Sapporo At Night, Hokkaido, Japan


Arriving late in the afternoon via the impressive domestic flight service of Japan Airlines from Tokyo, I was so excited to see what the largest city of Hokkaido has to offer.

I don’t want to whimper inside the hotel and call it a night, so I scanned my itinerary for list of places best visited at a rather unique, cold Sapporo night.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

What best way to get acquainted to a new city but to admire it from afar. Together with couples on a date, I boarded the ropeway that will take me to the summit of Mt. Moiwa.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

At the viewing deck, a Bell of Love is place in a middle. For couples the tradition is to step inside and ring it together. If ringing the bell together is not enough to profess how much you love each other, then you can purchase a padlock engraved with your names.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

After a few minutes, I decided to head back down. It was just too cold to stay longer.
From Ropeway Iriguchi stop(closest to Mt. Moiwa), I boarded the same streetcar line and went straight to the center of Sapporo Nightlife- Susukino.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

The neon lights of competing beer advertisements of Sapporo, Asahi and Kirin, and the number of people crossing one street to another is comparable to Shibuya’s intersection at night.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

I can walk endless hours without getting tired and sometimes because of this ability, either I discover something new or I always ended up at the wrong side of town. The Susukino entertainment district is not scary to explore, if you been to Shinjuku’s Kabukicho district then it’s more tame by comparison.

The usual advertisements of girly bars, promoters giving a way free tissue paper and the guys with spike, blond hair and pointed shoes are seen everywhere. Unlike in other countries, walking at Japan’s red light district is still safe and no one will bother you unless you seem to be calling for attention, if you know what I mean.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

A few meters block opposite Susukino entertainment district is Tanukikoji Shopping Street. Usual mix of izakaya, pachinko, souvenir shops and hotels can be found along the long covered street.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

Another way to see the city at night is by heading to JR Tower at JR Sapporo Station. Consider as one of the highest skyscraper in the city, an entrance fee of 700 yen give you access to the T38 Observation deck. It may not be high as the Sky Tree but the elevation is enough to admire the city lights.
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night
sapporo at night

If you ask me, a drink in the bar is not the best way to spend a cold Sapporo night, rather slurping a hot bowl of ramen is the way to go. Hokkaido is considered as one of the top three ramen mecca in Japan and Sapporo has two ramen haven to do just that.

Within the vicinity of Susukino entertainment district, look for a small alleyway known as “Ramen Yokocho”. There are approximate 10 shops, mostly with capacity to serve few people only at a time.
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen

Another option is to head to the ramen theme park called “Sapporo Ramen Republic”, located at the 10th floor of Esta Shopping center at JR Sapporo Station.

What is distinctive about the Sapporo ramen is how it mixed up flavors, a combination of tonkatsu + miso soup for example. On one of the ramen dinner I had,I was given a grated cheese to mix with the soup, I find it quite strange but it turns out to be tasty anyways. I love Sapporo kind of ramen, though my heart belongs to Hakata’s Ippudon.
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen
sapporo ramen

Forgive me for the lack of decent night shots, I’m a creature of daytime photography maybe because of my relationship with analogue film.
First day, first night, I’m already overwhelmed on how interesting Sapporo is.

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30 thoughts on “Sapporo At Night, Hokkaido, Japan

  1. Ohh these pictures make me miss Japanese city life so much! I’ve just been to Sapporo for transfer with train before, but maybe I should visit it on my next trip to Japan =)

  2. It’s amazing how colorful the city is at night. At first looking at some of the scenes it seems confusing and all jumbled, what with the Japanese characters and everything jammed in tight. But as I kept looking I thought, “This is a playful place!” Enjoyed your photos immensely!.

  3. I can’t believe how light & how bright your Japanese cities are at night; South African cities are very quiet and very dark, by comparison. We also don’t have such enormouse neon signs on the city buildings. And of course, in the bush/countryside, its dark-dark-dark : no lights anywhere!

    1. similar to my hometown (manila) where most of the streets are quite dark making it unsafe and scary to walk at night..

  4. hi there! may i ask if it is doable to arrive in narita tokyo, catch a flight for sapporo, get a night tour and enjoy the day after. then go back to tokyo later in the day (day 2). thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Jade, maybe it is possible but you need to check flights availability. Just a suggestion, there is so much to experience on both Sapporo and Tokyo that requires more than an overnight trip, if you can find time maybe better stay concentrate at one city first.

  5. Beautiful pictures and I like your concise descriptions. I will be visiting Sapporo in October. After visiting this site, I am very much looking forward to it.

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