Among the country’s many urban cities packed with world-famous sites and landmarks to marvel at, here’s one equally as exciting yet possibly more beautiful: Sapporo, the most magical city of them all. Nestled in the northern island of Hokkaido (yes, like the famous milk tea flavor) are the sprawling storybook hills that make up the fifth largest — not to mention one of the most livable — cities in the country. Discover why it has found its way to be Japan’s hidden gem when it comes to beer, skiing and celebrating the winter months!
Immerse yourself in a celebration of snow. Imagine experiencing winter in a city that loves the season so much, it created a festival around it! After the warmth of a full-service PAL flight onboard the new A321 Neo, explore Sapporo’s snowy mountains and witness a winter wonderland that’s nothing short of enchanting. From its humble beginnings of six high school students building ice carvings in 1950, the festival has grown to bewitch locals and tourists alike through the years. Bask in chilly amazement at over 400 ice sculptures (some even life-sized!) and thrilling ice slides, navigate your way through ice mazes, catch top musical acts on-stage, even cheer for your favorites at the Queen of Ice beauty pageant! Not bad for simply ticking the Sapporo Snow Festival off your bucket list, isn’t it?
Culture comes with every season. It’s not all snow-covered roads for this city, though.
Visitors can be sure that Sapporo has enough year-round excitement to keep everyone entertained. In the spring (which comes a few months after the rest of the country), visitors can enjoy cherry blossoms in full bloom, without the rest of the tourist crowds. Come summer, the city brims with lavender fields, music festivals and beach events – best enjoyed with decadent ice cream crafted with world-renowned Hokkaido milk. And finally for autumn, when nature turns into a beautiful palette of orange and yellow hues, people indulge in a grand gastronomic feast at the Sapporo Autumn Festival.
Add brand new things to your bucket list, the Sapporo way. Drop by Japan’s only Beer Museum – it’s where the country’s world-famous beer brand gets its name. Love Royce’s Chocolate? Make sure to stop by Royce’s Chocolate World and witness chocolate artisans work their magic. Trade train rides for a picturesque view aboard a street car with old-world charm. Slurp down a bowl of Hokkaido’s specialty dish, miso butter corn ramen, and don’t be shy about asking for seconds! Relive the scenes from the sensational film Kita Kita, maybe even make a friend or two as you explore the city.
Make way for mountainside cityscapes. Sapporo is a majestic mix of nature and urban living, a timeless display of Japan just a bit different from what the rest of the world is used to. It’s a sight to behold; its lush flower farms filled with vibrant hues, quaint canals to pass through on boat, charming architecture barely over a century old.
Head over to Japan’s northern paradise and discover firsthand how it has cast its spell on everyone who has paid it a visit. How to get there? Philippine Airlines can take you there aboard the new Airbus A321 Neo, non-stop from Manila to Sapporo’s new Chitose Airport. The flag carrier flies to Sapporo thrice a week. For more information on Philippine Airlines, visit www.philippineairlines.com.