Comfort Hotel Tomakomai
Phone: (81) 144 31 3211
Fax: (81) 144 31 3212
Constructed in 1970, Makomanai Sekisui Heim Ice Arena was one of the venues of the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan. Located in the Makomanai Park, it boasts a capacity of over 11,000. The indoor facility was used for ice hockey and figure skating and facilitates as a community ice skating rink. It occasionally doubles up as a venue for live music concerts and events.
This museum is the perfect place to take the kids to give them a hands-on experience of nature. There are exhibits, models, reading and video materials on all species of salmon and related fishes. Be sure to visit the underground observation room from which visitors can get a full of mature salmon. Throughout the year there are different activities to educate children on fish. In the spring, for example, children have an opportunity to release salmon fry into the river, and in summer they can catch them with a net for observation.
This municipal pool is one of the largest and best in Sapporo. It meets all international standards and is often used for local and national competitions. Be warned, however, that all pools in Japan are strictly regulated and this one is no different. It is mandatory to wear a bathing cap, for example, and to take the compulsory rests when they are announced.
Designated as a natural park in 1968 to celebrate the centennial of Hokkaido's development, Nopporo Forest Park is one of Sapporo's most popular nature attractions. Covering more than 2,000 hectares, it is also a wildlife reserve. It contains 110 species of trees and more than 400 wild plant species, as well as some 200 mushroom species. There are also 140 species of wild birds and 1,300 different insect species. Children will delight in the popular Yezo squirrels, which can be seen almost everywhere in the park. There are no restaurant facilities, however, so bring along a lunch box.
As this sports center is a public facility, run by Hokkaido Government, there are no membership fees and it is open to everyone. Use of the training room, which is fully equipped with all the latest exercise equipment and spotless showers, is a valid attraction. In addition to the personal training room, there is a host of other facilities, including a basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court, judo room, kendo room, and a kyudo room, which is Japanese archery. You must, however, wear the appropriate sportswear for the activity you have chosen.
Located at the foot of Maruyama Hill, this park is a popular recreational spot for residents of Sapporo and visitors to the city. It has something to offer all year round, from the brilliant cherry blossoms in the spring through the hiking and sports of summer and autumn, to the solemn New Year's rites held in the middle of winter. There is a zoo, Maruyama Zoo, that makes a good day out for the children and a sports stadium for ball games. The park is also home to Hokkaido Jingu Shrine.
Okurayama Ski Jump also known as Okurayama Jump Hill is located on the eastern slope of Mt. Okura in Sapporo. This venue became famous after it hosted the ski-jumping events of the 1972 Winter Olympics. Situated 300 meters above the ground, the top of the hill offers panoramic views of the city of Sapporo and is frequented by innumerable tourists. The Jump Hill also houses the Mt. Okura Ski Jump Stadium that holds various winter sports events. Ski-jumping training sessions are also held here. Mountain sports lovers can't afford to miss the Jump Hill.
Maruyama Zoo makes for the perfect day out for the kids. Set in the idyllic surroundings of Maruyama Park, it has the feel of being miles from the city, yet it is only four subway stops away from the action. Gathered here are all the usual characters you would expect in any zoo—chimps, elephants, camels and lions—but it is the penguins that pull the most visitors. Within the grounds of the zoo there is another attraction—Kid Land—an amusement park for children of all ages. Check website for admission prices.
Hokkaido is the last frontier in Japan; so, naturally, it is a haven for outdoor activities, including canoeing. River-Up specializes in giving people the opportunity to get out on the water and experience the call of the wild. It provides lessons for beginners and guided tours along the Toyohira River and other waterways in Hokkaido for those who know how to paddle. If you have time, you can even learn how to make or repair a canoe.
Sapporo Race Course holds races every weekend from May to September. It is a very popular venue for families as well as serious gamblers, with almost 20,000 people turning up for each race day. The track hosts some of the major races in the JRA calendar, and there is serious betting on these events. But this course is not only for adults. There are a number of attractions for children including mini-golf, a jungle gym and pony trekking.
This pet park is the ideal place to take the kids. There are 180 four-legged stars here, including 80 different breeds of cats and dogs. They love to be spoiled. Of course the animals have their own agenda, but they are flexible enough to meet you half way. If you want sit a dog or cat on your (or your child's) knee, and the animal agrees, then do it. You will both feel good. There is also a store that sells souvenirs, all related to pets. Everything you buy here contributes to the upkeep.
Hokkaido has some of the best skiing grounds in Japan, and the Sapporo Kokusai Ski Area is one of them. Not only does it provide excellent skiing, but it is also conveniently located, just one hour from the city center. Seven different courses cater to skiers of different abilities. You can try downhill or cross-country skiing, or even snowboarding. Skis can be rented on location. It is also possible for beginners to take lessons, but be sure to call in advance to ensure that an English-speaking instructor is available.