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Sapporo

Situated towards the south-west of the island, Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido. A city of over 1.5 million live in a city of wide, grid-like streets - for the traveller a welcome break from the often bewildering road layouts of other Japanese cities. 

While the city itself may not be particularly striking, it has immense charm of its own and is possibly one of Japan’s liveliest. It is also an excellent base for exploring the rest of the island. From here the traveller can head for places like Daisetsuzan and Akan National Parks.

While in Sapporo you should take time to enjoy the city life. It is said to have more nightlife than any other city north of Tokyo. The Susukino district has countless bars, nightclubs and hostess bars. Downtown is Odori-koen (Odori Park)  - a lively, charming boulevard to match any in Japan. During the world-reknowned Snow Festival (February) the boulevard is filled with ice-sculptures (above left) while in summer beer gardens appear all over serving what must be Sapporo’s most famous export.

During daytime you should visit the Botanical Garden and the Batchelor Memorial Museum, the Clocktower -the major landmark of Sapporo - and the Sapporo Brewery, the first in Japan.

Tanuki-koji provides a lively venue for the evening with many restaurants and shops while those wishing to experience Sapporo’s late night offerings would be well advised to visit Susukino, a couple of blocks to the south of Odori-koen where the bars and clubs stay open well into the early hours.

 

 
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