404 Not Found

404 Not Found

Home> Destinations> Asia> Sapporo> Overview


Updated: 2014-06-27 / (wtcf.travel)





City Introduction

As the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, Sapporo is the fifth-largest city in Japan by population, and also one of Japan’s ordinance-designated cities. Since Sapporo is the location of Hokkaido government (Docho Kyuhonchosya) and Ishikari Sub-prefecture, it has become the administrative center of Hokkaido.





History and Culture

Sapporo was first used by Meiji government as the official name in 1868, which was for the defense as well as the further administration of developing Hokkaido. In 1950, the first Sapporo Snow Festival was held. In 1971, Sapporo Municipal Subway system was inaugurated. In 1972, Sapporo hosted the 11th Winter Olympics. In 2001, the construction of Sapporo Dome was completed, and in 2002 the Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Sapporo is one of Japan’s famous tourist attractions. Skiing and spa activities are loved by people in winter. Each February, Sapporo Snow Festival opens. Every May, Sapporo Lilac Festival is held. Summer is a great time for people to taste Sapporo’s beer.





Natural Environment

Sapporo is located in the alluvial fan of Toyohira River on Ishikari Plain. The western and southern parts of Sapporo are occupied by a number of mountains including Mount Teine, Maruyama, and Mount Moiwa as well as a lot of rivers including Ishikari River and Toyohira River.






Sapporo has a temperate climate. Its annual average temperature is 8.2°C, and the highest and the lowest temperature is 31.9°C and -14.4°C respectively. Although Sapporo is a typical northern city, it has four distinctive seasons. In Spring, you can see beautiful views of lilac and lily blooming in Odori Park. In summer, you can enjoy the fresh green around Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill under the blue sky. In autumn, you can stroll through the golden gingko boulevard in Hokkaido University. In winter, you can merge yourself into the white world of Sapporo International Ski Place. In the coldest January to February, it is not that cold as imagined. With the temperature of about -3°C, this time period is suitable for people to hold various celebrations, enjoy skiing and tour Sapporo.





Useful Information

Best months for tourism: December, January, February

1. From March 1, 2007, passengers who depart from or transfer in Japan or South Korea are restricted to carry liquid items. Liquid, gelatinizer and liquefied gas are limited to bring into cabins.

2. From November 20, 2007, foreigners who apply for entering Japan must use special equipment to provide fingerprints and facial photographs when receiving entry review, and must be interviewed by entry review officers.

3. Items can be brought into Japan free of duty:

1) Three bottles of wine; 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of cut tobacco or a total of 250 grams of tobacco products; 3 ounces of perfume; other items with a total overseas market price less than 200,000 yen.

2). You can bring the following items into Japan free of duty: Three bottles of wine; 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of cut tobacco or a total of 250 grams of tobacco products; 3 ounces of perfume; other items with a total overseas market price less than 200,000 yen.

3). You can bring the following items to China free of duty: Ten copies or 3 sets of paper publications; 20 pieces or 3 sets of audiovisual products; 400 cigarettes or 100 cigars or 500 grams of cut tobacco; 2 bottles of wine (not exceeding 1.5 liters).

4). Both Chinese and Japanese customs prohibit or restrict the exit and entry of fruits, fresh food, homemade meat products, rice, pets, counterfeit goods, pirated CDS, pornographic publications etc. carried by individuals.

Information of Embassy and Consulate

Address: 5-1, Nishi 23-Chome, Minam 13-JO, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo

Zip code: 064-0913

Office hours: 9:30-12:00, Monday to Friday (except China’s and Japan’s holidays)

Tel: 011-563-5563

Fax: 011-563-1818

Emergency tel: 090-5076-6279





Visa Information

1. Chinese citizens who want to travel to Japan need to apply through China’s travel agencies permitted by Japan’s embassy or consulates general in China. If individual visas are applied for, the number of participants will not be limited, and the period of stay will be 15 days. Visa formalities can be conducted by designated travel agencies, so participants do not need to directly handle and receive visas.

2. Areas of jurisdiction of the embassy and consulates general

(1) Embassy of Japan in China (Beijing): All areas except the following regions;

(2) Consulate-General of Japan in Shanghai: Shanghai, Zhejiang Province, Jiangsu Province, Anhui Province, Jiangxi Province;

(3) Consulate-General of Japan in Guangzhou: Guangdong Province, Fujian Province, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Hainan Province;

(4) Consulate-General of Japan in Chongqing: Chongqing, Sichuan Province, Guizhou Province, Yunnan Province;

(5) Consulate-General of Japan in Shenyang: Liaoning Province (Dalian excluded), Jilin Province, Helongjiang Province;

(6) Consular Office of Japan in Dalin: Dalian;

(7) Consulate-General of Japan in Qingdao: Shandong Province.

3. Materials for applying for a travel visa to Japan:

1) Five-year private use passport valid for more than six months (with signature at “Bearer’s Signature” on the passport’s last page, which can be signed by guardians for school-age children).

The old passport also shall be provided when a new one is used.

2). Two copies of tourist visa application form (one copy should be filled by the applicant, and the other should be signed for use if necessary. The signature below the form must be consistent with that on the passport, which is very important!)

3). Two 2-inch bareheaded full-faced color photos with white background;

4) Copy of Identity Card (both sides);

5) Copy of household register (with the first page and your page);

6) Employment statement (with the letterhead of your company. See the third item in FAQs for format requirements); Students should provide a copy of student card, and the emeritus and retired people provide a copy of retirement certificate;

7) Copy of business license;

8) At least 50,000 yuan of cash deposit per person (which is paid according to the specific circumstances of guests, and returned to the guests after they come back to China);

9) Evidence of assets (including copy of house ownership certificate, copy of car license, original copy of the certificate of your deposit more than 50,000 yuan, copy of fixed deposit receipt). Please consult relevant designated agents on specific issues.





Currency Exchange

Yen is the official currency of Japan. Its Japanese writing is 円, and its symbol is ¥.

Yen coins come in 1 yen, 5 yen, 50 yen, 100 yen and 500 yen denominations. Bills come in 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen denominations.

Currency exchange can be handled at banks or shops in Japan where there is the sign Authorized Money Changer. Many international airports also have exchange points. Before transaction, verify the exchange rate and whether there are service fees.

1. It is better to change for Japanese yen in local banks before arrival. Exchange at Japanese airports and banks is not more favorable than in your own country. Do not forget to bring your passport or relevant personal identity documents when you are in urgent need of currency exchange. You also can carry some American dollars because it is more convenient to exchange yen with American dollars than other currencies.

2. It is inconvenient to use large-denomination yen in some situations, e.g. 5,000 or 10,000 yen bills are not accepted on bus. It is suggested that you change for some small-denomination yen in advance.

3. Daily consumption in Japan is of relatively large denominations, usually more than 100 yen. If you have small-denomination money, you’d better use them up in Japan. A small amount of yen brought back to China does not have high value after being changed back. Moreover, coins of too small denominations cannot be changed, thus causing unnecessary waste. You certainly do not need to consider this if you want to collect coins.

4. When leaving Japan at airport, you must declare to customs if you carry cash or checks equivalent to or more than 1 million yen.





Tourism Service Number

Japan’s country code: 0081

Area code: 011

Alarm call: 110

Fire alarm call: 119

Japan National Tourism Organization hotline: 03-3201-3331






1. In Japan, do not forget to take off shoes when entering rooms. In some places, you may need to change slippers twice. Ask the store if there is something you do not know.

2. You do not need to tip waiters in Japan. Because the tip has been included in the total amount, you do not need to tip them again.

3. In Japan, toilets in hotels and public places are mostly equipped with “warm water wash toilet seat”. This device is used to wash people’s buttocks before they use toilet paper after relieving themselves. You can refer to instructions which are usually near the toilet. If you do not understand after reading the instructions, you’d better not press the button randomly so as to avoid the spraying of water from unexpected places.

4. To maintain the natural beauty, streetscape and facilities of Hokkaido, please do not throw garbage carelessly. Littering randomly is strictly prohibited! Please throw garbage into trash cans. Trash cans are roughly divided into “burnable garbage”, “non-burnable garbage”, “zip-top can”, “glass bottle” and “plastic bottle” (there are other classification methods). Please follow instructions to throw garbage. In addition, trash cans are not set everywhere. Please try not to produce garbage on your trip.

5. Smoking is prohibited basically in various public places and on vehicles. When you want to smoke, you need to go to smoking areas where air fresher and ashtray are set specially. Smoking while walking as well as littering cigarette butts randomly is prohibited. In addition, “Smoking Ordinance” must be complied with in downtown Sapporo. People who violate the ordinance will be fined.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Sapporo White Illumination Festival

Time: Late November to early February next year

Sapporo White Illumination Festival is a large festival of lights. Three main sites are Odori Park, Sapporo Station Street, and South 1-jyo Street.

Sapporo Snow Festival

Time: Early to mid February

Sapporo Snow Festival and China’s Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival, Canada’s Quebec Winter Carnival, Norway’s Oslo Holmenkollen Ski Festival are four largest winter festivals around the world. As the most spectacular winter event in Sapporo, this Snow Festival is held in Odori Park, Susukino, and Tsudome simultaneously. In addition to numerous ice sculptures displayed, Some small-scale activities also attract the participation of residents and visitors.

Sapporo Lilac Festival

Time: Late May

This is the first festival in Sapporo each year which does not involve snowscape. Streets around Odori Park are full of lilac. Activities during the Festival include music festival, tea ceremony and the distribution of lilac plants. Yosakoi Soran Festival Time: Early June Yosakoi Soran is the ballad in Hokkaido. This event highlights the handmade costumes and choreographed dances by participating teams. The main site is Nishi 8-Chome, Odori Park.

Toyohira Fireworks Festival

Time: Late July to early August

Toyohira Fireworks Festival lasts two or three nights. From the south bridge (South Bridge 9) on Toyohira River, thousands of rounds of fireworks are sent up to the dark summer sky, looking very bright and spectacular.

Sapporo Summer Festival

Time: Mid July to mid August

Sapporo Summer Festival includes Sapporo Odori Beer Garden, Hokkai Bon-odori, Sapporo Flea Fair and other celebrations. Gathering a number of famous beer stalls, this Festival also can be regarded as Sapporo beer festival.

Sapporo City Jazz

Time: Mid July to mid August

This city Jazz carnival held in Odori Park includes live music performance, music camp, workshops and other activities, aiming to promote jazz music through various programs. It attracts many jazz enthusiasts every year.

Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo

Time: July 5 to July 31

Pacific Music Festival is held in Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara which is located in Nakajima Park, Chuo-ku. Each year, publicity banners are hung in Sapporo to welcome the arrival of the annual music festival. Throughout July, people can enjoy concerts, recitals and other programs by world-famous musicians.

Asahiyama Music Festival

Time: July 18

This music festival held in Asahiyama Memorial Park includes solos of jazz and opera, solos by tenors and sopranos, saxophone, electronic piano playing, and performance by famous singers. Asahiyama Music Festival features the full participation of residents, presenting a unique music festival with the background of Toyohira Fireworks Festival.

Susukino Festival

Time: Early August

At the annual Susukino Festival, stalls selling a variety of festival food are indispensable, which extend to the streets where parades pass by. Moreover, there is geisha parade representing traditional Japanese culture.

Sapporo Autumn Festival

Time: Mid-September

The event continues till early October. At that time, Sapporo will bring together a variety of special local products from all parts of Hokkaido. This festival is generally held in Odori Park.


I want to comment

Login Create an account
Comments posted above represent reader's views only.
404 Not Found

404 Not Found