Hokkaido

8-Day Hokkaido Itinerary: Where to Stay in Sapporo and How to Get Around Sapporo

This is travel info for Sapporo on where to stay in Sapporo and how to get around Sapporo. You may come from:
8-Day Self-Drive Hokkaido Itinerary: Pre-Planning
Day 1 at Noboribetsu
Days 2 and 3 at Lake Toya and Hakodate
Day 4 at Niseko
Day 5 at Otaru

Introduction

You don’t need three days at Sapporo. In fact, 2 days is perfectly fine. There are shockingly few interesting attractions. Do you really need to visit Moerenuma Park (a park?!) or Okurayama Viewing Point to see a ski slope? Didn’t think so. They are, by the way, rated second and fifth top tourist attractions respectively on Tripadvisor. That will give you a gauge on what to expect.

So for this itinerary, most of the things are easily accomplished in two days, and for the third day, it’s outlet mall shopping! Hooray.

Where to Stay in Sapporo 

You should definitely stay between Sapporo JR Station, Sapporo Station (Namboku line and Toho Line), and Odori Station (Namboku lineToho Line, and Tozai Line). These three stations are connected by an underground walkway. It’s most convenient staying near the Sapporo JR Station if you’re carrying your luggage and taking train to and from the airport. But if you are ok transferring trains for the Airport run, then Odori might be most central in terms of location.

We stayed at Hotel MyStay Sapporo Aspen for 3 nights (pictured above). I was unhappy about the way the hotel does things. We booked two rooms online, one smoking room and one non-smoking room. When we were there, they suddenly told us that we had to pay more for the non-smoking room because demand was high.

This is ridiculous.

Firstly, why are non-smokers, who don’t make the room dirty with smoke and ashes and butts, punished for our good habits? It is easier to clean a non-smoking room than a smoking room.

Secondly, if demand was low, would they have reduced the pricing they quoted us online? No. So how could they increase the price when demand was high?

Thirdly, when we booked the rooms online, they should have already informed us, so that if we are unhappy about this policy, we could still scout around for another hotel. By telling us at the reception, we had no choice but to accept the price, which was ¥24500 (S$300) a night for one room at a 3-star hotel.

The hotel itself is quite good. The best thing is the location. It’s 5 to 10 minutes walk from the Sapporo JR Station, or just 3 streets away from the station. The room itself is rather small with a queen sized bed, leaving it barely any room to walk. However, the toilet is of a good size with a bathtub.

How to Get Around in Sapporo

If, like us, you have returned the car at Otaru, you can take public transport (bus and train) which is very convenient. For buses, consult your Google Maps app.

They have an one-day card (¥830 weekday or ¥520 weekend, public holiday) for unlimited rides on the subway only. But if you intend to stay more than one day, there is either the Kitaca or Sapica card. The Kitaca card allows you to take JR trains, subway trains, and buses, but the Sapica card is not accepted on JR trains. You can use the Kitaca card to take JR train to the airport when you leave.

But the station master, who spoke English, told us to get the Sapica card. Not sure why. We took the Sapica card and on the day we left Hokkaido, we refunded the card at Sapporo station and bought JR train tickets to the airport.

Ok, moving onto Days 6 to 8 in Sapporo for the next entry.


You may be interested in…
10 Must-Eat Food in Hokkaido
Matsunomi 松の實, Sapporo Hokkaido: Bib Gourmand Awardee, Famed for Duck Soba, Not a Quack
Michelin Bib Gourmand Ramen in Hokkaido: Ippontei 一本亭 at Lake Toya and Ramen Shingetsu ラーメン 信月 at Sapporo
Four Fish Markets in Southern Hokkaido: Hakodate, Otaru, and Sapporo


Written by Dr. A. Nathanael Ho.

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