Sapporo TV Tower さっぽろテレビ塔
In the middle of the buildings, view of the mountains
Enjoy a panorama of the capital of Japan's far north from the observation point of the Sapporo TV Tower.
Built in 1957 by the same architect who designed Tokyo Tower , Tachu Naito, the Sapporo TV Tower stands 147 meters tall . It is ideally located on the edge of Odori Park , known for hosting the world famous snow festival every year. The hours of illumination of the tower change with the seasons, to stay tuned to sunrise and sunset. Also note that the tower clock is turned off at night to reduce its environmental impact ! The timetables can be consulted on the official website, available in English here .
To see: Yuki Matsuri, the snow festival
Each season will have a new panorama to offer you. Will you choose the spring greenery of the park or the snow- capped mountains of winter? Hokkaido also offers a cooler and especially drier climate in summer than the rest of Japan, if you want to escape the rainy season, or tsuyu , in July on the main island. Of course, the main attraction to observe from the tower remains the February snow festival and its ice sculptures.
The tower's mascot has a somewhat tragic history since an unofficial character appeared two months after its creation and gained such notoriety that it is only seen in events and even on television. Terebi-tôsan is a representation of the red tower, with a mustachioed face. His name is a play on words between Terebi-tô which means "television tower" and tôsan which is a way of calling his father in Japan. Terebi-tôsan therefore literally means " Dad of television ".
Read also: Mascots in Japan
Arriving in front of the tower and after taking a few photos, you can explore the lower floors for free, in order to find information, browse the souvenir shops, eat in the restaurant or even go shopping in the underground shopping arcade Aurora Town.
Take the elevator and 60 seconds later you will be on the observation deck, 90 meters high . On one side, buildings as far as the eye can see, on the other, mountain ranges . This mixture of landscapes is impressive, even if the tower is not of a height comparable to other observation points in large Japanese cities.
In the shops on this floor, you will of course find many products derived from the usurping mascot : T-shirts, stuffed animals, key rings and other trinkets that you can bring back as souvenirs to your friends and family. A temple, a gashapon machine that distributes omikuji , or lucky charms, as well as a photo booth are dedicated to Terebi-tôsan.
You will also find, as in many tourist places, the famous souvenir pieces on which you can even engrave your first name. Do not hesitate to use the telescopes to have a better view of the illuminations, ice sculptures or ski resorts in the surroundings.
Address, timetable & access
Timetable15-minute walk from Sapporo Subway Station: Odori Station (Tozai, Nanboku, Toho lines)
PriceAdult: 720 yen (5€40)16-18 years old: 600 yen (4€50)13-15 years old: 400 yen (3€)6-12 years old: 300 yen (2€25)3-5 years old: 100 yen (0€75)
Access9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day (Exceptional closures a few days a year, and modification of schedules during festivals and other events)