Everyone loves playing in the snow in Sapporo, including children, adults, and tourists!
November 29, 2015
The yearly snowfall in Sapporo totals six meters, so people are very used to snow. The children living in Hokkaido love to play in the snow! No special equipment is needed; you can immediately start sledding or having snowball fights even at neighborhood parks on school routes. You can also rent equipment at major parks and ski resorts in the City of Sapporo; this is recommended for visitors to Sapporo, since you can enjoy playing in the snow without having to bring anything with you. Make sure to take a moment to look carefully at the snow on your gloves and jacket—you may be able to see beautiful crystals of snow! Snow can get inside your clothing and make it wet, so we recommend wearing warm clothing, shoes, and gloves. Make sure that nobody gets injured, too!
Throw yourself into the soft snow of Hokkaido and look up at the sky
When walking around Sapporo in the winter, you may see human-shaped impressions where lots of snow has piled up. These are proof that people enjoy the snow with their whole bodies—they throw themselves into the soft snow in the middle of nature and look at the sky, experiencing the falling snow, blue sky, and sounds made by the snow. . . You’ll definitely find scenery that lingers in your memories of traveling in Hokkaido this way. However, don’t forget to wear waterproof clothing!
Have fun building snowmen with your friends or children
People in Japan make small snowmen by rolling two snowballs. You can build a snowman about the size of a child by finding a place where snow has piled up, and rolling two balls in the snow to make them bigger. It takes some strength to put the head on top, so it’s a good idea to work together with your family members or friends. Have fun using rocks, tree branches, or other objects to add your own unique touches!
People from Hokkaido love snowball fights
Snowball fights involve making snowballs by hand and throwing them at other people. Hokkaido residents love this game, so much that there are even full-scale winter sports events dedicated to snowball fights. It’s a good idea to make sure no one else is around before playing. Also, don’t forget that even snowballs can cause injuries if they’re packed too tight.
Walk across the surface of the snow on cross-country skis
and experience the natural world of Sapporo.
Cross-country skiing allows you to enjoy walking across the surface of the snow. Gear rentals are available, so you don’t have to bring anything. You can enjoy cross-country skiing at any level—even for beginners—while experiencing the natural world of Sapporo, including trees and animals, at many major parks. Nakajima Park is located in the central part of Sapporo. There, you can ski on pure-white, snowy courses and enjoy the natural scenery that will make you forget you’re in the middle of a city.
Snowshoeing provides the excitement of being the first person
to step onto a field of snow.
Snowshoes were developed to make it easy for hunters to walk atop the snow when they go hunting in the winter. People in Japan have long used a type of snowshoe called “kanjiki.” If you attach snowshoes to your boots, you can walk atop the snow without sinking in, allowing you to experience the excitement of being the first person to step onto a pure-white field of snow. Snowshoes can be rented at several parks in the city. At the Sapporo Art Park Outdoor Museum, you can view outdoor sculptures covered with snow—an entirely different type of scenery from the summer.
All you need to enjoy sledding is a plastic bag
You can purchase plastic sleds at stores in the City of Sapporo, but you don’t have to—try sledding on snowy hills at parks and other locations by sitting on plastic shopping bags or large garbage bags of the kind sold at convenience stores! Facilities that offer sledding also rent out plastic sleds and doughnut-shaped tubes. At some facilities you can also try “snow rafting” in which a tube is pulled atop the snow behind a snowmobile, which is a fast, thrilling experience that both kids and adults can enjoy!
Facilities in Sapporo where you can enjoy playing in the snow
|Open||Early January to Early March, 2016 10:00 – 15:00|
|Types of play||Tube sledding, cross-country skiing, banana boats, etc. * Some fees apply|
|Takino Suzuran Hillside Park Snow World|
|Open||December 23, 2015 to March 31, 2016 9:00 – 16:00|
|Types of play||Tube sledding, cross-country skiing (six courses for beginning to advanced skiers), snowshoeing etc. * Some fees apply|
|Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill|
|Open||Early January to Early March, 2016 10:00 – 15:00|
|Types of play||Tube sledding, cross-country skiing, snow rafting, etc. * Admission to the observation hill is required|
|Open||January 5 to March 6, 2016 10:00 – 16:00|
|Types of play||Cross-country skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, boot rental is available * Fees apply|
|Maeda Forest Park|
|Open||January 5 to Early March, 2016 10:00 – 16:00|
|Types of play||Cross-country skiing, sledding, snow rafting, etc. * Fees apply|
|Historical Village of Hokkaido|
|Open||December, 2015 to March, 2016 9:00 – 16:30|
|Types of play||Snowshoeing, old-fashioned sledding and skiing, snow shoveling|
|Sapporo Art Park|
|Open||Early January to Mid March, 2016 9:45 – 15:30 (admission closes at 3:00 p.m.)|
|Types of play||Snowshoeing, boot rental is available|
|Open||Early January to Early March , 2016 10:00 – 16:00|
|Types of play||Cross-country skiing|
|Sapporo Snow Festival|
|Open||Odori Park: February 5 – 11, 2016 Community Dome Tsudome:February 5 – 18, 2016|
|Types of play||Odori Park: Cross-country skiing (Nishi 11-chome, Odori Park) Community Dome Tsudome: Tube sledding, snow rafting * Some fees apply|
You can also play in the snow at ski resorts.
Even tourists can take a day trip to ski resorts in Sapporo city and enjoy themselves
* Please confirm when the facilities are closed, etc. in advance.