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Discovering Sapporo for the First time with Natsuki

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In my 7 years of travelling Japan, I’ve been fortunate to visit 40 of the country’s 47 prefectures, travelling from freezing Hokkaido to the turquoise seas that lap the shores of Okinawa. These are the memories, moments and experiences that I frequently find myself going back to; the ones that put a smile on a face that is typically riddled with cynicism and despair. Hopefully they’ll give you some fresh ideas and inspire you to go off the beaten path and experience Japan your own way. Memories travelling Japan is an ongoing series.

Discovering Sapporo for the First time with Natsuki | Sapporo, Hokkaido

You can’t beat exploring a city for the first time with a good friend.

One August after both Natsuki and I found ourselves burnt out from busy schedules, we decided to hop on a flight to Sapporo for a spontaneous three day break.

Why Sapporo? I’d like to tell you it was because neither of us had ever been there. But the reality was, given it was the height of Summer - when Japan turns into a glorified oven -Natsuki and I were both looking for an escape to one of the coolest cities in Japan. In Summer, Sapporo typically doesn’t go over 30 degrees celcius.

Just escaping the heat would have been enough to turn it into a winning holiday, and yet, with no initial plan or itinerary we somehow ended up packing a week of experiences into our three day trip; from stuffing ourselves with the local miso ramen (laced with melted butter), to drinking our way through the iconic Sapporo Beer factory and even spending over half a day in an impressive Cookie theme park.

YES. An actual Cookie theme park.
- If that doesn’t sell you on Sapporo nothing will.

And through it all Natsuki kept me entertained with his hilariously cheeky antics; from acting out a beer commercial to somehow squeezing himself inside a toy house.

In a country where many cities often look the same, Sapporo has maintained its distinct sense of identity, which makes it a rewarding place to discover. When it comes to the summer months, there’s no better city to escape to in all of Japan.

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