Let’s search for instagenic sites in Sapporo!
Okurayama Observatory/Mount Moiwa/Hitsujigaoka Observatory/Jozankei Dam/Jozankei Spa/Houheikyou Dam/Homi Pass/JR Tower Observation Deck
“Instagram (also called Insta in Japan)” is a free photo-sharing app which is particularly popular among young women, since it can upload pictures easily and process them beautifully. Currently, in Japan, there are more than twenty million active users, while in overseas the number of users reached billion. The phrase “Instagenic” which we will be using hereafter refers to subjects including “scenery/goods/people” that would capture the attention of other users when uploading the pictures on Instagram. In that case, you will find “Instagenic sites” in Sapporo endlessly!
[Okurayama Observatory] Can’t help free-falling from the hill!?
The observatory lounge at the side of Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium’s starting line in Chuo-ku, Sapporo is popular as a location where you can enjoy the panoramic view of the city; naturally, that is one of the Instagenic factors. You will be able to see the four seasons of Sapporo from there; also, the view from the jump stand is powerful.
In addition, at the stadium, “Kurayan,” an amusing mascot resembling a fairy of flying squirrel dwelling in Okurayama will greet you. They say the fairy is flying around in super high speed, invisible to the naked eye. If you are lucky enough to take a photo with Kurayan, it would surely become a great memory!
[Mount Moiwa] A mountain keeping the city under surveillance!?
Mount Moiwa (meaning small mountain in Ainu) has been renowned as sightseeing spot for a long time; just like Okurayama Observatory, it is an elevation in Sapporo where you can look over the whole city with an altitude of 531m. The Ainus called the site inkar-us-pe (a place where one can always look over/keep an eye on).
To reach the top of Mount Moiwa, you will have to use “Mount Moiwa Ropeway,” which was installed in Showa 33 (1958) and converted into a new model in Heisei 23 (2011). The most Instagenic factor of Mount Moiwa would be the nightscape. During winter, you can enjoy the nightscape and skiing if you visit the adjacent ski resort at nighttime.
[Hitsujigaoka Observatory] Strike a pose with Dr. Clark!
“Boys be ambitious.” Although unfamiliar with the originator, many of you might have heard of this quote. It is widely known that this quote was by Dr. William Smith Clark, the first vice-principal of Sapporo Agricultural College (present Hokkaido University) when he parted from the inaugural class.
Doctor Clark’s statue, “Clark on Hilltop,” is set up at Hitsujigaoka Observatory. It has been a spot to take commemorative photo for some time, and now, it is popular as an Instagenic factor to strike a pose identical to Dr. Clark. In this observatory, you can also enjoy different sceneries from season to season, jingisukan (mutton BBQ) to satisfy your taste buds, and foot bath to relieve the fatigue.
[Jozankei Dam] A spectacular dam more than 100m tall!
Jozankei Dam serves as water resource for Sapporo residents; it was completed in the first year of Heisei (1989) and has been playing an important role as a multi purpose dam of over 100m (specifically 117m). The whole area is rich with entertainment, such as observatory, museum showing diorama of dam construction, park with greenery where you can enjoy picnic and sceneries, perfect for taking your family along.
As for Instagenic factor, we recommend the spectacular silhouette of the dam looked up from the parking area and the scenery under your eyes from the summit. It is also interesting to take pictures of the dam under starlit sky!
[Jozankei Spa] A spa town near the heart of Sapporo!
Jozankei Spa was developed by Miizumi Jozan, a monk of Bizen-no-kuni (present Okayama) who traveled to Hokkaido to engage in missionary work and became the origin of the name of the spa. The spa town along Route 230 is merely about 26km from the center of Sapporo, and is near Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, which can be hit in about 30 minutes. It is appealing that the town offers hotels with day spa service and free foot/hand bath.
Also, the town offers events to entertain tourists. For example, during summer, the town holds a quiz game called “Kappon Rally,” a game prepared by kappa (imaginary water creatures) under the command of Great King Kappa; it is a good idea to capture Instagenic moments at each event.
[Houheikyou Dam] Watch dam discharge for tourists up close!
Houheikyou Dam (height: 102.5m) was constructed at upstream side of Toyohira River (Class A river of Ishikari River system). Just like Jozankei Dam (completed in 1989, 117m) in Sapporo, this dam is a multi purpose dam over the height of 100m, which was completed in Showa 47 (1972). This dam plays the roles of flood adjustment, hydroelectric power generation, and water work supply (responding to 98% of water demand in Sapporo!).
The no.1 Instagenic factor of Houheikyou Dam is “discharge for tourists.” The combination of super spectacular discharge and the landscape is definitely quite a shot.
[Homi Pass] This is what Japan’s Nightscape Heritage is like!
Homi Pass is regarded as a secret attraction spot in Sapporo. The area is known for the panoramic view of Sapporo and Lavender Garden “Yume Kobo Sato.” The scenery of vivid purple-colored lavender garden with Sapporo as a background is already popular as an Instagenic site.
Also take note that the night view of Sapporo from Homi Pass Observatory parking area is so superb that is was registered as “Japan’s Nightscape Heritage.” You would like to see it once in a lifetime.
[JR Tower Observation Deck] An Instagenic scenery near the station!
A scenic spot closest to the station in Sapporo would be JR Tower Observation Deck. As a building, this is the tallest in Hokkaido, 160m tall with 38 floors; no other premises offer a 360 degree view of the city. We recommend this site to enjoy a dazzling, extraordinary panoramic view. Also, you can appreciate the nightscape without rush, since it is open from 10AM to 11PM (last admission 10:30PM).
It is also a good idea to visit in line with someone’s birthday, since birthday boy/girl can enter the site for free. It’s a cool service, isn’t it? As you are aware, the Instagenic factor here is the nightscape. Also, by visiting the tower in accordance with firework display, you will get to take fantastic pictures!