Sapporo Travel Guide: Top Things to Do in Sapporo

Looking for exciting things to do in Sapporo? You’re in for a treat! Welcome to Sapporo, a city that’s not just a winter wonderland but a year-round adventure hub. Known for its snowy streets, frozen lakes, and enchanting snow festivals, Sapporo attracts millions of visitors every year. But the fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts away.

From thrilling winter sports to savoring delicious local cuisine, Sapporo has it all. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or a culture seeker, this city has exciting experiences waiting for you. So, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the best things to do in Sapporo. Get ready to explore, discover, and make memories in this captivating destination!

Preparing for Your Sapporo Winter Adventure

Prepare for a chilly Sapporo winter adventure with temperatures ranging from -5°C to 5°C in January and February. Here’s your essential packing guide for a comfortable trip.

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Importance of Proper Winter Clothing

When preparing for your trip to Sapporo’s frigid winters, remember these essential items:

  • Thick Coat: An insulated coat is essential for staying warm in the cold.
  • Scarf: Keep your neck cozy and fend off the chill with a scarf.
  • Beanie: A snug hat not only keeps you warm but also protects your ears from the cold wind.
  • Gloves: Don’t let cold hands ruin your fun – pack a quality pair of gloves.
  • Waterproof Boots: Conquer slushy sidewalks and snowy streets with waterproof boots.
  • Thermal Underwear: Layer up with thermal underwear to trap the warmth close to your body.
  • Long-sleeved Tee: Add extra insulation by wearing long-sleeved shirts under your coat.
  • Pants: Stay comfortable and warm with cozy pants.

Additionally, consider bringing sunglasses to shield your eyes from the snow’s glare.

Exploring Sapporo’s Winter

Sapporo’s winter season is truly a spectacle to behold. The city undergoes a remarkable transformation, adorned with snow-draped mountains, frozen lakes, and a dazzling array of lights.

As the first snowflakes gently fall in November, by December, Sapporo is completely immersed in a pristine white landscape. The snow-covered trees and buildings paint a captivating picture, and the streets resonate with the delightful sound of your footsteps on the powdery snow.

Snow in Sapporo in the month of February. Photo courtesy: phironeghost on Ig.

Embracing Winter Adventures in Sapporo

What makes winter in Sapporo truly special is the wealth of outdoor activities it offers. You can embrace the thrill of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or gliding gracefully across frozen ponds while ice skating. Additionally, the season is brimming with lively festivals and events that are bound to enchant you.

To fully relish your winter getaway, it’s important to remember the importance of appropriate clothing. The cold can be quite brisk, so make sure to bundle up in warm, insulated attire to stay cozy and comfortable while you explore this winter wonder.

In Sapporo, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during the winter months. Whether you’re seeking adventure in the great outdoors or looking to immerse yourself in the city’s charming festivities, Sapporo promises an unforgettable experience that will warm your heart despite the chilly temperatures.

Top Things to Do in Sapporo during Winter

Sapporo, a city known for its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, becomes even more enchanting during the winter season. Here are some captivating activities and attractions to indulge in when visiting Sapporo during the chilly winter months:

Sapporo Snow Festival: 

The Sapporo Snow Festival is held annually in February and is a world-renowned event that captivates visitors from around the globe. This winter wonderland is a true celebration of winter’s beauty and artistic expression. 

Given the chilly climate in Sapporo during this time, it’s essential to dress appropriately to fully enjoy the festivities.To stay warm while you explore the mesmerizing snow and ice sculptures, make sure to layer up. 

Begin with a base layer of thermal underwear, add a cozy fleece sweater or jacket, and top it off with a waterproof outer layer to shield yourself from the occasional snowfall. 

The windy and snowy weather in Sapporo calls for windproof and waterproof outerwear, making a down jacket or parka an excellent choice.

Don’t forget to protect your extremities from the cold. A beanie, scarf, and gloves are essential to keep your head, neck, and hands warm as you admire the intricate small figurines and grand ice castles. And for your feet, insulated boots are a must. Opt for snow boots to keep your feet toasty and safe from the snow and ice.

Once you’re properly dressed, you can fully immerse yourself in the festival’s enchanting world of ice and snow. 

Explore over 200 captivating sculptures, enjoy activities like ice skating and snowshoeing, and savor live music performances. 

The Sapporo Snow Festival is a true winter spectacle that allows you to embrace the magic of the season while staying cozy and comfortable.

Sapporo Snow festival snow sculpture! (Photo courtesy- Ig: haruka__ishikawa)

Odori Park Ice Skating: 

Odori Park, the heart of Sapporo, transforms into a captivating winter playground during the colder months. At the center of this transformation lies a sprawling ice skating rink that draws both locals and tourists. Gliding gracefully across the ice beneath the backdrop of the city’s skyline is an experience unlike any other.

To stay warm and comfortable while you enjoy all that Odori Park has to offer, be sure to dress in layers. A base layer of thermal underwear will help to wick away sweat, while a mid-layer of fleece or wool will provide insulation. An outer layer of waterproof and windproof clothing will protect you from the elements. You’ll also need a hat, scarf, and gloves to keep your head, neck, and hands warm.

In addition to ice skating, Odori Park offers a range of other winter activities, such as sledding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. If you’re planning on participating in any of these activities, be sure to dress accordingly. For example, if you’re sledding, you’ll want to wear pants that are made of a thick, durable material that can withstand the friction of the snow.

No matter what you choose to do at Odori Park, be sure to dress warmly and take precautions to stay safe. The weather in Sapporo can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to be prepared.

The Sapporo Tower overlooks a skating rink, a popular place for everyone to visit. Photo Courtesy:

Sapporo Beer Museum: 

The museum boasts a diverse array of exhibits, including a fully operational brewery where you can witness the beer-making process firsthand. After the tour, head to the tasting room to savor the flavors of Sapporo’s finest brews. 

If you prefer a cozy atmosphere, the museum’s beer garden provides a warm and inviting space to enjoy your favorite brews while taking in the wintry surroundings.

To stay warm while you’re enjoying the festival, be sure to layer up with warm clothing. A good base layer is essential, such as a long-sleeved top and leggings made of wool or synthetic materials. 

Then, add a layer of fleece or down insulation, followed by a waterproof and windproof jacket. A hat, scarf, and gloves will also help to keep you warm.

If you’re planning on spending some time outdoors, you may also want to bring snow boots or shoes with good traction. And don’t forget to bring an umbrella or raincoat in case of inclement weather.

Front view of Sapporo Beer Museum (Photo courtesy~ Ig: kao4022)

Mt. Moiwa Panoramic Views: 

Just a short journey from Sapporo lies the majestic Mt. Moiwa, a destination that promises breathtaking panoramic views of the city blanketed in snow. 

While the mountain is popular among winter sports enthusiasts for skiing and snowboarding, it also offers fantastic opportunities for hiking and simply basking in the serene winter vistas. 

As you ascend Mt. Moiwa, you’ll be rewarded with an unforgettable perspective of Sapporo’s glistening landscape, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking the perfect winter snapshot.

To stay warm and comfortable during your visit to Mt. Moiwa, be sure to dress in layers. A good base layer will help to wick away moisture, while a mid-layer will provide insulation. 

A waterproof outer layer will protect you from the wind and snow. You should also wear a hat, scarf, and gloves to keep your head, neck, and hands warm.

Zipline carts in Mt Moiwa Panoramic (Photo Courtesy~ Ig: thecaricher)

Sustainable Experiences in Sapporo

Introduction to Eco-friendly Tourism Options in Sapporo

Sapporo’s Sustainable Accommodations

Begin your eco-friendly journey in Sapporo by selecting certified green hotels. Many in the city, endorsed by organizations like Green Globe and EarthCheck, prioritize energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction. Staying at these eco-conscious hotels ensures your comfort and helps preserve Sapporo’s natural beauty.

Explore Sapporo on Two Wheels

For an authentic and eco-friendly way to explore Sapporo, consider renting a bicycle. Cycling through the city allows you to immerse yourself in its culture while minimizing your carbon footprint. Sapporo boasts numerous bike rental shops, and the city’s well-maintained network of bike lanes ensures a safe and enjoyable ride.

Rentable cycles to get around the cuty. (Photo Courtesy~Trip advisor- Porocle)

Efficient Public Transportation

Sapporo’s public transportation system is not only efficient but also environmentally friendly. Choose from buses, subways, or trams to traverse the city with ease. Public transportation not only reduces emissions but also provides an opportunity to engage with the local community and culture.

Sapporo Bus station. Photo Courtesy~

Connect with Nature

Sapporo’s charm extends beyond the city limits to its stunning natural attractions. Visit places like Odori Park and Lake Toya to revel in the beauty of untouched landscapes. These locations offer a chance to appreciate the environment and understand the importance of preservation.

Scenic view of Lake Toya, from

Support Local Businesses

One of the most sustainable acts you can undertake while in Sapporo is to support local businesses. By dining at local restaurants and purchasing souvenirs from local shops, you contribute to the local economy while reducing the environmental impact of long supply chains.

Minimizing Your Environmental Impact While Traveling

To be a responsible traveler in Sapporo, consider these eco-conscious practices:

  • Pack Light: Reduce emissions by packing only the essentials. Lighter luggage means less fuel consumption during your journey.
  • Reusable Bags: Carry reusable bags for shopping and sightseeing, reducing the need for single-use plastic bags and minimizing plastic waste.
  • Recycle and Compost: Take advantage of Sapporo’s recycling and composting facilities. Proper disposal of waste contributes to less landfill accumulation and a healthier environment.
  • Eat Local: Savor locally sourced cuisine to support the regional economy and reduce the carbon footprint associated with food transportation.
  • Water Conservation: Conserve water by turning off faucets while brushing your teeth and practicing mindful handwashing. Water is a precious resource in this region.

Culinary Delights: Savoring Sapporo’s Winter Cuisine

Sapporo, a city renowned for its vibrant winter culture, offers a plethora of delightful experiences, especially when it comes to its diverse culinary offerings. As you explore this enchanting Japanese city, indulge in the following culinary delights that will surely warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds.

Indulge in Hot Ramen and Soul-Warming Soup Curry

Sapporo’s winter culinary scene wouldn’t be complete without a steaming bowl of ramen. While ramen is a beloved dish throughout Japan, Sapporo has its unique twists that make it a must-try. Here are some of the top ramen options you should savor:

  • Miso Ramen: Considered the quintessential Sapporo ramen, this dish features a rich miso broth, generously topped with succulent slices of pork belly, fresh scallions, and a perfectly soft-boiled egg. It’s a flavorful journey you won’t want to miss.

Sapporo style miso ramen from Sapporo Ichiryuan restaurant. (Photo Courtesy~ LiveJapan)

  • Shoyu Ramen: For those seeking a slightly lighter broth, shoyu ramen offers a soy sauce-based option that’s equally delicious. Pork belly, scallions, and menma (bamboo shoots) complete this delectable bowl of comfort.

Photo Courtesy ~

  • Soup Curry: A Hokkaido specialty, soup curry is the ultimate winter comfort food. This hearty stew combines tender chicken or pork with an aromatic curry spice blend, vegetables, and potatoes. It’s often crowned with a tantalizing layer of cheese and a sunny-side-up fried egg, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures.

Photo Courtesy~ asianinspirations

Explore Seafood Markets for Fresh Ocean Treasures

With its coastal location, Sapporo takes great pride in its abundant seafood offerings. To experience the freshest catches, pay a visit to some of the city’s renowned seafood markets:

  • Nijo Market: This traditional market is a treasure trove of fresh fish, shellfish, and other delectable ocean delights. Stroll through its bustling aisles to discover the freshest ingredients for your next meal.
  • Susukino Central Wholesale Market: While primarily a wholesale market, it opens its doors to the public on Saturdays. It’s a fantastic opportunity to witness the vibrant seafood industry in action and perhaps grab some fantastic seafood finds.
  • Sapporo Toyosu Market: This modern market boasts a diverse array of seafood vendors, in addition to restaurants and cafes serving up delectable dishes made from the freshest catches. It’s a one-stop destination for seafood enthusiasts.

Kosha’s Recommended Attire for Warm Dining Experiences

To fully enjoy Sapporo’s winter cuisine, it’s essential to stay warm while dining out. Follow these recommendations from Kosha, a local expert, to ensure a cozy and comfortable dining experience:

  • Layer Up: Dress in layers to easily adapt to changing temperatures. Start with thermal innerwear and add sweaters or fleeces as needed.
  • Accessories: Don’t forget to bring a scarf and hat to keep your neck and head warm. These simple additions can make a significant difference in your comfort.

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  • Gloves: Keep your hands toasty with a pair of warm gloves. They’ll make handling those hot ramen bowls much more comfortable.
  • Footwear: If you plan to spend time outdoors, opt for boots with good traction to prevent slipping on icy streets. Warm, waterproof boots are a must for exploring the city in winter.

Sapporo’s winter culinary scene is a delightful adventure waiting to happen. By indulging in hot ramen, savoring soup curry, exploring seafood markets, and dressing warmly, you’ll create lasting memories and savor the true essence of this vibrant Japanese city.

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Winter Shopping in Sapporo

Sapporo is a great place to go shopping, especially in the winter. The city has a wide variety of stores to choose from, including local markets, boutiques, and department stores. Whether you’re looking for winter fashion, souvenirs, or unique gifts, you’re sure to find something to your liking in Sapporo.

Discovering Local Markets and Boutiques

One of the most charming aspects of Sapporo’s winter shopping scene is its vibrant local markets and boutiques. When you stroll through these quaint streets, you’re not just shopping; you’re immersing yourself in the city’s unique culture.

  • Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade: At the heart of Sapporo, the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade awaits with open arms, boasting over 200 shops that cater to all tastes. 

From traditional Japanese trinkets to modern fashion, this arcade offers a diverse range of shopping opportunities. You’ll find yourself getting lost in the charming labyrinthine streets, each one harboring treasures waiting to be discovered.

Read more: Guide To Minneapolis Winter: How To Stay Warm And Have Fun

Unearthing Unique Winter Fashion and Souvenirs

Sapporo is a fashionista’s paradise, and it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to winter wear. You’ll be delighted to know that Sapporo’s winter fashion isn’t limited to the mundane; it’s a fusion of tradition and contemporary style.

  • Sapporo Factory: If you’re hunting for a stylish winter wardrobe without breaking the bank, head over to Sapporo Factory, an outlet mall where you’ll find discounted winter clothing and accessories. Embrace the cold in style without emptying your wallet.
  • Sapporo Stellar Place: For those with a penchant for international brands, Sapporo Stellar Place is a modern shopping mall featuring a plethora of renowned brands alongside local shops and dining establishments. Whether you’re seeking trendy winter fashion or that perfect souvenir, this place has you covered.
  • Sapporo Underground Shopping Center: Escape the cold weather by venturing into this large underground mall. It boasts more than 100 stores, including fashion boutiques, department stores, and tempting food stalls serving up delicious local cuisine.

Navigating Sapporo: Transportation Tips

Sapporo is a relatively easy city to get around, thanks to its efficient public transportation system. Here are some tips for navigating Sapporo:

  • The most common way to get around Sapporo is by subway. The Sapporo Municipal Subway has three lines: the Namboku Line, Tozai Line, and Toho Line. All of these lines intersect at Odori Station, which is the central hub for public transportation in Sapporo.

Photo Courtesy~

  • Buses are another good option for getting around Sapporo. Buses are operated by three different companies: JR Hokkaido Bus, Hokkaido Chuo Bus, and Jotetsu Bus. Buses can be a bit more confusing to navigate than the subway, but they can be a more efficient way to get to some destinations.

Photo Courtesy

  • Taxis are available in Sapporo, but they can be expensive. Taxis are a good option if you are traveling with a lot of luggage or if you are in a hurry.
  • If you are planning on doing a lot of walking, be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Sapporo is a relatively flat city, but there are some hills, and you will be doing a lot of walking if you are visiting all the major attractions.

The Importance of Comfortable Clothing During Travel

When traveling, it is important to wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely. This is especially important in Sapporo, where the weather can be cold and wet. Here are some tips for choosing comfortable clothing for travel:

  • Choose fabrics that are breathable and wick away moisture. This will help you stay cool and dry, even if you are sweating.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothing. This can restrict your movement and make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Choose shoes that are comfortable and supportive. This will help prevent blisters and other foot problems.

You can check out Kosha’s winter collection here, our clothes are sustainable, eco-friendly, and ethically produced.

Cultural Insights: Embracing Sapporo’s Winter Traditions

Sapporo is a city that celebrates winter in a big way. And there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the city’s winter traditions.

Understanding the Significance of Winter Festivals

Sapporo’s winter calendar is full of events that celebrate the season. The Snow Festival is the most famous, but there are many others to enjoy. 

The Sapporo Beer Mile combines running and beer, while the Sapporo Ramen Championship is a chance to sample the city’s best ramen.

Trying Traditional Winter Activities and Clothing

Explore Sapporo’s winter culture beyond festivals. Glide gracefully on Lake Teppozu’s glistening ice amidst the serene cityscape for an enchanting ice skating adventure. 

For tranquility, stroll through the Susukino Snow Light Path, where illuminated snow sculptures and lanterns reveal the city’s romantic side, perfect for Instagram-worthy moments. 

Complete your winter immersion by donning traditional clothing, like a cozy parka or stylish scarf, to stay warm and connect with Sapporo’s heritage.

Illuminated snow sculptures (Photo Courtesy~

Connecting Cultural Experiences with Sustainable Choices

Sapporo is dedicated to sustainability, evident in recent efforts to infuse eco-consciousness into its winter traditions. 

The renowned Sapporo Snow Festival, for instance, now employs recycled snow and ice for its sculptures, significantly cutting waste and preserving natural resources. 

Likewise, the Sapporo Beer Mile has adopted sustainability by implementing a robust recycling program for beer cups and waste, reducing its environmental footprint. 

Join these eco-initiatives to support a cleaner, greener Sapporo while discovering the seamless integration of culture and sustainability.

Japanese women wearing Kimono (Photo Courtesy~

Staying Cozy and Responsible: Eco-Friendly Accommodation

Winter is a time to embrace coziness while being mindful of the environment. Here are some concise tips for eco-conscious winter stays:

  • Choose a certified eco-hotel: Look for Green Seal, LEED, or Sustainable Tourism Criteria certifications.
  • Inquire about energy-saving measures: Ask about energy-efficient appliances, recycling, and light-saving policies.
  • Adopt eco-friendly habits: Turn off lights and unplug appliances when not in use, and aim for shorter showers. These simple changes lead to significant energy savings.

Packing Tips for a Winter Trip to Sapporo

In addition to these essential clothing items, keep these packing tips in mind:

  • Pack Layers: Layering your clothing lets you adjust your attire to match the temperature fluctuations throughout the day.
  • Comfortable Shoes: Sapporo is a walking-friendly city, so ensure your shoes are comfortable and provide good support.
  • Daypack: Bring a daypack for carrying your essentials while exploring the city.
  • Don’t Forget Your Camera: Capture the magic of your Sapporo winter adventure with memorable photographs.

And here are some extra tips for a successful Sapporo winter journey:

  • Check the Weather: Stay ahead of the weather by checking the forecast before you travel. This helps you pack accordingly and plan your activities wisely.
  • Book Accommodation Early: During the peak winter season, securing accommodation in advance is wise to avoid any last-minute hassle.
  • Travel Insurance: Protect your trip by investing in travel insurance, just in case unforeseen circumstances arise.

With these tips and the right gear, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable winter adventure in Sapporo.


What is the best time of year to visit Sapporo?

The best time of year to visit Sapporo depends on what you are interested in doing. If you want to experience the Sapporo Snow Festival, the best time to visit is in February. 

If you are interested in skiing or snowboarding, the best time to visit is from December to March. If you want to enjoy the milder weather, the best time to visit is from June to September.

How can I get around Sapporo?

The best way to get around Sapporo is by public transportation. The city has an extensive bus and subway system that can take you to most places. You can also rent a bicycle or take a taxi.

Where can I stay in Sapporo?

There are many hotels, hostels, and apartments to choose from in Sapporo. If you are on a budget, you can stay in a hostel or guesthouse. If you are looking for a more luxurious experience, you can stay in a hotel in the city center.

What is the food like in Sapporo?

Sapporo is known for its ramen, beer, and seafood. Some of the most popular dishes to try include miso ramen, Genghis Khan hotpot, and uni (sea urchin).


Sapporo boasts diverse attractions for all tastes, making it an ideal destination for unforgettable experiences. From the captivating Sapporo Snow Festival to the lively Susukino district, there’s plenty to do. 

To stay cozy in the chilly winters, consider sustainable winter wear made from eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic or organic cotton. 

Kosha, a leading brand in this field, offers warmth and environmental responsibility with a wide range of stylish options for your Sapporo winter adventures.

For any queries related to wearing thermals, base layers, or winter wear in general, visit Kosha’s store and get a free consultation! While you’re at it, check out Kosha’s website for the wide range of thermals and jackets available at Kosha.

This blog article is written by Kosha Team Member – Kauravki Bansode



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