I have temporarily booked accommodation in Sapporo and flights from Osaka to Sapporo on February 5th, back on 12th. We mainly intended to see the snow festivals in Sapporo and Otaru, also the Ainu center in Shiraoi, but since we pay for the flights we were thinking to stay longer and see more. How long should we stay in Sapporo for the snow festivals in the area? What other places could we visit to make the best of this trip? One option could be to do a bus day trip to Niseko (not for skiing, but just for fresh air, play in the snow, beautiful mountain landscapes etc), but I am not really sure that it's worth going there if we don't ski.
We would prefer to remain based in Sapporo and make day trips, but would also consider spending a few nights elsewhere, if it is advantageous to do so. For a few days I can still alter the travel plans and even shorthen the trip if needed, so I would appreciate the advice of Hokkaido/Sapporo experts.
Many thanks to all in advance!