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one week during Sapporo snow festival

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one week during Sapporo snow festival

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!

Sapporo, Japan
Destination Expert
for Sapporo, Hokkaido
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69 reviews
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1. Re: one week during Sapporo snow festival

Hi there (and welcome!)

Very good to have got flights and accommodation booked.

here are some ideas:

1) Sapporo Odori Park Snow Festival - half a day

(You can also go to Satoland site in the northern suburbs)

2) Susukino Ice Fesival in Sapporo - night time, 2 hours.

3) Otaru Gleaming Festival - evening visit after a day trip to Otaru to see old buildings, fish markets, glass making.

4) Asahikawa, zoo and snow festival , 1 day from sapporo by train.

5) Shiraoi Ainu/Noboribetsu Hot springs stay one night.

6) Day trips to either Ishiya Chocolate factory or the Historical Village at Nopporo, or Jozankei hot springs.

7) A ski resort....but if you don't ski, limited interest really, I suggest going to Kokusai Ski area which is about 70 mins from Sapporo, you can take a bus there and have a look for a while and then take the bus down to Jozankei hot spring village and have hot springs and lunch.

hope those ideas help!


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2. Re: one week during Sapporo snow festival

Thank you a lot, Amanda, for replying.

About the winter festivals, I have found that there are organized tours (e.g. by Hawaii travel agents) in February taking their customers to as many as five of them, 3 in Sapporo area and other 2 in Asahikawa and Sounkyou. I am wondering whether once you get to see those in Sapporo/Otaru, are the other ones in Asahikawa and Sounkyou much different and worth to travel so far to see them? Have you seen them all and would recommend us to go see them all? If so, perhaps 1-2 nights should be spent in that area, since in a day trip from Sapporo it would be unlikely to see everything, especially the illuminations... How do you think?

About Noboribetsu, is winter a good time to go there? I mean, does a visit to the Hell valley involve long/difficult trekking in cold weather?

Thank you again for your advice!

Destination Expert
for Fukuoka, Kyushu-Okinawa
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2,942 posts
25 reviews
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3. Re: one week during Sapporo snow festival

The venue has changed to Tsudome from Satoland.


8 min. walk from Toho subway Sakae-machi station.

4. Re: one week during Sapporo snow festival

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