[source : https://www.hankyu-travel.com/hokkaido/sapporo/yukimatsuri/]
In my previous article, which was to introduce attractions and things to do in Sapporo, I have shortly mentioned about snow festival(yuki matusri; 雪祭り) in Sapporo. Sapporo Snow Festival is world-widely well known and popular so you’d better not miss this great opportunity to appreciate snow and ice sculptures if you are planning to visit Sapporo during festival season.
It is said that the origin of Sapporo Snow Festival comes from the story that some high school students built snow statues in Odori park, where now is used for festival. This happened more than 60 years ago and by now it has developed into a huge annual event. Every year more than 2 million people visit Sapporo to participate in this festival and see hundreds of snow statues and ice sculptures.
[source : http://niseko-village.com/ja/]
About 2 hours away from downtown Sapporo by car, Niseko is a town located on the northern Hokkaido Island. There is a famous dormant volcano mountain called Mountain Yotei, which gives perfect geographical features on this area to build ski resorts. Major ski resorts in Japan such as Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu are located in Niseko so that annually tons of people who love winter sports visit here. There also are resorts where you can enjoy both snow and hot springs.
The mountain view from hotels are said to be beautiful, especially when whole trees are covered by snow. If you are staying at high end hotels such as Hilton Hotel Niseko, the hotel provides shuttle bus between New Chitose airport and hotel, which takes around an hour and a half. Even if they don’t know how to play winter sports like ski and snowboard, there still are people who come and stay in Niseko to enjoy its scenery and take a rest.
Abashiri is a small village with about 40,000 residents located on the eastern coast of Hokkaido. If you are expecting something like high buildings and sparkling night views of downtown, you’d better visit somewhere else. There are not very many places for shopping and dining in Abashiri; however, if you love to travel every nook and corner of a village, it will give you enough pleasure. There are tour attractions you can only experience in Abashiri such as trying ice breaking cruise or visiting prison museum.
The Okhotsk Train is a limited express train service which runs between Sapporo and Abashiri. Many tourists use this train to get to Abashiri even though it takes more than 5 hours since there are some factors people can enjoy while taking this train. Abashiri is famous for ice floe and every year many people including tourists and researchers gather here to observe huge ice floes. Then why Ice floe in Abashiri became famous?
[Regarding New Year’s Holiday]
wifi-rental-japan will not open from December 31st, 2018 to January 3rd, 2019.
[source : https://www.ana.co.jp/en/jp/tastesofjapan/hokkaido/0015.html]
Shopping and dining gives pretty much of pleasure to travelers; however, please don’t forget that there are some more exciting things you can enjoy in Hakodate. Similar to Sapporo, Hakodate also provides snow related attractions like ski resort. It is said that snow fall starts from November to March in Hakodate so that you can enjoy snow basically everywhere. If you are willing to spend more time in Hakodate, you may try winter activities such as skiing and and snowboarding.
[source : https://www.flickr.com/photos/monta/242688536/]
Hakodate is a famous tour destination among travelers who want to explore Hokkaido prefecture more deeply.Its beautiful scenery and delicious foods attract people from all over the world every year. Despite its notorious fame as a place with heavy snow, Hakodate is also famous for dining because total 34 restaurants were listed in Michelin Guide Hokkaido. Restaurants in Hakodate are famous for using fresh ingredients which are just bought from local farms and markets.
In addition to this, it is also possible to try dishes from various cultures and countris since Hakodate was one of the first port cities in Japan where accepted foreign cultures along with Yokohama and Nagasaki. As Hakodate started accepting foreign cultures from early in history, it influenced their market as well opening foreign cuisines such as French, Italian, and Spanish restaurants. For sure, you can also try traditional Japanese foods such as sushi and sukiyaki.
You feel hanging around Sapporo is not enough to explore whole Hokkaido? If so, visiting Hakodate is recommended. Hakodate is a city located in the southern part of Hokkaido and it takes around 4 hours by train from downtown Sapporo. I honestly recommend using trans rather than renting a car unless you have special plans with a car. Even if you have a car, it takes almost same hours to get to Hakodate and weather condition in Hokkaido area is hard to expect, especially in winter. Besides, the cost is going to be similar as one way ticket from Sapporo to Hakodate costs about JPY 10,000.
Sapporo, this amazing city full of mouthwatering eats, also provides a lot of attractions that tourists can enjoy. You can enjoy its gorgeous landscapes and nature as well as local festivals such as snow matsuri. If you are visiting Sapporo during winter time, it is a perfect period for enjoying snow and winter sports. There will be a lot of events which are held in downtown Sapporo during winter time, such as small snowboard competition and display of ice sculptures.
This is not everything about Sapporo. If you are a person who gets energy from quiet and calm atmosphere rather than from vigorous and active places, you can enjoy peaceful village of this northern city in Japan. If you are a winter sport lover, there are many places just a bit away from Sapporo where you can go skiing or snowboarding. Whatever your favorite travel attraction is, Sapporo will never disappoint you.
In our previous article, we have looked for Genghis Khan, which means lamb barbecue in Japan, and soup curry. These two are definitely representative foods you can enjoy in Sapporo. However, we haven’t even started yet if we are going to start talking about food in Sapporo. I guess it will take more than 3 days if we really wish to do so, though. Probably we will have endless discussion for deciding which one can be number one that represents Sapporo.
As I mentioned in previous article, Sapporo is famous for its fresh ingredients such as seafood, vegetables, and dairy products. A bowl of ramen with a piece of butter, fresh sushi and kaisen-don(rice bowl with sashimi), crab shabushabu, cheesecakes and milk… Every single thing in this area is mouthwatering enough and perfect to satisfy your tongue.
[source : https://hokkaido-labo.com/en/sapporo-ramen-3924]