Sapporo (札幌市) is the largest city on the Hokkaido island, located north east of Japan. Before its establishment by the Meiji government in the late 1800s, the area was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. Today Sapporo is known outside Japan for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics and home to the famous Sapporo Brewery.
The Sapporo Beer Museum is the one and only beer museum in Japan and is registered as one of the Hokkaidō Heritage sites. The red-brick building was erected originally as a factory of the Sapporo Sugar Company in 1890, and later opened as a museum in 1987. The history of the museum dates back to Meiji period, when beer production began and when the former government of Hokkaidō established a number of breweries in Sapporo. Exhibitions include beer bottles, signs, posters, and instruments for brewing beer. Some of them were actually used in the brewery before World War II. The building also houses the Sapporo Beer Garden in the south wing. The area is served by subway Touhou Line at Higashi-kuyakusho Station.
Sapporo Clock Tower is of American design and is one of the few surviving Western-style buildings in Sapporo, a city developed in the 1870s with assistance from the American government. It is known by many as the symbol of the city. The clock after which it is named continues to run and keep time, and the chimes can be heard every hour. The tower now houses a museum introducing the history of the Agricultural College and the development of Sapporo.
Built in 1957, the Sapporo TV Tower is a 147 metre high TV tower with an observation deck at a height of 90 metres. It was designed by Tachū Naitō, a Japanese architect who is famous for planning the Tokyo Tower. From the observation deck, visitors get a panoramic view of downtown Sapporo, the Odori Park, Mount Ōkura, and Mount Maru.
Odori Park is a park located in the heart of Sapporo. Ōdōri means "large street" in Japanese. It stretches east to west through Nishi 1 chōme (block) to Nishi 12 chōme, and divides the city into north and south sections. The origin of the park dates back to 1876 when a flower garden was constructed. Throughout the year, many events and ceremonies such as the Sapporo Lilac Festival and the Sapporo Snow Festival are held in the park.
Tanukikoji is a typical Japanese-style 1km-long arcade with around 200 shops and restaurants offering cosmetics, souvenirs and traditional eats. Its origin dates back to 1869 when the Meiji government started encouraging local business development and merchant houses and restaurants began to pop up.
Located in the western suburbs of Sapporo under the Maruyama mountain, Maruyama park contains virgin forest with oak, katsura (Japanese Judas tree), magnolia, maple and other varieties of trees. It is a designated natural monument. The park is home of a number of attractions such as the Hokkaidō Shrine, the Maruyama Zoo, the Maruyama Baseball Stadium and the Maruyama Athletics Stadium. The park is served by subway Tōzai Line at Maruyama-Kōen Station.
Erected in 1871, the Hokkaidō Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Maruyama Park. It enshrines four kami including the soul of the Emperor Meiji. A number of contributors of the Exploration in Hokkaidō such as Mamiya Rinzō are also enshrined. It is considered the most important Shinto shrine in Hokkaido. During the cherry blossom season, the shrine is crowded with people enjoying Hanami. Many people also visit the shrine during Japanese New Year to go Hatsumōde (the first Shinto shrine visit).
Historical Village of Hokkaido (Hokkaidō Kaitaku no Mura) is an open-air museum. It includes 52 historical structures from the "frontier days" of the Meiji period to the Shōwa period that have been relocated and reconstructed or recreated, divided into four zones: town, fishing village, farming village, and mountain village.
The Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens are botanical gardens operated by Hokkaido University. The gardens were established in 1886 as part of the Old Sapporo Agricultural College, and are now the second oldest botanical gardens in Japan. Its collection cover about 4,000 plant species, including alpine plants, wild plants from Hokkaidō. The gardens also contain early Hokkaidō homes, a tropical greenhouse, and the Natural History Museum (built 1884), which exhibits Ainu artefacts, local archaeological and biological specimens. The area is served by subway Tozai Line at Nishi-Juitchome Station.
In 1869, the Kaitakushi, the Development Commission and the Government of Hokkaido prefecture, was established to pioneer the primitive ground of Hokkaido, and its main office was moved to Sapporo in 1871. A building for the Kaitakushi office with an octagonal dome topping was planned and built in 1873. Its red brick exterior has become one of the city's best-known symbols. Today it houses the Archives of Hokkaido, Library of Hokkaido, and the Gallery of Hokkaido's History.
Nijo Market is a public market in downtown Sapporo that is frequented by both locals and tourists. It offers a wide variety of fresh produce and local seafood such as crabs, salmon eggs, sea urchin and various fresh products. Souvenir shops can also be found here.
Susukino is a red-light district and is one of the major red-light districts in Japan. Susukino originated in 1871, when the Kaitaku-shi, the Settlement Envoyship pioneering Hokkaidō, designated the area as the red-light district to keep laborers engaged in pioneering Hokkaidō in Sapporo. Currently the area is lined with many restaurants, bars, hotels, and adult-entertainment establishments.
Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill is a famous scenic spot with the bronze statue of Dr. William S. Clark (an American professor/advisor to the Sapporo Agricultural College then) standing on it. It is well known as the symbol of frontier spirit of Hokkaidō. The hill provides a panoramic view of the Ishikari plain, with the Sapporo Dome in the foreground. Sheep graze freely in the area during the summer, which creates a pastoral scenery.