A 1st Timers Guide to the Sapporo Winter Festival in Japan

What to see. Where to go

8. Historical Village of Hokkaido

To get to know more about Hokkaido’s rich history, visit their Historical Village – an outdoor museum located inside Nopporo Shinrin Koen Prefectural Natural Park. Being here, was pretty much like entering into a time machine, because I got to see how people in Hokkaido during the Meiji and Taisho lived. I remember visiting various houses showcasing  their old lifestyle, livelihood and culture.

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7. Ishiya Chocolate Factory

This place is a sure treat for both kids and kids-at-heart, so it’s a must to include this in your Sapporo itinerary. I’ve always wanted to go to a whimsical chocolate factory, so this was a dream come true for me. I  really adore everything about this place, from the outside fairy tale-ish facade, to the countless sweet treats that can be found within its walls. Felt like a kid again!

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During the factory tour, you’ll also get to see how the famous Hokkaido Shiroi Koibito cookies are made.

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You may also join their daily cookie making workshops!

6. Yukitouro Snow Lantern festival at Jozankei (HotSpring village)

Another must see during winter in Sapporo, is the Yukitouro Snow Lantern Festival in Jozankei. I must admit, that I still couldn’t find the right words to properly describe how I felt during this experience. To be surrounded by hundreds of these snow lanterns felt so mesmerizing and magical… like a happy dream that I never wanted to end. *sigh* 

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5. Snow Activity at Moerenuma Park

When in Sapporo during winter, I highly recommend you dedicate at least half a day to play in the snow.  Yeah, i repeat… PLAY. Forget about “adulting” for a while and simple be your happiest self. The Moerenuma Park is a public park where you can enjoy snow play time for FREE. You may also rent sleds, snow boots and other winter gear if needed (rental prices are super cheap too).

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Excited for my 1st ever sled riding experience…

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I never thought riding a sled would be sooo fun and addictive. Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  You have to try this I swear!

4. Mt Moiwa Ropeway 

Mount Moiwa Ropeway is a popular sightseeing spot that is known for the spectacular cityscape view of Sapporo from an observation deck at its summit. Best place to visit is during the evening.

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The view from the observation deck was simply stunning and romantic. No wonder it’s a popular place for couples.

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At the center of the Observation deck, you will find this Bell of Happiness. Be sure to make a wish before ringing it. =)

3. Watch the  Sapporo International Ski Marathon at Sapporo Dome

If you’re curious about cross country skiing, then go to the Sapporo Dome to witness the annual Sapporo International Ski Marathon.

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Every year, foreign and Japanese ski enthusiasts gather here to compete.

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2. Mt Okura Ski Jump Stadium

This place is renowned for its ski jump stadium that was used at the Winter Olympics held in Sapporo in 1972. It boasts of modern facilities that make it possible to perform ski jumps during the summer and at night, and is also the ideal location of many international competitions.

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It features a ski lift that takes you to the jump starting point and the view deck, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of Sapporo City.

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View from the observation deck

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What to do while admiring the view? Eat ice cream!

  1. Sapporo Snow Festival at Odori Park

Each year, Sapporo City turns into a winter wonderland of crystal-like ice and dreamy white snow. The Sapporo Winter Festival at Odori Park is held every February. It’s considered as one of Japan’s grandest winter events, and is visited by over 2 Million people (local and abroad) each year.

The Sapporo Snow Festival features around 200 snow and ice statues in the Odori Park, Susukino and Tsudome areas. This year, aside from well-loved Japanese characters, they also featured giant ice sculptures of popular music and political personalities like PPAP singer Daimaou Kosaka, and US President, Donald Trump.

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US President, Donald Trump

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More stories about the Sapporo Winter Festival on the next page….


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