Hokkaido’s largest train terminal, Sapporo Station (simply called Satsu-eki to locals) is a good base for exploring the city. The train station has a massive shopping complex, high-rise hotel and observation deck. You could easily walk from here to Odori Park and Hokkaido University.
Location North 5 South 2 (Chuo-ku), 800m north of Odori Park
Highlights JR Tower Square, JR Tower Observation Deck T38, Old Hokkaido Government Office Building
Tourist Information Hokkaido-Sapporo Food & Tourism Information Center (北海道さっぽろ「食と観光」情報館): JR Sapporo Station west concourse / 8.30am-8pm (see below)
01 TRAIN STATION
JR Sapporo Station
JR札幌駅 / Ticket Window 5.40am-11.55pm
Sapporo Station is a hub for JR trains service for New Chitose Airport and suburban areas, such as Otaru and Ebetsu. Check out a variety of trains at the platform (admission ticket is ¥200 for 2hrs) if you like. Foreign tourists can buy train tickets at the JR Information Desk (8.30am-7pm) at the station’s west concourse, staff speaks multilingual languages.
Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza (北海道どさんこプラザ / 8.30am-8pm) has a good selection of local specialities, sweets, snacks and liquor all over Hokkaido.
JR Tower Square
Sapporo Station / 10am-9pm, to 11pm restaurants / www.jr-tower.com
Sapporo Station south gate’s enormous shopping complex contains the stylish Sapporo Stellar Place, Esta with an electrics shop, Paseo and Apia underground malls. There are many shops from youth-oriented clothing to cosmetics, as well as casual places to eat and drink.
JR Tower Observation Deck T38
JRタワー展望室T38 / 38th floor of JR Tower, N5S2 Chuo-ku / 10am-11pm / ¥740 / www.jr-tower.com/t38
Located at the south gate of Sapporo Station, Hokkaido’s tallest building of JR Tower (178m) has a pleasant viewing platform on the top floor for nicest city panoramas. Here is a good place to chill with a drink.
04 SCENIC SQUARE
北3条広場 / N3W4 / 24hrs / www.kita3jo-plaza.jp
Opposite the main gate of the old government office, Kita-Sanjo Plaza was completed in 2014 and paved red bricks made in Ebetsu. It is the birthplace of Sapporo’s first woodblock paved road completed in 1924. In the next year, Ginko trees were planted along the road. These trees are Hokkaido’s oldest roadside trees.
05 HISTORIC BUILDING
Old Hokkaido Government Office Building
北海道庁旧本庁舎 / N3W6 Chuo-ku / Front garden 7am-9pm / FREE / www.akarenga-h.jp
Sapporo’s largest Western-style architecture built in 1888, this American neo-baroque red brick building (also called Akarenga) was designed by Japanese railway engineer Hirai Seijiro who have studied in the United States. About 2.5 million red bricks are used this building. There are about a thousand trees stand in the front garden (open from 7am until 9pm). This building may be closed for repairs until 2023.
北菓楼札幌本館 / 1-2 N1S5 / 10am-6pm, to 5pm cafe / www.kitakaro.com
Housed in the Old Hokkaido Prefectural Library (built in 1926), this sweet shop offers tasty cream puffs, ice cream and seafood okaki snacks. Take-away is available. On the 2nd floor there is a pleasant cafeteria with 6000 books.
SAPPORO STATION AREA MAP
01 Sapporo Station
02 JR Tower Square
↓ Sapporo Stellar Place 6th floor
03 JR Tower Observation Deck T 38
↓ 5min walk
04 Kita-Sanjo Plaza
↓ 1min walk
05 Old Hokkaido Government Office Building
↓ 4min walk
06 Kitakaro (Old Hokkaido Prefectural Library)
↓ 3min walk
Odori Park (Seion-hi Monument)
GETTING THERE & AROUND
JR Sapporo Station (tickets 5.30am-midnight) is the hub for JR Hokkaido’s train services. The frequent rapid train Airport runs between New Chitose Airport and Sapporo (37min / ¥1150). Reservation seat fee is ¥530.
Chuo Bus and Hokuto Kotsu operates frequent bus to Sapporo Station south gate in front of the Cathay Pacific office (80min / ¥1100).