Hokkaido's capital, Sapporo, was nothing more than a frontier town 130 years ago, but is now a modern yet charming city with a population of almost two million.
The atmosphere is relaxed in contrast to Tokyo or Osaka, with green parks and tree-lined boulevards lending a laidback feel to a city well known for its annual snow festival and summer beer gardens.
To the east is the mountain of Maruyama Koen, set in a national park. A great view of the city can be enjoyed from its peak - a mere 40-minute climb.
South of the city centre lies a raucous pile of bars and restaurants in Susukino, Sapporo's entertainment centre and the country's biggest hub of nightlife north of Tokyo.
Top itineraries in Sapporo
After experiencing city favourites, watch as summer’s warmth uncovers lavender fields and volcanoes resplendent in green coats as you stay in hot spring getaways
Top places to stay in Sapporo
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