Cosmopolitan and dynamic Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture and fifth most populous city in Japan. With so much to see and do, it’s surely a travel destination in itself. I spent three days in the city and discovered all the best it has to offer.
SHIROI KOIBITO PARK
Ishiya, a local confections company, manufactures the famous Shiroi Koibito, which consists of a layer of white chocolate sandwiched between two thin butter cookies. They opened up the factory that makes these treats, so visitors may see how its most popular product is made.
Also in the factory-museum are shelves full of ornate demitasse and memorabilia, chocolate-related exhibits, a trove of toys, a café that serves high tea, sweets shops, and a make-your-own-cookie workshop. The park’s grounds, meanwhile, are a nice spot to spend the afternoon.
SAPPORO BEER MUSEUM
Sapporo Breweries, which has been brewing its beer since 1877, transformed one of its Meiji Period breweries into the Sapporo Beer Museum. The museum showcases the history of Sapporo Breweries and the beer industry in Japan. At the end of the exhibits is a tasting of Sapporo Beer variants for a small fee.
ODORI PARK AND SAPPORO TV TOWER
Odori Park is a stretch of greenery that bisects a major road in Sapporo. In February, it serves as the site of the Sapporo Winter Festival, while during the warmer months, it’s a pleasant spot where locals and visitors alike gather and wander about.
At one end is the Sapporo TV Tower, which stands at 150 meters. It has an observation deck 90 meters from the ground that gives a nice view of the park and the environs.
Near Odori Park is the Clock Tower (Tokeidai), erected in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College. Its first floor is now a museum, while the second floor is a ceremony hall.
Mount Moiwa is one of the small mountains that surround Sapporo. While a portion of its slope serves as a ski resort, the more popular part is a sightseeing spot. Tourists are taken on a scenic ride up to the mountain in a funicular and a cable car, then at the summit is an observation deck that offers stunning panoramic views of the city. (Photos below are blurry, as I went up Mount Moiwa amid thick afternoon fog.)
Jetstar Japan flies from Manila to Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya. Connect from these destinations to Sapporo. Book the cheapest fares at jetstar.com. Follow Jetstar Asia on Facebook and Twitter for promos and updates.