Sapporo Information

Population: almost 2 million

Access: Flights in to New Chitose Airport from Tokyo, Osaka and some points in Asia. The airport is 30 miles south of the city and is linked by a fast and reliable train service.

Highlights: The Sapporo Snow Festival in Odori Park during the first week of Febuary / Sapporo Beer Museum / Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Favourite hotels: Cross Hotel, JR Tower Nikko

Airy and accessible Sapporo offers a gentle introduction to city life in Japan – easy to navigate, with good shopping, nightlife and museums. Its wide tree-lined streets are a pleasure to wander, and there are a number of parks and gardens ideal for people-watching.

Sapporo also has a strong reputation for its food and drink, with plenty of buzzy little hide-outs serving up the region’s best produce. As the capital of Hokkaido island, Sapporo is the entry point for many ski resorts, including Niseko, and if you’re passing through it’s worth staying a couple of days - particularly if you’re travelling in February, when the annual snow festival comes to town. Each year the festival features a field of ice sculptures to rival those anywhere else in the world, and the whole place bursts into life, with a party atmosphere filling the streets, restaurants and bars. It’s a popular time to be here, though, so it’s worth booking well in advance to ensure you enjoy the festival to the fullest.

Sapporo Information

Population: almost 2 million

Access: Flights in to New Chitose Airport from Tokyo, Osaka and some points in Asia. The airport is 30 miles south of the city and is linked by a fast and reliable train service.

Highlights: The Sapporo Snow Festival in Odori Park during the first week of Febuary / Sapporo Beer Museum / Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art

Favourite hotels: Cross Hotel, JR Tower Nikko