Photo of Sapporo

About Sapporo

Located on a rare plain against the backdrop of Hokkaido's mountains, Sapporo, the island's capital, is Japan's fifth-largest city. It is one of Japan's youngest major cities - its population was allegedly only seven people back in 1857! The best places to stay in Sapporo are widely contrasting with smart contemporary stays an option for those who like simple luxuries and beautiful traditional ryokans for that authentic feel. For a really traditional stay choose a hotel complete with an onsen.

Significant development occurred in the Edo period but you might be surprised to find that the city boasts a North American-esque design, with its rectangular street system that's incredibly easy to navigate. This, combined with its mountainous backdrop, gives the city a clean, crisp, orderly appearance.

Sapporo is Hokkaido's buzzy hub: boasting plenty of great nightlife, fantastic food, wonderful shops and a rich culture. For this reason, it's incredibly popular with tourists - in fact, in February the city's population increases drastically as visitors (as many as 2 million) flock from far and wide for the city's notorious Snow Festival. Here, you can witness the many hundreds of breath-taking snow and ice sculptures which are dotted all around the city.

The city has also has an incredibly rich beer history. Sapporo beer originates from the city and has been brewed since 1867. A tour around its lovely historic red brick brewery, a Hokkaido Heritage Site, is a real must for anyone interested in the process.

Remember, if you are visiting during the Snow festival the best places to stay in Sapporo get quickly booked up so we recommend planning your trip well in advance.

The Best Places to Stay in Sapporo

For a contemporary stay

  • On the 23rd and 24th floors of the JR Tower, the JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo is a fantastic place to stay if you value your view. The interiors are unfussy - designed to emphasise peace and tranquility - and the French and Japanese restaurants are excellent.
  • La Vista Hakodate Bay is a contemporary-design-meets-Art-Deco-masterpiece with 356 rooms and suites. You’re right on the water and in the heart of Sapporo.

For traditional Japanese design

  • Nakamuraya Ryokan is a traditional ryokan in downtown Sapporo with a spacious 24-hour bath. There are just 26 rooms and you can enjoy traditional food served up in the restaurant.

Travel Information

  • The most common way for international visitors to arrive in Hokkaidō is via New Chitose Airport just outside Sapporo.
  • If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars, have to offer.
  • Sapporo is very much a year-round holiday destination as far as Japanese visitors are concerned. Much of Japan's best skiing is found on Hokkaido, whilst it's also lovely to stroll around in the summertime when the temperature hovers between 18-26°C.

Still Not Sure?


Monthly Weather in Sapporo

Best Hotels in Sapporo

  • Cross Hotel Sapporo Sapporo 181 rooms from £101

    Local exploring  -  Set a five-minute walk from the main station, this hotel makes a great base for local sightseeing in the city
    Romantic Break  -  With a romantic guest-only lounge and observation deck, book this hotel for your next couples' city break
    City Style  -  With contemporary interiors and a central city location, book this hotel for local Sapporo charm
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Sapporo TV Tower located close to the hotel and head up to the top for great views from the observation deck
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    This sleek city bolt-hole is located in central Sapporo, Japan - five minutes' walk from JR Sapporo Station. Stylish suites are zoned by wooden screens and feature cosy soft furnishings and contemporary artwork. Head to the top floor lounge for skyline views after drinks at the romantic bar. See More

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  • Nakamuraya Ryokan Sapporo (Hokkaido Prefecture) 26 rooms from £134

    Sights nearby  -  Check out the historic Former Hokkaidō Government Office building
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the Hokkaido University's Botanic Garden
    Quirky  -  An experience!
    Air conditioningParkingNo pets

    Nakamuraya Ryokan is a traditional Japanese inn located in downtown Sapporo. The air-conditioned rooms have woven-straw floors and futon bedding whilst there's also a spacious 24 hour bath to relax in. Enjoy meals served in a true Ryokan style with plenty of small dishes. A unique and friendly spot! See More

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  • JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo Sapporo (Kita 5, Chuo-ku) 350 rooms from £246

    Restaurant  -  4 dining options, 2 of which are located on the 35th floor with fabulous views.
    Sights nearby  -  Be sure to check out the historic Former Hokkaidō Government Office building
    Great walks  -  Wander around Hokkaido University's beautiful Botanic Gardens
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    Air conditioningRestaurantViewsParkingNo pets

    Located on the 23rd to 34th floors in the JR Tower, this hotel provides chic contemporary accommodation offering splendid views of Sapporo. Wide-view windows with unfussy interiors emphasise peace and tranquility whilst their restaurants serve up stunning French and Japanese cuisine! A top spot. See More

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