50 things to do in Sapporo

Explore the magical capital city of Hokkaido

50 things to do in Sapporo

In association with the Society for Promotion of Creative Tourism in Sapporo

50 things to do in Sapporo

1-25 | 26-50

26. Kit yourself out for the chilly season

Sapporo offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Gear up for a weekend camping trip on the ground floor of this store, or head upstairs for pro-grade sleeping bags, tents and weather-resistant clothing – you'll really need the latter during Hokkaido's winter.
Shugakuso Hokudai

27. Combine beer with history

Swig a brew or two over some lamb hot pot in a historical building – this pretty structure dates back to 1890 and serves up delicious 'jingisukan' (a mutton dish named after the Mongol warlord Genghis Khan). The Sapporo Beer Museum next door is also well worth a visit.
Sapporo Beer Garden

28. Feast on curry at an onsen

Pure hot spring water and open-air baths? Sure, but the real draw here is the restaurant's heavenly curry, fastidiously crafted by Nepali and Indian chefs. More than worth the 80-minute bus trip from Sapporo Station.
Hoheikyo Onsen

29. Explore the flavours of Hokkaido

Fine French cuisine made almost exclusively with seasonal Hokkaido ingredients equals pricey, right? Not at the relaxed Moliére: prix fixe lunches start at ¥2,800 and dinners at ¥6,800.

30. Make a dozen toasts

Make your way around the dozen or so small watering holes and restaurants housed in this building just off the Tanuki-koji shopping arcade. Dishes range from soup curry to street grub with most eateries only opening in the evening.
M's Space:
Minami 2 Nishi 7, Chuo

31. Meet Japan's oldest barman

With almost 60 years of experience, Yamazaki, the owner here, is the oldest active bartender in Japan. He doesn't work every evening any more, but don't fret – his colleagues fill in with aplomb.
Bar Yamazaki

32. Fill up on working-class chicken

Beloved by the city's hungry masses, Hotei serves up ample portions in a no-frills atmosphere. Their fried Zangi chicken goes perfectly with sweet-and-sour sauce – but try it without condiments first.
Chinese Cuisine Hotei:
1-2 Minami 1 Nishi 9, Chuo, 011 272 4050, 11am-10pm (Wed until 2pm, Sat & hols until 9pm)

33. Show off your 'Made in Sapporo' wear

Dealing in fine leatherwares for a good 20 years now, Kusaka stocks a wide variety of items, but their bags are especially worth consideration. Products by local artisans and artists are plentiful at the shop, which also houses a workshop. Open Friday to Monday.
Kusaka Kabanten

34. Turn on the romance over cocktails

Looking to impress a date? The selection of 59 cocktails combined with ultra gorgeous night views at this hidden gem of a bar provide the optimal setting. If possible, pick the second window seat from the back – you just might get lucky.
Moscow Mule Okurayama:
12-10-17 Miyanomori 4, Chuo
011 622 7577, daily 6pm-3am

35. Have award-winning paella

Although 'Japan's best paella' might not sound like a surefire quality guarantee, this two-time winner of said award actually does make rather excellent Spanish cuisine. Book in advance to taste their championship-clinching dish.
Bar Espana

36. Munch on magnificent mutton

Committed carnivore? You'll have a field day feasting on the lamb shabu-shabu and other fine mutton dishes at this cheery izakaya. They also specialise in ramen with shabu-shabu soup.
Kita 7 Nishi 5, Kita
011 716 6801, daily 5pm-11pm, closed Sun and hols

37. Row a boat before bar hopping

One of the many parks in central Sapporo, this one offers everything from a concert hall to boating opportunities, and is located just a 10-minute walk from the city's central entertainment district Susukino.
Nakajima Park

38. Snack like a northerner

Old-school sweets are the speciality at the venerable Senshuan: try the bean paste-filled Northman, a pastry that hasn't changed much since hitting shelves back in 1974. Also take the opportunity to sip their fresh ground water, which they use in the bakery.
Senshuan Honten

39. Detour to Cuba

Locals sing the praises of this unlikely eatery, which continues to conjure up authentic Cuban grub and quality mojitos far up in the frozen north. Look for the red, white and blue flag outside the door.
Nishi 6-8 Minami 3, Chuo
011 219 8870, daily 6pm-3am

40. Eat, pray, shop

A whopping 200 shops and restaurants line this 900m-long arcade that's come pretty far since opening in 1873. Grab a quick lunch, stop by Tanuki Shrine to pray for luck in business, or just take in the old-school vibe. The 7-chome area, with its Singaporean joints and izakayas, is great for bar-hopping.
Tanuki-koji Shopping Arcade

41. Dig for quirky finds

As the name suggests, this antique store sits along a highway. That ease of access just might be the reason it came to stock such an eclectic collection of items – from Ainu regalia to vintage furniture.
Route 36

42. Trace the origins of a virtual pop star

Vocaloid geeks may know that Hatsune Miku was born in Hokkaido. Her parent company, Crypton, runs this café and shop that's stocked with official merchandise as well as items made by lacl artists. Free wi-fi available.
Miraist Cafe

43. Appreciate juicy island beef

Meat lovers can't afford to skip this steakhouse, founded to introduce lamb-loving locals to the joys of fine beef. In order to ensure quality, all the meat used here comes directly from a single farm in rural Shikaoi Town.
Urasando Gyunikuten

44. Stroll through the heart of Sapporo

Cutting across the city centre, Odori Park offers the classic Sapporo photo op: a highway of greenery leading up to the landmark TV Tower. Summer sees beer gardens spread out on the lawns, while the famous Snow Festival takes place here in mid-winter.
Odori Park

45. Hike the art-filled hills

Hidden among lush hills outside the city, the Art Park combines an impressive contemporary art collection with an expansive outdoor zone (open late Apr-early Nov) featuring 74 sculptures. Wear comfy shoes and prepare to walk.
Sapporo Art Park

46. Play in the snow

Its waterfalls and flowers are beautiful in spring and summer, but where this park really shines is in the winter fun department: try skiing or sledding down a 200m tube at full speed.
Takino Suzuran Hillside Park

47. Travel to a strange past

What happens when you collect random retro paraphernalia for over 30 years? You have to set up a museum to hold all your stuff, which is how this place came about. Marvel at TVs, matchboxes, lingerie and more from days gone by – entrance is free and photography is allowed.
Retro Space Saka Kaikan:
3-7-3-22 Nijyuyonken, Nishi
11am-6.30pm, closed irregularly Sat, Sun and hols

48. Ride the rapids

Natural beauty is never far away in Sapporo – the banks of this urban river are always populated by pedestrians and cyclists, while daring rafters take to the waters in spring, from late April to early June. You might even catch a glimpse of salmon swimming upstream.
Toyohira River

49. Stop for top seafood

Sapporo's streets are littered with quality izakayas, and this one, which is on the basement floor near the main station, ranks among the city's top seafood specialists. The appetisers alone are enough to introduce you to the rich food culture of Hokkaido. Imbibers will want to explore the extensive sake and shochu menu.
B1F Miyazawa Kogyo Bldg, Kita 7 Nishi 4, Kita
011 716 1000, 5pm-12pm (Sat and days before hols until 11pm), closed Sun and hols

50. Chat with culture connoisseurs

Functioning as a café, bar and arty lounge, Provo is a favourite hangout for many of the city's culturati. Regular events take place here, and the background tunes never disappoint.

50 things to do in Sapporo
1-25 |
26-50 |

Please note: All information is correct at the time of writing but is subject to change without notice.


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