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While the Sapporo area has enough winter attractions to easily fill an itinerary of several days or more, for those short on time, this moderately-paced itinerary offers a taste of some of the city's best wintertime highlights.

This itinerary focuses on Sapporo's biggest winter event, the Sapporo Snow Festival, as well as a day of winter sports at a ski resort, but depending on your timing and preferences, these can be swapped out with other options like a trip to the nearby port town of Otaru, Noboribetsu's hot springs or more time exploring Sapporo's other attractions.

Day 1: Sapporo Snow Festival and Downtown

Start
Start at New Chitose Airport
Take the JR Chitose Line into Sapporo
35 minutes
Sapporo Station
Walk to Odori Park
10 minutes
Sapporo Snow Festival
World famous winter festival 2-3 hours
The Sapporo Snow Festival is Sapporo's most well-known attraction, drawing over two million visitors from around the world each year in early to mid February. The monolithic snow and ice sculptures on display around Odori Park are the festival's main attraction, but local cuisine, live shows and winter sports exhibitions keep the energy high from morning till night throughout the weeklong event.
Walk to Susukino
15 minutes
Ramen Yokocho
Atmospheric ramen shop-lined alley in Susukino 45 minutes
A great place for a hot lunch on a cold winter day, the Susukino neighborhood's Ramen Yokocho is a small alley abuzz with visitors waiting to buy a bowl of the city's famous Sapporo style ramen.
Walk back to Odori Park
15 minutes
Sapporo TV Tower
Tower with a great view over Odori Park 45 minutes
While enjoying the snow festival, the observation deck at the top of the Sapporo TV Tower, located at the east end of Odori Park, offers a great vantage point over the festival festivities—especially at night.
Take the Loop 88 Factory Line to the Sapporo Beer Museum
20 minutes
Sapporo Beer Museum and Beer Garden
1-3 hours
The Sapporo Beer Museum is a popular destination for both beer and history fans which showcases the beverage's history in Japan and offers tastings at the end of the tour. Next to the museum, the Sapporo Beer Garden offers its famed "Genghis Khan" all-you-can-eat/drink mutton and beer dining experience.
Finish

Day 2: Winter Sports and Onsen Resorts

Start
Start in downtown Sapporo
Take a bus to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
90 minutes
Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort
Ski Resort with great snow near Sapporo City 4-7 hours
Despite its small size (with only 5 lifts and 7 courses), Sapporo Kokusai is known for receiving huge volumes of powder snow, and is one of Hokkaido's most popular resorts thanks to its close proximity to the city.
Take a bus to Jozankei Onsen
30 minutes
Hot Springs at Jozankei Onsen
Developed hot spring town 90 minutes or overnight stay
By Japan standards, Jozankei's hot springs are relatively new (discovered in just 1866), but the small town has since bubbled into an mini onsen resort town whose hot baths offer a relaxing finish to a day at the nearby slopes.
Finish

Recommended Additions

Otaru Snow Light Path Festival

The harbor town of Otaru is a fantastic winter destination near Sapporo (about 30 minutes by train) with a beautifully preserved canal area. In winter, the canal and nearby areas are is lit up at night by hundreds of glowing lanterns at night during the annual Otaru Snow Light Path Festival.

Niseko

For skiers or snowboarders looking for a taste of some of Hokkaido's top-tier slopes, the resorts of Niseko are considered by many the best in Japan, legendary for their massive amounts of high quality powder snow. The resort area is about 2 hours from Sapporo by train.

Hotels around Sapporo

Top rated in Sapporo
Budget:
    • Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO in Sapporo provides adults-only accommodation with a bar and a shared lounge. Each accommodation at the 1-star guest house has city views and free WiFi. The property is 5 km from Sapporo Dome and 5 km from Sapporo Clock Tower. At the guest house, every room includes a shared bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Sapporo Convention Centre is 5 km from Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO, while Sapporo TV Tower is 5 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 9 km from the accommodation.
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    • Pirka Sapporo
      Budget-friendly
      Pirka Sapporo is located in Sapporo, within 2.9 km of Hokkaido University and 3.5 km of Sapporo Clock Tower. Featuring a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking is available on site. Sapporo TV Tower is 3.5 km from the guest house, while Odori Park is 4.2 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 4 km from Pirka Sapporo.
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    • BEACH AND FIELD INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Sapporo, within 1.1 km of Sapporo Convention Centre and 2.9 km of Sapporo TV Tower, BEACH AND FIELD INN offers accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi throughout the property. The property is situated 2.9 km from Sapporo Clock Tower, 3.7 km from Odori Park and 3.8 km from Former Hokkaid? Government Office. The shared bathroom is fitted with a bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 6 km from the guest house.
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    • Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo
      Mid-range
      Boasting a shared lounge and free WiFi, Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo is set in Sapporo, 1.4 km from Sapporo TV Tower and 1.6 km from Odori Park. All rooms boast a kitchenette and a private bathroom. Sapporo Convention Centre is 2.7 km from the hotel and Hokkaido University is 2.7 km away. All guest rooms come with a microwave, fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. Sapporo Clock Tower is 1.7 km from the hotel, while Former Hokkaid? Government Office is 2.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 8 km from Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo.
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    • Shabby House
      Budget-friendly
      Shabby House is a 60-year old traditional Japanese home that is situated in Sapporo. Nishisenjuyojo Station is a 3-minute walk away from the property. The accommodation offers a free shuttle service to the home upon prior request. Shabby House features free WiFi. Guests will find a coffee machine in the room. Bathroom facilities are shared. Free bicycle and umbrella rentals are available on site. There is a 24-hour supermarket behind the property. Sapporo Clock Tower is 2.9 km from Shabby House, while Former Hokkaido Government Office is 2.9 km from the property. Shabby House is 2.5 km from Odori Park. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 40 km from the property.
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    • Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites
      Budget-friendly
      Well set in the Sapporo City Centre district of Sapporo, Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites is located 700 metres from Odori Park, 1.2 km from Former Hokkaid? Government Office and 1.5 km from Sapporo TV Tower. The hotel features family rooms. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a hot tub, a hairdryer and a desk. With a private bathroom equipped with a bidet and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also provide guests with free WiFi. At Hotel Sapporo Suites, every room comes with a seating area. The accommodation offers a hot tub. Sapporo Clock Tower is 1.5 km from Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites, while Hokkaido University is 2.6 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 7 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Potmum Sapporo
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Sapporo, 1.9 km from Sapporo Convention Centre, Hotel Potmum Sapporo offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel features family rooms. Guests at the hotel can enjoy an American breakfast. Sapporo TV Tower is 1.9 km from Hotel Potmum Sapporo, while Sapporo Clock Tower is 2 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 7 km from the accommodation.
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    • Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori
      Mid-range
      Open from November 2018, Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori is situated in Sapporo. A 3-minute walk from Odori Park, the property is also a 7-minute walk away from Sapporo Clock Tower and offers free WiFi. Attractions in the area include Sapporo TV Tower, a 7-minute walk away, or Former Hokkaid? Government Office, located an 8-minute walk from the property. At the hotel, all rooms are equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All rooms come with a kettle, while certain rooms are equipped with a kitchenette with a microwave. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. A buffet breakfast is served daily at the property. Staff at reception can lend a hand around the clock with advice on the area. Hokkaido University is an 18-minute walk from Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 40 km from the accommodation.
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    • Randor Residence Susukino Suites
      Budget-friendly
      Randor Residence Susukino Suites provides air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi in the Sapporo City Centre of Sapporo, 1.1 km from Odori Park. The accommodation features a hot tub. Each unit comes with a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, a seating area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, and a private bathroom with bath and a hairdryer. There is also a fridge, stovetop and a kettle. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Sapporo TV Tower, Sapporo Clock Tower and Former Hokkaid? Government Office. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 45 km from Randor Residence Susukino Suites.
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    • Ten to Ten Sapporo Station
      Budget-friendly
      Opened in June 2017, Ten to Ten Sapporo Station is set in Sapporo, 500 metres from Hokkaido University. Dormitory rooms have a shared bathroom, while other rooms feature a private bathroom. You will find a shared kitchen at the property. Breakfast is served from 8:00-10:00. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Former Hokkaido Government Office is 600 metres from Ten to Ten Sapporo Station, while Sapporo Clock Tower is 1 km away. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 40 km from the property.
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