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Odori Park is a truly serene place to have a stroll.
The more I travel solo, the more I realise the truth to an old adage. It’s about self-discovery, many people comment. Indeed, it is. In a foreign environment, it’s human nature to seek what is familiar. Solo travelling does not allow for this possibility – the people and places you know are all somewhere else. The only choice is to find familiarity from within yourself.
This 1-day itinerary in Sapporo is for a solo traveller or small group. Keep reading if you would like to:
- Enjoy a seafood donburi for breakfast
- Have a morning walk around Odori Park like a Sapporo citizen (and check-out Sapporo TV Tower!)
- Visit Hokkaido’s biggest university and see its beauty especially during autumn
- Check-out an iconic shopping mall and see an old beer brewery
- Sip a beer while listening to live music near Susukino
Wake up early in the morning and you’ll be able to enjoy the day’s freshest produce at Nijo Market. I went to Sakanayano Daidokoro, which is a restaurant located next-door. I ordered an Uni & Ikura Rice Bowl, which consists of rice topped with sea urchin and salmon roe. The set came with a simple soup and cost around 60 AUD.
After you’ve enjoyed your donburi (rice bowl) breakfast at Nijo Market, you can walk off some calories on your way to Hokkaido University. Strolling down the scenic and peaceful Odori Park and around this central business district, you’ll see Sapporo citizens on their way to work or school.
Instagram Pro Tip: Stop and take a postcard picture at the fountain gazing up to Sapporo TV Tower.
You’ll continue your walk to Bus Center Mae subway station, where you can catch a train on the Tozai Line to Odori Station, where you’ll change to the Namboku Line and alight at Kitajunijo Station. Hokkaido University is beautiful especially in autumn. Students ride bikes to class, and the paths are flanked by colourful trees.
The Open Innovation Hub called “Enreiso” was opened in October 2023. It’s in the heart of Hokkaido University’s Sapporo campus, and features modern facilities for meetings and group work. On a higher level, the Innovation Hub is a platform for Hokkaido University to develop relations with Sapporo’s businesses. Having been a university student in Sydney, I can vouch for the importance of a robust academia-industry link (speaking for tertiary-level education generally) and the availability of employment opportunities for graduates.
I’m grateful to my friend for bringing me around Hokkaido University. As a foreigner who has been living in Sapporo for the past 3 years, he shared about his experiences and local recommendations. It’s admirable how he has migrated from a German country town to a Japanese city where alongside his university education, he is working at a local radio station and as a freelance translator. I’m inspired to improve my own ability in language communication and exchange!
Did you know that the first artificial snowflake was created in Hokkaido University by a physicist named Ukichiro Nakaya? How fitting for a region known for its winters and beautiful snowy landscapes.
For afternoon recreation, you can catch the subway to Sapporo Factory. Here, you can discover history inside Sapporo Kaitakushi Beer Brewery or enjoy a movie at United Cinemas (there’s an IMAX here!). If you’re feeling like miso ramen for dinner, Hokkaido Ramen Okuhararyu Kura is nestled in a photogenic Atrium hall.
Tranquilizer(ﾄﾗﾝｷﾗｲｻﾞｰ) is one of those hidden gems that locals visit. My friend, who performs at Living Room Bar & Cafe, recommended me to go. Next to Tanuki Koji shopping arcade, Tranquilizer is an underground bar where conversation flows and live music entertains. Watching HIROYUKI TOMINAGA BAND was a pleasure! The instrument players and singer were passionate in performance and lovely to an intimately-located audience.
The pictures in this article sketch out your potential 1-day itinerary in downtown Sapporo, Hokkaido. It’s perfect if you’re a digital nomad and would like to:
- Try the seafood at Nijo Market
- See what a morning stroll in Odori Park is like
- Experience Hokkaido University through a student’s eyes
- Visit the iconic Sapporo Factory shopping centre
- Listen to live music at Tranquilizer bar, near Tanuki Koji