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


Sapporo has an extensive transportation system, so you can easily access sightseeing spots by combining walking and transportation.
The main means of transportation are buses, subways, and city trams.

Make sure to check the Ultimate Sapporo Transportation Guide

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.

Usually, there is a dark image of a cemetery, but in addition to this statue, there are Moai statues and a replica of Stonehenge.

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.

It was established in 1869, this shrine is dedicated to three Shinto deities:
Ōkunitama-no-kami, Ōnamushi-no-kami, and Sukunahikona-no-kami.
The fourth god enshrined here was Emperor Meiji himself.

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.

When you walk toward the shrine, you will pass through a torii gate.
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), a great symbol of the city, is a two-story wooden
historical Western-style building. The official name is “Former Sapporo Agricultural
College Demonstration Hall”.

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

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 shoot 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. There are stairs on the outside, so you can find it right away.


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.

Constructed in 1888, the building has an American neo-baroque style with architectural details such as the warped glass created in the Meiji Period to protect it from the cold.

It hosts historical and art exhibitions on the first and second floors, a museum shop,
a tourist information office, and a conference room.

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

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 here
and making your own biscuits in hands-on workshops.


Kakukuri Clock Tower is also one of the highlights.
At 00 minutes every hour, dolls and animals have a pleasant parade with music.

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 from Rakuten Travel Experience

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
Official Japanese website

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


The JR Tower Observatory located on the 38th floor offers a 360-degree view of the city!
It closes quite late, so it’s ideal for night views.
It seems that from the men’s restroom, there is a nice view…!

The observatory floor also houses a cafe and a souvenir shop.

The ticket counter is on the 6th floor where you’ll take a dedicated elevator
to go up to the 38th floor.

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

Recommended hotels in Sapporo

Choosing a hotel can be difficult if you don’t have specific criteria. For us is important
to be close to a train or metro station, that there is a supermarket or convenience store nearby, that it is clean and good value for money.

When we visited Sapporo these criteria were satisfied by the
JR Inn Sapporo Station South Exit, which I recommend!

hotel sapporo hotel sapporo

The room is moderately large for Japanese standard (16m²) and has
necessary equipment such as WiFi, kettles, refrigerator, and amenities.

There is a hot spring on the upper level of the hotel, a vending machine, a microwave,
and coin laundry! There was also a possibility to choose a pillow from a selection of 21 variations on the ground floor.

It was convenient because it was near JR Sapporo Station, and there were several convenience stores and restaurants around the hotel.

A half-day walking spot in Otaru, a retro canal town!

How to access New Chitose Airport and how to get to Otaru from Sapporo Station.

In conclusion

This itinerary was part of the JR PASS route we created! (Buy your JR PASS here!)
We are based in Kansai, so we flew from Kobe to Sapporo with the budget airline Skymark and stayed 2 days (one for Otaru and one for Sapporo). After those 2 days, we activated the JR PASS and continued our journey until we returned home.

Sapporo city was well connected by subways and buses, and I could easily access 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

It’s also quite easy to use the train to go to Otaru or Hakodate (our next stop). Hokkaido is full of places to visit so I dream of one day being able to come back and rent a car!

If you also want to rent a car for your trip to Hokkaido, check out QEEQ

Ready to Land

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