Sapporo is a city in Japan found on the Hokkaido Prefecture. As reported in the December 2005 census there is approximately 1,882,424 residents in the large 1,121km area. Sapporo is an extremely popular city of Japan ranking as the third largest city in the entire country.
The industries of Sapporo include many with commercial business ranking among the most thriving; with several nationally and globally recognized companies calling the booming city home. In addition to high profile companies, Sapporo is also one of the most visited tourist attractions in Japan. Several special events keep millions of tourists coming in all year round.
The perfect climate has allowed Sapporo to be one of the greatest sports cities in Japan, especially during the winter sports events. Many winter festivals, sports championships, and special occasions are held in and around the city.
Sapporo was established in 1868 in the same year the Meiji government took over Japan. The new government decided that the existing capital of Hokkaido in Hakodate was not a good location and so it was moved inland to Sapporo, located on a flat, well drained plain. US assistance was provided in cultivating the land around Sapporo and construction around Odori Koen was begun with an American style grid plan and the flow of Japanese into Hokkaido continued through the 1880s when development was decommissioned.
Sapporo continued to grow as railroads were built connecting Hokkaido and Honshu and new institutions were built such as the Tohoku Imperial University and Sapporo Agricultural College. Originally, Sapporo was chosen as the site for the 1940 Winter Olympics, but the event was canceled when war broke out between Japan and China. The first Snow Festival was later held in 1950 and Sapporo continued to grow.
The winter Olympics where eventually held in 1972 and were the first winter games held in an Asian country. Sapporo has continued to grow, most recently hosting World Cup games in 2002, gaining their own baseball team in 2004 and building additional tourist attractions in the form of new civic projects.
The city of Sapporo is located in the southwestern corner of Ishikari Plain and is on the tail end of Toyohira River. Laid out in a traditional America grid plan roadway, the city is easily navigated and is surrounded on the west and south by Mount Maruyama, Mount Teine, and Mount Moiwa. Odori Park, located in the center of the city is home to multiple festivals and annual evens and Moerenuma Park is one of the largest in Sapporo.
Currently, there are ten wards within Sapporo, including:
Japanese tourism had made Sapporo a very popular location, with more than 14 million tourists visiting Sapporo in 2006 alone. In addition to its large number of outdoor events and sporting activities, Sapporo is well known for its entertainment and performing arts.
Things such as the Pacific Music Festival are held in the Sapporo Symphony Orchestra hall and in the Sapporo Artpark open stage, while multiple museums such as the Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo Museum of Sculpture, and Migishi Kotaro Museum of Art draw large crowds annually.
Additional landmarks and points of interest in Sapporo include the Sapporo Clock Tower, Hokkaido Shrine, Sapporo TV Tower, and the Sapporo Factory – the former home of Sapporo Beer. Additionally, the Sapporo Beer Museum is part of Sapporo Garden Park where Sapporo used to be headquartered.
Transporation in Sapporo consists of a street car line, three JR Hokkaido Lines, and three separate subway lines, as well as multiple bus lines. The following lines and stations serve the city of Sapporo: