Sapporo City

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Sapporo Japan
Sapporo Japan
There are a few ski resorts near Sapporo
There are a few ski resorts near Sapporo
View from the Sapporo TV Tower
View from the Sapporo TV Tower
Sapporo Snow Festival
Sapporo Snow Festival
Another sculpture of the snow festival
Another sculpture of the snow festival
The Sapporo snow festival is in early February
The Sapporo snow festival is in early February
Tanuki Kōji Shopping Arcade
Tanuki Kōji Shopping Arcade
Sapporo Japan
Sapporo Japan
Sapporo TV Tower
Sapporo TV Tower
Sapporo
Sapporo
Sapporo Beer
Sapporo Beer
The Gateway to Sapporo Skiing
The Gateway to Sapporo Skiing
Sapporo Japan
Sapporo Japan
Sapporo has some good souvenir shopping
Sapporo has some good souvenir shopping
Sapporo has various ski shops
Sapporo has various ski shops
Sapporo Nightlife
Sapporo Nightlife
Hmmmmm.... Pachinko machines
Hmmmmm.... Pachinko machines
Sapporo views
Sapporo views
Sapporo Shops
Sapporo Shops
Sapporo Factory Shopping
Sapporo Factory Shopping

Sapporo City

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Sapporo Japan

Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is one of Japan’s youngest cities. The population has grown from only 7 people in 1857 to now being the 5th largest Japanese city with a population of almost 2 million. As Sapporo is a new city it doesn’t have the traditional Japanese architecture found in many other Japanese cities, however one of the benefits of Sapporo being a new city is that the roads are based on a grid, so it’s really easy for visitors to navigate.

Sapporo was put on the map in 1972 when it hosted the Winter Olympics, the first games to be held outside Western Europe or the USA. During winter Sapporo is now most well known for the Sapporo Snow Festival which attracts more than 2 million visitors each February from around the world. There aren’t many cities in the world that can hold such an amazing snow festival, but Sapporo is a very cold and snowy city with an average annual snowfall of 6.3 metres.

Sapporo Ski Resorts

If it snows that much in downtown Sapporo, you can start to imagine how much it snows up in the nearby mountains!

For many visitors on a Hokkaido skiing holiday, Sapporo is just a gateway or a stopover, but Sapporo in its own right is a worthwhile base for a ski or snowboard holiday. From Sapporo it’s possible to take day trips to various nearby ski resorts.

Main Ski Resorts in Sapporo - Stats
 Ski Area 
Aspect
Top
(m)
 
Base
(m) 
 Vertical
(m)
Runs Lifts  Max
Pitch °
 
 Location
*
 Sapporo Kokusai  E  1,100  630  470  7  4  30  49km W
 Sapporo Teine  N to NE  1,023  340  683  15  10  38  20km NW
 Fu's  NNE  540  260  260  9  3  38  18km SW
 Sapporo Moiwayama  SE  448  173  275  10  5  38  9km SW
 Sapporo Bankei  N  483  200  283  17  6  33  9km SW
* distance relative to Sapporo train station

Sapporo Teine is only 20km northwest of downtown Sapporo, a 45 minute drive. Sapporo Teine is made up of two interconnected ski areas; Teine Olympia and Teine Highland. Teine Olympia is perfect for beginners and kids, whilst Teine Highland has some awesome steep tree skiing.

Sapporo Kokusai is 46km west of Sapporo, a one hour drive. This ski resort boasts a massive 18 metres of powder per season, and whilst the small in-bounds area gets a bit crowded, there are plenty of freshies to be found in the lift accessed backcountry areas.

And if you’re overly keen for a ski in Sapporo you can head to the little Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area (skiers only). The top elevation is only 448 metres and the aspect isn’t ideal when the sun comes out, so it doesn’t usually have the famous Hokkaido powder. Pros are the steep pitch of a couple of the runs and the phenomenal night skiing views of Sapporo.

Fu’s Snow Area is a similar elevation yet it has a better aspect. This is mostly an on-piste ski resort for the locals, but it would be fun on a powder day and there is a small sidecountry area with tight trees where competition for freshies is likely to be low.

See the Sapporo travel page for information on how to get to the Sapporo ski resorts.

Other Ski Resorts Near Sapporo

Snow Cruise Onze is 24km NW of Sapporo and whilst it’s officially in Otaru, some also consider it a Sapporo ski resort. It’s not particularly remarkable for powder hounds and has a top elevation of 308 metres.

Kiroro is a destination ski resort but because it’s only 43km west of Sapporo (70 minute drive), the ski resort is also good for a day trip from Sapporo. Kiroro is a modern resort and it scores full marks from us as a ski resort for powderhounds.

Asari ski resort is near Otaru and is good for a day trip to ride the deserted off-piste and backcountry areas. Asari is at low elevation so it’s good for really windy days when the other ski resorts are a bit nasty.

Tomamu is another modern OTT Japanese ski resort that has good piste runs and some great off-piste riding. Tomamu is only an 80 minute train ride from Sapporo. 

Ski Sapporo

Sapporo is a great base for a ski holiday. The nearby ski resorts receive abundant snowfall and you can revel in all that this big city has to offer: miso ramen; interesting Sapporo shopping; the Sapporo snow festival; various other Sapporo attractions; a really vibrant nightlife that goes for 24 hours; and lots of Sapporo beer.
Tours That May Include Sapporo

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Hokkaido Fix
NISEKO, CENTRAL HOKKAIDO & SAPPORO
9 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided backcountry tour starts in NISEKO & then heads to CENTRAL HOKKAIDO in pursuit of some of the deepest & driest snow on the planet. The tour finishes with a day chasing powder around Sapporo (TEINE & KOKUSAI).
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person) for 9 day trip for 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,002
View Details
 
Daisetsuzan Classic
CENTRAL HOKKAIDO & SAPPORO
6 Nights | 5 Guided Ski Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE private guided backcountry tour starts in CENTRAL HOKKAIDO where you will find some of the deepest & driest snow on the planet. The tour finishes with a day chasing powder around Sapporo (Teine & Kokusai) but ultimately you can design your own trip.
Price p/p From price per person based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 with 1 guide (per person) 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,234
View Details
 
High Earnings
BACKCOUNTRY POWDER CHASING
8 Nights | 7 Guided Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Enter the powder room! Visit some of Hokkaido's most remote locations and best backcountry zones. This trip has a backcountry touring focus on the iconic peaks such as Mt Yotei, Asahidake, Tokachidake & Kurodake.
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share 2024-25 season.
Price per person for a group of 5 with 1 guide for 9 day package. Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,874
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Sapporo here

Cat Skiing Tours

Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours
NISEKO DAY CAT SKIING
Single Day Guided, Inc. Lunch
Ability: Advanced to Expert
A day of awesome guided cat skiing near Niseko in backcountry terrain with some steep lines, technical trees, and pillows and mushrooms. The snowcat skiing is ideal for those craving bottomless untracked powder runs.
Price p/p From price is per person for 24/25 season (min 4 persons required to operate)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese yen in taxes
*display price may vary slightly with fluctuations in currency
USD 608
View Details
 
See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Sapporo here
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