Japan’s fifth largest city Sapporo takes pride in three things: snow, beer, and festivals. And the best thing is, those three things can be enjoyed separately or simultaneously—a day of guzzling a pint while reveling in the snow festival sounds like a great plan.
Unlike other Japanese cities, Sapporo is not a top-of-mind destination for Filipinos...yet. Discover why it’s considered Japan’s hidden gem when it comes to beer, skiing, and celebrating winter months.
A celebration of snow
Imagine experiencing winter in a city that loves the season so much, it created a festival around it. According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, Sapporo is one of the few metropolises in the world with such heavy snowfall, with an average snowfall of 5.96 meters, thus enabling it to hold festivals with snow statues.
From six high school students who built ice carvings in 1950, the festival has grown to bewitch locals and tourists alike through the years. Tourists can bask in chilly amazement at over 400 ice sculptures (some even life-size) and thrilling ice slides, navigate their way through ice mazes, catch top musical acts on-stage, and cheer for their favorites at the Queen of Ice beauty pageant.
Cultural events for every season
It’s not all snow-covered roads for this city, though. Sapporo has enough year-round excitement to keep everyone entertained.
In the spring (which comes a few months after the rest of the country) visitors can enjoy cherry blossoms in full bloom, without the rest of the tourist crowds. Come summer, the city brims with lavender fields, music festivals, and beach events—best enjoyed with decadent ice cream crafted with world-renowned Hokkaido milk. And for autumn, when nature turns into a beautiful palette of orange and yellow hues, people can indulge in a grand gastronomic feast at the Sapporo Autumn Festival.
Treats for the palate
Sapporo beer fans should drop by Japan’s only Beer Museum to know more about the city’s world-famous eponymous beer brand, as well as other historical beer facts. Love chocolate? Make sure to stop by Royce’s Chocolate World and witness chocolate artisans work their magic. Slurp down a bowl of Hokkaido’s specialty dish, miso butter corn ramen.
Sapporo is a majestic mix of nature and urban living, a timeless display of Japan just a bit different from what the rest of the world is used to. Its lush flower farms filled with vibrant hues, quaint canals, and charming architecture barely over a century old. It’s no wonder many have carefully stepped into this place only find themselves falling deeply in love with the city.
Philippine Airlines now brings passengers coming from the Philippines to Sapporo three times weekly aboard the new Airbus A321 Neo. Tourists can begin and end their storybook vacation with comfortable seats, inflight meals, and the signature heartfelt service courtesy of PAL. Go to www.philippineairlines.com for more information.
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