JR Tower is a skyscraper that rises 173 meters on the east side of JR Sapporo Station. This skyscraper is part of the station building and is directly connected to that building’s other facilities. On the top floor of the skyscraper there is an observation deck which is popular for its 360-degree views over the city.
Officially the name “JR Tower” is given to all the commercial facilities in the station building excluding the railway station itself, and it includes 5 department stores, a cinema, and a parking lot. However, in this article we will focus on the contents of the actual tower and its observation deck.
Inside JR Tower Sapporo Station
JR Tower was first opened in 2003. It is 38 stories high and is the tallest building in Sapporo. The lower floors (B1 – 6F) of the tower are occupied by the east wing of the Stellar Place department store. Above that is the Phamarise Medical Mall, which is two floors of specialized medical clinics. Floors 9 to 20 are occupied by offices and there is a hotel on floors 22 to 36 which is called JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo. The 37th floor is a maintenance room, and the 38th floor is occupied by the Observatory T38.
JR Tower Observatory T38
The observatory on the 38th floor is 160 meters high and offers unobstructed views to the north, south, east and west. This observatory closes quite late, so it is also popular for its night views over the sparkling city lights.
On a clear day you can see the sea and even as far as Otaru from the north side of the tower.
The JR Hakodate Line is in the center of the picture above and Sapporo Factory can be seen on the right.
Mount Moiwa can be seen on the right of the picture above.
The JR Hakodate Line is in the center of the picture above. The green patch on the left is Hokkaido University’s Botanical Gardens while the green patch on the right is Hokkaido University’s leafy campus.
In addition to these splendid views there are wall charts written in Japanese and English which introduce local geography, history, city design, and wildlife.
Facilities in the observatory include a café and a shop.
T’Café is located on the south corridor and serves tea and coffee, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, soup and desserts.
T’Shop has a wide selection of souvenirs related to Sapporo, Sapporo Station and the observatory.
The gentlemen’s restroom in Observatory T38 is notable for having urinals in front of large clear windows, so that people using them can continue to enjoy the view.
The observatory entrance is on the 6th floor of the Stellar Place department store. To get there use the store’s Center II Elevator or the East Elevator.
On the 6th floor, after buying your ticket for the observation deck you will board one of two observatory elevators which travel directly to the 38th floor in approximately 55 seconds.
Observatory: 10.00 – 23.00 (Last Entry: 22.30)
T’Shop: 10.00 – 21.00
T’Café: 10.00 – 23.00 (Last Orders for Food: 22.30, Drink: 22.45)
Adults: 740 yen
Junior & Senior High Students: 520 yen
Children Aged 4 & Older: 320 yen
Infants Aged 3 & Younger: FREE
JR Tower and Observatory T38 Location
JR Tower and Observatory T38 are part of the Sapporo Station building and so have immediate access to JR rail lines, limited express services and the Rapid Airport Service for New Chitose Airport. This location is also convenient for local bus services and for the underground network via Sapporo Subway Station.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.