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RECOMMENDED PROPERTIES IN SAPPORO

SAPPORO

Sapporo is the capital and largest city of the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan. Being a new city, especially by Japanese standards, means it has little in the way of traditional architecture and the like of cities such as Kyoto. But what it lacks in "Japanese-ness" it makes up for with its lovely open, tree-filled boulevards to enjoy in summer and excellent snow (and facilities to cope with said snow) in the long winter.

Odori Park is Sapporo's most famous park, it is in the center of town and is considered to be a symbol of Sapporo. Although quite narrow (one might argue that it is a nice boulevard), the park is quite long, stretching over fifteen blocks across downtown Sapporo. Filled with (during the summer) numerous flowers, trees, and fountains, Odori Park provides a welcome respite from the maddening crowds of the surrounding city.The Clock Tower has become a symbol of Sapporo, mostly by being the oldest building still standing. It was constructed in 1878 for the Sapporo Agricultural College (now the Hokkaido University) and would not look out of place in "Smalltown U.S.A." The inside has a small retrospective of its history.

A large historical village on the outskirts of Sapporo, Hokkaido Pioneer Village offers a snapshot of Japan in the newly-industrialised age. The front gate (an old railway station) opens up into a series of opens alleys and buildings of the style pre-20th century. Also a variety of different gardens and shrines. 100th anniversary Memorial Park is the site of a giant (and somewhat imposing) tower which can be climbed, providing a good vantage point of Sapporo (though quite some distance from the city center) and surrounding mountains. Moerenuma Park is a popular excursion for Japanese families, this park offers several acres of carefully manicured grass and monumental landscape installations. Highlights include a 5-story glass pyramid and a man-made mountain, from which one can see all of Sapporo.

Sapporo Snow Festival is Sapporo's largest event. The festival is best known for the ice sculpture competition attracting artists from around the world, competing to create the largest and most elaborate artworks from ice and snow. The festival is focused on Odori Koen, in the centre of Sapporo. It consists of a combination of large-scale replicas and artistic sculptures; children-aimed attractions; and a separate section for world-wide competitors (where you can see a wide range of smaller artistic sculptures). The festival should be enjoyed both in the day -- but particularly at night when the sculptures (especially the larger ones) are lit up. Mt. Teine is a ski mountain within easy drive from most of Sapporo. This ski mountain featured in the 1972 Winter Olympics. Offers a good mix of beginner and experienced slopes (in two distinct parks; Highlands and Olympia which have recently been connected).

Sapporo is famous for hairy crab, an expensive treat available at any seafood restaurant, and miso ramen, a more affordable local variation of the ubiquitous noodle dish with miso paste added to the stock. The ramen in particular will warm you up nicely on a chilly winter day. Kuwanomi is a popular mulberry. It is red or black in color and sweet. Preserved kuwanomi can be made into jam, which is a traditional food. In elementary schools, students make kuwanomi jam every year.

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