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Release | Akiko Miyanaga

How to enjoy beautiful night views of Sapporo - the New Three Major Night Views of Japan


Sapporo City was designated as one of the New Three Major Night Views of Japan for the second time since 2015, from the “Night View Summit 2018 in Sapporo (The Tenth Night Views of Japan Summit) which was held in October 2018.

I will discover various attractions of night views of Sapporo including mountain top, tower, an observation deck of a skyscraper, illumination, Christmas lights, snow festivals, etc. 


Table of Contents

- What is “the New Three Major Night Views of Japan”?
- The reasons why night views of Sapporo are beautiful - I asked Dai Hirota, the Sapporo Night View navigator
- The hidden night view spot is “the mythical night view” 
- “Sapporo ❤️ Yokubari Night View Tour” campaign is until January 31, 2019

旭山記念公園。ライトアップされた噴水と、札幌中心部の灯りが幻想的で、カップルにも人気の夜景スポットです▲Asahiyama Memorial Park. This park is popular as a date night spot as the lights of the fountain and central Sapporo look romantic. 


What is “the New Three Major Night Views of Japan”?

“The Three Night Views of the World” is Hong Kong, Hakodate, and Napoli (there are various theories). “The Three Major Night Views of Japan” is the Maya Mountains in Kobe City, Mount Hakodate in Hakodate, and Mount Inasa in Nagasaki City. These are famous, so you probably have heard about them, right? It is said that travel agencies promoted these views to sell their packages during the 1950s to 1960s, the period of high economic growth in Japan when many people enjoyed domestic travels. 

さっぽろテレビ搭から望む「さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション」期間中の大通公園▲“Sapporo White Illumination” which started in 1981 to attract tourists. It is said that this is one of the first Christmas light events in Japan. 

It has been over 50 years since then and the night views of Japan changed a lot. The non-profit organization called 100 Night Views of Japan Club designated “the Three Major Night Views of Japan” in 2003, and Yakei Convention & visitors Bureau designated “the New Three Major Night Views of Japan*. ”
* The official name is “the New Three Major Night View City of Japan.”

“The Three New Major Night Views of Japan,” which Sapporo City was designated once again since 2015, is selected by votes from 5,542 certified night view specialists (those who holds Yakei official approval certificates) once in three years. In 2018, Nagasaki City won the first place, followed by Sapporo City in the second place and Kitakyushu City in the third place. 

さっぽろホワイトイルミネーション「札幌市北3条広場[アカプラ]会場」▲Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza (Akapla) site of Sapporo White Illumination lights is on until March 14, 2019. The lights decorate the Gingko trees which are said to be the oldest tree-lined road that is preserved until now in Hokkaido. 

Sapporo City won the place for the second time after the close battle with Nagasaki City, who won the first place, and various other cities with beautiful night views around Japan. Sapporo has various places to see night views such as Mt. Moiwa, Mt. Okura, Sapporo TV Tower, Asahiyama Memorial Park, etc., and gathered many good comments: “The panoramic views in the crisp and clear air of Hokkaido are amazing.” “The views from guest rooms of a hotel on the station is breathless.” “There are many events that we can visit at night such as Sapporo White Illumination and Shiroi Koibito Park.” Those led Sapporo to win the second place.

定山渓温泉雪灯路▲“Jozankei Onsen Yukitouro.” There are various events like this, and it was one of the reasons Sapporo won the place. 


The reasons why night views of Sapporo are beautiful - I asked Dai Hirota, the Sapporo Night View navigator

To raise the satisfaction of tourists who visit Sapporo to see the night views, Sapporo City has settled the Sapporo Night Views Navigators training system to increase the numbers of people who can guide night views of Sapporo. There are 50 Night Views Navigators in Sapporo now. I asked the attractions of night views of Sapporo and reasons why it’s so beautiful to Dai Hirota, who is one of the Night Views Navigators and also a certified night view specialist. 

札幌夜景ナビゲーターの廣田大さん▲Sapporo Night Views Navigator Dai Hirota is born in Sapporo and lives in Sapporo. He is a night view analyst and dedicates himself to promote night view tourism in Sapporo. He holds many certifications: the second-grade night view specialist, Sapporo Night Views Navigator, Sapporo city guide, the Master of Hokkaido Tourism, and Onsen Sommelier.    

◆What are the characteristics of Sapporo’s night views?
Sapporo is located in the Ishikari Plain. Therefore, we can get the panoramic night views that continue forever. Also, we can see night views from various points; look down from Mt. Moiwa which is 531 meters above sea level and look up from Susukino. Other than that, there are various spots in different elevations such as “Mt. Okura (307 m)”, “JR Tower Observation Deck T38 (160 m)”, “Sapporo TV Tower (90.38 m)”, and “Ferris wheel of NORBESA (78 m).” These were the highly rated points which led Sapporo to be designated as one of “the New Three Major Night Views of Japan.” 

大倉山標高307 mの展望ラウンジから札幌夜景▲You can get the views of downtown Sapporo, Ishikari Plain, and Ishikari Bay from the observation lounge of Mt. Okurayama which is located at 307 meters above sea level. 

◆Why are night views of Sapporo so beautiful? 
It is said that the geographical features of Ishikari Plain create beautiful night views which are sometimes described as “jewel box” or “carpet of lights.” 
The amount of lights with a population of 197 million people is one of the elements creating beautiful night views. And snow, which is unique in Hokkaido, makes the night view more romantic than other cities in winter. 

藻岩山から望む札幌夜景(撮影:廣田大)▲The night views of Sapporo seen from Mt. Moiwa. (Dai Hirota provided the picture) 


The hidden night view spot revealed by Sapporo Night Views Navigator Mr. Hirota is “the mythical night view” 

My favorite and most recommended night view spot is “the mythical night view” from Rose Garden Christ Church” located at the foot of Mt. Moiwa. Why is it mythical? You can view night views from here only once a month when the church opens for the public. However, you can see the night view from parking except for every Wednesdays when the church is closed. 

「ローズガーデンクライスト教会」▲“Rose Garden Christ Church” is one of the popular date spots planning to get married. (Dai Hirota provided the picture) 

As it has a luxurious atmosphere and is a church, it has the best mood comparing to other night view spots in Sapporo. And as it is located at 93 meters above sea level, lights feel closer than seeing from Mt. Moiwa which looks like scattered drops of lights. You can see the landmarks of downtown Sapporo such as Sapporo TV tower and Ferris wheel of NORBESA very clearly. It is my favorite and the most recommended night view spot, too. 

「ローズガーデンクライスト教会」の通称“夜景テラス”から眺める夜景▲The night view from so-called “night view terrace” in Rose Garden Christ Church. (Dai Hirota provided the picture) 

This place is not on guidebooks yet, so not many people know about here. You should check out when you visit Sapporo! 


“Sapporo ❤️ Yokubari Night View Tour” campaign is until January 31, 2019

“Sapporo ❤️ Yokubari Night View Tour” campaign which you can enjoy the night views of Sapporo more luxuriously, is held until January 31, 2019. 

札幌よくばり夜景旅キャンペーン。札幌夜景ディナープラン(左)と札幌夜景アンバサダーに就任した平野ノラさんの顔ハメパネル▲The rich and luxurious dinner plan allows you to enjoy it with night views of Sapporo. (on the left) Nora Hirano, a Japanese comedian who is Sapporo night view ambassador, turned into a comic foreground and you can find it at various night view spots in Sapporo City. (on the right) 

You can participate in the limited bus tour with Night Views Navigator. A Night Views Navigator such as Dai Hirota will attend you and explain about the attractions of Sapporo’s night view. You can also enjoy the rich and luxurious dinner plan while you enjoy the night views of Sapporo. 

Have special moments to enjoy the night views! 

札幌夜景。「モエレ沼公園」のライトアップ▲The lights of Moerenuma Park which Isamu Noguchi, the world famous sculptor, did the basic design is one of the must-see places. 

There are layers of neon lights and other lights in the sky of Sapporo with 197 million populations. These layers make people enjoy the starry night views and urban night views both. 
You may not be able to find other cities with different viewpoints and uniqueness. 

Those who are planning to visit Sapporo soon, don’t forget to include night view tour into your plan. 

札幌夜景。白い恋人パーク▲Shiroi Koibito Park offers beautiful lights which children and adults can enjoy alike. 


Related Links

- Sapporo Night View Guide
- Sapporo Night Views Navigator
- Sapporo Night View campaign “Sapporo Yokubari Night View Tour” 
- The 38th Sapporo White Illumination
- The New Three Major Night Views of Japan
- Rose Garden Christ Church
- Shiroi Koibito Park
  • How to enjoy beautiful night views of Sapporo - the New Three Major Night Views of Japan