Sapporo
Annual Snow Festival, the best ramen, and more.

The capitol and largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is known for its stunning landscapes and varied seasons. Winter sports lovers will appreciate the region’s light, fluffy snow, which is ideal for skiing.

For a serene retreat without leaving the city limits, pay a visit to Nakajima Park. This centrally located green space includes a museum, an observatory, a tea shop, two creeks, two shrines, and several lawns. Odori, the city’s most famous park, is a beautiful flower and fountain-filled fifteen block stretch of space long considered to be a symbol of Sapporo. In winter months, skiers will want to head to Mt. Teine to find a good mix of advanced and beginner slopes.

Beer aficionados won’t want to miss the opportunity to tour the Sapporo Beer Museum, housed in a beautiful brick building that is registered as one of Hokkaido’s Heritage sites. In addition to its namesake brew, the city hosts the Sapporo Snow Festival each February. The event is best known for its ice sculpture competition, which draws artists from all over the world.