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Hotels of Sapporo

A hotel in Sapporo is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Sapporo hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Sapporo are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Sapporo hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Sapporo hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Sapporo have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Sapporo
An upscale full service hotel facility in Sapporo that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Sapporo hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Sapporo
Full service Sapporo hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Sapporo
Boutique hotels of Sapporo are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Sapporo boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Sapporo may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Sapporo
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Sapporo travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Sapporo focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Sapporo
Small to medium-sized Sapporo hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Sapporo traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Sapporo hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Sapporo
A bed and breakfast in Sapporo is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Sapporo bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Sapporo B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Sapporo
Sapporo hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Sapporo hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Sapporo
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Sapporo hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Sapporo lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Sapporo
Sapporo timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Sapporo often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Sapporo on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Sapporo
A Sapporo motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Sapporo for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Sapporo motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Sapporo

Designated city
City of Sapporo
Flag of Sapporo
Official seal of Sapporo
Location of Sapporo in Hokkaido (Ishikari Subprefecture)
Location of Sapporo in Hokkaido (Ishikari Subprefecture)
Location of Ishikari Subprefecture in Hokkaido
Location of Ishikari Subprefecture in Hokkaido
Sapporo is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Coordinates:  / 43.067; 141.350  / 43.067; 141.350
Country Japan
Region Hokkaido
Prefecture Hokkaido (Ishikari Subprefecture)
• Mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto
• Total 1,121.12 km (432.87 sq mi)
Population (September 30, 2016)
• Total 1,947,097
• Density 1,700/km (4,500/sq mi)
• Tree Lilac
• Flower Lily of the valley
• Bird Common cuckoo
Time zone Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City hall address 2-1-1 Kita-ichijō-nishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Website www.city.sapporo.jp
A view of Sapporo city and Hokkaidō University

Sapporo (札幌市, Sapporo-shi, Japanese: [sàppóró]) is the fifth largest city of Japan by population, and the largest city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Located in Ishikari Subprefecture, it is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, and an ordinance-designated city of Japan.

Sapporo is known outside Japan for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first ever held in Asia, and for the city's annual Yuki Matsuri, internationally referred to as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to Sapporo Brewery, and the white chocolate biscuits called shiroi koibito (白い恋人, "white sweetheart").

Sapporo: History

Sapporo: Early history

Before its establishment, the area occupied by Sapporo (known as the Ishikari Plain) was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. In 1866, at the end of the Edo period, construction began on a canal through the area, encouraging a number of early settlers to establish Sapporo village. The settlement's name was taken from the Ainu language sat poro pet (サッ・ポロ・ペッ), and can be translated as "dry, great river".

In 1868, the officially recognized year celebrated as the "birth" of Sapporo, the new Meiji government concluded that the existing administrative center of Hokkaido, which at the time was the port of Hakodate, was in an unsuitable location for defense and further development of the island. As a result, it was determined that a new capital on the Ishikari Plain should be established. The plain itself provided an unusually large expanse of flat, well drained land which is relatively uncommon in the otherwise mountainous geography of Hokkaido.

During 1870–1871, Kuroda Kiyotaka, vice-chairman of the Hokkaido Development Commission (Kaitaku-shi), approached the American government for assistance in developing the land. As a result, Horace Capron, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ulysses S. Grant, became an oyatoi gaikokujin and was appointed as a special advisor to the commission. Construction began around Odori Park, which still remains as a green ribbon of recreational land bisecting the central area of the city. The city closely followed a grid plan with streets at right-angles to form city blocks.

The continuing expansion of the Japanese into Hokkaido continued, mainly due to migration from the main island of Honshu immediately to the south, and the prosperity of Hokkaido and particularly its capital grew to the point that the Development Commission was deemed unnecessary and was abolished in 1882.

Edwin Dun (oyatoi gaikokujin) came to Sapporo to establish sheep and cattle ranches in 1876. He also demonstrated pig raising and the making of butter, cheese, ham and sausage. He was married twice, to Japanese women. He once went back to the US in 1883 but returned to Japan as a secretary of government.

William S. Clark (oyatoi gaikokujin), who was the president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst), came to be the founding vice-president of the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) for only eight months from 1876 to 1877. He taught academic subjects in science and lectured on the Bible as an "ethics" course, introducing Christian principles to the first entering class of the College.

In 1880, the entire area of Sapporo was renamed as "Sapporo-ku" (Sapporo Ward), and a railroad between Sapporo and Temiya, Otaru was laid. That year the Hōheikan, a hotel and reception facility for visiting officials and dignitaries, was erected adjacent to the Odori Park. It was later moved to Nakajima Park where it remains today. Two years later, with the abolition of the Kaitaku-shi, Hokkaidō was divided into three prefectures: Hakodate, Sapporo, and Nemuro. The name of the urban district in Sapporo remained Sapporo-ku, while the rest of the area in Sapporo-ku was changed to Sapporo-gun. The office building of Sapporo-ku was also located in the urban district.

Sapporo, Hakodate, and Nemuro Prefectures were abolished in 1886, and Hokkaidō government office building, an American-neo-baroque-style structure with red bricks, constructed in 1888. The last squad of the Tondenhei, the soldiers pioneering Hokkaido, settled in the place where the area of Tonden in Kita-ku, Sapporo is currently located. Sapporo-ku administered surrounding Sapporo-gun until 1899, when the new district system was announced. After that year, Sapporo-ku was away from the control of Sapporo-gun. The "ku" (district) enforced from 1899 was an autonomy which was a little bigger than towns, and smaller than cities. In Hokkaido at that time, Hakodate-ku and Otaru-ku also existed.

Sapporo: Modern history (20th century)

Sapporo city map in 1891
Odori Park in 1936
The Former Hokkaido Government Office Building

In 1907, the Tohoku Imperial University was established in Sendai Miyagi Prefecture, and Sapporo Agricultural College was controlled by the University. Parts of neighbouring villages including Sapporo Village, Naebo Village, Kami Shiroishi Village, and districts where the Tonden-hei had settled, were integrated into Sapporo-ku in 1910.

The Sapporo Streetcar was opened in 1918, and Hokkaido Imperial University was established in Sapporo-ku, as the fifth Imperial University in Japan. Another railroad operated in Sapporo, the Jōzankei Railroad, which was ultimately abolished in 1969.

In 1922, the new city system was announced by the Tokyo government, and Sapporo-ku was officially changed to Sapporo City. The Sapporo Municipal Bus System was started in 1930. In 1937, Sapporo was chosen as the site of the 1940 Winter Olympics, but due to the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War, this was cancelled the next year. Maruyama Town was integrated as a part of Chūō-ku in 1940, and the Okadama Airport was constructed in 1942.

During the last days of World War II, on July 14 and 15, 1945, 30 B-29 Superfortress bombers dropped 889 tons of E-46 500 lbs incendiary cluster bombs and 500 lbs T4E4 fragmentation cluster bombs into Sapporo at lunchtime in two separate air raids. In the resulting firestorm 190 civilians were killed, 6,788 were injured, 78,000 others remained homeless, and many structures burned for a total of 17.5 percent of the city destroyed as a part of Allied air raids on Hokkaido. The city was reconstructed after the war.

The first Sapporo Snow Festival was held in 1950. In the same year, adjacent Shiroishi Village was integrated into Sapporo City, rendered as a part of Shiroishi-ku, and Atsubetsu-ku. In 1955, Kotoni Town, the entire Sapporo Village, and Shinoro Village were merged into Sapporo, becoming a part of the current Chūō-ku, Kita-ku, Higashi-ku, Nishi-ku, and Teine-ku. The expansion of Sapporo continued, with the merger of Toyohira Town in 1961, and Teine Town in 1967, each becoming a part of Toyohira-ku, Kiyota-ku, and Teine-ku.

The ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Sapporo and Hokkaido was held in 1968. The Sapporo Municipal Subway system was inaugurated in 1971, which made Sapporo the fourth city in Japan to have a subway system. From February 3 to 13, 1972, the 1972 Winter Olympics were held, the first Winter Olympics held in Asia. On April 1 of the same year, Sapporo was designated as one of the cities designated by government ordinance, and seven wards were established. The last ever public performance by the opera singer, Maria Callas, was in Sapporo at the Hokkaido Koseinenkin Kaikan on 11 November 1974. The Sapporo Municipal Subway was expanded when the Tōzai line started operation in 1976, and the Tōhō line was opened in 1988. In 1989, Atsubetsu-ku and Teine-ku were separated from Shiroishi-ku and Nishi-ku. Annual events in Sapporo were started, such as the Pacific Music Festival in 1990, and Yosakoi Sōran Festival in 1992. A professional football club, Consadole Sapporo, was established in 1996. In 1997, Kiyota-ku was separated from Toyohira-ku. In the same year, Hokkaidō Takushoku Bank, a Hokkaido-based bank with headquarters in Odori, went bankrupt.

Sapporo: 21st century

The 34th G8 summit protest march in 2008

In 2001 the construction of the Sapporo Dome was completed, and in 2002 the Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup; Germany vs Saudi Arabia, Argentina vs England and Italy vs Ecuador, all of which were in the first round. Fumio Ueda, was elected as Sapporo mayor for the first time in 2003. Sapporo became the home to a Nippon Professional Baseball team, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in 2004, which won the 2006 Japan Series, and the victory parade was held on Ekimae-Dōri (a street in front of Sapporo Station) in February 2007.

The 34th G8 summit took place in Tōyako in 2008, and a number of people including anti-globalisation activists marched in the heart of the city to protest. Police officers were gathered in Sapporo from all over Japan, and the news reported that four people were arrested in the demonstrations. The Hokkaidō Shinkansen line, which currently connects Honshu to Hakodate through the Seikan Tunnel, is planned to link to Sapporo by 2030.

Sapporo: Geography

The Sapporo TV Tower located west of the Sōsei River

Sapporo is a city located in the southwest part of Ishikari Plain and the alluvial fan of the Toyohira River, a tributary stream of the Ishikari River. Roadways in the urban district are laid to make a grid plan. The western and southern parts of Sapporo are occupied by a number of mountains including Mount Teine, Maruyama, and Mount Moiwa, as well as many rivers including the Ishikari River, Toyohira River, and Sōsei River.

Sapporo has many parks, including Odori Park, which is located in the heart of the city and hosts a number of annual events and festivals throughout the year. Moerenuma Park is also one of the largest parks in Sapporo, and was constructed under the plan of Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist and landscape architect.

Neighbouring cities are Ishikari, Ebetsu, Kitahiroshima, Eniwa, Chitose, Otaru, Date, and adjoining towns are Tōbetsu, Kimobetsu, Kyōgoku.

Sapporo: Climate

Sapporo has a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfa), with a wide range of temperature between the summer and winter. Summers are generally warm but not overly humid, and winters are cold and very snowy, with an average snowfall of 5.96 m (19 ft 7 in). Sapporo is one of the few metropolises in the world with such heavy snowfall, enabling it to hold events and festivals with snow statues. The heavy snowfall is due to the Siberian High developing over the Eurasian land mass and the Aleutian Low developing over the northern Pacific Ocean, resulting in a flow of cold air southeastward across Tsushima Current and to western Hokkaido. The city's annual average precipitation is around 1,100 mm (43.3 in), and the mean annual temperature is 8.5 °C (47.3 °F).

Climate data for Sapporo, Hokkaido (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.2
Average high °C (°F) −0.6
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.6
Average low °C (°F) −7
Record low °C (°F) −27.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 113.6
Average snowfall cm (inches) 173
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.5 mm) 21.8 19.0 18.5 11.7 10.2 8.3 9.7 9.5 11.1 13.9 17.5 19.2 170.3
Average snowy days 28.8 25.4 23.5 6.4 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.2 13.9 26.5 125.9
Average relative humidity (%) 70 69 66 62 66 72 76 75 71 67 67 69 69
Mean monthly sunshine hours 92.5 104.0 146.6 176.5 198.4 187.8 164.9 171.0 160.5 152.3 100.0 85.9 1,740.4
Source: Japan Meteorological Agency (records 1872–present)

Sapporo: Wards

Sapporo has ten wards (, ku):

Sapporo CityMap.png
Atsubetsu-ku (厚別区) (purple)
Chūō-ku (中央区) (blue) – administrative center
Higashi-ku (東区) (skyblue)
Kita-ku (北区) (orange-red)
Kiyota-ku (清田区) (green)
Minami-ku (南区) (red)
Nishi-ku (西区) (orange)
Shiroishi-ku (白石区) (brown)
Teine-ku (手稲区) (forest green)
Toyohira-ku (豊平区) (pink)

Color shows the location of each ku in the map above.

Sapporo: Economy

Sapporo MEA

The tertiary sector dominates Sapporo's industry. Major industries include information technology, retail, and tourism, as Sapporo is a destination for winter sports and events and summer activities due to its comparatively cool climate.

The city is also the manufacturing centre of Hokkaido, manufacturing various goods such as food and related products, fabricated metal products, steel, machinery, beverages, and pulp and paper.

Hokkaido International Airlines (Air Do) is headquartered in Chūō-ku. In April 2004, Air Nippon Network was headquartered in Higashi-ku.

Greater Sapporo, Sapporo Metropolitan Employment Area (2.3 million people), had a total GDP of US $84.7 billion in 2010.

Sapporo: Culture and entertainment

As of 2006, the annual number of tourists to Sapporo reached 14,104,000, an increase of 5.9% over the previous year (13,323,000 in 2005). 2006 was also the first year that the number of tourists visiting Sapporo exceeded 14 million.

Sapporo: Cuisine

Soup curry

Sapporo is known as the birthplace of miso ramen, a ramen noodle dish using miso, and Sapporo ramen is also widely known. The Kouraku Ramen Meitengai, an alley lined with many ramen restaurants, was established in 1951 in Susukino district. After its demolition due to plans for the Sapporo Olympics, the Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho was established in the same place. It attracts many tourists throughout the year. From the year 1966, a food company named Sanyo Foods began to sell instant ramen under the brand name "Sapporo Ichiban." In 2001, Sapporo ramen was listed as one of the Hokkaido Heritage along with Asahikawa ramen and Hakodate ramen. On October 1, 2004, the Sapporo Ramen Republic, a group of restaurants focused on ramen, was opened at the 10th floor of Sapporo Esta, a commercial complex in front of Sapporo Station.

Haskap, a local variety of edible honeysuckle, similar to blueberries, is a specialty in Sapporo. Other specialty dishes of Sapporo are soup curry, a soupy curry made with vegetables and chicken or other meats, and jingisukan, a barbecued lamb dish, named for Genghis Khan. Sapporo Sweets is a confectionery using many ingredients from Hokkaido and the Sapporo Sweets Competition is held annually. Sapporo is also well-known for fresh seafood including salmon, sea urchin and crab.

Sapporo: Entertainment and performing arts

The Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara is the main musical venue in Sapporo, in Nakajima Park in Chuo-ku. It is home to the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, a local professional orchestra organized in 1961. Their regular concerts are held in this hall. The open-air stage in Sapporo Artpark is another music venue. The Pacific Music Festival (PMF), an event started with the idea of Leonard Bernstein in 1990, is held in both places. The Sapporo Artpark, in Minami-ku, contains public arts, an art museum, and the old house of Takeo Arishima. Other art museums in Sapporo include the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, the Sapporo Museum of Sculpture, and the Migishi Kotaro Museum of Art, Hokkaido. The Hokkaido Museum of Literature, located in Nakajima Park, has hosted many exhibitions, seminars, and other educational activities. The Sapporo Convention Center is in Shiroishi-ku: forums and events are held there. The Sapporo Salmon Museum, within Makomanai Park in Minami-ku, mainly displays materials related to the ecology of salmon. The Sunpiazza Aquarium is close to the Sapporo Science Center in Atsubetsu.

Sapporo: Points of interest

Sapporo Beer Museum
Susukino, the entertainment district of Sapporo

Sapporo has various historical buildings, as well as shopping malls and parks. Historic landmarks include the former Hokkaidō government office building, the Sapporo Clock Tower, the Hokkaidō Shrine (Hokkaidō Jingū), and the Sapporo TV Tower. Sapporo Factory was a former brewery of the Sapporo Brewery and is currently a huge shopping mall with many restaurants, offices, and a multiplex movie theatre. Another former brewery is the Sapporo Beer Museum, which is currently a part of the Sapporo Garden Park, and houses the Sapporo Beer Garden (サッポロビール園, Sapporo Bīru En). The Sapporo City Archive Museum, the Edwin Dun Memorial Hall, and some old buildings in Hokkaido University are historically important in Sapporo. Each was listed as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property of Japan.

The Miyanomori Art Museum has the largest collection of Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Asia and Oceania. The museum collection includes works by Lucio Fontana, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Lee Ufan, Guillaume Bottazzi, and Kumi Sugai. The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art represents Hokkaido artists like Eien Iwahashi, Kinjiro Kida, Nissho Kanda, Tamako Kataoka, and especially glass objects of Ecole de Paris.

Sapporo JR Tower, a building complex including Tower 38 and department stores, is adjacent to Sapporo Station. Being close to the main station, Sapporo JR Tower has been visited by many tourists. The number of visitors to Tower 38, which has an observation deck, was 311,815 in 2006. The Sapporo TV Tower, at the eastern end of the Odori Park, has an observation deck for viewing the entire Odori Park and Sapporo City. Susukino is the city's main nightlife district. Sapporo Ramen Yokocho and Norubesa (a building with a huge Ferris wheel) are in this district, as well as many restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and adult entertainment. The district also has the Tanuki Kōji Shopping Arcade, the oldest shopping mall in the city. Here, one can find quirky shops, game centers (with crane games, arcade games, and the Japanese photo booths called Purikura), good restaurants, and many souvenir shops. In Minami-ku, the district of Jōzankei is a site that has many hotels with steam baths and hot springs with many visitors.

Sapporo offers many parks and gardens. Odori Park houses buildings, such as the Sapporo TV Tower, and hosts many events including the Yosakoi Soran Festival, the Sapporo Lilac Festival, Sapporo White Illumination, and the Sapporo Snow Festival. In Nakajima Park, there are landmarks including Hōheikan, an old hotel building moved from Odori Park, and the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara. Maruyama Park is located next to the Hokkaido Shrine and houses the Maruyama Zoo. Moerenuma Park is in Higashi-ku and houses many open-air art compositions including the Glass Pyramid, planned by Isamu Noguchi. The Chizaki Rose Garden provides roses, and the Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens have many types of plants and historically important buildings. Nishioka Park is a location of rich nature which centers around a pond and consists of marshland and the forest of the Tsukisamu River and its upper river basin. This park also serves as one of the main habitats in Hokkaido for many types of wild birds.The Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill has a farm with sheep and attracts visitors with a statue of William S. Clark. The Asahiyama Memorial Park offers great views of the city.

Additionally, there is a Peace Pagoda, one of many such monuments across the world built by the Buddhist order Nipponzan Myohoji to promote and inspire world peace. This Stupa was built in 1959, halfway up Mount Moiwa (  / 43.030385; 141.330728 (Sapporo Peace Pagoda)), to commemorate peace after World War II and can be seen from almost anywhere in Sapporo. It contains some of the ashes of the Buddha that were presented to the Emperor of Japan by Prime Minister Nehru in 1954. Later, another part of these were presented to Mikhail Gorbachev by the famous Nipponzan-Myōhōji monk, Junsei Terasawa.

Sapporo: Events

Dancers in the Yosakoi Sōran Festival

Each February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held. The main site is at Odori Park, and other sites include Susukino (known as the Susukino Ice Festival) and Sapporo Satoland. In the past, the Makomanai area in Minami-ku was one of the festival sites, but it was abolished and moved to the Satoland site in 2006. Many of the snow and ice statues are built by members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. In 2006, the number of visitors at the Sapporo Snow Festival marked 1,985,000.

Every May, the Sapporo Lilac Festival is held. Lilac was brought to Sapporo in 1889 by an American educator, Sarah Clara Smith. At the festival, people enjoy the flowers, wine and live music.

Every June, the Yosakoi Soran Festival is held. The sites of the festival are centered on Odori Park and the street leading to Susukino, and there are other festival sites. In the festival, many dance teams dance to music composed based on a Japanese traditional song, "Sōran Bushi." Members of the dancing teams wear special costumes and compete on the roads or stages constructed on the festival sites. In 2006, 350 teams were featured with around 45,000 dancers, and over 1,860,000 people visited the festival.

During the summer, the Sapporo Summer Festival takes place in the heart of the city. People enjoy drinking in the beer gardens constructed in Odori Park and on the streets of Susukino district. This festival consists of a number of fairs such as Tanuki Festival and Susukino Festival as well as the Odori Park site.

Every September, the Sapporo Autumn Fest is held, a gourmet food festival featuring food stalls by restaurants from around the city and beyond.

Every December there is a Christmas market in Odori Park, similar to Christmas markets in Germany.

From November through January, many citizens enjoy the Sapporo White Illumination.

Sapporo: Sports

The Sapporo Dome in winter

The Sapporo Dome was constructed in 2001 and currently is the host to the local soccer team, Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo, the baseball team Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and the basketball team Levanga Hokkaido.

Sapporo was selected to be the host of the 5th Winter Olympics scheduled on February 3 to 12, 1940, but Japan had to give the Games back to the IOC, after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937.

In 1972, Sapporo hosted the 11th Winter Olympics. Some structures built for Olympic events remain in use today, including the ski jumps at Miyanomori and Okurayama. Olympic representatives in Sapporo have said that the city is considering a bid for the 2026 or 2030 Winter Olympics. The city predicts it may cost as much as 456.5 billion yen ($4.3 billion) to host the games and is planning to have 90 percent of the facilities within half an hour of the Olympic village, according to a report published 12 May 2016. The Alpen course would be in Niseko, the world’s second-snowiest resort, while the village would be next to the Sapporo Dome, the report said. The plans were presented to the Japanese Olympic Committee on 8 November 2016. In 2002, Sapporo hosted three group matches of the FIFA World Cup at the Sapporo Dome. In 2006, Sapporo hosted some games of the 2006 Basketball World Championship and also for the 2006 Women's Volleyball World Championship. In 2007, Sapporo hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at the Sapporo Dome, Miyanomori ski jump, Okurayama ski jump, and the Shirahatayama cross country course. It has been host city of two Asian Winter Games and hosted the 2017 Asian Winter Games with Obihiro.

Skiing remains a major sport in Sapporo with almost all children skiing as a part of the school curriculum. Okurayama Elementary School is unusual in having its own ski hill and ski jumping hill on the school grounds. Within the city are commercial ski hills including Moiwayama, Bankeiyama, KobaWorld, Sapporo Teine and Fu's.

Many sports stadiums and domes are located in Sapporo, and some of them have been designated as venues of sports competitions. The Sapporo Community Dome, also known by its nickname "Tsu-Dome", has hosted the Golden Market, a huge flea market event which is usually held twice a year, along with some sports events. The Makomanai Ice Arena, in Makomanai Park, was one of the venues of the Sapporo Olympics in 1972. It was renamed the Makomanai Sekisuiheim Ice Arena in 2007, when Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd., acquired naming rights and renamed the arena after their real estate brand. Other large sports venues include the Makomanai Open Stadium, Tsukisamu Dome, Maruyama Baseball Stadium, and the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center.

Toyota Big Air is a major international snowboarding event held annually in Sapporo Dome. As one of the richest events of its kind in the world, it draws many of the world's best snowboarders.

Sapporo: Professional sport teams

Club Sport League Venue Established
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters Baseball Nippon Professional Baseball Sapporo Dome 2004
Levanga Hokkaido Basketball B.League Division 1 Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center,
Tsukisamu Dome
Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo Football (soccer) J1 League Sapporo Atsubetsu Park Stadium,
Sapporo Dome
  • J. League – Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo (J1 in 1998, 2001–2002, 2008, 2012, 2017–; J2 in 1999–2000, 2003–2007, 2009–2011, 2013–2016) .
  • NPB – Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Pacific League

Sapporo: Demographics

The city has an estimated population of 1,947,097 as of September 30, 2016 and a population density of 1,700 persons per km (4,500 persons per mi). The total area is 1,121.12 km (432.87 sq mi).

Sapporo: Transportation

Sapporo Station

Sapporo has one streetcar line, three JR Hokkaido lines, three subway lines and JR Bus, Chuo Bus and other bus lines. Sapporo Subway trains have rubber-tyred wheels.

Sapporo: Rapid transit

  • Sapporo Municipal Subway
Sapporo Municipal Subway is the only rubber tyre metro system in Asia
  • Sapporo Streetcar
Sapporo Streetcar is the only circular tram system in Asia
  • Mount Moiwa Ropeway
  • Teineyama Ropeway

Sapporo: Rail

  • JR Hokkaido Stations in Sapporo
    • Hakodate Line: (Zenibako) – Hoshimi – Hoshioki – Inaho – Teine – Inazumi Kōen – Hassamu – Hassamu Chūō – Kotoni – Sōen – Sapporo – Naebo – Shiroishi – Atsubetsu – Shinrin Kōen – (Ōasa)
    • Chitose Line: Heiwa – Shin Sapporo – Kami Nopporo – (Kita-Hiroshima)
    • Sasshō Line(Gakuentoshi Line): Sōen – Hachiken – Shinkawa – Shinkotoni – Taihei – Yurigahara – Shinoro – Takuhoku – Ainosato Kyōikudai – Ainosato Kōen – (Ishikari Futomi)

Sapporo: Air

The Sapporo area is served by two airports: Okadama Airport, which offers regional flights within Hokkaido, and New Chitose Airport, a larger international airport located in the city of Chitose 30 miles (48 km) away connected by regular rapid trains taking around 40 minutes.

Sapporo: Airport shuttle, tour and charter bus service

An airport shuttle bus servicing all hotels in Sapporo operates every day of the year. SkyExpress was founded in 2005 and also provides transport to and from various ski resorts throughout Hokkaido, including Niseko.

Sapporo: Education

Sapporo: Universities

The Sapporo Clock Tower, formerly a part of Hokkaido University in the 19th century
At Hokkaido University

Sapporo: National

  • Hokkaido University
  • Hokkaido University of Education

See Japanese national university

Sapporo: Public

  • Sapporo Medical University
  • Sapporo City University

Sapporo: Private

  • Sapporo University
  • Hokusei Gakuen University
  • Hokkai School of Commerce
  • Hokkai Gakuen University
  • Fuji Women's University
  • Sapporo International University
  • Tenshi College
  • Health Sciences University of Hokkaido
  • Sapporo Ōtani University
  • Hokkaido Tokai University
  • Hokkaido Musashi Women's Junior College
  • Hokkaido Bunkyo University
  • Koen Gakuen Women's Junior College
  • Hokkaido Institute of Technology
  • Hokkaido College of Pharmacy
  • Sapporo University of Health Sciences
  • Japan Health Care College

Sapporo: Primary and secondary schools

Sapporo Odori High School

Sapporo Odori High School provides Japanese-language classes to foreign and Japanese returnee students, and the school has special admissions quotas for these groups.

The city has two private international schools:

  • Hokkaido International School
  • Hokkaido Korean Primary, Middle and High School (North Korean school)

Sapporo: Twin towns – sister cities

Sapporo City Hall (June 2007)

Sapporo has twinning relationships with several cities worldwide.

  • United States Portland, Oregon, United States, since 1959
  • Germany Munich, Germany, since 1972
  • China Shenyang, China, since 1980
  • Russia Novosibirsk, Russia, since 1990
  • South Korea Daejeon, South Korea, since 2010

Sapporo: See also

  • Sapporo Brewery

Sapporo: References

  1. City of Sapporo. "City of Sapporo". 札幌市.
  2. "Recognition at last for Japan's Ainu ". BBC News. July 6, 2008
  3. "サイト閉鎖のお知らせ".
  4. 札幌市. "ふるさとの川史話いっぱい". 札幌市.
  5. New Sapporo History 2nd edition (新札幌市史 第2巻, Shin Sapporo Shishi)
  6. New Sapporo History 5th edition (新札幌市史 第5巻, Shin Sapporo Shishi)
  7. Sutherland, Robert Maria Callas Diaries of a Friendship London Constable 1999 p265 ISBN 0-09-478790-5
  8. lawsuit against the bankruptcy of the Takushoku Bank
  9. "Arrests made during scuffles at G8 protest in Japan". 5 July 2008.
  10. "Celebrating the opening of the Hokkaido Shinkansen-travel by train from Hakodate to Sapporo while exploring along the way".
  11. 札幌市. "札幌市のあらまし". 札幌市.
  12. (in Japanese) 気象庁 | 平年値(年・月ごとの値)
  13. Sapporto.jp
  14. "気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値)". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  15. 気象庁 / 平年値(年・月ごとの値) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  16. 観測史上1~10位の値( 年間を通じての値) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  17. "会社概要." Hokkaido International Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  18. "会社概要." Air Nippon Network. April 6, 2004. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
  19. Yoshitsugu Kanemoto. "Metropolitan Employment Area (MEA) Data". Center for Spatial Information Science, The University of Tokyo.
  20. Conversion rates - Exchange rates - OECD Data
  21. Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.11 (pdf file)
  22. "元祖さっぽろラーメン横丁公式サイト".
  23. Sapporo, the sweets republic
  24. Registered Tangible Cultural Properties in Sapporo
  25. Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.35 (pdf file)
  26. Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.29 (pdf file)
  27. Sapporo to Show JOC Plan for 2026 Olympic Winter Games After Rio
  28. "札幌で再びオリンピックを JOCに開催提案書" (in Japanese). NHK. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  29. "Olympics: Sapporo shows 2026 Winter Games plan to JOC". kyodonews.net. 8 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  30. Makomanai Sekisuiheim Ice Arena Homepage
  31. "Education" (Archive). City of Sapporo. Retrieved on October 12, 2015.
  32. 札幌市 – 国際交流 – 姉妹都市 (in Japanese)
  33. Sister Cities | International Community Bureau (in Japanese)
  • Wikisource-logo.svg "Sapporo". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). 1911.
  • Official Website (in Japanese)
  • Official Website (in English)
  • [1] Information on living in Sapporo for foreign residents
  • Live view of Odori Park from Sapporo TV Tower (in Japanese)
  • すすきの通信 susukino tsushin
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