Hokkaido Itinerary Spring

3-Day Sapporo Spring Itinerary

A tour of Hokkaido is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There are so many unique attractions and different landscapes you can discover throughout the Hokkaido region.

When you are in Hokkaido, you have got to explore its capital city, Sapporo. And I have to tell you that you will be delighted to see its spring highlights.

Do you want to see cherry blossom in Sapporo? The best time to see cherry blossom in Sapporo is in early May (first week). Sapporo in the spring seems like a city of dreams. The more you travel in the city, the more you discover how many amazing places there are.

Maruyama Park does not only offer visitors to see its cherry blossom, but also colorful tulips.

According to my travel experiences, Sapporo can amaze you with its top cherry blossom viewing (hanami) spots. This is certainly one of the big reasons why you need to visit Sapporo in the spring. Don’t you think so?

I want to share with you a 3-day itinerary of Sapporo; as a result you will be able to see tons of cherry blossom and tulips. Besides, this itinerary also reveals the best shopping areas in the city and foods that you must try.

It will be very easy for you to follow this travel plan if you stay overnight at the following hotels as they can be accessed easily from JR Sapporo Station by foot. They are as follows:

1) Nest Hotel Sapporo Ekimae

2) Sapporo Grand Hotel

3) Hotel Pearl City Sapporo

And you will figure it out why I recommend these hotels as you keep reading this article. Please note that you should always get connected with the internet, especially if this is your very first time visit to Sapporo. Read my review of a pocket wifi and find out my reasons why you need to use the device.

Let’s explore the ways of spending three lovely days in Sapporo.

Sapporo Itinerary – Day 1

Sapporo Clock Tower.

Good morning! At first, have your breakfast, and then get ready to explore some attractions located nearby the hotel.

Take a leisurely walk to the Sapporo Clock Tower. If you are not sure where this place is located, use Google Maps. It’s will be an easy walk, and you would enjoy it as much as I do.

Built in 1878, Sapporo Clock Tower is a small museum, and said to be the oldest standing clock tower in Japan.

Go inside the museum with spending 200 JPY as entrance fee. When you are finished exploring the building, take a walk to Nijo Market. It’s worth visiting the market if you want to see local fish and seafood. You can taste some fresh seafood including king crab, sea urchins, scallops and others.

I love exploring the city on foot, and it’s actually enjoyable. You don’t have to worry about getting lost when you do have a portable wifi device.

Your next destination is Nakajima Park. You don’t need a car to reach the park from the fish market.

Sakura in Nakajima Koen, Sapporo.

It’s very charming to see cherry blossoms during hanami season in the park. This is one of favorite parks in the city where I often pay a visit too.

The park itself is very spacious and the strolling paths inside are truly inspiring.

With a picturesque lake, hundreds of cherry trees, traditional Japanese garden, and benches, giant trees, lawn and open spaces, a lot of tourists and locals alike visit the park to celebrate hanami parties.

Please note a lot of visitors come to this over the weekend.

The giant shidarezakura tree of Nakajima Koen.

There is a giant weeping cherry tree located next to the Japanese garden. When it’s in full bloom, everyone appreciates its beauty and wants to take picture posing in front of it. There, I was asked by a number of tourists “Excuse me, can you take a picture of us.”

Stay in the park as long as you can, and have your lunch there. You can buy the foods from food vendors.

It’s worth exploring the park when you take a leisurely stroll along its walkways. I saw many pigeons there including ravens. They were friendly, and let me took some photos of them!

Besides, there are row boats to rent to spend a lovely time on the lake.

Does not it look pretty?

When it’s time to leave the park, search this “Nakajimakoendori Station” on Google Maps. Reach there and wait for the tram to get on.

Once you hop on the tram, wait to get off at Ropeway Iriguchi Station. Fare is 200 JPY per person.

You will see a free shuttle bus there waiting for tourists to take to the lower station of the Mount Moiwa Ropeway. Take the bus, and if you think you don’t want to but want to walk a little, then why not?! On the way to the ropeway station, you will see some pretty gorgeous sakura trees.

An amazing mountain view from the observation deck.

To reach to the Mount Moiwa observation deck, you have to purchase a roundtrip ticket for the ropeway and mini cable car. The price of the ticket is 1700 JPY.

It’s highly recommended for you get there by nightfall as there are mountains to see in the background except the city’s skyscrapers.

Sapporo city’s night view from the observatory of Mt. Moiwa.

They look fabulous from the observation deck. And mind-boggling night view over the city from there is a must thing to do. Please note that during spring it’s cold and windy, so you are suggested to bring warm clothes (jacket or sweater) including hand gloves.

Any idea where to go to eat your dinner? You can go to Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho, a perfect place to try different sorts of delicious Hokkaido ramen.

Let’s call it a day! Goodnight.

Sapporo Itinerary – Day 2

he Former Hokkaido Government Office Building.

For day two, interesting places to visit in Sapporo are the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building, Maruyama Park, Maruyama Zoo, Hokkaido Shrine, Odori Park, and Sapporo TV Tower.

You will be delighted to see tons sakura including plum blossoms in Maruyama Park.

Before heading towards Maruyama Koen, you should pay a visit to the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. This historic landmark is located not far from the hotels I have recommended above. A 10-minute walk is enough!

Built in 1888 during the Meiji Period, this This Red brick Government building provides visitors a lovely space to walk with family. There are several varieties of Japanese cherry blossoms can be found alongside colorful tulips. In fact tulips that grow there are pretty impressive.

Sakura at Maruyama Koen.

Take the subway to Maruyama Koen Station, and walk for 5 minutes to reach its spacious grounds.

If viewing cherry blossoms is your first priority, then start off your trip by visiting Hokkaido Shrine. There are cherry trees planted along the approach to the shrine.

Sakura and Ume (plum blossom) can be seen together in the park, especially at the plum grove, located next to the approach. Along with seeing variety of plum blossoms, you will see a number of big cherry trees. In my opinion, the park is beautiful everywhere I look.

Plum blossoms (ume) at Maruyama Park.

Next you go to Maruyama Zoo. During the golden week in spring, the zoo becomes full of crowds with children and parents.

It’s impressive to see variety of endangered animals and birds at the zoo, and you will be more impressed when you see the polar beers, wolves, penguins, and Steller’s sea eagles. Monkeys in the cage look awful to me, but for children they bring a lot of excitement, no doubt.

Hokkaido Shrine.

You can take a break here at the zoo. There are stores and restaurants to buy foods from, and if you run out of cash, you can visit the 7-Eleven store, located inside the zoo and withdraw some cash using your international VISA or MasterCard.

You can spend the whole day the visiting the zoo and roaming around the Maruyama park including a leisurely walk into the Maruyama Primeval Forest for a unique travel experience.

Sapporo TV Tower at Odori Park, Sapporo City in Hokkaido.

You will spend your evening in the Odori Park, located right in the city center with flowerbeds, statues, benches, and fountains. Here you also see the Sapporo TV Tower – the symbol of Sapporo city.

Discover another highlight of Sapporo, called Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade. Whether you buy things from there or not, just enjoy your walk along the arcade. If you are not interested in it, explore Sapporo Underground Shopping Mall. Good luck!

Sapporo Itinerary – Day 3

Sapporo ESTA building.

Today you are going to dedicate your time especially for shopping though I would highly recommend you to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum, and Sapporo Beer Garden as they are located very close to each other.

Before you get there, make your way to Sapporo Factory. There is nothing special, but it’s worth visiting to explore the shopping complex and its indoor garden. From here you go to the Sapporo Beer Museum. So take a walk and enjoy walking in this neighborhood.

You can ignore visiting Sapporo Factory, but not the Sapporo Beer Museum as it’s considered a must see attraction for tourists. This is a great place to learn the history of beer in Japan. Don’t leave the museum without tasting some beer.

JR Tower!

There is a perfect place to enjoy your lunch today. Next to the museum, you see a building called Sapporo Beer Garden. It consists of a few restaurants. Order your Jingisukan (Genghis Khan) – a popular local dish made with grilled mutton or lamb, and vegetables.

Please note this is not one and only place to taste Jingisukan in Sapporo, but the city offers a number of other restaurants that are known for serving this delicious local dish.

What to do next?!

You can spend rest of your time time by visiting Sapporo ESTA, Daimaru, JR Tower Sapporo Stellar Palace, and JR Tower Observation Deck.

Sapporo ESTA is a great shopping complex with variety of products. For tax free shopping, you must visit Bic Camera store located in ESTA building. Enjoy shopping there and don’t forget to bring your passport.

Soup Curry is a famous dish originated in Sapporo. Want to try this? Visit Soup Curry Garaku to enjoy your dinner.

That’s it! I hope this suggested itinerary makes your trip easier.

Sapporo is not a big city like Tokyo. 3 Days in Sapporo is enough to see its attractions that become lively in the spring.

If you want to explore the other sightseeing attractions like Moerenuma Park, Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, the Historical Village of Hokkaido including a day trip to Otaru or Jozankei, then stay 2 more days in the city.

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