Hokkaido Spring Travel Guide

8 Best Things to do in Sapporo in Spring

With varieties of sakura around, spring is in full swing on the Honshu island of Japan. On the other hand, in the Hokkaido region, cherry blossoms are expected to be opened in late April, and early May would be a perfect time to enjoy hanami picnicking.

This year in Sapporo, it may come earlier than the average blooming time. I can’t wait to see them. It’s a great time to start making plans!

Pink sakura, Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Sapporo is a must-see place in Hokkaido. Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region, Sapporo offers year round recreational activities for all visitors. Spring atmosphere here is as charming as Tokyo. Although Sapporo may not be a famous place to see sakura in Japan, it still has other mind-blowing activities that you would love to experience.

If you are going to go to explore Sapporo this spring season, this post will help you what to do and what things to experience during the period of your stay in the city.

What does make you feel like you are immersed in nature? To find the answer, you must keep reading. Read this page to find out top cherry blossom viewing spots in Hokkaido.

1) Sakura Viewing

Cherry blossoms in Maruyama Park. Photo Credit: Kentaro Ohno at Flickr.

Cherry blossom (sakura) is the symbol of spring season in Japan. According to the annual Japan cherry blossom forecast, sakura start blooming around late April in Sapporo. That being said, make sure you arrive in the city at the right time.

Where to go to see sakura in Sapporo? If you are looking for places to enjoy your hanami, head to Maruyama Park, Nakajima Park, Moerenuma Park, Hiraoka Park, and Former Hokkaido Government Office Building. These are my recommendations.

Here you can find out more about these beautiful hanami spots of downtown Sapporo. Please note Hiraoka Park itself hosts a plum blossom festival in early May. Don’t miss out!

Odori Park does have some cherry trees including colorful flower beds consisting of tulips, pansies, and other spring blossoms to overwhelm you.

Tourists can also visit some of Otaru’s top cherry blossom viewing spots, such as Temiyu Park, and Otaru Park. It’s a half an hour train ride from Sapporo station to Otaru station by rapid train.

Besides, walking along the Otaru canal is very appealing in the springtime. This small harbor city makes a great day trip for visitors coming from Sapporo.

2) Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park – Flower Paradise

Beautiful tulips. Photo Credit: Takino Suzuran Hillside Park.

This is one of the most beautiful parks in Sapporo where you would like to visit throughout the year, especially in the spring if you like to see flowers of different kinds.

Make note it’s the only national government park in the Hokkaido region. Many people think that the park is quite awesome to play in the snow during the winter months. Indeed it’s!

Tons of Tulips can be seen in the spring on its spacious grounds. To make things more interesting, you should try to walk into every corner of the park.

That will help you exploring it thoroughly and leaving you speechless with its variety of spring flower blossoms. If you are looking to do a pleasant walk while gazing at colorful flower fields around, this one’s for you.

Be always proud of yourself when you are in this stunning park.

3) Sapporo Lilac Festival

Lilac in Odori Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: HokkaidoExperience.com.

When spring arrives, every garden and park in Sapporo looks spectacular. A lot of flowers bloom and the locals like to go out to see flowers including hanami picnicking under cherry blossoms.

One of the highly valued spring flowers in the city is lilac. In fact, lilac tree has been designated as the tree of Sapporo city.

With variety of events, such as outdoor tea ceremony, music festival, exhibitions, Sapporo lilac festival is must-see spring event in Sapporo city.

While exploring the city’s top destinations, you should mange some time to admire the beautiful blossoms of the 400 lilac trees found within Odori Park. Every year, the festival takes place in mid May.

Alongside visiting Odori Park, you can also make your way to Kawashimo Park. There you will see hundreds of lilac trees and enjoy cheerful events.

4) Night View of Sapporo from Mount Moiwa

Night view of Sapporo from Mt. Moiwa. Photo Credit: 札幌もいわ山ロープウェイ.

Mount Moiwa is known for viewing spectacular night views of downtown Sapporo. It’s also considered to be one of Japan’s three most beautiful city night views. How cool is that!

Besides, many people prefer visiting it to watch the sunset from the designated observation deck, located on the top of the mountain. You should experience the both – watching the sunset and enjoying the night views.

Use the Mount Moiwa Ropeway and then mini cable car to reach its summit. After watching the sunset, don’t think of leaving the area, stay there and wait for the perfect time when the city lights up in dazzling color. It’s amazing just how marvelous the night view could be from the observation deck.

According to many, going to Mount Moiwa is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s worth visiting, no doubt about that.

If you are looking for an alternative, think of Mt. Okura Observatory then. Asahiyama Memorial Park is a good option too.

5) Spring Skiing in Sapporo – Late Season Skiing

What a view! Photo Credit: Sapporo Teine.

Want to have some fun in the snow? Skiing in Sapporo during spring is possible and it’s quite enjoying as well.

Most of the ski resorts in Hokkaido operate their business till early May. Here, late ski season brings fewer crowds to the ski resorts, but yet there is still a huge amount of snow to enjoy skiing and snowboarding.

If you are looking to a family-friendly ski trip during the early spring months in Sapporo, then visit Sapporo Teine or Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort.

These two popular ski resorts of Sapporo offer visitors a list of fun outdoor winter activities including ski rental services, and snow school to learn ski lessons from experts.

Have you missed visiting Hokkaido this year winter season? I’m asking this for some visitors, especially who come from South East Asia and tropical areas. I think seeing snow would be a hilarious experience for you in the spring.

6) Cycling in Moerenuma Park

Some cherry trees in Moerenuma Park, Sapporo. Photo Credit: MOERENUMA PARK.

This park is huge! It would be hard for you to roam around the park on foot, so why don’t you rent a bicycle? That’s the easiest way to get around the park and enjoy its scenic vistas.

Designed by Isamu Noguchi, Moerenuma is a must-visit park for outdoor lovers. It provides enough space that makes you to cycle around it quite comfortably.

In spring, you can see beautiful cherry blossoms. On the other hand, picking under the blossoms would make your trip memorable.

In addition, you can see a large fountain, glass pyramid (hidamari), Mt. Moere, Tetra Mound, sculptures and so on. Among these climbing to Mt. Moere is fun, and if you want to experience the panoramic view of the entire park, you must climb it.

7) Hoheikyo Onsen

Hokeikyo Onsen’s open-air bath. Photo Credit: Sapporo Tourist Association

You are always able to partake in a wide variety of activities in Sapporo during spring. Spending few hours in a hot spring bath would be a great idea and worth the time. Onsens are more enjoyable in cooling weather.

Except the summer months, most of the time it’s cold out there. That means in the spring you would still feel the cold though there’s no chance of seeing snowfall.

You can visit Hoheikyo Onsen and see what it could offer you. It’s easy to access to from downtown Sapporo (one hour bus ride from Sapporo Station).

With its nice both open-air and indoor baths, Hoheikyo has been a great place to visit and experience its natural hot springs.

During winter, the place becomes magical with pile of snow around. To many, the beautiful surroundings in winter often look very appealing.

An onsen bath is arguably one of the best ways to immerse into Japanese culture. So what do you think? Don’t you want to pay a visit to Hoheikyo?

8) Susukino Sapporo and Ramen Alley (Ramen Yokocho)

A bowl of hot ramen, Susukino. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Susukino is a neighborhood, located in Sapporo city. It’s a red-light district consists of many restaurants, bars, night clubs, shopping stores, karaoke shops and so on. By taking a walk in the neighborhood, you feel like you are in Kabukicho, Tokyo.

Sapporo in winter brings a lot of snow, and the best way to stay warm is to have a bowl of ramen. That’s what most people think of. It’s springtime, and yet it’s cold out there.

Having bowls of delicious ramen of different kinds including miso ramen in Susukino’s Ramen Yokocho (Ramen Alley) is exceptionally worthwhile. Each ramen shop in the alley has its own specialty.

If you are fond of spicy ramen, choose the one that fits your desire. Please note eating ramen is said one of the best things to do in Hokkaido.

Whether you spend time walking around the neighborhood or eating Hokkaido’s delicious foods at the restaurants, always make sure that it inspires you to keep exploring a wide range of other activities.

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