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Sapporo travel information
When to visit
The best time to visit Sapporo is in May when the cherry-blossom trees are in bloom. Temperatures range from 1°C to 12°C. June begins the start of Hokkaido's summer, with consistently good weather, amazing festivals, traditional gardens, picturesque lakes and fireworks at night. The average temperatures are between 16°C to 23°C during summer. If you plan to visit in winter (December to March) you’ll experience the amazing ski resorts, giant ice sculptures and hot springs. Temperatures are snowy and cold, ranging from -4°C to 1°C.
What is the main airport called?
New Chitose Airport (CTS)Opens in a new tab or window. It is an international airport located 4.3 km (2.7 miles) south-southeast of Chitose and Tomakomai, Hokkaidō, Japan, serving the Sapporo metropolitan area. The airport is located 45 km from Sapporo.
Arriving in Sapporo
The helpful staff at Sapporo Airport will greet you when you land and assist you with your travel needs. Once you collect your bags from the arrivals area, there are various transport options available to get you on your way.
Getting into Sapporo from New Chitose Airport
Getting into Sapporo city from New Chitose Airport is easy, with many transport options available. There is parking available at the airport, along with multiple car rentals with counters located outside the domestic terminal building on the first floor. Take the JR train at New Chitose Airport Station at the domestic terminal building on the first basement floor to Sapporo city centre with regular services. It’s the quickest way to get to town, taking 35 minutes. The intercity bus runs from the airport to downtown Sapporo from both the domestic and international terminals. There are also local buses, charter buses and airport shuttles from both terminals. If travelling by taxi, there are two taxi pick-up points in the Domestic Terminal Building and one pick-up point in the international terminal building. Tourist taxis and large taxis are available at the information desk in the arrivals hall. Uber is also a convenient way to get to the city.
Getting around Sapporo
Getting around Sapporo and surrounding areas is easy once you arrive with a range of trains, subways, bus companies and a tram line available. No major city in Japan is easier to navigate than Sapporo with its rectangular street layout and simple addressing system. City blocks are named and numbered according to the point of a compass. Three subway lines, a tram line and many bus companies (JR Hokkaido Bus, Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Jotetsu Bus) provide Sapporo with an efficient network of public transport. The Japan Rail Pass, Hokkaido Rail Pass and Hokkaido Free Pass are valid on local buses operated by JR Hokkaido Bus and is the best way to see the sights. It is possible to hire a bike with the city’s bike-share system, which has 30 kiosks around downtown. You can hire a car, though parking is tricky, though worthwhile to explore further afield. Taxis are easy to hail, along with Uber.