Three days in Sapporo gives you enough time to explore the city’s highlights, to experience the local culture and flavors, and to get outside the city to explore a lake, park, or mountain. Here’s how to make the most of three days in Sapporo.
Day 1: City Sightseeing
Get a comprehensive introduction to Sapporo on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Visit top attractions, such as Odori Park, Sapporo Clock Tower, the former Hokkaido Government Office Building, Sapporo TV Tower, and Hokkaido Jingu Shrine. Then spend the afternoon sampling and learning all about Sapporo beer at the Sapporo Beer Museum or chocolates at the family-friendly Shiroi Koibito Park and Ishiya Chocolate Factory.
In the late afternoon, take the Mt. Moiwa Ropeway up to the summit and observation deck of Mt. Moiwa to enjoy panoramic city views at sunset and at night. There’s a restaurant up top, or head back down to Sapporo and spend the evening sampling local cuisine. A food tasting tour is a great way to try a variety of dishes, including miso ramen, a regional specialty.
Day 2: Active Pursuits
Spend the day enjoying outdoor activities outside of Sapporo. If you visit in winter, head to one of the area ski resorts, such as Sapporo Teine Ski Resort, Bankei Ski Resort, or Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort and spend the day skiing and snowboarding. If you visit in other seasons, head to Lake Shikotsu and Mount Tarumae or Nopporo Forest Park to go hiking or mountain biking. Alternatively, head to Furano and Biei to see the lavender fields and the Blue Pond.
After a busy day, soak your tired muscles at an onsen, or Japanese hot spring. If you travel to Lake Shikotsu, check out the onsens at Noboribetsu. If you stay closer to Sapporo, head to Jozankei Onsen or Hoheikyo Onsen, both located near the city.
Day 3: Local Flavors
Start your final day off sampling fresh Hokkaido seafood at one of the bustling food markets in town, such as Nijo Market or Central Wholesale Market. Afterwards, take the train to the nearby port town of Otaru (about an hour by train), known for its well-preserved canal area and historic mansions. Be sure to check out the many shops along Sakaimachi Street, especially those devoted to glassworks or music boxes. Otaru is also a great place to sample more seafood, sweets and desserts, whiskey, and sake.
If you prefer to stay in Sapporo, take a cooking class and learn to make local favorites such as sushi and soba, or go shopping for souvenirs at an underground shopping plaza, such as Aurora Town or Pole Town. Then enjoy your final night out on the town in vibrant Susukino, which offers plenty of options to dine, drink, and dance the night away.