Sapporo (Muroran/Hokkaido), Japan Cruise Port
Within the Ishikari Bay and the northern island of Hokkaido is the "new" cruise port of Sapporo, Japan. Between 1857 and the present, the area has grown from seven residents to almost two million, and is the current capital of the Hokkaido Prefecture. One of its claims to fame is hosting the first Winter Olympics in Asia, in 1972; prior to this, Japan had never won a gold medal in the Winter Olympics (the country won one during these games). Before it became a city, the then-Ishikari Plain was home to the indigenous Ainu people. During the 1860s, the building of a canal in the region brought in new settlers. Food lovers might also know Sapporo for producing the tasty white chocolate biscuits known as shiroi koibito, as well as being the birthplace of miso ramen. Listed below are a handful of our favorite experiences when cruising to Sapporo, Japan:
One of the best sightseeing spots in the city, the Okurayama Viewing Point (also known as the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium) is accessed via a chair lift for a fantastic view. Check out the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum at the bottom to play fun sport simulation games; a cozy café down the road provides coffee and cakes if you need a snack.
For more observation, take the thrilling Mount Moiwa Ropeway by cable car to the top of Mount Moiwa for a panoramic view of Sapporo. Fully reconstructed in 2011, there's a focus on the environment; take a stroll along the nearby footpath to spend some time with nature.
Fun for both adults and children, Moerenuma Park is a perfect place to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The lush green lawns and artistic objects scattered throughout were designed by sculptor Isamu Noguchi; keep an eye out for the glass pyramid and man-made mountain.
The Shinto Hokkaido Shrine can be found in Maruyama Park and is said to enshrine the soul of the 122nd Japanese Emperor Meiji. While a place of worship, it's also one of great beauty, especially during cherry blossom time.