|City of Sapporo|
View of the Odori Park during the Sapporo Snow Festival from the observation deck of the Sapporo TV Tower
Location of Sapporo in Hokkaido (Ishikari Subprefecture)
|Prefecture||Hokkaido (Ishikari Subprefecture)|
|• Mayor||Fumio Ueda|
|• Total||1,121.12 km2 (432.87 sq mi)|
|Population (June 30, 2013)|
|• Density||1,710/km2 (4,400/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)|
|- Flower||Lily of the Valley|
|- Bird||Common Cuckoo|
|Address||2-1-1 Kita-ichijō-nishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Sapporo (札幌市 Sapporo-shi?) listen (help·info) is the fourth-largest city in Japan by population, and the largest city on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Located in Ishikari Subprefecture, it is the capital of Hokkaido Prefecture, and an ordinance-designated city of Japan.
Sapporo is known outside Japan for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first ever held in Asia, and for the city's annual Yuki Matsuri, internationally referred to as the Sapporo Snow Festival, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to Sapporo Brewery and the famous white chocolate biscuits called shiroi koibito (白い恋人?, "white sweetheart").
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Economy
- 4 Culture and entertainment
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Universities
- 8 Sister cities
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Prior to its establishment, the area occupied by Sapporo (known as the Ishikari Plain) was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. In 1866, at the end of the Edo Period, construction began on a canal through the area, encouraging a number of early settlers to establish Sapporo village. The settlement's name was taken from the Ainu language sat poro pet (サッ・ポロ・ペッ), and can be translated as "dry, great river".
In 1868, the officially recognized year celebrated as the 'birth' of Sapporo, the new Meiji government concluded that the existing administrative center of Hokkaido, which at the time was the port of Hakodate, was in an unsuitable location for defense and further development of the island. As a result it was determined that a new capital on the Ishikari Plain should be established. The plain itself provided an unusually large expanse of flat, well drained land which is relatively uncommon in the otherwise mountainous geography of Hokkaido.
During 1870–1871, Kuroda Kiyotaka, vice-chairman of the Hokkaido Development Commission (Kaitaku-shi) approached the American government for assistance in developing the land. As a result, Horace Capron, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ulysses S. Grant, became an oyatoi gaikokujin and was appointed as a special advisor to the commission. Construction began around Odori Park, which still remains as a green ribbon of recreational land bisecting the central area of the city. The city closely followed the American-style grid plan with streets at right-angles to form city blocks.
The continuing expansion of the Japanese into Hokkaido continued, mainly due to migration from the main island of Honshu immediately to the south, and the prosperity of Hokkaido and particularly its capital grew to the point that the Development Commission was deemed unnecessary and was abolished in 1882.
Edwin Dun (O-yatoi gaikokujin) came to Sapporo to establish sheep and cattle ranches in 1876. He also demonstrated pig raising and the making of butter, cheese, ham and sausage. He married a Japanese woman. He once went back to the States in 1883 but returned to Japan as a secretary of government.
William S. Clark (O-yatoi gaikokujin) who was the president of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts Amherst) came to be the founding vice-president of Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University) for only eight months from 1876 to 1877. He taught academic subjects in science and lectured on the Bible as an "ethics" course, introducing Christian principles to the first entering class of the College.
In 1880, the entire area of Sapporo was renamed as "Sapporo-ku" (Sapporo Ward), and a railroad between Sapporo and Temiya, Otaru was laid. That year the Hōheikan, a hotel and reception facility for visiting officials and dignitaries, was erected adjacent to the Odori Park. It was later moved to Nakajima Park where it remains today. Two years later, with the abolition of the Kaitaku-shi, Hokkaidō was divided into three prefectures: Hakodate, Sapporo, and Nemuro. The name of the urban district in Sapporo remained Sapporo-ku, while the rest of the area in Sapporo-ku was changed to Sapporo-gun. The office building of Sapporo-ku was also located in the urban district.
Sapporo, Hakodate, and Nemuro Prefectures were abolished in 1886, and Hokkaidō government office building, an American-neo-baroque-style structure with red bricks, constructed in 1888. The last squad of the Tonden-hei, the soldiers pioneering Hokkaido, settled in the place where the area of Tonden in Kita-ku, Sapporo is currently located.
Sapporo-ku administered surrounding Sapporo-gun until 1899, when the new district system was announced. After that year, Sapporo-ku was away from the control of Sapporo-gun. The "ku" (district) enforced from 1899 was an autonomy which was a little bigger than towns, and smaller than cities. In Hokkaido at that time, Hakodate-ku and Otaru-ku also existed.
Modern history (20th century)
In 1907, the Tohoku Imperial University was established in Sendai Miyagi Prefecture, and Sapporo Agricultural College was controlled by the University. Parts of neighbouring villages including Sapporo Village, Naebo Village, Kami Shiroishi Village, and districts where Tonden-hei has settled, were integrated into Sapporo-ku in 1910.
The Sapporo Streetcar was opened in 1918, and Hokkaido Imperial University was established in Sapporo-ku, as the fifth Imperial University in Japan. Another railroad operated in Sapporo, the Jōzankei Railroad, which was ultimately abolished in 1969.
In 1922, the new city system was announced by the Tokyo government, and Sapporo-ku was officially transferred to the Sapporo City. The Sapporo Municipal Bus System was started in 1930. In 1937, Sapporo was chosen as the site of 1940 Winter Olympics, but due to the outbreak of Second Sino-Japanese War, this was canceled in the next year. Maruyama Town was integrated into a part of the Chūō-ku in 1940, and the Okadama Airport was constructed in 1942.
During the last days of World War II, on July 14 and 15, 1945, 30 B-29 Superfortress bombers dropped 889 tons of E-46 500 lbs incendiary cluster bombs and 500 lbs T4E4 fragmentation cluster bombs into Sapporo at lunchtime. In the resulting firestorm 190 civilians were killed, 6,788 were injured, 78,000 others remained homeless, and many structures burned for a total of 17.5 percent of the city destroyed as a part of Allied air raids on Hokkaido. The city however, was reconstructed after the war.
The first Sapporo Snow Festival was held in 1950. In the same year, adjacent Shiroishi Village was integrated into Sapporo City, rendered as a part of Shiroishi-ku, and Atsubetsu-ku. In 1955, Kotoni Town, the entire Sapporo Village, and Shinoro Village were merged into Sapporo, becoming a part of the current Chūō-ku, Kita-ku, Higashi-ku, Nishi-ku, and Teine-ku. The expansion of Sapporo continued, with the merger of Toyohira Town in 1961, and Teine Town in 1967, each became as a part of Toyohira-ku, Kiyota-ku, and Teine-ku.
The ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Sapporo and Hokkaido was held in 1968. The Sapporo Municipal Subway system was inaugurated in 1971, which made Sapporo the fourth city in Japan to have a subway system. From February 3 to 13, 1972, the 1972 Winter Olympics were held, the first Winter Olympics held in Asia. On April 1 of the same year, Sapporo was designated as one of the cities designated by government ordinance, and seven wards were established. The last ever public performance by the opera singer, Maria Callas, was in Sapporo at the Hokkaido Koseinenkin Kaikan on 11 November 1974. The Sapporo Municipal Subway was expanded when the Tōzai line started its operation in 1976, and Tōho line was opened in 1988. In 1989, Atsubetsu-ku and Teine-ku were separated from Shiroishi-ku and Nishi-ku. Annual events in Sapporo were started, such as the Pacific Music Festival in 1990, and Yosakoi Sōran Festival in 1992. A professional football club, Consadole Sapporo, was established in 1996. In 1997, Kiyota-ku was separated from Toyohira-ku. In the same year, Hokkaidō Takushoku Bank, a Hokkaido based bank with headquarters in Odori, went bankrupt.
In 2001 the construction of the Sapporo Dome was completed, and in 2002 the Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup; Germany vs Saudi Arabia, Argentina vs England and Italy vs Ecuador, all of which were in the first round. The present mayor of Sapporo, Fumio Ueda, was elected as the mayor for the first time in 2003. Sapporo became the home to a Nippon Professional Baseball team, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, in 2004, which won the 2006 Japan Series, and the victory parade was held on Ekimae-Dōri (a street in front of Sapporo Station) in February 2007.
The 34th G8 summit took place in Tōyako in 2008, and a number of people including anti-globalisation activists and marched in the heart of the city to protest. Police officers were gathered in Sapporo from all over Japan, and the news reported that four people were arrested in the demonstrations. The Hokkaidō Shinkansen line, which is currently under construction to Hakodate through the Seikan Tunnel, is planned to link to Sapporo.
Sapporo is a city located in the southwest part of Ishikari Plain and the alluvial fan of the Toyohira River, a tributary stream of the Ishikari River. Roadways in the urban district are laid to make grid plan road. The western and southern part of Sapporo are occupied by a number of mountains including Mount Teine, Maruyama, and Mount Moiwa, as well as a lot of rivers including the Ishikari River, Toyohira River, and Sōsei River.
Sapporo has many parks, including Odori Park, which is located in the heart of the city and hosts a number of annual events and festivals throughout the year. Moerenuma Park is also one of the largest parks in Sapporo, and was constructed under the plan of Isamu Noguchi, a Japanese-American artist and landscape architect.
Sapporo has a humid continental climate (Koppen Dfa/Dfb), with a wide range of temperature between the summer and winter. Summers are generally warm but not humid, and winters quite cold and snowy. With an average snowfall of 630 cm (248 in), Sapporo is one of the few metropolises in the world with such heavy snowfall, enabling it to hold events and festivals with snow statues and objects. The city's annual average precipitation is around 1,100 mm (43.3 in), and the mean annual temperature is 8.5 °C (47.3 °F).
|Climate data for Sapporo, Japan (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.6
|Average low °C (°F)||−7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||113.6
|Snowfall cm (inches)||173
|Avg. snowy days||28.8||25.4||23.5||6.4||0.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||1.2||13.9||26.5||125.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||92.5||104.0||146.6||176.5||198.4||187.8||164.9||171.0||160.5||152.3||100.0||85.9||1,740.4|
|Atsubetsu-ku (厚別区?) (purple)|
|Chūō-ku (中央区?) (blue) – administrative center|
|Higashi-ku (東区?) (skyblue)|
|Kita-ku (北区?) (orange-red)|
|Kiyota-ku (清田区?) (green)|
|Minami-ku (南区?) (red)|
|Nishi-ku (西区?) (orange)|
|Shiroishi-ku (白石区?) (brown)|
|Teine-ku (手稲区?) (forest green)|
|Toyohira-ku (豊平区?) (pink)|
Color shows the location of each ku in the map above.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2009)|
The tertiary sector dominates Sapporo's industry. Major industries include information technology, retail, and tourism, as Sapporo is a destination for winter sports and events and summer activities due to its cool climate.
The city is also the manufacturing centre of Hokkaido, manufacturing various goods such as food and related products, fabricated metal products, steel, machinery, beverages, and pulp and paper.
Culture and entertainment
Sapporo is one of the popular tourist attractions in Japan and, as of 2006, the annual number of tourists had reached 14,104,000, which was an increase of 5.9% over the previous year (13,323,000 in 2005). 2006 was also the first year for Sapporo when the number of tourists exceeded 14 million.
Sapporo is known as the birthplace of miso ramen, a ramen noodle dish using miso, and Sapporo ramen is also widely known. The Kouraku Ramen Meitengai, an alley lined with many ramen restaurants, was established in 1951 in Susukino district. After its demolition due to plans for the Sapporo Olympics, the Ganso Sapporo Ramen Yokocho was established in the same place. It attracts many tourists throughout the year. From the year 1966, a food company named Sanyo Foods began to sell instant ramen under the brand name "Sapporo Ichiban." In 2001, Sapporo ramen was listed as one of the Hokkaido Heritage along with Asahikawa ramen and Hakodate ramen. On October 1, 2004, the Sapporo Ramen Republic, a theme park focused on ramen, was opened at the 10th floor of Sapporo Esta, a commercial complex in front of Sapporo Station.
Soup curry, a liquid curry with vegetables and chicken, is also one of the specialties in Sapporo. Plenty of soup curry restaurants are in the cities and towns in Hokkaido. Sapporo Sweets, a confectionery using many ingredients from Hokkaido, is popular, and the Sapporo Sweets Competition is held annually.
Entertainment and performing arts
The Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara is the main musical venue in Sapporo, in Nakajima Park in Chuo-ku. It is home to the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, a local professional orchestra organized in 1961: Their regular concerts are held in this hall. The open-air stage in Sapporo Artpark is another music venue. The Pacific Music Festival (PMF), an event started with the idea of Leonard Bernstein in 1990, is held in both places. The Sapporo Artpark, in Minami-ku, contains public arts, an art museum, and the old house of Takeo Arishima. Other art museums in Sapporo include the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, the Sapporo Museum of Sculpture, and the Migishi Kotaro Museum of Art, Hokkaido. The Hokkaido Museum of Literature, located in Nakajima Park, has hosted many exhibitions, seminars, and other educational activities. The Sapporo Convention Center is in Shiroishi-ku: forums and events are held there. The Sapporo Salmon Museum, within Makomanai Park in Minami-ku, mainly displays materials related to the ecology of salmon. The Sunpiazza Aquarium is close to the Sapporo Science Center in Atsubetsu.
Points of interest
Many historical buildings, as well as shopping malls and parks, are in Sapporo and draw many tourists. Historic landmarks include the former Hokkaidō government office building, the Sapporo Clock Tower, the Hokkaidō Shrine (Hokkaidō Jingū), and the Sapporo TV Tower. The Sapporo Factory was a former brewery of the Sapporo Brewery and is currently a huge shopping mall with many restaurants, offices, and multiplex movie theatres. Another former brewery is the Sapporo Beer Museum, which is currently a part of the Sapporo Garden Park, and houses the Sapporo Beer Gardens (サッポロビール園 Sapporo Bīru En?). The Sapporo City Archive Museum, the Edwin Dun Memorial Hall, and some old buildings in the Hokkaido University are historically important in Sapporo. Each was listed in the Registered Tangible Cultural Properties of Japan.
There are two art museums in Sapporo. The Miyanomori Art Museum has the largest collection of Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Asia and Oceania. The museum collection includes artist works from Lucio Fontana, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, Lee Ufan, Guillaume Bottazzi, and Kumi Sugai. The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art represents Hokkaido artists like Eien Iwahashi, Kinjiro Kida, Nissho Kanda, Tamako Kataoka, and especially glass objects of Ecole de Paris.
The Sapporo JR Tower, a complex building with the Tower 38 and department store, is adjacent to Sapporo Station. Being close to the main station, the Sapporo JR Tower has been visited by many tourists. The number of visitors to Tower 38, the tower with an observation deck, was 311,815 in 2006. The Sapporo TV Tower, at the eastern end of the Odori Park, is one of more modern structures and has an observation deck showing the entire Odori Park and Sapporo City. Susukino is a district having the main nightlife scene. Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, Norubesa (a building with a huge Ferris wheel)are in this district as well as many restaurants, nightclubs, bars, and adult entertainment. The district also has the Tanuki Kōji Shopping Arcade, the oldest shopping mall in the city. In Minami-ku, the district of Jōzankei is a site that has many hotels with steam baths and hot springs with many visitors.
Sapporo offers many parks and gardens. Odori Park houses buildings, such as the Sapporo TV Tower, and hosts many events including Yosakoi Soran Festival, Sapporo Lilac Festival, Sapporo White Illumination, and the Sapporo Snow Festival. In Nakajima Park, there are landmarks including Hōheikan, an old hotel building moved from Odori Park, and the Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara. Maruyama Park is located next to the Hokkaido Shrine and houses the Maruyama Zoo. The Moerenuma Park is in Higashi-ku and houses many open-air art compositions including the Glass Pyramid, planned by Isamu Noguchi. The Chizaki Rose Garden provides roses, and the Hokkaido University Botanical Gardens has many types of plants and historically important buildings. The Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill has a farm with sheep and attracts visitors with a statue of William S. Clark.
Each February, the Sapporo Snow Festival is held. The main site is the Odori Park, and other sites include Susukino (known as the Susukino Ice Festival) and the Sapporo Satoland. Once Makomanai area in Minami-ku was one of the festival sites, but it was abolished and moved to the Satoland site in 2006. Many of the snow and ice statues are built by the armies of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. In 2006, the number of visitors at the Sapporo Snow Festival marked 1,985,000.
Every May, the Sapporo Lilac Festival is held. Lilac was brought to Sapporo in 1889 by an American educator, Sarah Clara Smith. At the festival, people enjoy the flower and wine with concerts.
Every June, the Yosakoi Soran Festival is held. The sites of the festival are centered in the Odori Park and the street leading to Susukino, and there are other festival sites. In the festival, many dance teams dance to their music which are composed based on a Japanese traditional song, "Sōran Bushi." Members of the dancing teams wear special costumes and compete on the roads or stages constructed on the festival sites. In 2006, 350 teams were organized with around 45,000 dancers and over 1,860,000 people visited at the festival.
During the summer, the Sapporo Summer Festival takes place in the heart of the city. People enjoy drinking in the beer gardens constructed in Odori Park and on the streets of Susukino district. This festival consists of a number of fairs such as Tanuki Festival and Susukino Festival as well as the Odori Park site.
From November through January, many citizens enjoy the Sapporo White Illumination.
The Sapporo Dome was constructed in 2001 and currently is the host to the local soccer team, Consadole Sapporo, and the baseball team, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Once Sapporo was selected to be the host of the 5th Winter Olympics scheduled on February 3 to 12, 1940, but Japan had to give the Games back to the IOC, after the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out in 1937.
In 1972, Sapporo hosted the 11th Winter Olympics. Some structures built for Olympic events remain in use today, including the ski jumps at Miyanomori and Okurayama. In 2002, Sapporo hosted three group matches of the FIFA World Cup at the Sapporo Dome.
In 2006, Sapporo hosted some games of the FIBA World Championships. In 2007, Sapporo hosted the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships at the Sapporo Dome, Miyanomori ski jump, Okurayama ski jump, and the Shirahatayama cross country course. It has been host city of two Asian Winter Games and will again in 2017 with Obihiro.
Skiing remains a major sport in Sapporo with almost all children skiing as a part of the school curriculum. Okurayama Elementary School is unusual in having its own ski hill and ski jumping hill on the school grounds. Within the city are commercial ski hills including Moiwayama, Bankeiyama, KobaWorld, Sapporo Teine and Fu's.
Many sports stadiums and domes are located in Sapporo, and some of them have been designated as venues of sports competitions. The Sapporo Community Dome, also known by its nickname "Tsu-Dome", has hosted to the Golden Market, a huge flea market event which is usually held twice in a year, along with some sports events. The Makomanai Ice Arena, in the Makomanai Park, was one of the venues of the Sapporo Olympics in 1972. It was renamed the Makomanai Sekisuiheim Ice Arena in 2007, when Sekisui Chemical Co., Ltd., acquired its naming rights and renamed the arena after their real estate brand. Other large sports venues include the Makomanai Open Stadium, the Tsukisamu Dome, the Maruyama Baseball Stadium, and the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center.
The Toyota Big Air is a major international snowboarding event held annually in Sapporo Dome. As one of the richest events of its kind in the world it draws many of the world's best riders.
Professional sport teams
|Club||Sport||League of Legends||Venue||Established|
|Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters||Baseball||NPB Pacific League||Sapporo Dome||2004|
|Consadole Sapporo||Football (soccer)||J. League Diamond Division 2||Sapporo Atsubetsu Park Stadium,
|Levanga Hokkaido||Basketball||Japan Basketball League||Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center,
- J. League – Consadole Sapporo (J1 in 1998, 2001–2002, 2008, 2012; J2 in 1999–2000, 2003–2007, 2009–2011, 2013–) .
- NPB – Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Pacific League
Sapporo has one streetcar line, three JR Hokkaido lines, three subway lines and JR-bus, Chuo-bus and other bus lines. Sapporo Subway trains have rubber-tyred wheels.
- JR Hokkaido Stations in Sapporo
- Hakodate Line: (Zenibako) – Hoshimi – Hoshioki – Inaho – Teine – Inazumi Kōen – Hassamu – Hassamu Chūō – Kotoni – Sōen – Sapporo – Naebo – Shiroishi – Heiwa – Atsubetsu – Shinrin Kōen – (Ōasa)
- Chitose Line: Heiwa – Shin Sapporo – Kami Nopporo – (Kita-Hiroshima)
- Sasshō Line(Gakuentoshi Line): Sōen – Hachiken – Shinkawa – Shinkotoni – Taihei – Yurigahara – Shinoro – Takuhoku – Ainosato Kyōikudai – Ainosato Kōen – (Ishikari Futomi)
Airport shuttle, tour and charter bus service
An airport shuttle bus servicing all hotels in Sapporo operates every day of the year. Skybus was founded in 2005 and also provides transport to and from various ski resorts throughout Hokkaido, including Niseko.
- Sapporo University
- Hokusei Gakuen University
- Hokkai School of Commerce
- Hokkai Gakuen University
- Fuji Women's University
- Sapporo International University
- Tenshi College
- Health Sciences University of Hokkaido
- Sapporo Ōtani University
- Hokkaido Tokai University
- Hokkaido Musashi Women's Junior College
- Hokkaido Bunkyo University
- Koen Gakuen Women's Junior College
- Hokkaido Institute of Technology
- Portland, Oregon, United States, since 1959
- Munich, Germany, since 1972
- Shenyang, China, since 1980
- Novosibirsk, Russia, since 1990
- Daejeon, South Korea, since 2010
- Adana, Turkey, since 2013
- Sapporo's official English Name
- "Recognition at last for Japan's Ainu ". BBC News. July 6, 2008
- Hometown Homepage – Look back a bit
- New Sapporo History 2nd edition (新札幌市史 第2巻 Shin Sapporo Shishi?)
- New Sapporo History 5th edition (新札幌市史 第5巻 Shin Sapporo Shishi?)
- Sutherland, Robert Maria Callas Diaries of a Friendship London Constable 1999 p265 ISBN 0-09-478790-5
- lawsuit against the bankruptcy of the Takushoku Bank
- CBS News World – July 5, 2008
- Sapporo City Official Homepage – the outline of Sapporo
- (Japanese) 気象庁 | 平年値（年・月ごとの値）
- "気象庁 / 平年値（年・月ごとの値）". Japan Meteorological Agency.
- "会社概要." Hokkaido International Airlines. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- "会社概要." Air Nippon Network. April 6, 2004. Retrieved on May 20, 2009.
- Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.11 (pdf file)
- Ganso Ramen Yokocho, History of Sapporo Ramen
- Sapporo, the sweets republic
- Registered Tangible Cultural Properties in Sapporo
- Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.35 (pdf file)
- Tourism Statistics of Sapporo, 2006, p.29 (pdf file)
- Makomanai Sekisuiheim Ice Arena Homepage
- 札幌市 – 国際交流 – 姉妹都市 (Japanese)
- Sister Cities | International Community Bureau (Japanese)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sapporo.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Sapporo.|
- Official website
- Sapporo travel guide from Wikivoyage
-  Information on living in Sapporo for foreign residents
- Live view of Odori Park from Sapporo TV Tower (Japanese)