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Most importantly, Sapporo is the home of Sapporo beer. The first choice for the brewery was Tokyo, but the cost of ice at this time was too expensive, hence the first brewery was constructed in Sapporo; it is Japan's oldest beer brand. A German trained braumeister (aka brew master) first brewed the beer in 1876 following the discovery of hops growing wild in Hokkaido, Seibei Nakagawa. Since 1986 Sapporo beer has been the most popular Asian beer sold in America. For the true Sapporo beer lover there is even a brew named "Sapporo Space Beer" created in conjunction with the Russian Academy of Sciences and Okayama University. They actually launched a handful of seeds via rocket into space and when the seeds returned 5 months later, a special batch of barley was grown from which the Space Beer was made.
The capital city of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, Sapporo is famous not just for its beer, but for skiing its mountains and the annual Sapporo Snow Festival (aka Yuki Matsuri) when gigantic ice sculptures are created. The city is a dynamic urban space with funky cafes, a bustling foodie scene, shops galore and a throbbing nightlife. Many tourists consider the city to be merely a transit hub on their way to Hokkaidō's hot springs and mountains. This was where the first ever winter Olympic Games in Asia were held in 1972 and the definitive place to munch on white chocolate biscuits named "shiroi koibito".
You can't go past checking out the Sapporo Beer Museum giving you an insight into the brewing history of the city, where you can sample the tasty drop and while away a few hours or more in the beer garden for the serious lover of the liquid. Apart from drinking and munching on sweet treats you can meander around the Odori Avenue Park, a green oasis in the heart of the city with broad European style avenues and open spaces and gardens. There are plenty of museums to keep the museum buff smiling and plenty of shrines for a reflective moment or two.
Apart from being a major foodie haven where you can indulge in some of Japan's best known traditional dishes, the Sapporo Clock Tower is a must see.
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