As we were cruising at 110km/hour on Super Hakuto heading for Hakodate from Sapporo, these questions came to my mind. “Do I like Sapporo? did we enjoy our time there?”
We came here because of the snow sculpture festival held each year at Odori park. Odori means broad street. Indeed it was big. There were some amazing giant sculptures we could find at the park that stretches for 1.5 kilometres from one end and another. However, this was not the reason that made us enjoy our time in Sapporo. These are five things that we like most about Sapporo
First – Powdery snow
Of course, this would be the first thing we noticed since the first time we landed, during our three-night stays and the day we left for Hakodate. There was plenty of snow! We thought of going to the ski resort but decided we didn’t have to go there anymore to see the snow. It was right in front of our doorstep. The two nights we were there, there was heavy snowfall every night, so the morning when we got up, the road was filled with piles of snow. We love it! Well, if you’re from North America or Canada where you have plenty of snow, this may not be your liking, but we are from Southeast Asia so, we love it!
Second – Mt. Moiwa
Sapporo is impressive as it Mt. Moiwa literally at its back door. The city sits on a vast flat land, but in the north, it has Mt. Moiwa. From Odori station, it was just around 10 minutes ride to Iriguchi ropeway tram stop. From there you need to walk to the shuttle bus stop that will take you the Mt. Moiwa ropeway station, and it would take you up to the mountain observation deck where you could see Sapporo down below. You don’t have to travel far to go up to the mountain and the view of the city below. The best of all, you could also walk around and play with the snow too! I feel it would also be nice to hike up to the mountain during spring or summer.
Third – Sapporo Trams
Sapporo trams are tiny compared to trams in Melbourne, Australia, for example, but they are cute. First of all, people of Sapporo don’t call it a tram, but a streetcar. You need to board the tram from the back door, then exit through the front door, tap your card or pay the ticket of Y200 flat rate with the driver. If you ride a subway, riding the tram would then only cost you Y120. There are two kinds of trams, the vintage-looking trams and more modern designed trams. I like the old tram design better.
Fourth – Otaru Canal
Japanese know how to make their places beautiful and attractive for tourists to visit. One of them is the Otaru Canal. Otaru is not part of Sapporo city but travelling from Sapporo to Otaru is easy. The train ride also offers a magnificent view of the beach as the train cruises along from Sapporo to Otaru.
Fifth – Less Crowded
Last but not least, Sapporo doesn’t feel like touristy as other places in Japan. Maybe because it’s winter, or perhaps it’s just not the main tourist area in Japan. You really had to make an effort to come here. There are still many tourists, of course, but not like in Kyoto or Osaka. The road from the station to Arashiyama bridge in Kyoto is like walking in the market where you have so many people, mostly tourists walking around. Not here in Sapporo, you can still enjoy the places to the fullest. So please come before it becomes a major tourist attraction where you can see nothing but people.
So there. Those are the five reasons why we enjoyed Sapporo. Would we come back again? Hokkaido offers plenty of things to see in spring, so maybe not? We may go back again to Sapporo and explore other places in Hokkaido.