Sapporo, as some of you might know, is the largest city in Hokkaido and the fifth largest city in Japan by population. Sapporo is composed of 10 wards, full of many places and areas to explore! In this blog, we will be introducing you to each of the 10 wards in Sapporo through a small description about the ward and one spot we recommend you to visit in that particular ward.
中央区 (Chuo- Ku): Central Ward
The Central Ward, otherwise known mainly as the center city area of Sapporo comprises of dozens of tourist attractions and buildings such as the Sapporo TV Tower, Odori Park, the Maruyama Zoo and more! This ward contains a large part of the entertainment districts such as Susukino as well as Odori Park’s yearly events such as the annual Sapporo Snow Festival and more!
The Central Ward has a large variety of activities and places to visit within the area, but we highly recommend you to visit:
• Hokkaido Shrine
Chuo Ward is not only home to the a vast number of attractions and most of the entertainment district, but it also has some historical parts as well, such as the famous Hokkaido Shrine or Hokkaido Jingu.
This shrine is the most well-known in Sapporo city, and is a wonderful place to get to learn about Shintoism in Japan as well as get to enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding the shrine area. If you are interested in cultural and historical places, we highly recommend you to visit the Hokkaido Shrine.
Address: Miyagaoka 474, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Access: Approx. 15 minutes in walking distance from Maruyama Koen Subway Station on the Tozai Line
More Information: http://www.hokkaidojingu.or.jp/index.html
北区 (Kita- Ku): Northern Ward
Kita Ku, or the Northern District of Sapporo, as quoted by the city population website census count, Kita ku holds the largest population of people in Sapporo with about an estimated 288,176 people since October 2018. This area is home to residential areas, delicious restaurants as well as the very famous Sapporo Station.
For Kita Ku, we highly recommend you to visit the Hokkaido University Campus:
• Hokkaido University Campus
You might not expect a university campus to be a highly recommended tourist attraction, but Sapporo’s Hokkaido University truly is a wonderful place to enjoy the nature of Hokkaido within the bustling, busy city. Hokkaido University is known to have been rated the most beautiful campus in Japan, and for a good reason! Hokkaido University’s origins are from the school of agriculture and it shows in their plentiful farms across campus and their emphasis on the beauty of the local environment from the ponds to the fields with cows and horses all across.
They hold many events all year round, including the Ginkgo Leaf Avenue Illumination in the middle of autumn, the Hokkaido University Festival in the summertime, and more! Come here to enjoy the university owned cafes, enjoy the scenery, and take a quiet stroll and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this campus.
Address: 5 Chome Kita 8 Jonishi, Kita, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0808
Access: Approx. 5 minute walk from the Northern Exit of Sapporo Station to the main entrance of the campus
More Information: https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/
東区 (Higashi- Ku): Eastern Ward
Higashi-Ku or the Eastern District of Sapporo is a quieter area of the city, but it makes for a peaceful and calm atmosphere. A large part of the ward is composed of residential areas. However, Higashi-ku is also home to fun places such as the Tsudome Site, which is one of the sites for the Sapporo Snow Festival in late January to early February, as well as the gorgeous Moerenuma Park, which is where we highly recommend for you to visit!
• Moerenuma Park
With its grand opening in 2005, this park was originally built by sculpture Isamu Noguchi, with an artistic vision for the park. This park is full of various sculptures and land formations all with intricate and modern designs. Even if you are not a massive modern art or sculpture lover, anyone can enjoy the beauty and calm atmosphere of this dazzling park. Enjoy the quiet scenery from atop the large man-made hills of the park or walk through the glass pyramid.
You can truly enjoy this quiet and peaceful park in all four seasons, from its firefly gazing events in the summertime to sledding down the hills and slopes in the snowy wintertime.
Address: Moerenuma-koen 1-1, Higashi-ku, Sapporo
Access: Check their website for more information on the bus schedules and how to access the park in more detail.
More Information: http://moerenumapark.jp/english/
白石区 (Shiroishi-Ku): Shiroishi Ward
Shiroishi-Ku, or as its name roughly translates to: ‘White Rock’, this ward is located towards the eastern side of Sapporo, just below Higashi-ku. Shiroishi Ward’s official designated flower is the rose. Shiroishi is known most for its variety of flowers around the ward such as lilacs, which are the designated flower of Sapporo City. Shiroishi-ku is home to many parks and it really thrives in the spring, to summer months where you can see flowers such as roses in Kanjou Doori Rose Avenue from June to the middle of October; and the lilacs in the Kawashita Koen (Park) Lilac Forest during the middle of May to the middle of July.
• Asahi Breweries Hokkaido Brewery
Now you might have heard of Sapporo Beer, but have you heard of Asahi? Asahi has its own Hokkaido brewery right in the Shiroishi Ward. Asahi is known for their delicious and high quality beer as well as soft drinks they sell all over not just Japan but all over the world. This brewery has tours you can take across the particular brewery: from being able to actually touch barley and the main ingredients used to make beer, get a chance to learn about the production process followed by a tasting session at the end of the tour.
Address: 1-1 Minami 4 Nango-dori, Shiraishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Access: Approx. 7 minute walk from Nangonanachome Station on the Tozai Subway Line
Tour Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Phone Number for Reservations: +81-11-863-3515
More Information: You need to make a reservation by phone in order to go on one of these tours. For more information, visit their english website here: https://www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/language/english/
厚別区(Atsubetsu-Ku): Atsubetsu Ward
Atsubetsu Ku is located on the eastern side of the Sapporo cityscape. It was split from Shiroishi Ku in 1989. This ward is full of nature, parks, as well as famous areas such as Shin Sapporo, with its science center and planetarium next to the Sun Piazza square. Atsubetsu Ku is also home to the famous Historical Village of Hokkaido, which is where we highly recommend for you go if you decide to visit the Atsubetsu Ku area.
• Historical Village of Hokkaido
Located just outside of the center city section of Sapporo, this is a great place to truly delve into Hokkaido’s history and truly feel like you time traveled into a different era once you step inside! This Historical Village is open-air museum where you will get a chance to learn more about the development of towns in Hokkaido specifically getting a chance to see how buildings in Hokkaido were in the Meiji and Taisho periods or the mid-19th to early 20th century.
This open-air museum also showcases various historical buildings, including the old Sapporo Station building right at the main entrance to the village. Popular attractions here include the horse-drawn trolley as well as visit several parts of the village such as: the fishing village, the farm village, the town area, and the mountain village. This open-air museum is a great way to learn more about the area as well as Hokkaido’s villages and how they developed over time.
Address: Historical Village of Hokkaido Foundation Konopporo 50-1, Atsubetsu-cyo,Atsubetsu-ku Sapporo,Hokkaido,Japan 004-0006
Access: Find out more on their website here
More Information: http://www.kaitaku.or.jp/
豊平区(Toyohira-Ku): Toyohira Ward
Home of the famous Toyohira River that goes along the Sapporo cityscape, Toyohira Ward is a mix of residential areas, parks, nature, as well as many activities to do such as at the Sapporo Dome, which is where we highly recommend for you to visit if you do go in the Toyohira Ward.
• Sapporo Dome
For this description, I will be quoting what one of the members in Trippino’ had said about Sapporo Dome and their findings from their blog here about the behind the scenes of Sapporo Dome.
‘Opened in 2001, the Sapporo Dome was constructed for the 2002 FIFA World cup and is the first stadium to have a “floating soccer field”, which helps it transform between a baseball field, soccer field, and event space within half a day. When switching from baseball to soccer, the turf of the field is rolled up and the rear stands retract to reveal the soccer field sitting outside. Weighing 8,300 tons, the field is lifted up with air similar to how hovercrafts work, to reduce its weight by 90 percent, in which it is then rolled into the stadium. For non-sports events, the ground concrete floor of the stadium has been home to numerous concerts as well. Famous artists like Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Mr. Children, EXILE, AKB48 and BIGBANG have performed here.’
If you do manage to come to the Toyohira Ward, check out a show or a sports event at the Sapporo Dome! You won’t want to miss it.
Address: 1 Hitsujigaoka, Toyohira Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 062-0045
Access: Approx. 10 minute walk from Fukuzumi Subway Station on the Toho Line or stop at the bus stop: Bus Stop Sapporo Dome
More Information: Sapporo Dome Homepage: https://www.sapporo-dome.co.jp/index.html
清田区(Kiyota-Ku): Kiyota Ward
Kiyota Ward is the 4th largest ward in Sapporo. The name Kiyota, in Kiyota Ward’s name, literally translates to 清: “pure, clean” and田: “field”. This ward is the newest ward in Sapporo, being officially made in 1997, because of its split from Toyohira-ku in 1997. Nearby the ward lie the cities of Kitahiroshima and Eniwa. If you do visit Kiyota Ku, we highly recommend for you to visit Hiraoka Park.
• Hiraoka Park
This park is known for its beautiful plum grove, which is the symbol of the park. This park contains two main parts: the western area and then the eastern area. The western area is covered with a plum grove, or a large number of white and red plum trees. The trees in the park start to bloom around early May. There are various kiosks that are around the area where the trees are. According to their official website there are about 1,200 plum trees and this area cover 6.5 hectares. In addition to the plum grove, the western area of the park contains an artificial wetland and pond as well as a park golf course. The eastern area of the park contains the management office, a playground area, and sports facilities.
Address: Sapporo Shi, Kiyota Ku, Hiraoka Park 1-1
Access: To reach the western side with the plum grove, take the Shin 111 Chuo Bus/JR Bus from the Tozai Subway Line Shin Sapporo Bus Terminal and exit off of the [Hiraoka 6 Jou 4 Chome] bus stop and walk for about 5 minutes.
To reach the eastern side with the management office and sports facilities, take the same bus as mentioned above and exit off of the Hiraoka Park Higashi 2 Chome bus top.
Access Information and Bus information (in Japanese): http://hiraoka-park.jp/access/
More Information: http://hiraoka-park.jp/lang/en/
南区(Minami-Ku): Southern Ward
The largest ward, in area size in all of Sapporo, Minami Ku or the Southern Ward extends all the way from the edge of Susukino all to the way down to Makomanai and then even further where the area is mostly made of forests and mountains. This area is full of nature, gorgeous views and scenery, as well as quiet and peaceful residential areas. This is more of a suburban area of Sapporo city. If you do come to the Minami Ku, specifically the Makomanai area, we highly recommend for you to visit the Makomanai Art Park, a great balance and mix of nature and art in the same place.
• Sapporo Art Park
If you are in the Sapporo area and are looking for a variety of fun activities to do for a day trip, then this art park is the perfect destination for you. Even if you are not an enthusiastic modern art lover, this park has something special and unique for everyone to enjoy.
Completed in about 1999, this art park consists of multiple facilities as well as special art exhibits throughout the year. The Park’s main goals are to merge the beauty of Hokkaido’s nature with the beauty of art. In every season, there is something new to do and somewhere new to explore when you visit the Art Park. Even if you decide to come here simply for a walk, it is well worth the trip because of its peaceful atmosphere and fresh, cool air.
If you want to know more about this beautiful park and what kind of facilities they have here as well as the activities you can participate in, find out more on our past blog here about the Sapporo Art park.
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo, Minami Ward, Geijutsunomori, 2-75
Access: Accessible by bus from the Makomanai subway station on the Namboku Line
More Information: https://artpark.or.jp/en/
西区(Nishi-Ku): Western Ward
Nishi ku or the West Ward of Sapporo is a quieter, peaceful area of the cityscape. With the beautiful mountains in close distance, the scenery in this area is really beautiful. In the West Ward, we highly recommend you to check out the Sapporo-made famous Shiroi Koibito Park!
• Shiroi Koibito Park
Shiroi Koibito, or as literally translated to White Lovers, is a landmark tourist destination in Sapporo. Their white chocolate cookies are the most popular omiyage or souvenir to bring back as a gift to friends and loved ones alike! They have tours inside the actual chocolate factory as well as a gorgeous gift shop. The interior and exterior of the park is spectacular and blends together western, European influences with Hokkaido. You don’t want to miss this destination on your travel itinearay. The park has various events held all throughout the year, such as their Illumination display that is going on until March 31st 2019, so you can experience something fun in any season at Shiroi Koibito.
Address: Miyanosawa 2-jo 2-chome Nishi-ku,Sapporo 063-0052
Access: Approx. 5 minute walk from Miyanosawa Subway Station on the Tozai Subway Line
More Information: http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/english/
手稲区(Teine-Ku): Teine Ward
Teine Ward is a mostly suburban area of Sapporo. It became an official ward when the area got split up from Nishi Ku in 1989. Teine Ku is most known for Teine Mountain area, where you can visit the Sapporo Teine Ski Resort. We highly recommend for you to come here if you come to Teine Ku.
• Sapporo Teine Ski Resort
Only 15 km from downtown Sapporo, this resort is a great place to fully enjoy Hokkaido’s powder snow and winter season. The area where the resort is located, the Teine Mountain area, was most famous for being the first Winter Olympic venue alpine ski competition in Asia in 1972. This snowy ski resort is known for its Ferris wheel as pictured here. You can take different ski courses depending on your skiing level and where you want to ski. Come and enjoy the wintery landscape and snowy ski resort somewhere not too far from the downtown Sapporo city area.
Address: 593 Teinehoncho, Teine Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 006-0029
More Information: https://sapporo-teine.com/snow/lang/en/
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