Sapporo Questions

#Sapporo

Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, is renowned for its unique history and dynamic culture.

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About Sapporo

Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido, is renowned for its unique history and dynamic culture. Despite being the fifth largest city in Japan, Sapporo was one of the nation's youngest major cities, with a population of only seven in 1857. However, during the Meiji period, Hokkaido was developed on a large scale, and Sapporo was selected as the island's administrative center. It was expanded according to the advice of foreign specialists and built on a rectangular street system that still exists today.

Sapporo became globally renowned in 1972 when it hosted the Olympic Winter Games. Today, the city is known for its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and its annual Snow Festival held in February, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Sapporo is famous for its ramen, which is considered one of the best in Japan. The city is also renowned for its beer, which has been brewed since 1877, and visitors can tour the Sapporo Beer Museum to learn about its history and brewing process. In addition, Sapporo has numerous parks, museums, and galleries, and it is a popular destination for shopping and nightlife.

Getting Arround in Sapporo

Sapporo stands out in Japan for its easy-to-follow street layout and addressing system. City blocks are named and numbered based on cardinal directions, centered around Odori Park. For instance, the Sapporo Beer Museum resides in "North 7, East 9" block, indicating its location north and east of Odori Park's apex. The city boasts efficient public transportation with three subway lines, a tram line, and various bus services, including JR Hokkaido Bus, Hokkaido Chuo Bus, and Jotetsu Bus. Visitors can utilize passes like the Japan Rail Pass on JR Hokkaido Bus routes.

Sapporo features two airports, with New Chitose Airport being the primary hub. A 35-minute train ride connects it to the city center, handling the bulk of domestic and international flights. Meanwhile, Okadama Airport, though smaller, offers more central access but with limited flights to other Hokkaido cities.

Getting to Sapporo
  • From Tokyo 遯カ繝サThe route between Tokyo and Sapporo ranks among the busiest air routes worldwide, hosting numerous daily flights by carriers like JAL, ANA, Air Do, and more. While most flights operate between Tokyo's Haneda Airport and Sapporo's New Chitose Airport, some also use Narita Airport. The flight duration averages around 90 minutes, with conventional airline fares typically ranging up to 40,000 yen. However, discounted rates often offer one-way fares for around or under 10,000 yen, particularly with carriers like Skymark, Peach Aviation, and Jetstar Japan, especially for Narita routes.

    Alternatively, travelers can opt for the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (4 hours), followed by a transfer to the Hokuto limited express to Sapporo (3.5 hours). This eight-hour journey costs approximately 29,000 yen for a one-way trip and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass. It's important to note that seat reservations are mandatory for Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Additionally, long-distance ferries ply between Oarai Port near Tokyo and Tomakomai Port close to Sapporo, with a one-way trip taking about 19 hours and costing 11,000 yen in the cheapest class.

  • From Osaka 遯カ繝サSeveral airlines including JAL, ANA, Skymark, Air Do, Peach, and Jetstar Japan offer numerous daily flights between Osaka (served by Kansai Airport, Itami Airport, and nearby Kobe Airport) and Sapporo's Shin-Chitose Airport, with a flight time of approximately two hours. While the regular one-way fare by JAL, ANA, and Air Do can be close to 50,000 yen, discounted tickets and fares by Skymark, Peach, and Jetstar are often available for under 10,000 yen, providing more budget-friendly options for travelers.

    Alternatively, travelers can embark on a longer but scenic journey from Osaka to Sapporo via Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, which takes about 11 hours and costs around 37,000 yen for a one-way trip. This route is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if you opt for a Hikari train between Osaka and Tokyo (Note: Nozomi trains require a supplement fee), although seat reservations are mandatory on Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Long-distance ferries also offer leisurely and affordable access to Hokkaido from various ports in Honshu, such as Maizuru and Tsuruga near Osaka. Most ferries arrive either in Otaru, a 30-minute train ride east of Sapporo, or Tomakomai, 45-60 minutes south of Sapporo by train.

  • From Kyoto 遯カ繝サSeveral airlines including JAL, ANA, Skymark, Air Do, Peach, and Jetstar Japan offer numerous daily flights between Osaka, near Kyoto, served by Kansai Airport, Itami Airport, and Kobe Airport, and Sapporo's Shin-Chitose Airport, with a flight time of approximately two hours. While the regular one-way fare by JAL, ANA, and Air Do can be nearly 50,000 yen, discount tickets and fares by Skymark, Peach, and Jetstar are typically available for under 10,000 yen, providing more budget-friendly options for travelers.

    Alternatively, the one-way journey from Kyoto to Sapporo via Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto takes about 10-11 hours and costs around 37,000 yen. This route is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass if you use a Hikari train between Kyoto and Tokyo (Note: Nozomi trains require a supplement fee). It's important to note that seat reservations are mandatory on Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Additionally, long-distance ferries offer leisurely and inexpensive access to Hokkaido from various ports in Honshu, such as Maizuru and Tsuruga near Kyoto, with most ferries arriving either in Otaru, 30 train minutes east of Sapporo, or Tomakomai, 45-60 train minutes south of Sapporo.

  • From Hakodate 遯カ繝サTravel options between Hakodate and Sapporo abound. Direct JR Hokuto limited express trains make the journey in about 3.5 hours, with approximately one connection per hour. Fares range from 8,910 yen for non-reserved seats to around 9,500 yen for reserved seats, while special round trip tickets are available for 16,200 yen. Alternatively, multiple bus companies operate highway buses, taking about 5.5 hours and costing around 5,000 yen for a one-way journey. Online reservations can be made through Japan Bus Online for added convenience.

    For those preferring air travel, ANA and Hokkaido Air System (HAC) offer flights between Sapporo and Hakodate. ANA operates from Sapporo's Shin-Chitose Airport, while HAC uses Sapporo's Okadama Airport. Regular one-way fares hover around 20,000 yen, though discount tickets range from 10,000 to 17,000 yen, with flight durations of 45 minutes. Alternatively, driving between Sapporo and Hakodate takes about four hours via the Doo Expressway, incurring toll costs of around 6,500 yen.

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