Sapporo derives from Sari-poro-betsu which in Ainu means, "the river that flows through the plain full of tall grass". It was chosen in 1868 as the capital of Hokkaido because it would be easier to defend, and because being on a plain it would have greater potential for growth than Hakodate or Otaro.
Sapporo's development was carefully planned as Meiji-era bureaucrats created the city of their dreams based on American and European models. So we have, for example, the Ôdôri-koen central park, a central park on a smaller scale.
In 1972 the city was the center of world attention with the Winter Olympic Games.
Sapporo is considered a young city because its birth rate has been constant and because it attracts many young people looking for new opportunities. It can be said that Hokkaido, and consequently Sapporo, are in fashion.
There's a lot to do in Sapporo, whether you're a lover of adventures and sports, or a fan of simply relaxing and drinking a few beers. As the fifth largest city in Japan, Sapporo has everything a major metropolis has to offer, but at a slightly slower pace.
The city has magnificent natural parks that surround it, and its 19th century American and European style architecture mixes with buildings by the most modern Japanese and international architects, making it an attraction for architects and enthusiasts.
The high seasons are the Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri) in February, and the Summer Festival, where you can drink some craft beers next to the Ôdôri-koen park under the long-awaited summer sun.
Sapporo is an important replenish and starting point for those looking to venture into the interior of Hokkaido.