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Hokkaido’s capital, Sapporo, dates back only 120 years, and this bright, cosmopolitan city, well-endowed with gardens and parks, makes the perfect base from which to head out and explore the island.

In recent times it has played host to the Winter Olympics and matches in the 2002 Football World Cup, and each February the city welcomes the world to the wonderful Sapporo Snow Festival, an ice-sculpting extravaganza on an epic scale.

Around Sapporo

Fish gift boxesFurther south, separated from the mainland by the narrow Tsugaru Straits, is the charming port town of Hakodate. There is something of the feel of Nagasaki here, with the intriguing mixture of Japanese and Western architecture giving an unexpectedly cosmopolitan atmosphere. Take a cable-car at dusk to the summit of Mount Hakodate and watch as the sparkling lights of town radiate out into the distance.

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Start planning your tailor-made trip to Sapporo by contacting one of our Japan specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring Sapporo

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Sapporo, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Sapporo

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Sapporo

    Our expert guides to exploring Sapporo

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Sapporo, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Sapporo at its best.

    • Driving in Japan: Hokkaido Island
      Driving in Hokkaido

      Driving in Japan: Hokkaido Island

      Driving in Japan: Hokkaido Island

      Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, is a volcanic, alpine-forested wilderness with bubbling hot springs and vivid-blue caldera lakes. Japan specialist Toby explains how you can make the most of your visit by self-driving across the island.

      9 min read

      Read this guide

    Accommodation choices for Sapporo

    We've selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Sapporo. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.