Sapporo’s most famous park across the city center, Odori Park (大通公園: meaning ‘large street’) was developed as a firebreak in 1871. This 1.5km-long pleasant oasis is planted with trees and colorful flowers. Locals enjoying a picnic on the lawns with snacks and drinks from food stands on a comfortable day.
Fountains are lit up until 9pm and fields of flower beds bloom from late April to late October. Sapporo’s major events and festivals are held in this park throughout the year.
Sapporo TV Tower
(さっぽろテレビ塔) The 147m-high Sapporo TV Tower, located at the eastern end of Odori Park, is reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. It was designed by Naito Tachu (designer of Tokyo Tower) and built in 1957. At the observation deck (at 90m) offers an urben view, especially early evening. It is connected to exit 27 of Odori subway station.
More info www.tv-tower.co.jp
Black Slide Mantra
Situated between West 8 and West 9 in Odori Park (on the former city road), this granite sculpture was designed by Isamu Noguchi.
Sapporo City Museum
(札幌市資料館) If you walk to the western end of Odori Park, take a break at this 1926 old Sapporo Court of Appeals building using local freestones. The exhibition contains a history of Odori Park, restored courtroom, permanent gallery of local cartoonist Oba Hiroshi (1921-1988) and resting room overlooking the park.
It is a 2-minute walk from Nishi-juitchome Station (exit 1) on the Tozai subway line. Note that the building will be renovation after 2020 Sapporo International Art Festival.
More info www.s-shiryokan.jp
What to Eat & Drink
From late April to early October, open-air stands sell cook up toukibi (corn: from ¥300) and jagabata (steamed potatoes with butter: ¥300) from farms in Hokkaido at the fountain side in West 3. Highly recommended to eat on the pleasant grass on a sunny day!
More info twitter.com/toukibi_wagon
Events & Festivals
Sapporo Snow Festival
(Yuki-matsuri: さっぽろ雪まつり) One of the world’s biggest winter festivals with over two million people in eight days of early February. A number of elaborate snow sculptures, such as anime characters and Asian buildings, lined up in Odori Park. They are lit up at evening by 10pm.
More info www.snowfes.com
Sapporo Summer Festival
(さっぽろ夏まつり) The main event of the Summer Festival is crowded open-air beer gardens (noon-9pm) serves draft beer, jingisukan and snacks. A bit pricy and noisy, but it is popular with both tourists and citizens. You can join the Hokkai Bon-odori (Hokkaido’s traditional folk dance) at evening from 14 to 20 August (6-9pm).
More info sapporo-natsu.com
Sapporo Autumn Fest
(さっぽろオータムフェスト) Sapporo’s autumn festival serving Hokkaido’s gotochi gourmet (local cuisines) from seafood to creative dishes, there are also beer stands and bars.
More info www.sapporo-autumnfest.jp
Sapporo White illumination
(さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション) Countless colorful illumination shines with snow light in Odori Park and in front of the old government office. It is as worth seeing same as the snow festival today. Close to the TV Tower, overseas handmade crafts that fill the venue. You can taste mulled wine, sausage and roasted almond at the Christmas Market.
More info white-illumination.jp
Odori Park is a 10-minute walk south of Sapporo Station along Sapporo-ekimae-dori or Chikaho underground walkway (5.45am-0.30am). The underground shopping mall Pole Town connects Odori Park with Susukino via Tanuki-koji, as well as Bus Center-mae Station.
Nishi-juichome Station (Odori West 11), one stop west of Odori on the Tozai subway line, is the nearest station of Sapporo City Museum.
More info www.sapporo-park.or.jp/odori