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Sapporo (Hokkaido)

Japan's fifth-largest city, and the prefectural capital of Hokkaidō, Sapporo is a surprisingly dynamic and cosmopolitan urban centre that pulses with energy. Designed by European and American architects in the late 19th century, Sapporo is shaped by its wide grid of tree-lined streets and ample public parks, which contribute to the city's surprising level of liveability. After a day of exploring the city you can get your energy back over a hot meal, a great proposition given Sapporo's wholly deserved gastronomic reputation. As the island's main access point and transport hub, Sapporo serves as an excellent base for striking out into the wilds. But make sure you leave enough time to see Sapporo itself. Sapporo is a major tourist destination in itself, especially for those partial to the delicious liquid gold that is Sapporo beer. If you're planning long periods of time hiking in isolation, you might want to first indulge in a bit of the raucous nightlife of the Susukino district. And, of course, if you come in February, don't miss out on the Sapporo Snow Festival (Yuki Matsuri), a winter carnival highlighted by frozen sculptures of everything from brown bears and tanuki (racoon dogs) to Godzilla and Doraemon.

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Scott Kent, our travel advisor for our Japan trip, made this trip so enjoyable and memorable! From the very beginning stages of our planning to the very last da's request for dinner suggestions, his attention to detail and concern for our whole family (15 of us) was so very professional and always timely. Our family was very impressed with the "luxiourious" accomodations/experiences/settings. We loved experiencing a Japanese baseball game, from cheers and chants while the opposing pitcher threw the pitches, to the beer girls smiling and selling beer from a keg on their backs to the yellow balloon release during the 6th inning. And a very special, surprising treat, a huge Welcome to the family sign during the game!! Other fun experiences loved by our family: taiko drumming bento box cooking lesson at the Cooking Sun geisha spotting in the Gion district taking pictures at the Fushimi Shrine visiting Nara and feeding the deer hiking around the Golden Pavilion eating green tea ice cream every day! enjoying Japan's natural beauty, the lush green mountains, rice fields and bamboo forests tasting sake shopping at the huge anime stores gorgeous morning views of Mt. Fuji Hakone Open Air Museum slurping ramon noodes visiting the Imperial Gardens... READ MORE

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