Hugging the gentle mountains and forest, the leafy Maruyama Park (円山公園) has a nice shrine, zoo, baseball and ski jump stadiums. English missionary to the Ainu people John Batchelor (1855-1944) wrote ‘the most exhilarating promenade in the neighborhood of Sapporo’ in his book.
Highlights Hokkaido Jingu, Maruyama Zoo, Hiking Maru-yama, Okura-yama Jump Stadium
Tourist Information maruyamapark.jp
北海道神宮 / 474 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku / 6am-5pm spring-autumn, 7am-4pm winter / FREE / www.hokkaidojingu.or.jp
Sapporo’s oldest and most famous shinto shrine established in 1869, Hokkaido Jingu is in a wooded grove accessed via a 600m-long gravel approach from the eastern end of Odori. The main shrine was rebuilt after being destroyed by incendiary fire in 1974, but this shrine is one of Sapporo’s most popular places to visit with foreigners.
Sapporo Maruyama Zoo
札幌市円山動物園 / 3-1 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku / 9am-5pm Feb-Oct, to 4pm Nov-Jan / Closed 2nd & 4th Wed, 3rd week (Mon-Fri) of Apr, 2nd week (Mon-Fri) of Nov, 29-31 Dec / Adult ¥600, child FREE / www.city.sapporo.jp/zoo
Hokkaido’s first zoo established in 1951, Maruyama Zoo has around 170 species from Hokkaido to Africa. The main attractions are the Asian elephants that arrived from Myanmar in 2019. There are feeding sessions, free guided background tours and a children’s zoo.
札幌市円山球場 / 3 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku / Ticket ¥500 / www.shsf.jp/maruyama
Hokkaido’s high school and amateur baseball teams play games at this open-air stadium from spring to autumn. Same-day tickets cost just ¥500 (¥100 for students).
During the warmer months, you can scale neighboring Maru-yama (225m) in about an hour from Maruyama-koen subway station, as well as Hokkaido Jingu. The wooded trail, passes 88 kannon (buddhist deity of mercy), starts from Daishi-do temple. At the summit looks down the city center.
05 SKI JUMP & SCENIC VIEWPOINT
Okura-yama Jump Stadium
大倉山ジャンプ競技場 / 1274 Miyanomori / 8.30am-6pm 29 Apr-3 Nov, 9am-5pm 4 Nov-28 Apr / Closed 10-20 Apr / FREE / okura.sapporo-dc.co.jp
Japan’s most famous ski jump stadium built and donated by industrialist Okura Kishichiro in 1931 that hosted the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. The chairlift (return ¥500) ascends to stunning panoramic view over the town.
MARUYAMA PARK MAP
Maruyama-koen Station is on the Tozai subway line from Odori (5min / ¥200). The exit 3 is the most convenient to the park entrance.
JR Bus Kuramaru (くらまる) shuttles (hourly to twice hourly / flat ¥210) run to Okura-yama Jump Stadium from Maruyama-koen Station stop 4 via Maruyama Zoo main gate. Kuramaru shuttles leave from 9am to 4pm. JR Bus 11 runs from Maruyama-koen Station stop 1 to Moiwa-yama Ropeway (13min / flat ¥210).