicious food. Whether you’re in the mood for ramen or soup curry, Sapporo has plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds. So if you’re looking for a winter getaway that’s sure to leave you with unforgettable memories, consider visiting Sapporo. Just be sure to pack warm clothes and take advantage of the city’s many indoor and outdoor hot springs to stay cozy during the chilly months. Don’t miss out on the winter wonderland of Sapporo, book your trip now!

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