Learn more about Sapporo
| Image:Sapporo CityMap.png |
Sapporo City's location in Hokkaidō prefecture, Japan.
|Population (as of December, 2005)|
|Flower||Lily of the valley|
| Image:Sapporo CitySymbol.png|
Symbol of Sapporo City
|Sapporo City Hall|
|Address|| 〒060-8611 |
|Official website: Sapporo City|
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.
 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.
Sapporo has ten wards (ku):
|Chūō-ku (中央区 Chūō-ku?)|
- The Sapporo Dome is host to the Nippon Ham Fighters.
- In 1972, Sapporo hosted the XI Winter Olympics. Some of structures built for Olympic events remain in use today.
- In 2002, Sapporo hosted a few matches of the 2002 FIFA World Cup at the Sapporo Dome.
- In 2006, Sapporo hosted some games of the Basketball World Championship 2006.
- In 2007, Sapporo will be the host of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.
- J. League (J・リーグ Jei Riigu?)
- Professional Baseball (日本プロ野球 Nippon Puro Yakyū?)
 Sports clubs
 Sister cities
- Image:Flag of Russia (bordered).svg Novosibirsk, Russia, since 1990
- Image:Flag of Germany.svg Munich, Germany, since 1972
- Image:Flag of the United States.svg Portland, Oregon, United States, since 1959
- Image:Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Shenyang, China, since 1980
 See also
An internally illuminated ice building in the Sapporo Snow Festival.
 External links
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