Sapporo — Day 2 of a 4-Day Trip in Japan’s Hokkaido Region
Day 2 was a Sapporo day. We visited the Odori area, Sapporo Beer Market, Mt. Moiwa, and ended the night in Susukino. This was the coldest day during our 4-day trip in Hokkaido. The streets were icy during the early morning and late evening, but were wet and slushy in the early afternoon.
We started Day 2 by visiting the Odori Area (walkable from our Airbnb). Our plan was to visit the Nijo Market, but we had trouble finding it and ended up in Tanukikoji Shopping Street. We stopped at a small shop called Kani King for breakfast and ordered a crab steamed bun and a crab roll.
We walked to Odori Park, Sapporo’s central park where many festivals and events take place. The park spans a few blocks with a total distance of 1.5km.
You can spot the Sapporo TV Tower at the very east end of the park. The tower has an observation deck, but we did not ascend the tower (I assume you can get a pretty good view of Odori Park from the observation deck).
We visited the Sapporo Clock Tower next. This building is one of the few remaining Western-style buildings in Sapporo. It was originally built as a theatrical hall for the Sapporo Agricultural School, now known as Hokkaido University. The building has been converted to a museum telling the history of both the school and Sapporo.
It was just about lunchtime and a google search for soup curry led us to Treasure Soup Curry. Soup Curry originated in Sapporo and is exactly what the name entails — a soup with curry flavours. It is perfect for a cold day! The restaurant may be difficult to find. Keep your eye out for an a-frame sign directing you to the building’s basement. You order by picking your protein, soup-base, spice level and rice size (variations from the normal levels may result in an extra charge). I ordered the lamb in the original soup and a spice level of 4. It was flavourful and delicious.
Treasure Soup Curry
Our next destination was the Chitosetsuru Sake Museum. On the way, we passed back the Nijo Market. We were only a block away in the morning! The seafood was plentiful and looked super fresh. There are a few restaurants in the market as well.
The Chitosetsuru Sake Museum offers a glimpse into sake production. It is about a 20 minute walk from the Odori area and is located in an industrial area. You do not get the chance to see first hand how it is made, but there is a small exhibition and a video to explain the process. The sake tasting is free.
Our next stop was the Sapporo Beer Museum. Sapporo Beer, founded in 1876, is Japan’s oldest beer brand and is known world-wide. The museum is free to enter and recounts the history of Sapporo Beer. There is a tasting room as well, but it was closed due to renovations on the day we visited.
We headed to the Genghis Khan Hall, the restaurant at Sapporo Beer Museum, for dinner. This restaurant is known for their all you can eat ‘jingusukan’ (grilled lamb), also a Hokkaido specialty. The meat was flavourful and we ordered two quarts of the Sapporo Five Star beer, only available at the Sapporo Beer Museum.
Jingusukan and Sapporo Five Star Beer
After dinner, we headed to the Moiwayama Ropeway. The best way to reach Moiwayama Ropeway is by tram from Nishiyonchome Station. The tram drops you off at the Ropeway Iriguchi Station. From there, there are two options to reach the Ropeway entrance — a free shuttle bus which comes every 15 minutes or a 17 minute walk up the hill. At the top of Mt. Moiwa, we relished the panoramic view of Sapporo. It was especially nice during the evening due to the night sky and sparkling city lights. The Moiwayama Ropeway is known for being a popular date spot due to the ‘Bell of Happiness’ and ‘Love Padlocks’ on the observation deck. It has been said that if a couple rings the bell together, they will have happiness. Padlocks are locked to the handrails surrounding the bell. Couples, friends and family believe that by securing the padlock to the handrail and writing their names on the padlock, they will stay together forever.
The observation deck was open and the evening breeze extremely chilling. We descended the mountain and headed to Susukino (Sapporo’s red light district). We were absorbed by Susukino’s bright lights.
We were just about ready to get out of the cold, so we started our 10 minute trek back to the Airbnb. We stopped to pick up custard pudding from Samurai Pudding and enjoyed it back in the warmth of the apartment.
Complete Day 2 Itinerary
Travel times may vary and do not include walking distances to and from train stations. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
8:00am: Enjoy the breakfast buffet. Head to the onsen for a last dip. Head to Noboribetsu Station (10 minute bus from Noboribetsu Hotel Area) and continue to Sapporo Station (train, highway bus, or car).
11:00am: Arrive at Sapporo Station. Drop your bags off at your hotel (or use a locker if you are staying at an Airbnb).
12:00pm: Visit the Sapporo Clock Tower (11 minute walk). Visit Odori Park (4 minute walk) and walk towards Sapporo TV Tower (1 minute walk).
1:00pm: Have soup curry for lunch. Soup Curry Treasure is a walkable distance (4 minute walk).
2:00pm: Wander Nijo Market (3 minute walk) and continue to Chitosetsuru Sake Museum (6 minute walk). Spend time at the museum and sample sake.
3:00pm: Head to the Sapporo Beer Museum (22 minute bus from Kita 3 Johigashi 7-Chome Stop to Kita 6 Johigashi 7-Chome Stop). Enjoy the museum exhibition and visit the tasting room.
5:00pm: Enjoy dinner at the Genghis Khan Hall at the Sapporo Beer Museum (All you can eat or à la carte).
6:00pm: Ascend Mt.Moiwa on the Moiwayama Ropeway (6 minute train from Higashikuyakusho-Mae Station to Odori Station, transfer for a 19 minute tram from Nishiyonchome Station to Ropeway Iriguchi Station). Ride the local Moiwayama Ropeway free shuttle or walk 17 minutes to reach the ropeway entrance. Enjoy the evening view from atop the mountain.
8:00pm: Head to Susukino (Ride the shuttle or walk to Chuo Toshokan Mae, 9 minute tram to Seishugakuen-Mae Station, another 3 minute train from Horohirabashi Station to Susukino Station). Wander Susukino. Grab some custard pudding at Samurai Pudding.
16-Day Japan Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 16-Day Japan Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in Japan!