World-famous for the Sapporo Snow Festival, the city of Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost of the four main islands of Japan. With vast wilderness and thickly wooded mountains, Hokkaido was a "frontier" of Japan some 130 years ago when the country began to follow the path toward modernization. Sapporo was created as the base for developing Hokkaido. In the past 130 years, Sapporo has grown into a modern metropolis, one of Japan's largest with a population of over 1.8 million.
Featuring a city with a layout based on grid-like streets, Sapporo boasts an urban environment rich in greenery. Monument structures reminiscent of the pioneering times can be found in various parts of the city, giving it an atmosphere unique to this northern metropolis. The gateway city of Hokkaido is blessed with the bounties of nature. Sapporo translates into a city of fun for everyone - fresh and delicious foods aplenty, hot springs and ski areas in the suburbs, and complete facilities for a myriad of other recreational pursuits.