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Sapporo City
Image:Sapporo CityMap.png
Sapporo City's location in Hokkaidō prefecture, Japan.
Country Japan
Region Hokkaidō
Prefecture Hokkaidō prefecture
Physical characteristics
Area 1,121.12 km²
Population (as of December, 2005)
     Total 1,882,424
     Density 1668/km²
Location 43°3′56″N, 141°21′27″E
Tree Lilac
Flower Lily of the valley
Bird Common cuckoo
Image:Sapporo CitySymbol.png
Symbol of Sapporo City
Sapporo City Hall
Mayor Fumio Ueda
Address 〒060-8611
Chūō-ku, Kita-1,Nishi-2
Phone number 011-211-2111
Official website: Sapporo City

Coordinates: 43°3′56″N, 141°21′27″E

Sapporo (札幌市 Sapporo-shi?) listen  is the fifth-largest city in Japan by population and the third-largest by geographic area. It is the capital of Hokkaidō Prefecture.

Sapporo is primarily known outside Japan as the host city for the 1972 Winter Olympics, and for the annual Snow Festival, known as yuki matsuri, which draws more than 2 million tourists from around the world. The city is also home to the eponymous Sapporo Breweries.


[edit] Early history

Prior to its establishment, the area occupied by Sapporo (known as the Ishikari Plain) was home to a number of indigenous Ainu settlements. In 1866 at the end of the Edo Period construction began on a canal through the area, encouraging a number of early settlers to establish Sapporo village. The settlement's name was taken from the Ainu language, and can be translated as "large river running through a plain".

In 1868 (the officially recognised year celebrated as the 'birth' of Sapporo), the new Meiji government concluded that the existing administrative center of Hokkaidō, which at the time was the port of Hakodate was in an unsuitable location for the defense and further development of the island. As a result it was determined that a new capital on the Ishikari Plain should be established. The plain itself provided an unusually large expanse of flat, well drained land which is relatively uncommon in the otherwise mountainous geography of Hokkaidō.

During 1870-71, Kiyotaka Kuroda, vice-chairman of the Hokkaidō Development Commission (kaitakushi) approached the American government for assistance in developing the land resulting in Horace Capron, Secretary of Agriculture under President Ulysses S. Grant being appointed as a special advisor to the commission. Construction began around a park, Odori Koen, which still remains as a green ribbon of recreational land splitting the central area of the city into two halves. The city closely followed the American-style grid plan with streets at right-angles to form city blocks; highly unusual in Japan even today.

The continuing expansion of the Japanese into Hokkaidō continued, mainly due to migration from the main island of Honshū immediately to the south, and the prosperity of Hokkaidō and particularly its capital grew to the point that the Development Commission was deemed unnecessary and was abolished in 1882.

[edit] Wards

Sapporo has ten wards (ku):

Atsubetsu-ku (厚別区?)
Chūō-ku (中央区 Chūō-ku?)
Higashi-ku (東区?)
Kita-ku (北区?)
Kiyota-ku (清田区?)
Minami-ku (南区?)
Nishi-ku (西区?)
Shiroishi-ku (白石区?)
Teine-ku (手稲区?)
Toyohira-ku (豊平区?)

[edit] Buildings

[edit] Demographics

Image:Sapporo City Hall.jpg
Sapporo City Hall (Aug. 1, 2005)
A view of the northeastern part of Sapporo city

The city has an estimated population of 1,882,424 as of 2005 and the density of 1668 persons per km² (644 persons per mi²). The total area is 1,121.12 km² (696.63 mi²).

[edit] Sports

[edit] Professional

[edit] Sports clubs

[edit] Sister cities

[edit] See also

[edit] Gallery

[edit] External links

Sapporo travel guide from Wikitravel

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