2016 Hokkaido Winter Holiday - Day 1 in Sapporo

Click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7day 8day 9 trip report

Getting here and around

There are a few ways you can travel from Chitose airport to Sapporo downtown. You can also take train from CTS airport to Sapporo JR station. We choose to take Chuo airport bus as it's the easiest option and no transfer is needed (especially with luggage) though it take slightly longer to travel. Board any of the bus bound for Sapporo City Center 札幌中央 at bus berth number 14 and 22 if you are arriving from domestic terminal and bus berth number 65 if you are coming from international terminal. We purchased the bus ticket from ticket machine beside airport bus counter. We stayed at Mercure Sapporo Hotel and the nearest bus stop was Minami-Sanjo-Susukino-eki 3 条すすきの駅 and bus fare was 1030 yen. Click here to see airport terminal floor map.

I saw Mitsui Outlet on the way to Sapporo city. Tour groups from Singapore will usually drop by this outlet before leaving to Singapore. You can take airport bus to visit this mall if you are interested.

What to see

Sapporo is just like another Tokyo. Most of the first timers will visit Sapporo clock tower, TV tower, Sapporo beer museum + Sapporo Beer Garden and etc. I didn't manage to visit these few attractions due to the heavy snow fall in Sapporo, also it gets dark in Sapporo at about 4pm.

If weather is good, you can visit Sapporo Botanic garden and Hokkaido University. Odori park is also another beautiful park to visit, Xmas market is held in this park every December.

It's our first day in Hokkaido, we just want to take it easy. So we only managed to visit Tanuki Koji 狸小路 and stroll around Susukino at night. Susukino is a famous red light district in Japan. The district is congested with restaurants, bars, cafes and adult entertainments. 

There are 7 blocks of shopping streets in this arcade, from 狸小路1丁目 to 7丁目. It's probably the best place to shop in Sapporo. It's a nice place to hang out when it's snowing. A lot of drug stores, cosmetic, souvenirs and duty free shops can be found be here. Don Quijote is one of the famous store there, 24 hours.

Tanuki Koji shopping arcade (street 1) is just opposite Nijo fish market. We wanted to visit Nijo fish market initially but decided to skip it and visit curb market the next day. 

What to eat

You won't starve in Sapporo, there are a lot lot lot lot of good restaurants here. You can find fresh seafood bowl at Nijo fish market, delicious ramen at ramen street ganso yokocho, sumptuous crab meal at Kani Honke or Kani ya, Mongolian style BBQ lamb at Daruma. Curry lover, you may want to try this Suage+ S oup Curry which you can't find it any other place.  

Our flight from Tokyo to Sapporo was delayed due to heavy snow storm in Sapporo. We ended up arrived Sapporo at 5pm (supposed to reach at 1pm). We were very hungry and we headed to Kani Honke for early dinner as soon as we dropped our luggage in hotel.

I did not order this big whole crab. I ordered set meal instead. 

Kani Honke is a famous crab restaurant in Sapporo among tourists. We went for the outlet at Susukino. Every guest will get to dine in private room. If you don't eat crab, do not visit this restaurant. It is literally all crab dishes, crab porridge, crab sashimi, grilled crab, fried crab cake and etc. Crab lover should pay a visit to this restaurant.

We ordered kinnomai set at 13,500 yen which comes with 10 different dishes. It's more than enough for 2. 

Grilled king crab leg.  

Crab sashimi

Crab tempura

Boiled crab

Crab porridge which my man loves it so much. 

Shortly after strolling in Tanuki Koji, it's time for supper. Hahahah. Coming to Sapporo is all about FOOD. Soup curry is something which you can only find it in Hokkaido. It is very famous among local, we saw a long line when we were there at 9pm. 

We queued for about 30 minutes for 2 bowls of soup curry. A bowl with Hokkaido fried chicken and another bowl with mixed vegetables, both were ordered with spiciness level 4 more spicy. Soup curry is not the usual thick gravy kind, it is more of a soup than curry. I thought it would be rich in flavor but it taste like curry flavor Maggie Mee instead. I'm not a fan of this and it is overrated. 

Soup Curry Suage+ menu.

Here is my Hokkaido trip video 

Interested to visit Hokkaido? Check out my itinerary and click here to read day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7day 8day 9 trip reportTop 10 food must not miss in Hokkaido.

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  1. Thanks for the nice blog and for sharing your travel experiences!

    Can i ask which month did you go Hokkaido? Woud you advise going Hokkaido in end mar/early apr if we want to see snow (falling snow or fallen snow)?

    1. Hi I visited Hokkaido in December 2016. End march early April sound a little late for the snow. I'm not too sure, you might want to google.

  2. hi, do you have the information for the the remaining days of ur trip? thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi I have been busy since I came back from Hokkaido. I will try to upload as much trip reports for the remaining days. Thank you!

  3. Hi Iva,
    Hokkaido trip you traveled by driving or using public transport over there?

  4. Hi Iva,

    Do you drive or using public transport to travel around in Hokkaido?

    1. Hi, I took public (JR train and bus) when I was in Hokkaido. Transport information mentioned in my itinerary - http://whenshetravelstheworld.blogspot.sg/2016/01/2016-winter-holiday-9d8n-hokkaido.html

  5. Hi dear.. May I know what camera u used for this trip? The photos captured were so nice :)

    1. Hi thanks for the kind words. I'm using Nikon D800.

  6. Hi,
    May i know what camera are you using?