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. Sapporo is one of Japan's youngest major cities - its population was allegedly only 7 people back in 1857! Such is its popularity nowadays, however, that you should be sure to book ahead as the best places to stay in Sapporo get filled up well in advance.

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 the its mountainous backdrop, gives the city a clean, crisp, orderly appearance (especialy from aerial shots). This charming setting was home to the Winter Olympics in 1972, the first time it was held in Asia.

Sapporo is Hokkaido's buzzy hub: boasting plenty of great nightlife, fantastic food, wonderful shops and a rich culture. For these resons, 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 breathaking snow and ice sculptures which are dotted all around Sapporo.

What's more, the city has an incredibly rich beer history - as you might expect, Saporro beer originates from the city, having been founded there back in 1867. Head off on a tour around its lovely historic red brick brewery, a Hokkaido Heritage Site, and lean all about the brewing process.

In all, Sapporo is a wonderful place to visit: full of beauty, bustle, a brilliant atmosphere and more.

What Not To Miss

  • Odori Park is a resplendent green haven located in the heart of the city - perfect for a relaxing afternoon after a morning spent sightseeing.
  • Head to nearby Mount Moiwa in the winter to enjoy some wonderful skiing.
  • The red-brick former Hokkaido Government Office is a lovely place to visit, as is Hokkaido Shrine.
  • Meander around the Historical Village of Hokkaido to get a glimpse of what the city was like long ago.

Remember, be sure to book ahead as the best places to stay in Sapporo get quickly booked up.

The Best Places to Stay in Sapporo

  • 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.

The Best Traditional Japanese Accommodation in Sapporo

  • 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?

Best Hotels in Sapporo

  • Nakamuraya Ryokan 26 rooms from AU$227

    Sapporo (Hokkaido Prefecture)

    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!

    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!
    Traditional
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  • La Vista Hakodate Bay 356 rooms from AU$339

    Sapporo (Hakodate-shi)

    The downtown La Vista Hakodate Bay offers contemporary designer art-deco accommodation inspired by the Taisho period. Rooms come equipped with a coffee maker and an en-suite bathroom. If you fancy a novel culinary experience then head over to Hakodate Bay Gourmet Club! An upmarket and stylish spot.

    Great walks  -  Wander through the city's gorgous botanical gardens or take a stroll around Tachimachi Cape
    Local markets  -  The bustling Hakodate Asaichi (morning market) has a superb range of food stalls to explore
    Sights nearby  -  Head over to Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse or go for a ride on the Hakodate Ropeway
    Restrictions on children  -  Children cannot be accomodated in the hotel.
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  • JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo 350 rooms from AU$417

    Sapporo (Kita 5, Chuo-ku)

    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.

    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
    Check prices