Japan Hokkaido

Sapporo

Capital city of Japan's northernmost main island, renowned for its annual snow festival, beer, and ramen; a gateway to nearby ski resorts.

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NYE is a wonderful time to visit Japan, and one of the very rare occasions where the whole country shuns modernism for the day to revert back to ancient traditions. Soaked in culture and spiritualism, ‘shogatsu’ in Japan is mostly about family-time, mochi rice cakes, toshikoshi noodles, shrine visits, purification rituals, lion dance parades, medicinal sake (don’t mind if I do), and a host of other fascinating practices, many involving the ‘firsts’ of the year. The best part about celebrating an epic New Year’s Eve in Japan is that visitors are more than welcome to partake in all the ceremonies, adding a cultural infusion to your visit that you simply couldn’t experience at any other time of year. The Land of the Rising Sun places a lot of emphasis on the first sunrise of the year, and the first shrine visit of the year, both said to purify, enlighten, and bring good luck. As such, there’s a host of options for bringing in the New Year and, even more importantly, the first sunrise in Japan. Sapporo is particularly precious, as it’s home to one of the country’s most revered shrines, Hokkaido Shrine, which attracts upwards of 800,000 faithful followers in the first two days of the new year. Here, you can join the crowds for a deeply spiritual shrine visit, head up to the observation deck of Mt. Moiwa to catch the first sun (hatsuhinode), or see the first rays hit the slopes on the Teine Ski Resort, before taking hatsusuberi, the first ski of the year. Freezing temps notwithstanding, NYE in Sapporo is a truly unique and fascinating experience for culture-vultures (and one of our favorite things to do in Japan).

laurastraveltales 2 years ago

When: To be Determined 2022 Every February, Sapporo hosts Japan’s most popular winter festival, the Sapporo Snow Festival, attracting two million visitors each year. Similar to the Harbin festival, the ice sculptures are the main event here with towering, illuminated castles and statues as tall as 15 meters to admire. Have a go on the snow slides and get lost in the snow maze for some chilly activities. What makes the Sapporo festival particularly cozy, however, are the amazing food and drink stalls lining the three festival sites: Odori Site, Susukino Site, and the TsuDome Site, plus the live music that adds to the fun and festive atmosphere. If you’re seeking a super cozy way to snow this winter season, this the Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the best things to do in Japan.

booksandbao 2 years ago

In the North of Japan, Sapporo gets its fair share of snow. Hokkaido is a special place in that it has some of the best culinary experiences in all of Japan. Nothing is cozier than being underneath the kotatsu table or enjoying traditional Japanese hot pot. As someone who had the chance to live in Tokyo for five years, I always felt so blessed in the rare instances of snow in the winter time. To be able to have consistent snow throughout the season is a dream for someone who is filled with joy every morning I wake up to see the glistening and magical weather.

madeleineray 3 years ago

Sapporo Guides

Sapporo Articles

  • Best Winter Festivals Around the World 2023-2024

    Can’t afford a steamy tropical vacation this winter? No worries. Bundle up embrace the cold with these super cozy (and family-friendly) winter festivals found around the world. Some of the best winter vacation spots are hiding right in plain sight: explore majestic ice sculptures in China, watch twinkling lights in the Netherlands, compete in winter […]

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  • The Best Cities To Ring in New Year’s Eve 2023

    There’s no denying that some cities around the world have a thing for NYE. Usually, a sensational backdrop and tons of fireworks do the trick, but there’s more to it than that. The best cities to celebrate NYE in style offer that little something extra, be it the brightest fireworks display, the most unusual traditions, […]

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