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Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture

It’s beer o’clock.

Knock back some of the best beer Japan has to offer or simply relax and enjoy Sapporo’s great outdoors. Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s biggest prefecture and northernmost island known for its breathtaking snow and vast wilderness.

Snowboarders, skiers and sports fans of all kinds flock to Sapporo in winter. This autumn, it will host two games during the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Sapporo was chosen as a 2019 RWC host city as it also hosted the 1972 Winter Olympic Games!

Sapporo Dome

Where the magic happens.

Built in 2001, Sapporo Dome hosted the 2017 Asian Winter Games’ opening ceremony and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It has a capacity of about 41,000 and is home to Japan Pro Baseball team the Nippon Ham Fighters.

What to do before or after the Rugby World Cup

Sapporo Beer Museum 

Sapporo Beer Garden in Hokkaido, Japan

Drink up.

Get better acquainted with Sapporo’s local brews. Sample everything from the widely-loved Sapporo Black Label to some that can be only be bought in Hokkaido!

  • Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last entry at 7:30 p.m.) Closed on Mondays
  • Kita-hachijo Dori, 9 Chome Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo - Map

Sapporo Autumn Festival

The Autumn Festival will take place at Odori Park.

While Sapporo is revered for its annual Snow Festival, autumn is the perfect time for a tastebud adventure. You’ll find stalls brimming with delicious food, craft beer and wine at this festival held in Odori Park from Sept. 6 to Sept. 29.

  • Hours: 10 a.m to 8:30 p.m.
  • Nishi 7-chome Dori, Odorinishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo - Map

Susukino 

Susukino district in Sapporo, Hokkaido Japan

Susukino is where the party’s at.

Japan’s biggest entertainment district north of Tokyo with over 4,000 bars and a thriving nightlife scene. It’s the definitive place to grab some drinks with your mates after the game.

  • Sapporo-Ekimae Dori, Minami 4 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo - Map

What to eat

Sapporo Ramen Alley

Get yourself a big bowl of Hokkaido-style ramen, which is made with a miso-based broth, in Sapporo’s infamous ramen alley.

Put on your stretchy pants and explore Sapporo's ramen street.

Put on your stretchy pants and explore Sapporo’s ramen street.

Aji no Karyu

Any shop you choose will deliver mouthwatering noodles, but Aji no Karyu is one of the most famous. They’ve been around since the ‘60s serving up ramen with butter, corn, and even scallops as a topping! If that’s not enough to convince you, Anthony Bourdain once ate here. What are you waiting for?

  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekdays and holidays; until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; until midnight on Sunday
  • 3 Chome, Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo - Map

Sapporo Beer Garden

Sapporo Beer Garden genghis khan lamb

Photo by: Sapporo Beer Garden All you can eat lamb!

Carnivores will love the all-you-can-eat seafood and lamb courses here. Wash it down with the garden’s fantastic selection of draft beers. It’s right next to the Beer Museum, so you can drink em’ down after seeing where they’re made!

  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • 9-2-10, Kita 7 Jo, Higashi-ku, Sapporo - Map

Sightseeing around Hokkaido

Otaru

otaru, hokkaido

Photos don’t even do this place justice!

Otaru is the Venice of northern Japan, just an hour away from Sapporo. This scenic port city with old-fashioned European architecture will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine.

  • 047-0032 Hokkaido, Otaru, Inaho, 2-chome−22 - Map
  • Getting there: From Sapporo Station, take the Hakodate Line to Otaru Station.

Niseko 

Sibazakura garden in Niseko, Hokkaido

Niseko is picturesque in any season, not just winter.

Experience Hokkaido’s abundant wilderness with hiking, rafting, and horseback riding.

  • Chuodori, Niseko, Abuta District, Hokkaido 048-1512, Japan - Map
  • Getting there: Hop on the train at Sapporo Station and take the Hakodate line down to Niseko.

How to get there

From Tokyo

  • Take the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train) to Shin Hakodate Hokuto. From here, transfer to the Hokuto limited express to Sapporo. The journey takes roughly eight hours and is covered by the JR Rail pass. To reach the stadium, get on the Toho Line at Sapporo Station and get off at Fukuzumi Station. From there, it’s a 10-minute walk.

From New Chitose Airport

  • The closest airport is New Chitose Airport from which you can catch a limousine bus directly to Sapporo Dome.