Sapporo, in the island of Hokkaido, is Japan's fifth largest city (population: 1,900,000). It became famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there. Maruyama Zoo, near Sapporo was established in 1951, as the first zoo in Hokkaido.
- In the beginning of the Meiji Period, when the development of Hokkaido was started on a large scale, Sapporo was chosen as the island's administrative center. 
Sapporo Snow Festival
At Odori Park, Susukino Site, and Satorando Site, each year, Sapporo celebrates the Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival). This winter and snow festival is held in February. The festival began in 1950 and the 60th "Sapporo Snow Festival" will be held from February 5 through 11 in 2009.