Hokkaido is a place visited by many tourists throughout the year. The center of such Hokkaido is probably the city of Sapporo. With a population of approximately 1.97 million, Sapporo is the fourth most populous city in Japan (after Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya, excluding Tokyo), and its downtown area, Susukino, is also located here. The Nikka Whisky advertisement at the Susukino intersection is a familiar sight.
Sapporo is pleasantly hot in summer, but in winter, the city is covered with snow, and people struggle to shovel snow from the streets and parking lots in front of their homes.
In Sapporo, which shows various faces in each season, we would like to focus on the sports events that excite and enliven the spirit of the citizens.
First, let’s start with sports events held in the past. The 1972 Winter Olympics were the first in Asia, the 2002 Soccer World Cup, the 2006 Basketball World Cup, the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2021 Summer Olympics (marathon, walking), etc. Sapporo has hosted numerous international competitions. Sapporo is home to many professional Japanese sports teams.
The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters moved their home base from Tokyo to Hokkaido in 2004 and took their current name.Pitchers such as Yu Darvish and Shohei Ohtani played for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters and continue to play in the MLB on the world’s biggest stage. This season, with new manager Tsuyoshi Shinjo (BIG BOSS), the team is captivating fans with its unprecedented creative play and winning the hearts of Hokkaido residents. Also, the fox dance by the fighters’ girls has become a hot topic! (Cheerleaders wearing fox ears and tails dance to unique music.)
The scope of their activities is not limited to the baseball world, and their collaborations with many media and other sports have become a topic of conversation. Starting next season, their home base will be moved from Sapporo Dome to ESCON Field in Hokkaido Ball Park F Village (Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido). The new ballpark is not only for watching baseball games, but also for eating, playing, shopping, and staying, and has become a hot new tourist spot. Within a 20-minute drive, there are Village House Kami Nopporo (Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo City), Village House Megumino (Eniwa City), Village House Megumino-Kita (Eniwa City), and other family-type properties. There are also family type apartments within a 20 minute radius. Of course, it is also recommended for singles.
Consadole Sapporo moved to Sapporo in 1996. The team name “Consadole” is an inverted reading of “Dosanko” with the Latin sounding “Ole” added. The team’s home field is Sapporo Dome, which until this season was shared with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. During soccer matches, the natural grass field is moved from the outside and transformed into Japan’s only fully-roofed natural grass soccer field. This ground moving is a major undertaking, as it takes almost half a day to complete. If your schedule permits, you may visit the site. The two training grounds are the Miyanosawa Shiroi Koibito Soccer Ground owned by Ishiya Seika, an official sponsor of the Sapporo Dome, and an outdoor soccer practice field with natural grass on the grounds of the Sapporo Dome. Village House Teine (Nishi Ward, Sapporo City) is a 5-6 minute walk from the former Miyanosawa Shiroi Koibito Soccer Ground, and Village House Higashi Tsukisamu is a 10-minute drive from the latter outdoor soccer practice field. Village House Higashi Tsukisamu (Toyohira-ku, Sapporo) is located about 10 minutes by car from the latter outdoor soccer practice field.
Levanga Hokkaido was born in Hokkaido in 2011, and the team’s name is the reverse of the word “Ganbare. The team is based at Hokkai Kitaeru (Hokkaido Sports Center), about a 3-minute walk from Toyoho Subway Line Toyohira Koen Station, and 7 minutes from Sapporo Station on the same line. The current president, Takehiko Orimo, has scored a total of 10,238 points in his 27 seasons of service, the most among Japanese players. Today, Rui Hachimura and Yuta Watanabe are active in the NBA, the world’s biggest stage, but President Orimo is a legend of the Japan Basketball Association, having established an era in Japan! In addition, a SLAM DUNK movie is scheduled to be released this winter, 26 years after the weekly serialization ended. The basketball world is sure to be even more exciting.
The teams introduced are just one example. There are also many amateur sports such as skiing, snowboarding, speed skating, curling, and many more. If you live in Hokkaido or are considering living in Hokkaido, Village House has many rooms available, so please feel free to contact us!