Sapporo private walking tour
- Choose what you want to see
- Sapporo Snow Festival
- Moerenuma Park
- Historic Village of Hokkaido
- Mount Moiwa
- Shiroi Koibito Park
- Odori Park
- Sapporo Factory
- Jozankei Onsen
- Nijo Market
- Clock Tower
- Shikotsu-Tōya National Park
All about the trip
Enjoy an efficient, full-day walking tour of Sapporo accompanied by a nationally/state licensed and experienced multilingual guide! Your guide will help you explore Sapporo while introducing both modern and traditional sides of this dynamic, ancient city.
Sapporo City, on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, may be more famous for its winter activities, but your private guide will tell you that it is a destination that can be enjoyed year-round.
Our tours feature a morning pick-up at your hotel in Sapporo, then a visit to any number of possible sites, including Odori Park, site of numerous summertime festivals; Hokkaido Shrine, where you can enjoy cherry blossoms in spring, or the hatsumode shrine visit in January; the 531m tall Mount Moiwa, where you can enjoy a refreshing climb; and various gourmet spots featuring Hokkaido specialties such as "Genghis Khan", or Mongolian mutton barbecue.
Let us know what you would like to experience and we will customize a six-hour tour that's best for you!
Note 1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note 2: This special tour will be conducted with public transportation and cruising taxi as stated in the tour information, NOT including private vehicle. Your guide will pick you up at the meeting point on foot.
Note 3: Nationally and State Licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government and requires good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.
The Sapporo Snow Festival (さっぽろ雪まつり, Sapporo Yuki Matsuri) is held during one week every February in Hokkaido's capital Sapporo. It is one of Japan's most popular winter events. The Sapporo Snow Festival was started in 1950, when high school students built a few snow statues in Odori Park. It has since developed into a large, commercialized event, featuring spectacular snow and ice sculptures and attracting more than two million visitors from Japan and across the world. The snow festival is staged on three sites: the Odori Site, Susukino Site, and Tsu Dome Site.
Moerenuma Park (モエレ沼公園, Moerenuma Kōen) is a large park in the outskirts of Sapporo. Surrounded by a marsh, the park has a circumference of about four kilometers. The grounds are covered in attractive green space and there are massive, dramatic features that make the park a very unique public space. The park owes its bold design to the renowned Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. Born in the United States, Noguchi spent a considerable part of his professional life in Japan and maintained a workshop in Takamatsu. In 1988 the city of Sapporo entrusted Noguchi with the creation of a park on the spacious grounds of a landfill. Shortly after the plans were completed, Noguchi passed away, but his designs were carried out and the park was opened to the public in 2005.
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (開拓の村, Kaitaku no Mura) is an open-air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village, and a mountain village. The Hokkaido Museum (北海道博物館, Hokkaido Hakubutsukan) documents the history and nature of Hokkaido and is located about a ten-minute walk from the open-air museum. The museum focuses on five main themes, including Ainu culture, history and wildlife.
Mount Moiwa (藻岩山, Moiwa-yama) is one of several small, forested mountains southwest of central Sapporo. The mountain is a popular sightseeing spot that is known for the spectacular view out over the city from an observation deck at its summit. The view is especially beautiful after sunset. The Mount Moiwa Ropeway climbs from the base of the mountain three quarters up the mountain to a transfer station. From there a rather unique mini cablecar travels the rest of the way to the upper station at the summit where there is an observation deck and restaurant with nice views out over the city. The station also houses a planetarium and theater. The ropeway and building complex at the summit were reopened in 2012 after extensive renovations.
Shiroi Koibito Park (白い恋人パーク) is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. The company's flagship product is the Shiroi Koibito cookie, which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate in between. It is one of the most famous souvenirs from Hokkaido. The park consists of a free area with a shop, cafe and restaurant and a paid area with various chocolate-related exhibits and, most interestingly, a few large windows through which visitors can observe the cookie production process in the factory. It is also possible to create your own cookies in hands-on workshops. Another part of the Shiroi Koibito Park is a soccer field that serves as the practice ground for Consadole Sapporo, the local professional soccer team.
Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan. Sapporo Beer, one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in the country, has been brewed in Sapporo since 1877. The Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館, Sapporo Beer Hakubutsukan) was opened in 1987 in a former brewery from the Meiji Period. The museum introduces the history of beer in Japan and the process of beer making. After the exhibitions, beer tastings are available at a small fee. Alternatively, paid tours are held in Japanese that include a tasting session at the end.
Odori Park (大通公園, Ōdōri Kōen) is the broad median of Odori ("large street") in the center of Sapporo, separating the city into north and south. The park stretches about a kilometer and a half over twelve city blocks and offers pleasant green space during the warmer months. In early February, the park serves as the main site of the Sapporo Snow Festival. At the eastern end of Odori Park stands the Sapporo TV Tower, which has an observation deck with nice views of the park and the surrounding city. The tower is just under 150 meters tall, and the observation deck is at an elevation of 90 meters. During the evening the tower is illuminated, making it an attractive landmark.
Susukino (すすきの) is Japan's largest entertainment district north of Tokyo. It is packed with stores, bars, restaurants, karaoke shops, pachinko parlors, and red-light establishments. Of special interest to noodle lovers is the Ramen Yokocho, a narrow lane lined with shops serving Sapporo's famous ramen. In February, Susukino serves as a site of the Snow Festival, hosting an ice sculpture competition.
This botanical garden (北海道大学植物園, Hokkaidō Daigaku Shokubutsuen) close to Sapporo's city center belongs to Hokkaido University and primarily serves a scientific and educational purpose. The garden with its walking trails and lawns, however, is also a pleasant place to take a break or to have a (non-alcoholic) picnic. Established in 1886, the Botanic Garden preserves a small part of the forest which formerly covered the Ishikari Plain. In addition, there is an alpine garden, a greenhouse, and a small Ainu museum. During the winter, only the greenhouse is open to the public.
The 90-meter ski jump competitions of the Winter Olympics 1972 were held in the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium (大倉山ジャンプ競技場, Ōkurayama Janppu Kyōgijō). Nowadays, when the stadium is not being used for world cup or other ski jump events, the Okurayama Observatory at the top of the hill can be accessed via a chair lift for spectacular views of Sapporo. At the foot of the jump hill stands the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum with exhibits about the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and winter sports in general, including ski jump, bobsled, and biathlon. The museum has a variety of fun sport simulation games that cover events like ski jump, speed skating, and hockey. The games can be played without any additional costs beyond the museum's entrance fee.
Sapporo Factory is a large shopping and entertainment complex that was opened in 1993 in central Sapporo. There are about 160 establishments that include clothing stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes, and a multi-screen movie theater. The shops are concentrated around a five-story atrium that provides visitors a refreshing and spacious atmosphere. Sapporo Factory was constructed on the former site of Japan's first beer brewery, and the complex includes a red brick Akarenga building that is reminiscent of Hokkaido's early development in the late 1800s. A small, functioning brewery can be observed within the building, and the beer itself can be enjoyed afterward at the Akarenga's beer hall or at a tasting bar.
Jozankei Onsen (定山渓温泉, Jōzankei Onsen) is located inside Shikotsu-Toya National Park between the high cliffs of the Toyohira River. The town is only one hour outside central Sapporo, making it a popular side trip from the city. As a result, Jozankei is rather developed compared to smaller onsen towns in Hokkaido. The onsen waters of Jozankei were discovered in 1866 and the town now has dozens of ryokan, restaurants, and shops catering to hot spring tourists. Many ryokan offer day visitors entrance to their baths for a fee of 500 to 1500 yen. Furthermore, free footbaths can be found around town. Below is a list of some of Jozankei's bathing facilities, all of which have gender-separated baths:
Nijo Market (二条市場, Nijō Ichiba) is a public market in central Sapporo that occupies about one city block. Both locals and tourists visit the market to shop for fresh local produce and seafood such as crabs, salmon eggs, sea urchins, and various fresh and prepared fish. The market is open from around 7:00 to around 18:00 on all days of the week, with individual shops maintaining their own opening hours and closing days. Several restaurants can be found among the shops, including a collection of small drinking places and restaurants along a narrow corridor called Noren Yokocho. A recommended way of enjoying a visit is by having a fresh seafood breakfast at one of the market's restaurants. Among the most popular menu items for starting the day is the uni ikura donburi, sea urchin and salmon eggs on rice.
The Clock Tower (時計台, Tokeidai) is a symbol of Sapporo. The building was constructed during the early period of Sapporo's development in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. In 1881 a clock purchased from Boston was installed. Today, the Clock Tower serves as a museum with displays about the building's history and Sapporo on the first floor. On the second floor are displays about the clock and a spacious ceremony hall that calls to mind the simple buildings of the colonial American Midwest.
Built in 1871, the Hokkaidō Shrine (Hokkaidō Jingū) is one of the country's most important (and visited) Shinto religious sites. Adjacent to Maruyama Park, the shrine became even more popular after it was dedicated to the soul of much-revered Emperor Meiji in 1964. The site is massive, and in addition to the huge temple building, it consists of a large garden replete with cherry blossoms, a big draw when they are in bloom each spring. Another favorite time to visit is New Year's, when special celebrations and festivities are conducted, or during the annual Sapporo Festival every June when long parades of traditionally dressed revelers visit the Hokkaidō Shrine and pay homage to their ancestors and the spirits of the country's most revered religious leaders.
On the west side of Sapporo is Maruyama-Koen Park, a multipurpose natural area popular with visitors year-round. In spring, the park's 226-meter-high hill comes alive with the stunningly beautiful blooms of its more than 1,700 wild cherry trees, while in autumn, it's the turn of the many maple trees to show off as their leaves change into a cavalcade of reds and golds (it's also popular among bird-watchers). Winter, too, is not without its own beauty, when heavy snowfalls carpet the park, turning it into a playground for winter sports enthusiasts. At this time of year, the focal point here is the nearby Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, built for the 1972 Winter Olympics and still regularly used to host ski competitions, as well as the Ōkurayama Crystal House with its shopping and restaurant, and the Winter Sports Museum, an interesting museum about the Winter Olympics and related sports. The park also boasts a small zoo, the Maruyama Zoo, with a variety of native and exotic animals.
The Shikotsu-Tōya National Park near Sapporo contains in its three separate parts a wide range of beautiful volcanic landscapes, along with many crater lakes and hot springs. The largest section of the National Park lies at the very gates of Sapporo, making it an ideal day trip just an hour's bus ride away. A highlight is the 1,893-meter-tall Yotei, an extinct volcano that towers above the town of Kutchan, which serves as a good base for those wanting to make the four-hour climb to the three summit craters known as the Father, Mother, and Little Cauldrons. Also worth seeing is the Nakayama Pass and crystal clear Lake Toya, a circular lake so warm it can't freeze over even in the severest of winters (the lake also boasts a popular health resort, Toyako-onsen). Another highlight is Showa-Shinzan, a still-active volcano, which came into being only in 1945. 7 Moerenuma Park
Built in 1957, the 147-meter-tall Sapporo TV Tower (Sapporo Terebi-tō) remains one of the city's most visited landmarks. Easily accessible from Odori Park, the tower offers superb views over Sapporo from its observation deck, as well as from its restaurant. In addition to on-site stores, the tower also houses an interesting exhibit on the ground floor relating to the structure's history, along with access to a large underground shopping precinct. A highlight of the tower's exterior are the large digital clocks installed in 1961, and at night, it's certainly pleasant enjoying a meal at one of the many traditional food outlets close by as you admire the tower's illuminations. 9 Former Hokkaidō Government
One of Sapporo's most obviously western-influenced landmarks, the splendid Former Hokkaidō Government Office was built in 1873 to house the offices of the predecessor government that once watched over the island's affairs. Later extensively restored after a devastating fire, it now offers exhibition space and serves as a tourist center for the city and is well worth a visit for both its interior décor and its bright red-brick exterior. Impressive in size, the structure includes some two-and-a-half million bricks sourced locally and houses a collection of important paintings and other artworks, along with furniture and displays dealing with the building's important place in the history of the region. Afterward, be sure to visit the splendid gardens and pond, especially when in use as a venue for musical and theatrical events.
A great place to visit for those traveling with children is the Sapporo Science Center. This modern facility includes more than 200 displays and exhibits (many of them hands-on and interactive), covering the natural and man-made worlds. Highlights include a virtual universe, displays related to weather, and a huge globe with the northern hemisphere projected onto it. A must-do is visit the refurbished planetarium, which walks you through a fascinating 4D depiction of the stars and planets surrounding us. Also worth a visit is the nearby Sunpiazza Aquarium, which offers an up-close look at local saltwater fish, as well as displays of seals, penguins, and a fun touch pool.What Wikipedia says about Sapporo
What is included in the price
- Free photos
- Hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Licensed local guide
What is not included in the price
- Other personal expenses
- Lunch (for yourself and your guide)
- Entrance fee (for yourself)
- Private vehicle
- Transportation fee (for yourself and your guide)
Infant seats are available.
Animals or pets are allowed.
Public transportation nearby.
Infants must not sit on laps.
Your guide will pick you up at the meeting point as per your request on foot. This special tour will be conducted with public transportation.
This activity is organised by Japan Guide Agency, Ejirihigashi2 67-3, Shizuoka City, 424-0815, Japan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We can guarantee you that this agency was checked by our experts. Your money will be safe then. We sell all activities for the same price as the organising agency.
Do you have a question or need more information about the activity?
You can reach our European office between 9am and 5pm CET on weekdays and between 11am and 5pm on weekends and holidays.
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