A cosmopolitan, festive & open-hearted Japanese city, quite unlike any other in Japan.
As the capital of Hokkaido island, Sapporo is the entry and / or exit point for many ski resorts, including Niseko. It is renowned for its Snow Festival (which takes place mid-February), though it's actually well worth a day or two of your time whenever you choose to visit northernmost Japan. Dining-out here is a joy and relatively cheap, and there is also great shopping, raucous nightlife and a few interesting museums. Its snow covered wide tree-lined streets are a pleasure to wander, and there are a number of parks and gardens ideal for Japanese-people-watching, a favourite pastime of ours.
If you are here for the Snow Festival - which features amazing ice sculptures and a party atmosphere spilling out on to the streets - then we need to book well in advance. Visitors from all over the globe descend on Sapporo for this week, quite right so - it's fantastic!