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Where is Sapporo?

Sapporo, the fifth largest Japanese city by population, is the capital of Hokkaido, the most northerly of Japan’s four main islands.

Sapporo has a total area of 1,121 square km, which is roughly the same as Hong Kong.

Language: Japanese

Currency:The yen

Population:1.9 million people live in Sapporo making it the 5th most populated city in Japan.

2017 Sapporo Asian Winter games – February 19th - 26th 2017

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History

Sapporo historically was a trading post before the Hokkaido Development Commission planned for the city to be modelled after Kyoto, resulting in a grid system of avenues and streets.

In 1972, the year the Sapporo hosted the Winter Olympic Games, the city was described as Japan’s northernmost city designated by Government ordinance.


Sapporo hosting the 1972 Winter Olympic Games was a major milestone in the development of the Japanese city
Sapporo hosting the 1972 Winter Olympic Games was a major milestone in the development of the Japanese city ©Getty Images


Major industries of Sapporo include information technology, retail and tourism, with the city attracting people from all over the world with two million attending the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. The city also hosts the YOSOKOI Soran Festival and the Sapporo International Art Festival.


Symbols

Bird - Common Cuckoo

Flower - Lily of the Valley

Tree - Lilac


Sister cities

Portland - USA

Munich - Germany

Shenyang - China

Novosibirsk - Russia

Daejeon - South Korea.


Sport

Sapporo has a strong pedigree of hosting major sporting events, having hosted three matches of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

With snow covering the ground for a third of the year Sapporo is the perfect setting for traditional winter sports . The city has hosted the International Ski Federation (FIS) World Cups in ski jumping and Nordic combined, as well as the FIS Snowboard Japan Cup.

Curling is also an extremely popular sport in Sapporo and the city hosted the 2015 Women’s World Curling Championships.


Sapporo hosted the 2015 Women's World Curling Championships
Sapporo hosted the 2015 Women's World Curling Championships ©Getty Images

Weather

Annual average temperature +8.9°C

Average temperature in January -7.0°C

Average temperature in August +26.4°C

Annual average snowfall 600cm


8th Asian Winter Games 2017

The Asian Winter Games featured five sports: biathlon, curling, ice hockey, skiing (ski jumping, cross country, alpine, freestyle and snowboard), skating (speed skating, figure skating and short track).

Around 1,200 athletes from around 30 of the OCA’s 45 member National Olympic Committees took part, which made it the largest Asian Winter Games in OCA history.

The games took place from February 19 to 26, 2017.

The 2017 event was the eighth staging of the Asian Winter Games, with Sapporo hosting these Games for the third time following 1986 and 1990 and it was the fourth time Japan had staged the Games.

With the Asian Winter Games taking place just one year before the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the Sapporo Asian Winter Games Olympic Committee are attempting to produce a high-profile, high-quality winter sports competition.


Venues for 8th Asian Winter Games 2017

The Sapporo Dome

Opened in 2001 and has a maximum seating capacity of 53,796.

It is the first dome in the world equipped with a system for switching between turf for baseball and football, the two main sports that it hosts. The hovering system allows for Dome walls to open and close to lift the natural grass football field.


The Sapporo Dome will host the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the 2017 Asian Winter Games
The Sapporo Dome hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at the 2017 Asian Winter Games ©Getty Images

It hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the 2017 Asian Winter Games and is one of the planned venues for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, hosting football.


Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

The Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium staged the large hill competition at the 1972 Winter Olympics.

The venue has facilities that enable ski jumping to be practiced during the summer or at night, in addition to winter jumping and has been the home for many international competitions and has host an International Ski Federation Ski Jumping World Cup event this winter.


Tsukisamu Gymnasium

Hosted ice hockey at the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympic Games and is currently used as both a skating rink for the general public as well as an ice hockey and figure skating venue.

It has a total capacity of 3,371, with 2,321 seats. It hosted ice hockey at the Asian Winter Games as it did back in 1986.


Dohgin Curling Stadium

Located next to the Tsukisamu Gymnasium, the Dohgin Curling Stadium was one of the newest venues to host action at the Asian Winter Games having opened in 2012.

The venue is the first public facility in Japan dedicated to curling and with five sheets at 5 degrees has already staged international competitions.


Shirahatayama cross-country course

Staged cross-country skiing events, as it did at the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships.


Meiji Hokkaido-Tokachi Oval Arena (in Obihiro)

The Arena is the only competition venue outside of Sapporo and hosted speed skating. Opened in 2009 the venue has an indoor track for speed skating and is built on the site of the old artificial track from the 1986 No Mori Skating Centre.

The Sprint Cup in 2010 was the first international event the venue has held.