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Largest City

Sapporo TV Tower

An iconic landmark in the middle of the city

By James Rogers

The Sapporo TV Tower was built by architect Tachu Naito. He is known for designing five iconic towers across Japan: Nagoya’s Mirai Tower (1954), Tsutenkaku (1956), Sapporo TV Tower (1957), Beppu Tower (1957), and Tokyo Tower (1958). Three of these five are registered cultural properties by the Japanese government.

Sapporo TV Tower Background

Sapporo TV Tower

Photo by: iStock/winhorse Ground view of the tower during the daytime.

Just like Tsutenkaku’s iconic Hitachi illuminated sign, Sapporo TV Tower has its own charm point: four gigantic LED clocks on each of the tower’s sides, with the brand “Panasonic” written in huge letters below them. The first clock was installed in 1961 and had Panasonic’s previous name (National) below it until 2006. At night, the clock shines brightly, and the entire tower is also illuminated with orange accent lighting.

The tower has served as a tourist attraction since it stopped transmitting TV signals in 1965 when the antenna was moved to a mountaintop better to serve the then-rapid expansion of households desiring TV service. This fact may seem surprising, but, in fact, it was only in the 1960s that most families were finally able to acquire the coveted “three C’s”: a car, a cooler (air conditioner) and a color TV.

Sapporo TV Tower Highlights

The Sapporo TV Tower at night

Photo by: James Rogers The tower’s orange illumination

One exceptional feature of the tower is the fact that you can rent out the entire observation deck. After the 90-meter-high deck closes, you can have the whole deck to yourself for 30 minutes for  ¥20,000. This unique option makes it the perfect place to propose to your loved one, host a birthday party or any other special event. The tower will even be lit up in the color of your choice.

This is a famous tourist spot in Japan, so of course, there’s a mascot. Actually, there’s a whole family of them. The tower’s family included TV Dad, Mom, Grandma, Grandpa, Taro and Hanako. If you are lucky, you may even be able to meet TV Dad walking around the tower outside. For a fee of  ¥30,000, you can even book an event with him and for school trips, he can be booked for free to wave goodbye to students after they leave.

Yearly Events

Sapporo TV Tower

Photo by: iStock/ blanscape The tower at night.

Note that there are no restaurants or places to eat on the observation deck. However, there are a number of dining options underground below the tower. The tower can be visited any time of the year, but it does get quite cold in winter. You may even want to consider visiting from June to October when the emergency stairs are open for the “Staircase Climb.” For  ¥800, visitors can challenge themselves to walk up the stairs to the observation deck. The climb usually takes around 45 minutes.

Things To Know


Entrance fee to the tower: Adults: ¥2,000, University Students/Seniors: ¥1,600, High School Students: ¥1,200, Elementary School Students: ¥700

The tower is open from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. (last entry to the observation deck is at 9:50 P.M.)

The tower does not have parking, so please use a nearby paid parking lot.

How To Get There


By train

From JR New Chitose Airport station to JR Sapporo station (around 37 minutes)

By bus

From JR New Chitose Airport Shuttle Bus to JR Sapporo station (around 1 hour and 20 minutes)

By car

From Hokkaido Expressway New Chitose Airport IC to Sasson Expressway Sapporo North IC (30 minutes). The tower is then a 15-minute drive from there.

Where To Stay

Tokyu Stay Sapporo
  • 1-13-4 Minami 1-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0061 Japan
  • ¥13,984 - ¥21,100
  • 4.47/5 (436 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo
  • 1 Minami 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0062 Japan
  • ¥11,050 - ¥18,000
  • 4.32/5 (2,036 reviews)
  • 0.3 km
Bespoke Hotel Sapporo
  • 1-7-9 Minami 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0062 Japan
  • ¥14,350 - ¥25,700
  • 4.3/5 (337 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
Hotel Monterey Edelhof Sapporo
  • 1 Kita 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0002 Japan
  • ¥12,800 - ¥110,600
  • 4.3/5 (4,257 reviews)
  • 0.4 km
JR Inn Sapporo N2
  • 2-8-1 Kita 2-Jo Nishi (1-19-Chome), Sapporo-shi Chuo-ku, Hokkaido, 060-0002 Japan
  • ¥15,000 - ¥20,000
  • 4.4/5 (520 reviews)
  • 0.4 km

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