Sapporo TV Tower is a TV and radio broadcasting tower with an observation deck which is located in Sapporo’s Odori Park. The tower was built in 1957 and is 147 meters high. Sapporo TV Tower was designed by the architect Tachu Naito who also designed a number of other famous towers in Japan, including Tokyo Tower, Nagoya TV Tower, and the Tsutenkaku tower in Osaka. The tower in Sapporo also features large digital clocks on four sides of the tower which were installed at a height of 65 meters in 1961.
The tower is illuminated between sundown and midnight each day, but in order to save energy the digital clocks are turned off between midnight and 5.00 am. Though the tower has shops and restaurants on its lower levels, its main attraction is the observation deck which stands over 90 meters above ground and offers fine views over the city and over Odori Park in particular.
Inside the Tower
Sapporo TV Tower has three lower floors and a basement level in addition to its observation deck. You can find a number of shops and eateries on these levels. The basement level features a gourmet court with a number of different noodle shops. Here you can find ramen, soba, and udon noodles as well as Hokkaido’s zangi style of fried chicken. This basement level also connects directly to the underground shopping street Aurora Town which is part of the wider Sapporo Chikagai underground network.
On the 1st floor there is a tourist information center, an official TV Tower souvenir shop, and a branch of the Snow Brand Parlor sweets shop where you can buy ice creams and cakes to take away or sit down to enjoy them in the shop’s café space. The 2nd floor is a multipurpose rental space, and the 3rd floor is a Sky Lounge which features another souvenir shop, a restaurant serving popular Hokkaido dishes, and a rest area which is decorated with images of the tower mascot “Terebi Tosan” (“TV Dad”). The 3rd floor is also the entry point for the observation deck. This is the location for both the ticket counter and the elevator for the observation floor.
The Observation Deck
The observation deck stands at 90.38 meters above ground and offers splendid views over the city by day and night. Viewing the city from the tower’s observation deck is particularly popular during the Sapporo Snow Festival in February when Odori Park (one of the main festival locations) is transformed into a winter wonderland. Night-time views are also popular as the city is illuminated with twinkling lights. If you wish to enjoy the view twice in the daytime and at night then a special daytime/evening ticket is available that enables you to visit the observation deck twice.
Tickets for the observation deck are usually sold on the 3rd floor, but during the Sapporo Snow Festival tickets will be sold on the 1st floor. The elevator from the 3rd floor to the observation deck takes just 60 seconds. The observation deck has big windows all the way around offering panoramic views over the city. There are also telescopes dotted around the deck which cost 200 yen for 2 minutes of use.
On the observation deck you can find a small souvenir shop, called the Sky Shop, and a small shrine. The shrine is unusual in that the guardian images on each side are small “Terebi Tosan” mascots. Despite this informality people do pray here for such things as success in business or exams, or for finding a suitable partner.
The observation deck can also be reserved for private use after closing hours. This is a special plan aimed at couples which costs 10,000 yen including tax. The plan includes 30 minutes private rental of the observation deck, a complimentary half-size bottle of wine, a special illumination of the tower, and a personalized welcome display on the 1st floor. Reservations can be made by telephone, fax, or via an online form. For more information on this plan and booking details please visit the official webpage (Japanese only).
Observation Deck Opening Hours: 9.00 – 22.00
During the Snow Festival the hours are extended: 8.30 – 22.30
The ticket office closes ten minutes before closing time.
Adults: 800 yen
Senior High Students (16-18): 600 yen
Children (6-15): 400 yen
Pre-school Children: Free
Adults: 1,200 yen
The daytime/evening ticket is valid for three days.
Adults: 900 yen
The combination ticket for Sapporo Clock Tower & Sapporo TV Tower will save you 100 yen.
Sapporo TV Tower Location
The tower is clearly visible in central Sapporo’s Odori Park. The tower is a 1-minute walk from Odori Subway Station on the Namboku, Toho and Tozai subway lines. If you are walking from Odori Subway Station you can reach the tower directly from Exit 27 via the Aurora Town underground shopping street.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.