If Kyoto could be compared to such historically rich cities as Rome or Athens, the northern beer loving city of Sapporo is Japan's answer to Munich. But Sapporo has much more to offer than just tasty brews. Great Sapporo hotels, restaurants, and the inviting outdoor activities found on the island of Hokkaido-Japan's northernmost and least inhabited island-all make this city a great stop during your tour of Japan.
Unlike the crush and tangle of most Japanese cities, Sapporo was designed with foreign input and follows a North American grid system. Much like the city design, Sapporo hotels also follow in the tradition of the west. At the heart of downtown Sapporo is Odori Park where the annual snow festival is held. Around Odori Park, tourists can find excellent accommodations and a number of less expensive Sapporo hotels to choose from.
The Sapporo Grand Hotel is the most popular western style hotel on the island of Hokkaido, and its spacious rooms are an excellent option if you are planning an extended stay. Perhaps the oldest western hotel Sapporo has to offer, the Sapporo Grand Hotel was built in 1934 after Prince Chichibu visited Hokkaido for a ski vacation and decided it would be a good idea to build a western style hotel Sapporo could be proud of. Just a five minute walk from the Odori Subway station, the Sapporo Grand Hotel offers a shopping list or amenities, restaurants, and the famous Big Jug Beer House, where you can drink draft beer directly from Sapporo's breweries.
Another hotel Sapporo offers is the Korakuen Hotel. Located in the heart of Sapporo, the Korakuen has 305 rooms in both Western and Japanese styles. Be sure to get a room looking out upon Odori Park and Okurayama Jump Hill, the site of the 1972 Winter Olympics.
Also in the downtown area is the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo. Overlooking the Toyohira River, the 310 room Renaissance Hotel Sapporo is just a 10 minute walk to the downtown area, has an onsite pool, sauna, and jogging trail. Additionally, the ski package tours to the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo offers make this hotel one of the best options if you want to stay in the city, but access the mountains.
If, however, you want to stay in the mountains without sacrificing any comfort, look no further than the Windsor Hotel Toya. Located near beautiful Lake Toya, the Windsor is a great hotel Hokkaido offers to for the tourist not willing to compromise comfort or style. Besides its breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, the Windsor Hotel has golf, tennis and hot springs all located within the resort. All in all a hotel Hokkaido has built its reputation on.