Sapporo is Hokkaido’s largest city and packed with excellent restaurants, museums and fantastic architecture. Surrounded by mountains, there is a huge range of outdoor activities to enjoy in all seasons while the city’s parks and gardens also provide ample opportunities to escape the hustle and bustle. Odori Park is conveniently located in the heart of Sapporo’s downtown area and hosts the city’s annual Snow Festival. Lovers of contemporary Japanese art should definitely check out the Miyanomori Art Museum. For admirers of traditional Japanese culture and architecture, the Hokkaido Shrine is a popular sight, especially in spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
Sapporo’s cuisine is excellent and there are a number of unique dishes you should sample. It is the birthplace of miso ramen and the Susukino district is the best place to find it; an entire street there is dedicated to restaurants serving the dish. Other specialties include the soup curry and jingisukan, a barbequed lamb dish named after Genghis Khan. Beer is a popular beverage here and the Sapporo Brewery offers an interesting tour followed by a tasting session.