Sapporo Travel Guide: 1-Day Itinerary



Located in Hokkaido, Sapporo is one of the largest cities in Japan!

The city is known for its annual snow festival held in February as well as its delicious food
and of course the iconic Sapporo Beer. However, it has so much more to offer!
Whatever season you go, you will always find something to do.

Transportation in Sapporo City


The city has an extensive transportation system, making it easy to access
various sightseeing spots by combining walking and transportation.
The main means of transportation are buses, subways, trams, and rental cars.

Hill of the Buddha (頭大仏殿)


This statue called the Atama Daibutsu, was designed by Tadao Ando to commemorate
the Makomanai Takino Cemetery‘s 30th anniversary.

The Atama Daibutsu is located inside a dome with only the top of its head sticking out.
In summer you can see a beautiful lavender field all around.

Alongside this statue, you’ll also find Moai statues and a Stonehenge replica.

Address: Takino, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 005-0862 (in Makomanai Takino Cemetery)
Visiting hours: April to October 9:00 to 16:00 / November to March 10:00 to 15:00

Access: take the Nanboku Line from Sapporo Station and get off at Makomanai Station.
Take the local Chuo Bus 108 (380 yen) to the cemetery
Parking lot: South parking lot and north parking lot (245 cars)

Official English site

Take the Tozai Line and get off at “Maruyama Koen Station”,
go through Maruyama Park for about 15 minutes, and enter Hokkaido Jingu Shrine.
Especially during spring with cherry blossom and during autumn you can enjoy a
pleasant walk in the park!

Hokkaido Jingu Shrine (北海道神宮)


Hokkaido Jinju Shrine is one of the best “power spots” in Hokkaido! You can expect
all kinds of benefits such as love fulfillment, family safety, good luck, health luck,
and academic fulfillment.

Established in 1869, this shrine is dedicated to three Shinto deities: Ōkunitama-no-kami,
Ōnamushi-no-kami, and Sukunahikona-no-kami. Additionally,
Emperor Meiji is enshrined as the fourth deity.

There are 5 torii gates in Hokkaido Jingu Shrine, and it is said that
the benefits differ depending on the torii gate you go through.

As you approach the shrine, you’ll pass through a torii gate.
Remember to avoid walking in the center.

Address: 474 Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-8505

Opening hours: 7:00 to 17:00
Admission: Free Access
Official Japanese site

Sapporo Clock Tower (札幌時計台)


The Clock Tower (Tokeidai) is a famous symbol of the city. It’s a two-story wooden building
designed in Western The official name is “Former Sapporo Agricultural College Demonstration Hall”.

The building was built in 1878 as part of Sapporo Agricultural College.
In 1881, they installed a clock purchased from a Boston based watch company.

Today, the Clock Tower serves as a museum with displays about the building’s history
on the first floor, and it is now recognized as an important cultural property of the city.

Clock tower shooting spot

There are two spots where you can photograph the clock tower.

Take a picture of the clock tower from the ground


Take it from the second floor of the MN building


You can take a picture of the clock tower from the terrace on the second floor of the building.
You can easily spot it because of the stairs on the outside


Address: 2 Chome Kita 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0001
Opening hours: 8:45-17:10 (last entry 17:00)
Closed days: January 1st to January 3rd
Admission fee: 200 yen for adults, free for high school students and younger

Official English site

Hokkaidō Government Office (北海道庁旧本庁舎)


Don’t miss the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building also known as
the Red Brick Government Building.

Built in 1888, the building has an American neo-baroque style. It features architectural
details like warped glass, designed during the Meiji Period to protect it from the cold.

The building hosts historical and art exhibitions on the first and second floors.
Additionally, it houses a museum shop, a tourist information office, and a conference room.

When it is lit up, it’s even more beautiful!

Renovation underway (expected to be completed by 2025)

Address: 6 Chome Kita 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0003
Opening hours: 8:45-18:00
Admission: Free
Official Japanese site

Shiroikoibito Park (白い恋人パーク)


Shiroi Koibito Park is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company.
The company’s signature product is the Shiroi Koibito biscuit, delicate white chocolate
sandwiched between thin butter biscuits. It is a classic souvenir from Hokkaido.

The park is a beautiful world where British and Hokkaido cultures merge.
It is full of photogenic spots with lots of details that change every season.

The entrance to the park is free, and in the paid area there are various
chocolate-related exhibits like learning how they make the chocolate
and making your own biscuits in hands-on workshops.


The Kakukuri Clock Tower is another highlight.
Every hour, on the hour, dolls and animals parade with music, making for a delightful spectacle.

Address: 2 Chome-11-36 Miyanosawa 2 Jo, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 063-0052
Access: About a 7-minute walk from Miyanosawa Station on the Tozai Line

Opening hours: 10:00 to 17:00 (admission until 16:00)
Admission fee: 800 yen

Official English website

Odori Park and Sapporo TV Tower (大通公園とさっぽろテレビ塔)


Odori Park is an oasis in the city center of Sapporo that stretches for about 1.5 km.
It offers a pleasant and relaxing green space where you’ll find a large selection of
trees and flowers as well as statues and fountains.

Numerous events are held here such as the Sapporo Snow Festival in February
and the Beer Garden in summer.

The TV Tower located in the park has an observation deck that offers a magnificent
360-degree view of the park and the surrounding city.

Buy your E-Ticket on Klook

At night the tower is fully illuminated, making it an attractive landmark.

Address: 1 Chome Odorinishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0042
Access: About a 10-minute walk from Sapporo Station, or get off at Odori Station
on the Namboku Line, Tozai Line, or Toho Line.

Sapporo TV Tower
Opening hours: 09 – 22
Admission fee: 1,000 yen

JR Tower Observatory T38 (JRタワー展望室T38)


The JR Tower Observatory on the 38th floor provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city!
It stays open late, making it perfect for night views.
Interestingly, even the men’s restroom offers a nice view!

To access it, head to the ticket counter on the 6th floor,
where you’ll catch a dedicated elevator up to the 38th floor.

Buy your E-Ticket on Klook

Address: 2-5, Kita 5-jo Nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo (JR Tower East 6F)
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00 (last entry 21:30)
Admission fee: 740 yen for adults

Recommended hotels in Sapporo

Selecting a hotel can be challenging without specific criteria. For us, proximity to a train or metro station, nearby supermarkets / convenience stores, cleanliness, and value for money are crucial.

During our visit to Sapporo, the JR Inn Sapporo Station South Exit,
met all these criteria, so I highly recommend it!

hotel sapporo hotel sapporo

The room is moderately large for Japanese standard (16m²) and comes equipped
with essential amenities such as WiFi, a kettle, refrigerator, and toiletries.

Additionally, the hotel offers a hot spring on the upper level, along with convenient facilities like vending machines, a microwave, and coin laundry. Notably, guests can select from
21 pillow variations on the ground floor, ensuring a comfortable stay.

Its proximity to JR Sapporo Station and the surrounding convenience stores
and restaurants make it exceptionally convenient.

Half-day walking in Otaru’s retro canal city.

In conclusion

This itinerary was part of our JR PASS route. (Buy your JR PASS here!)
As we are based in Kansai, we flew from Kobe to Sapporo with the budget airline Skymark
and spent two days exploring (one for Otaru and one for Sapporo).
Afterward, we activated our JR PASS and continued our journey until we returned home.

Sapporo city’s excellent subway and bus connections made it easy to visit
all the attractions mentioned in this article.

If you fancy some more unique experiences like learning how to make soba noodles
or dressing up as a ninja and learning some fighting techniques,
check out the list of activities on Viator

Getting around Hokkaido by train, whether it’s to Otaru or Hakodate (our next stop), is quite convenient. With so many places to explore in Hokkaido, I dream of returning one day and rent a car!

If you’re considering renting a car for your Hokkaido trip, check out for great options.

Ready to Land

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