About Hokkaido

A large clock tower and trendy shopping center. Odori Avenue Park is the location of a magnificent snow festival.

Sapporo in western Hokkaido is divided up in a grid pattern, and is the largest city on the island. Odori Avenue Park stretches from east to west in the center of the city, and is a symbol of the city - full of art objects, fountains, lilac and acacia plants and lots of flowerbeds. To the north stand trading companies, financial institutions and local government offices, while to the south is a large underground shopping mall, which as the city's main shopping center is always busy. It is connected directly to Sapporo Station, which is the transportation hub for all of Hokkaido and the place to board JR lines, the subway, and both local and tourist buses.

The city contains many essential sights: the Sapporo City Clock, which has been marking time for over a century; the old Hokkaido government building, a neo-baroque building known as "Red Brick" that is lit up after dark; and the poplars outside Hokkaido University (formerly Hokkaido Agricultural College).

Odori Avenue Park is more than 1,400 meters long. In summer it is full of beer gardens, while in winter it becomes the location for a snow festival. During the festival, this big park is lined with magnificent snow statues and beautiful ice statues.

From Tokyo :
[Air] 1h 30 min from Haneda to Shin-Chitose Airport. 35 min from the airport to Sapporo Station by JR Chitose Line (rapid train).
[Rail] 17h from Tokyo to Sapporo by sleeping car.
From Osaka :
[Air] 2h 10 min from Itami, or 1h 55 min from Kansai International Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport.

Local Attractions

Odori Park

Situated in central Sapporo, this belt-like park is filled with green plants and flowers, serving as an oasis for residents and tourists alike. Most of Sapporo's major outdoor annual events, such as the Snow Festival take place here. The Sapporo TV Tower soaring at the eastern end of the park provides a panoramic view of the city.

Old Hokkaido Government Building

This beautiful red-brick structure is another major monument reminiscent of the early times of Hokkaido. It houses the prefectural archives with a collection of historical materials and documents.

Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens

Despite its location in the centre of the city, the spacious gardens retain some of the virgin forest seen before Hokkaido was cultivated. Two museums: one dedicated to the Ainu, their lifestyle and culture, and the other with a collection of zoological and found here.


This district is famous nationwide as the centre of Sapporo's nightlife, the largest of its kind north of Tokyo.

Local Food

Dairy Products

Hokkaido is famous for its excellent dairy products. Cheese and butter were first produced in Hokkaido in the Meiji Era. Their quality is based on the knowledge accumulated during the history of one century, and known worldwide. Ice cream made from fresh milk is also very popular.


Hokkaido is known for the rich and variety fresh seafood, harvested from the cold waters surrounding Japan's northern seas. Within the prefecture some areas are particularly famous for a certain product, such as the sea urchins, crab, squid, salmon, salmon roe,scallops and more. Restaurants in a fish market, they provide reasonably prices rice bowl topped with a generous amount of  fresh sea food such as sea urchins, salmon roe, squid or a combination thereof.


There are thousands of ultimate ramen restaurants in Hokkaido. Typical Sapporo's ramen is miso flavored ramen served with rich butter and sweet corn. Individual ramen shops all have their own particular flavor and style and chefs can be quite secretive about what makes their soup so special.


Jingisukan is a popular Hokkaido-style barbecue of mutton. Grilled mutton and vegetables are eaten with special sauce. It is very nice to enjoy it with local beer. Each home and restaurant has different style and sauce.