Enjoy Sapporo on a Budget at These 11 Thrifty Spots

Sapporo, the 5th largest city in Japan, is packed with sightseeing destinations that allow travelers on a budget to enjoy themselves without breaking the bank. Sapporo teems with parks and nature that cost nothing to enjoy, along with a number of free or reasonably priced attractions and cheap eats. Read on for our list of things to do with a small budget in Sapporo!

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1. Odori Park


Sapporo's Odori Park stretches around 1.5m from east to west. There are many varieties of flowers planted here including lilacs, so it's a suitable place to rest during your walk throughout the city. Various events are held here throughout the year, including February's Snow Festival and June's Yosakoi Soran Matsuri. It's about a 10 minute walk from Sapporo Station, and right next to Odori Koen Station.

Odori Koen http://www.sapporo-park.or.jp/odori/en/

2. Sapporo Underground Walkways


Sapporo is a city where half the year is spent in snowdrifts. Because of that, there are underground walkways to make moving through the city easier. Sapporo Station, Odori Park, and the Susukino area are connected by underground areas that are 520m long, so you can avoid the snow and squalls. There are art exhibitions and events held there as well, plus you can enjoy window shopping too.

Sapporo Ekimaedoori Machizukuri Kabushikigaisha http://www.sapporoekimae-management.jp

3. Hokkaido University Campus 

3. 北海道大学キャンパス2


Hokkaido University, just a five minute walk from the north exit of Sapporo Station, has a beautiful quad that is open to everyone. The ginkgo and poplar trees are beautiful, and it's a great area for people with limited time who want to take a walk through Sapporo's beauty. You can also try the school cafeteria where you can eat a lot for a reasonable price!

Hokkaido University https://www.global.hokudai.ac.jp/

4. Nakajima Park


In the spring it's full of greenery and cherry blossoms, and in the fall its foliage is stunning. No matter when you visit Nakajima Park, you'll definitely enjoy its beauty. From January to March you can cross-country ski for free on a course of around 1km. The rental area is 5 minutes from Horohirabashi Station, while the rest of the park can be accessed through Nakajima Koen Station.

Nakajima Koen Perfect Guide http://nakajimapark.info/index.html

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5. Moere Numa Park 


This park was designed by the artist and landscape designer Isamu Noguchi with the desire to have sculptures throughout the whole park. All of the park features, including the playground and water fountains, are designed beautifully. It also offers plenty of winter activities. You can take a bus from Kanjodori-Higashi Station to Moere Numa Koen Higashiguchi bus stop. The ride takes about 25 minutes.

Moere Numa Park http://moerenumapark.jp/english/

6. Nijo Ichiba


Nijo Ichiba is known as Sapporo's kitchen, and here you can find shops selling fresh seafood such as crab and scallops as well as fresh vegetables. At the nearby Nonren Yokocho, you can feast on fresh sushi made with those ingredients. Even though it's in the center of the city, because you're in Hokkaido just looking at the incredibly fresh ingredients is enjoyable. The prices are reasonable as well. It's about a 5 minute walk from Odori Station.

1 Chome Minami 3 Johigashi Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido


7. Daimaru Sapporo


You can't enjoy your trip without having delicious food. In the food sales area of the basement in the Daimaru department store, you can find famous Hokkaido products as well as side dishes, sweets, and drinks. Most shops offer samples, so you can find some delicious foods to buy and take back to your hotel. You can also buy a bento and eat it on your journey. It's right by Sapporo Station.

Daimaru Sapporo http://www.daimaru.co.jp.e.md.hp.transer.com/sapporo/index.html

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8. Tour a Brewery


You can tour the breweries of Japan's 3 biggest beer makers, Kirin, Sapporo, and Asahi, here in Sapporo. At the Kirin Brewery by Chitose Airport and Asahi Brewery in the middle of the city, you can try three glasses of beer for free. The Sapporo Beer Museum, 15 minutes from Sapporo Station by bus, is 200 yen per glass. All of these tours also offer soft drinks.

Sapporo Beer Museum  http://www.sapporobeer.jp/brewery/s_museum/

Kirin Beer Hokkaido Chitose Brewery   http://www.kirin.co.jp/entertainment/factory/chitose/

Asahi Beer Hokkaido Brewery   http://www.asahibeer.co.jp/brewery/language/english/

9. Otaru - Historical Architecture


How about taking a day trip from Sapporo to Otaru? Otaru once prospered as a harbor city and was called the heart of Sapporo's economy. If you walk 10 minutes from Otaru Station, you can lose yourself in the historic buildings from Otaru's glory days that line the banks of the Otaru Canal. It's 32 minutes from Sapporo Station on an express train.

Otaru http://otaru.gr.jp/welcome_en/

10. Nikka Whiskey Yoichi Distillery  

663highland/Wikimedia Commons

If you keep going from Otaru, you can head to the Nikka Whiskey Distillery in Yoichi. Built in 1934, just going to see the architecture of the building will be a fulfilling trip. You can try whiskey for free, and people who don't drink can partake in soft drinks. It's about an hour from Sapporo Station, and about 30 minutes from Otaru Station.

Nikka Whiskey Yoichi Distillery http://www.nikka.com/eng/

11. Shin-Chitose Airport


Shin-Chitose Airport isn't just a place to get on an airplane. You can shop, tour a chocolate factory, as well as enjoy various events and exhibitions held there. It's popular with both children and adults. If you check the site you can see what's going on, and arrive early for your flight to enjoy what the airport has to offer. 

Shin-Chitose Airport http://www.new-chitose-airport.jp/en/

Top image: Takashi Images / Shutterstock.com

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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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