And no place in Japan does the season quite like Hokkaido, Japan's rugged north island.
Sapporo is the energetic capital of Hokkaido and a great destination on its own.
And in winter, this place really comes to life.
Hosting the world-renowned Sapporo Snow Festival in February, its own galaxy of hot winter cuisine, and offering easy access to fantastic side-trip destinations, including some of Japan's very best world-class ski resorts, winter is where it's at in Sapporo.
I'm Joe Mignano, web designer and staff writer at japan-guide dot com, and here is a two-day trip we've crafted to get the most out of Sapporo in winter.
Here's the plan.
We fly into Hokkaido and take a short train ride into the city.
From Sapporo station we'll take the subway one stop straight to Odori Park where we'll spend our first day taking in the Sapporo Snow Festival.
On Day 2, we head to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort on the outskirts of the city for a day on the slopes, followed by a night at a traditional inn in the nearby hot spring town Jozankei.
So, follow along as we go on a whirlwind two-day winter trip in Sapporo.
The flight from Haneda Airport in Tokyo to Shin-Chitose Airport in Sapporo takes about 90 minutes and is one of the busiest air routes in the world.
I'm in Odori Park at the Sapporo Snow Festival.
So, the festival has three event sites, but Odori Park is where the main events are held including the really big snow sculptures.
So let's go check it out.
The Sapporo Snow Festival held during the first half of February each year for about a week.
The Snow Festival has three main sites: Odori Park for snow sculptures, Susukino for ice sculptures, and Tsu Dome for snow activities.
You can't come to Sapporo and not try ramen.
A classic place to grab a bowl is right here at Ramen Yokocho.
The Sapporo TV Tower is one of the best places to observe Odori Park. During the Snow Festival it stays open late, providing excellent night views as well.
The Sapporo Beer Garden's most famous dish is a barbecued mutton and vegetable meal called "Genghis Khan" after the Mongolian ruler.
At night the main road in Susukino is closed to car traffic so pedestrian can enjoy the ice sculptures up close.
The drive from central Sapporo to the Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort takes about an hour.
At most ski resorts in Japan it's possible to rent everything from skis and snowboards to snow pants, jackets, gloves, and hats.
Japan is one of the foremost winter sport destinations in the world.
And in particular Hokkaido is a Mecca for people looking for great powder snow.
There are many resorts within easy access of Sapporo, and we're at one today, and I can't wait to get on the slopes so let's go.
In most ski lodge cafeterias it's common to pay for meals at a meal ticket vending machine.
After snowboarding there's nothing better than staying the night at a ryokan in an onsen town, which is exactly what we're doing tonight.
I'm looking forward to taking a bath.
Jozankei is a mountain valley town famous for its hot springs and quaint Japanese style inns.
Multi-course "kaiseki" meals at Japanese inns usually feature local specialty dishes and ingredients.
This trip was just one of many ways to experience Sapporo, but we hope this video gives you some ideas when planning a trip of your own.
For more information or to watch another video, click the links on the screen now or head over to japan-guide dot com, your comprehensive up to date travel guide first hand from Japan.
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