Sunday, August 18, 2019

Hokkaido Travel: Sapporo with Children - What to Do and See at Sapporo

Sapporo is the largest city in Hokkaido (Japan). With many places of interest, as well as the network of trains and buses to other parts of Hokkaido, Sapporo is a place where many people would visit when they travel to Hokkaido.

Let us share with you what you can do and see at Sapporo!

Sapporo Clock Tower 時計台

A symbol of Sapporo, Sapporo Clock Tower serves as a museum that displays the building's history. A photo-taking point is at the corner of premise.

Sapporo Clock Tower
Address: North 1, West 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0001
Admission fee: 200 yen for adult, free for children below 19-year-old
Opening hours: 8.45 a.m. - 5.15 p.m. (last entry at 5 p.m.)
How to get there: 10 minutes on foot from JR Sapporo Station Southern entrance, or 5 minutes walk from Odori Station exit number 7

Odori Park 大通公園 

Odori Park is a huge park that spans 1.5 km in the centre of Sapporo city. The park is a vibrant place with different events during different time of the year - Snow Festival in Februray, Sapporo Lilac Festival in May, Yosakoi Soran Festival (a dance event) in June, Beer Festival in July, and so on. Odori Park is also a great place to view the parade of Hokkaido Shrine Festival on 16 June annually.

We relaxed near the fountain and enjoyed a sweet corn. This should be the way how to enjoy the slower pace in Hokkaido!

After I asked for permission to take a photo of the grilled corn, the nice lady at the stall actually asked me to wait a while as she wanted to turn the corns for me to take a nicer photo!

The highlight of the visit to Odori Park for our children was actually the playgound at Nishi 8 and 9 Chome. The Black Slide Manta is not just a slide, it looks like an art piece!

Our children were contented to play at the simple playground with  swings, slides and climbing structures.

Odori Park
Address: Odori Nishi 1-chome ~ Odori Nishi 12-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
How to get there: Take exit 27 from the underground mall connecting between Sapporo to Susukino, or 1 minute walk from Odori Station

Sapporo TV Tower

On the eastern end is Sapporo TV Tower, another iconic place at Sapporo. It offers a great view of Sapporo, and you can see how well the streets are organised.

Sapporo TV Tower
Address: Odori Nishi 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, 060-0042
Admission fee:
Adult 720 yen, senior high school student 600 yen, high school student 400 yen, elementary school student 300 yen, child above 3 years old 100 yen.
If you are also visiting Sapporo Clock Tower, you can purchase combo discount ticket at 800 yen for adult at 19-year-old and above.
Opening hours: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
How to get there: Take exit 27 from the underground mall connecting between Sapporo to Susukino, or 1 minute walk from Odori Station

Former Hokkaido Government Office 北海道道庁旧本庁舎

Former Hokkaido Government Office building has a nickname Akarenga Chosha (Red Brick Building). The architecture is unique, and you can go into the museum to learn more about this history of the building. The best time of the year to visit this place is during autumn when the leaves of Gingko trees lining along the road turn yellow.

We were there in the evening, and the sun was behind the building. So I would suggest that you visit the place in the morning to take nicer photos.

Former Hokkaido Government Office 
Address: North 3, West 6, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, 060-8588
Admission fee: free
Opening hours: 8.45 a.m. - 6 p.m.
How to get there: 7 minutes walk from Sapporo Station South entrance

Sapporo Station and Sapporo Chikagai (Underground Shopping Mall)

Sapporo Station is not just a transport hub. It is also a giant shopping and dining area, comprises of Apia underground shopping mall, Paseo mall, Daimaru departmental store, and ESTA with Bic Camera and Sapporo Ramen Republic. There is also tourist attraction JR Tower Observation Deck T38, which offers great view of Sapporo.

Sapporo Chikagai is a long stretch of shopping street from Odori Station to Susukino area. It consists of Pole Town to the south of Odori Station, and Aurora Town to the east of Odori Station. You can walk from Sapporo Station there via underground connecting road. It is so convenient to do your shopping even during the snowy winter!

Susukino すすきの

A busy shopping and dining district in Sapporo, Susukino is also known as a large entertainment district with vibrant nightlife.

Tanukikoji Shopping Street 狸小路 is 900 m long and is divided into 7 sections. You can find many eateries, souvenir shops and drug stores here.

We spotted an interesting little shrine at 5 Chome.

We also went shopping at 100 yen shop Daiso (Sapporo Chuo) and Business Supermarket near Tanukikoji.

Another famous tourist attraction is Ramen Alley with numerous ramen eateries.

How to get there: Take Sapporo Subway to Susukino Station on Namboku Line.

Hokkaido Shrine (Hokkaido Jingu) 北海道神宮

We visited Hokkaido Shrine on the last day of Hokkaido Shrine Festival that is held from 14 to 16 June annually.

Read our experience at Hokkaido Shrine in this post!

Hokkaido Shrine
Address: Miyagaoka 474, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Opening hours: Summer season 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., Winter season 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission fee: Free
How to get there: Take Sapporo Subway to Maruyama Koen on Tozai Line. Walk towards Maruyama Park.

Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park 国営滝野すずらん丘陵公園

The highlight of the trip to our children was to visit the huge playground at Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park! And we visited there twice during our trip!

Read our experience at Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park in this post!

Do check out whether the park is opened from their website, because in July 2019, it was closed for almost a month due to appearance of bear.

Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park
Address: 〒005-0862 札幌市南区滝野247番地
Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in winter, 5 p.m. in spring and fall, 6 p.m. in summer

Admission fee:
One day pass - 420 yen for adult 15-year-old and above, free for children, 210 yen for seniors 65-year-old and above
Two-day pass (to be used for two consecutive days) - 500 yen for adult 15-year-old and above, free for children, 250 yen for seniors 65-year-old and above
Admission is free in winter (end December to March)

How to get there:
Take Sapporo Subway to Makomanai Station on Namboku Line, then take bus 106 and alight at the last stop. Take note that the bus frequency is only once every hour, so check the bus timetable here first.
6 car parks are available, with parking fee of 410 yen per entry.

Shiroi Koibito Park 白い恋人パーク

Shiroi Koibito is a famous cookies from Hokkaido. At Shiroikoibito Park is the factory, there are photo-taking spots at the garden, and you can sign up the factory tour to take a look at th eproduction line!

We visited this place during our honeymoon trip N years ago, but did not visit there during this trip as the interior of the building was undergoing renewal. It was re-opened in July 2019.

Shiroi Koibito Park 
Address: 11-36 Miyanosawa 2-jo 2-chome, Nishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Admission fee: free at the garden and some parts of the interior, fee applies for Premium or Standard Factory Tours, as well as Baking Courses
How to get there: Take subway to Miyanosawa Station on Tozai line, then walk about 7 minutes.

Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and Nijo Market

Both Sapporo Central Wholesale Market and Nijo Market offer a variety of fresh food and dried goods. There are also eateries that offer wide range of seafood. It was a pity that we did not have time to explore these two markets.

Sapporo Central Wholesale Market is larger than Nijo Market, but it is located further away from the city centre.

Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
Address: 2-3 North 11, West 21, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0011, Japan
How to get there: From Soen Station (JR) or Nijuyonken Station (Subway Tozai line), walk a few minutes

Nijo Market
Address: Minami 3-jo, Higashi 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido Japan
How to get there: Odori Station

How to Get Around Sapporo

It is convenient to get around Sapporo by Sapporo Subway and Sapporo Streetcar (See route maps here).

Check out our post Hokkaido Travel: 10 Tips for Planning Tips #5 on Money-saving for taking public transport in Sapporo.

We explored the places mentioned above by Sapporo Subway. In order to maximise savings, you can plan your visit to different parts of Sapporo, or to the further part of Sapporo on weekend, and purchase Donichika Ticket (One-day Subway Pass for Weekends and Holidays) - adult 520 yen, child 260 yen.

Our Hokkaido Summer Itinerary
Day 1: New Chitose Airport, Sapporo Clock Tower, Odori Park, Hokkaido Government Office
Day 2: Takino Suzuran Hillside National Government Park, Susukino
Day 3: Hokkaido Shrine, Otaru
Day 4: Asahiyama Zoo
Day 5: Furano - Farm Tomita, Tomita Melon House
Day 6: Biei - Blue Pond, Shirahige Waterfall, Shikisai no Oka , Shinei-no-oka Observatory Park, Ken and Mary Tree, Seven Stars Tree, Parent and Child Trees, Hokusei-no-oka Observatory Park  
Day 7: similar to Day 2 haha!

Our Hokkaido Travelogue June 2019

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