Without any doubt, Odori Park is the heart of Sapporo City. Apart from being the location of the famous Sapporo Snow Festival or any other city festival there is, regardless if you are a first time visitor or a resident, you will find yourself spending quite a lot of time here and I can fully understand why.
True to its Japanese translation (Odori means large street), the park stretches about 1.5km, dissecting the city into north and south section, with the surrounding buildings located in parallel, the park at the center in every measure is a definition of green space in a city.
Beautified with colorful flower beds, autumn-shaded leaves of trees, to the the park benches, artistic statues, fountain decoration and the Sapporo TV Tower at the other end, Odori Park has a romantic appeal offering more that just a reason of the usual stroll at the park.
If you are like me who often find her sleeping habits automatically adjusted to early wakeup time during travels, then an early morning walk at Odori Park is my most recommended time for a visit. The quietness of the city, just when the sky is started to clear out to blue and the park workers are busily tidying up the place is a great way to kick start whatever day trip you plan ahead.
Not to far from the park is the most famous landmark of Sapporo- the Sapporo Clock Tower.
A western inspired building and considered as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Property, the clock still operates and chimes every hour.
Apart from everything touristy about Sapporo, I think what makes the city even more astounding is the effective urban planning- how it ables to maintain the essence of nature that defines the Hokkaido region and at the same time how it tries to emulates the concretes of Tokyo.
For example, on the surface is the pleasant Odori Park while underneath and underground are interconnections of subways, shopping malls and food joints, as if a whole another world and city exists.