Sapporo in 2 Days – Suggested Itinerary (Hokkaido, Japan)
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Hokkaido! If it’s your first time in Hokkaido, my guess is that you will be transiting in Sapporo for 1 or 2 days. If that’s the case, you are like us! Here’s how we travelled Sapporo in 2 days (one full day and another day is a sum of ‘scattered’ hours). Click those underlined parts to lead you to related posts with more information. ;)
Sapporo in 2 days
We flew from Tokyo into New Chitose Airport by Vanilla Air and ate our first bowl of ramen in Hokkaido – Ebisoba Ichigen for dinner. Then we took a 40minutes JR ride from the airport to Sapporo and checked in at Hotel Keihan Sapporo, about 5 minutes walk from Sapporo JR station. The room is a bit small, but it’s super convenient!
The next day, we had buffet breakfast at the hotel, it’s not the usual American breakfast spread. You can find many Japanese dishes to savour, though they’re in Japanese sizes (aka bite sizes).
After breakfast, we went to the nearby JR office to reserve seats for our Hokkaido Rail Pass journey. I was quite impressed by the size of the station, it’s HUUUGGE. Later, we bought the Donichika Ticket (One-day Unlimited Subway Pass for Weekends and Holidays) from the subway machine. It is value for money because the fare to Shiroi Koibito Park cost quite a bit.
We spent about 3 hours at the park and its surroundings, touring the place and having our morning tea (read: ice cream). Just a quick note, the snow-capped land took our breath away when we were making our way to Shiroi Koibito Park. There were just too many photo taking opportunities! More of such beautiful shots at our experience/review of Shiroi Koibito Park.
After the park, it was almost 2+pm by the time we reached Garaku Curry for lunch. We weren’t expecting a long wait at such a late lunch hour but boy were we wrong! We waited about an hour in the freezing cold!! Even the locals queuing before us were trembling in the cold! But no regrets~ the piping hot dish is delicious! Probably more so because of the cold we were in while queuing. Nevertheless, that’s one dish I will go back for if I ever return.
Thereafter, we went shopping! But it wasn’t fun shopping in the cold..and then warm in the shops. I had to keep putting on and taking off my outer wear. I am speaking of Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade. After reading some online blogs, I wanted to buy boots and winter wear here.
But the pretty ones are over my budget, and the cheap ones just don’t cut it. We didn’t walk away empty handed though. We got ourselves useful lotions and sundries such as horse oil to keep us moisturised in the dry winter for the rest of our trip.
IMO Tanukikoji is generally cheaper than those shops at Aurora and Pole towns (more on them below). This place reminded me of Singapore’s Bugis Village. Although it’s a covered walkway, it is not sealed up and hence the chilly wind still reaches the shoppers here. The whole stretch is divided up by small road junctions.
After shopping at Tanukikoji, we went to Sapporo’s famous underground shopping malls: Aurora Town and Pole Town. Aurora Town runs from Odori Subway Stn to Sapporo TV tower; and Pole Town runs from Odori Subway Stn to Susukino. There were also shops lined up from Sapporo Subway Stn to Odori.
While we were rushing from Odori Stn to Garaku Curry, we walked through Pole Town and had a sneak peek of the underground shops. The underground stretch reminded me of Singapore’s CityLink mall. A variety of shops around, from clothing, to flowers to food and coffee.
It was crowded because it was a weekend. More importantly, it’s warm down here and cold up there. Most people walk from one station to the other to save on the subway fees. It’s expensive! Thank goodness we had the Donichika Ticket to rest our legs on subway. The distances between stations are not very far, but not near, especially with tired legs!
Oh somewhere in the underground mall, I got my first baked cheese tart from Kinotoya Bake! I simply can’t forget the taste of the melting cheese in my mouth. Good that their sister company has opened a shop in Singapore, but it’s with higher pricing and longer queues. So if you are in Hokkaido, you got to try this!
From Tanukikoji, we walked through Pole Town to reach Aurora town on our right. Then we walked through Aurora Town to Sapporo TV Tower. The exit sign along Aurora Town to the Sapporo TV Tower is not very obvious. If I’m not wrong, it should be exit 27.
By the time we exited from the underground, the sky had turned dark (sunlight hours are shorter in winter). So we saw both the Sapporo TV Tower and Clock Tower lighted up in the night.
We went up to the TV Tower, as high as the free admission allows (2nd floor). We didn’t pay the ¥720/pax (~S$9) admission fee to go up to the higher floors because we will be going to Tokyo TV tower for free, and IMO, most of the city views are similar from the top. p.s. If you want to go up the tower in the day and night, there’s a special ticket with a top up of ¥380 (~S$5).
We walked through the Odori Park to find Sapporo Clock Tower. It is not exactly near to the TV tower, but that’s because it’s not a straightforward route and we got a bit lost and confused with the directions. Anyway, Odori Park is the most crowded during Sapporo Snow Festival with their famous large snow sculptures. We could see structural remnants from the winter festival.
Sapporo Clock Tower didn’t blow me away with its architecture design like people said it would. The clock tower looks more like a haunted house to me. I was slightly disappointed, to think I came a long way here while resisting my feet’s weariness and chilly winds.
There was a long queue to enter, and online review for the place was average, with comments of the place being boring with nothing much to see. Hence we decided to take a quick photo and escape from the cold.
We went to Go tsubo for pre-dinner snack. A good place to get fresh grilled oysters and clams, the one place my hubby wants to go back if we ever return to Sapporo. This was near to Susukino (picture above), Sapporo’s red light district. A strategic location to sell oysters.
Dinner time! It’s one subway stop down from Susukino to Kani Donya to eat the famous crabs of Hokkaido! It’s inside Kirin Beer Garden.
Oh! We were planning to visit Sapporo Beer Garden, but our schedule only permits one ‘out of the city center’ attraction. We chose Shiroi Koibito Park over Sapporo Beer Garden. I think it was a good choice, because on hindsight, people go to the beer gardens for the factory tour and ALSO Genghis Khan menu. Kirin beer garden has it too. But I don’t eat lamb and not much of a beer fan, so it didn’t make any sense to go to Sapporo Beer Garden.
After Sapporo, we went to Tomamu, Noboribetsu, Niseko, Otaru and then back to Sapporo late in the night. We stayed for one night in Richmond Hotel Sapporo Ekimae this time. It was cheaper than Hotel Keihan, but the location is not as good. Would choose Keihan over Richmond next time when I am back, especially if I need a place near the JR for transit.
We had the morning before we flew to Tokyo. We walked around Daimaru Food Hall, and did not have time for window shopping at Stellar Center.
They have fruits and vegetables that looked super fresh and delicious! This food hall is ranked the #1 to visit place in Sapporo on Tripadvisor, but it felt… familiar. Like Isetan or any other Japanese supermarket in Singapore.
I was impressed by this ‘cai fan’ store in Japanese style. Looked humongous, neat and pretty. Speaking of which, it reminded me of the Japanese ‘cai fan’ store at Bishan J8 foodcourt. Probably they got the inspiration here but their presentation pales greatly in comparison.
We bought some snack from the food hall for breakfast, but nothing to rave about. Then hubby had his coffee fix at UCC CAFE MERCADO. It was nice, okay. We were also hanging around the food hall for Tadumura Tazumura Tonkatsu on level 8 of Daimaru to open at 11am. We went a bit earlier than 11am in case of queue.
After lunch, we went to New Chitose Airport earlier than the required check in time to shop for food souvenirs. We took too much time and had to rush for the gate! I only wished I had more time at New Chitose Airport, it has many more things to do other than shopping for the souvenirs.
We flew out of Sapporo, Hokkaido to Tokyo by ANA. It was a pleasant flight. :)
What other places will you want to visit in Sapporo? Do tell us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram.
Related Posts: Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016) Pocket Wifi or Prepaid SIM Card in Japan? 5 Food You Must Eat in Sapporo, Hokkaido Top 5 Things to Do in New Chitose Airport Sapporo
Bookmark this page >> Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016) as I update it with links of useful tips and navigation around Japan.
Travelled in February/March 2016
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