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10 Best Tourist Spots in Sapporo: Breathtaking Hokkaido Views & More!

10 Best Tourist Spots in Sapporo: Breathtaking Hokkaido Views & More!

Date published: 30 January 2020
Last updated: 19 July 2021

There are many tourist spots in Sapporo City, such as the Sapporo Clock Tower and the Sapporo TV Tower. Here are the 10 spots that always get selected by Japanese tour guides.

For people visiting Sapporo for the first time, these are the places you want to make sure to go to. Let’s take a look at the can’t miss tourist spots in Sapporo!

1. Sapporo Clock Tower: Symbol of Sapporo

1. Sapporo Clock Tower: Symbol of Sapporo
The tower is surrounded by lilacs every May

The Sapporo Clock Tower is a beautiful historical building surrounded by modern buildings in the city. You can say it symbolizes the city and is called the “Clock Tower” by locals and tourists.

Sapporo Clock Tower was built in 1878 as a drill hall for the former Sapporo Agricultural College. The school’s first vice-principal Professor Clark who was from America versioned the construction of the tower. The towers clock was made by the American E. Howard & Co. and the clock has been keeping track of time for over 100 years. To this date, the bells chime every hour.

If you crouch and take a picture vertically you can include somebody and the clock tower.

There are two famous photo spots. The first is near the crossroad to the right when looking at the building from the front. You will have to look up a little bit; however, you can include a person when taking pictures. Though it is rather small and will only fit few people, there is a platform to stand on.

The only place to get a full view clearly

The second location is at the second-floor terrace on the building across the street. It is quite spacious and perfect for group photos.

Second floor of the clock tower

When the tower was constructed, the first floor was used as a laboratory and lecture room, and the second floor was a drill hall for military training and physical education. Also, it was used as a ceremonial auditorium for events such as entrance ceremonies and graduation ceremonies.

There is also a statue of Professor Clark sitting on a bench, a popular spot for taking photos.

There are few statues of Professor Clark, however the only place you can take a picture next to one is here

・Entrance Fee: adult admission 200 yen
・Hours: 8:45 AM ~ 5:10 PM (admission until 5 PM)
・Closed: January 1st ~ 3rd *Will be closed from June 1st to October 31st 2018 for repairs.
・Access: 5 minute walk from Namboku Line, Tozai Line and Toho Line, Odori Station

2. Former Hokkaido Government Office (a.k.a. the Red Brick Office): A National Important Cultural Property

2. Former Hokkaido Government Office (a.k.a. the Red Brick Office): A National Important Cultural Property
The Former Hokkaido Government Office, the building behind it is the current government office

The former Hokkaido Government Office is called the Red Brick Office and is a popular site for tourists and locals. It is also designated as a National Important Cultural Property. With a beautiful exterior, many people from around the visit the location.

Like the clock tower the Red Brick Office is a famous photo spot. It takes about 5 minutes from the clock tower to get here

The American baroque revival-style building was built in 1988, and after 80 years of service as the Hokkaido Government Office, it has opened its door to the public. The beautiful exterior and heavy structure are worth taking a look at. There are also historical exhibits and paintings of Hokkaido. During operation hours, admission is free, and you can walk around freely.

A popular photo spot is the entrance hall stairs, usually there are many people taking pictures.

You can take a look at the magnificent office where all the past governors of Hokkaido worked at. Also, there are documents and paintings of the history of Hokkaido. For people who have a strong interest in history, there is information on how Hokkaido was developed and an explanation of the indigenous Ainu people.

Many people visit the facility to take photos—a perfect place to take awesome selfies and learn the history of Hokkaido.

After the facility closes, you can still remain in the front garden until 9 PM and many people visit at night to take pictures of the lit up building.

・Entrance Fee: None
・Hours: admission 8:45 AM ~ 6 PM, front garden 7 AM ~ 9 PM
・Closed: Year-end through New Year holidays
・Access: 8 minute walk from Namboku Line, Toho Line and JR Line Sapporo Staion, or 9 minute walk from Namboku Line, Tozai Line and Toho Line Odori Station

3. Sapporo Odori Park: Many Events in Winter and Summer!

3. Sapporo Odori Park: Many Events in Winter and Summer!
Odori Park going straight through Sapporo

Odori Park goes through the Sapporo City from east to west over 1.5km. In the park there are many entrances providing quick and easy access to Odori Station, where all the subway lines stop, and the Sapporo underground shopping center. The park is located between Sapporo Station and the entertainment district Susukino, you will definitely come across the park if you plan to go to both locations.

View of the Sapporo TV Tower

The park has flower beds, lawns, fountains and sculptures. At the eastern end is the famous sightseeing spot Sapporo TV Tower, which is also another popular photo spot.

Throughout the seasons many events are held at the park, a famous event held in the summer is Sapporo Odori Beer Garden held during the Sapporo Summer Festival. Another famous event is the Sapporo Snow Festival. Both events attract people from around the world and if you are in Sapporo during this time, make sure to stop by! They also have other festivals, mostly related to food, throughout the year.

At the Sapporo Odori Beer Garden during the Sapporo Summer Festival, you can see many people drinking from mid-day

Also from late April to mid-October, you should stop by the Toukibi Wagon, a food stand. Toukibi is corn in Hokkaido dialect. Have a grilled corn on the cob (300 yen) while you walk around the park.

・Entrance Fee: None
・Hours: None
・Closed: None
・Access; 1 minute walk from Namboku Line, Tozai Line and Toho Line Odori Station, 1 minute walk from Tozai Line Nishi Juitchome Station

4. Sapporo TV Tower: Viewing the City from Sapporo’s Landmark

4. Sapporo TV Tower: Viewing the City from Sapporo’s Landmark
Located at the eastern side of Odori Park

The Sapporo TV Tower is located on the eastern side of Odori Park and is a landmark for Sapporo. The observation deck about 90 meters above ground provides a 360-degree panoramic view of Sapporo City and the colors of the seasons in Odori Park.

View of Odori Park from the Sapporo TV Tower observation deck

We strongly recommend visiting on a day with clear skies; you can see the cityscape, faraway mountain range, and the coastline. Also, magnificent scenery can be seen from sunset to dusk. The twilight view and the city light contrast are spectacular!

Perfect spot to enjoy the night view of Sapporo

Below the observation deck, there are gift shops and restaurants to enjoy. Also, during the summer, there is a beer garden on the first floor offering draft beer and local specialty jingisukan (Mongolian barbecue). There are beer gardens in Odori Park, but you can only enjoy jingisukan at the Sapporo TV Tower beer garden. If you want to test out local dishes, this is the place to be at!

It is open longer than the Sapporo Odori Beer Garden festival.

・Entrance Fee: observation deck entrance fee for adults 720 Yen
・Closed: Maintenance day
・Access: 1 minute walk from Toho Line Odori Station, 3 minute walk from Nanboku Line and Tozai Line Odori Station

5. Okurayama Viewing Point: Enjoy the Awesome Views and Ski Jump Thrill!

5. Okurayama Viewing Point: Enjoy the Awesome Views and Ski Jump Thrill!
View of the ski jumping hill from the bottom

Located on the west side of Sapporo City, this sightseeing spot is on a ski jumping hill. To reach this location, it is about a 20-minute drive from JR Sapporo Station or about a 20-minute walk and bus ride from Tozai Line Maruyama Koen Station.

Winter view

The facility was used in the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics and is still in use. When there are no competitions, you can ride the ski lift that the athletes use and get to the viewing spot at the top (ski lift round trip price: middle school student and above 500 yen, grade school student and below 300 yen).

The binoculars at the top can show a view of the Odori Park and Sapporo TV Tower clearly (100 sec, 200 yen). Looking down the steep slope of the hill, you get a glimpse of what the athletes see.

View of Sapporo City
Genuinely impressed that ski jumping athletes go down such a steep slope

The Sapporo Olympic Museum (admission fee: high school student and above 600 yen, middle school student and below free) located at the bottom of the slope offers a simulation of ski jumps and bobsledding. You can experience what it is like being a professional athlete.

Interior of the Sapporo Olympic Museum
Simulation of a ski jump athlete

Across the museum is the restaurant Lamb Dining Okurayama on the second floor of the Crystal House. Here you can view the ski jumping hill and the Sapporo City area while enjoying quality lamb; we also recommend the night view from here. If you want to get away from the lively city and have a quiet dinner, this is the perfect place.

Special Selection Meat Plate (2,700 yen) and Grilled Vegetables Assortment (890 yen)
  • SAPPORO OKURAYAMA VIEWING POINT
    札幌大倉山展望台
    • Address 1274, Miyanomori, Chuo-ku Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 064-0958
    • Phone Number 011-641-8585
    • Fees: Round trip on ski lift 500 yen for adults, Sapporo Olympic Museum 600 yen
      Hours: Ski Lift – April 29th ~ November 3rd 8:30 AM ~ 8 PM, November 4th ~ April 28th 9 AM ~ 5 PM (ticket sales end 15 minutes before closing). Sapporo Olympic Museum – May ~ October 9 AM ~ 6 PM, November ~ April 9:30 AM ~ 5 PM (ticket sales end 30 minutes before closing). Crystal House (shop) May ~ October 9 AM ~ 6 PM, November ~ April 9:30 AM ~ 5 PM. Crystal House (Lamb Dining) – 11:30 AM ~ 2 PM, 5:30 PM ~ 9:30 (last order will be 30 minutes before closing for both periods)
      Closed: Ski lifts – Competitions, official training, maintenance, bad weather. Sapporo Olympic Museum – Once a month for maintenance. Crystal House - None

6. Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

6. Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill

This observation hill offers commanding views of downtown Sapporo, and on sunny days the view extends as far as Mt. Shokanbetsu in the distance.

Hungry visitors may want to get a bite to eat at Hitsujigaoka Rest House, which serves jingisukan, a Japanese dish of mutton and other grilled meat, or sample the original soft-serve ice cream flavors at Austria House.

Check out the myriad ice sculpture mock-ups on display at the Sapporo Snow Festival Museum, and soak your tired feet in the Hitsujigaoka Footbath, which contains hot spring water from across Hokkaido. Events are held throughout the year, including sheep shearing, lavender picking, and seasonal gourmet events.

7. Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park

7. Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park

Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park covers a vast 400 hectares and offers numerous activities all throughout the year.

Beautiful flower gardens, wild mountain grass, fun play areas for kids, rivers, and waterfalls can be enjoyed from spring to fall.

Rainbows over Ashiribetsu Falls, which can only be seen in October immediately after the park opens, are a spectacular sight. In winter, the park opens as Takino Snow World, with a gentle ski area perfect for families, tube sledding, cross-country ski, and snowshoe trails of varying length and difficulty levels.

8. Sapporo Ekimae-dori Underground Walkway (Chi-Ka-Ho)

8. Sapporo Ekimae-dori Underground Walkway (Chi-Ka-Ho)

Chi-Ka-Ho is an underground walkway linking Sapporo Station to Odori Station and Susukino Station and directly links to Odori Park.

It takes about ten minutes to walk along, and there are tables and chairs on both sides with a free Wi-Fi service for people to watch the world go by.

There are specialty items for sale and promotions for places in Hokkaido, making it a good spot to pick up souvenirs or decide where to visit next. Chi-Ka-Ho also plays host to events such as art exhibitions on occasion.

9. Lake Shikotsu

9. Lake Shikotsu

The second deepest and clearest lake in Japan, Lake Shikotsu, is about an hour's travel from Sapporo and is known for never freezing over despite being so far north.

Pleasure cruises are available from the shore, and there are other sites to explore in the same national park, such as the Yacho-no-Mori bird sanctuary.

The Lake Shikotsu Koyo Festival and Ice Festival are also very much worth seeing. Many of the restaurants offer dishes made from authentic local ingredients such as red salmon to enjoy.

10. Sapporo Maruyama Zoo

10. Sapporo Maruyama Zoo

Animal lovers should definitely pay a visit to Maruyama Zoo in Sapporo, which is not only the tenth-largest zoo in Japan but arguably one of the most nature-oriented.

If you want to see animals living in enclosures that are as close to their natural habitats as possible, then Maruyama Zoo is the place for you.

When you want to take a break from the animals, you can explore the "Forest of the Zoo," a restored nature area that borders the zoo, or visit the nearby Maruyama Park.

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*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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