Most Popular Sapporo Autumn Events and Festivals 2018



While other cities in Japan suffer from the heat wave at the beginning of September, Sapporo is getting ready for the change of the season already. If you wonder traveling in Japan in early September, Sapporo is the best place to go. You will enjoy the autumn leaves and other autumn events and festivals in Sapporo one step ahead. In October and November, Sapporo could be very cold, but you will enjoy the fresh air and great food around this time as well.

Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido. Although the size of the city is much smaller than Tokyo or Osaka, there are always events and festivals that will satisfy you through the year. Why don’t you visit Sapporo city instead of the big cities in Japan? You will be surprised with goodies that this city offers to you. In this article, I picked up the most popular and existing events for you to join in each month of autumn 2018.




You may be concerned about the big earthquake that hit Hokkaido in September 2018. No worries, now the city is back to its normal life. The power shortage is no longer an issue, and the city is again full of life. Regular events and festivals are back to business now! Sapporo people are looking forward to seeing you. You can see gorgeous autumn foliage in the mountains and taste great food. Here are some events and festivals you should explore in September.

Sapporo Thank You Festival (Aug 31st – Sep 2nd, 2018)

Image courtesy of t-konno

September is said to be the month of appetites. The Sapporo Thank You Festival offers great local food to visitors. At this festival, you can try various treats starting with Korean, Okinawan, and western style of foods. All foods are prepared with fresh local products. No matter what you eat, you will be amazed at its taste and texture. It starts at 11:00 a.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. Please feel free to drop by the festival anytime you want. Here is the link to the official website: (Only in Japanese)

Moerenmuma Artistic Fireworks (Sep 8th, 2018)

There are many fireworks festivals going on from early July to the beginning of September. The Moerenmuma Artistic Fireworks is the perfect event for the finale of the fireworks season. This fireworks festival features the collaboration of fireworks and music. Those fireworks exploding in the sky are the three-dimensional fireworks which you do not see at the other similar festivals. Watching those three-dimensional fireworks dancing in the sky with the music will inspire you. If you want to know more about this event, please check the official website at (Only in Japanese)

Sapporo Autumn Festival (Sept 15th – 30th, 2018)

Sapporo Autumn Festival is the right place to taste goodies from all over Hokkaido. The main theme of this festival is “Foods in Hokkaido and Sapporo”. There will be local foods, agricultural products, Ramen, sake, wine, beer, meat and more served at this festival. You can do tasting delicious Hokkaido foods and beverages without going anywhere once you are at this festival. Sapporo city occupies Main Street of Sapporo for this festival and offers not only great foods but some performances as well. For more information on this event, please check the following link:

Kamo Kamo River Nostalgia (Sept 7th – 9th, 2018)

Image courtesy of  663highland

The concept of Kamo Kamo River Nostalgia is having a good time in Susukino. This event will show you the local history and culture of Sapporo City. This event takes place around Higashi Main Temple which is the oldest Buddhist temple in Sapporo. You will experience a tea ceremony, paper making, and letter carving at this festival. Also, there will be an Ainu music concert played by Ainu descendants and Japanese traditional musical instruments. For more information about this event, please visit their website at (Only in Japanese)

Jozankei Nature Luminaries (Every day in Sept 2018)

Jozankei is in the southern part of Sapporo city. This area is surrounded by beautiful mountains and river. It is a spa resort for Sapporo people where they can enjoy delicious river fish and hot springs. Jozankei Nature Luminaries decollates the forests and the path with the lights at Jozankei. The combination of the stars sparkling in the sky and the illumination is somewhat breathtaking. It will make you feel like you are in the magical world. If you want to take a break from typical tourist spots, visiting Jozankei for this festival would be a good idea. It will refresh your mind and mood for sure. For more information about this event, please click on the link here:

Hokkaido University Ginkgo Trees (Form the end of Sept to the early Oct 2018)

Image courtesy of nande

This is actually a secret tourist spot in Sapporo City. After the middle of September, Ginkgo trees lining up for about 400 meters change their colors in gold. Hokkaido University area is filled with this marvelous golden color and becomes one of the photogenic spots. Ginko trees are planted in the grounds of Hokkaido University. Walking down this path makes you feel as if you are in the picture book. If you have some spare time during your stay in Sapporo, please visit this spot and enjoy the golden Ginkgo trees. Please check the following link for more information: (Only in Japanese and information for 2018 is not updated yet)


Image courtesy of 黄ウラン 

October is the high season to enjoy autumn foliage in Sapporo city. Also, Sapporo holds many events and festivals this month. The city will definitely keep you busy with exploring nature and trying great foods. Unlike other cities in Japan, October could be a bit cold and rainy. Don’t forget to bring a raincoat if you plan to visit Sapporo during this season.

Autumn Beer Festival in Sapporo Factory (Oct 5th – 7th, 2018)

Did you know that Sapporo is known as the beer capital in Hokkaido? Sapporo is the first city which developed Japanese beer. There are historical beer museums and pieces of architecture to see in Sapporo. Sapporo city is a sister city of Munich in Germany. This festival celebrates the 45th anniversary of their sister ship. There will be over 13,000 seats set up at the venue. Freshly brewed beer and juicy meaty foods will satisfy your mouth and stomach. This festival is something that you cannot miss if you are a beer lover. Here is the official website of the festival:  (only in Japanese)

Sapporo Marathon (Oct 7th, 2018)

Sapporo Marathon started in 1979. It is one of the largest half marathon events in Japan. About 15,000 runners take part in this race and they come from all over Japan. There are two official courses people can join, half marathon and 10 km run. If you are a regular runner at hometown, you may be interested in joining this event. You need to register for the race in advance from the official website. Running through the Sapporo City would add extra memories in your trip. Here is the official page of the event: (Only in Japanese)

Sapporo International Short Film Festival and Market (Oct 11th – 14th, 19th – 21st, 2018)

This festival is relatively a new event. It started in 2006. Since then Sapporo people look forward to this event and seeing interesting short films from all over the world. Most of the movies shown during this festival are about 30 minutes long. You will enjoy watching documentaries, animations, and human dramas. Admission fee for this festival is 1,100 Yen for an advanced ticket and 1,300 Yen for at the spot tickets for one program. Why don’t you stop by this festival to take a break during your trip? For more information about this festival, please visit the official website:

Idol Diversity (Oct 13th, 2018)

Aside from Manga and Animation, getting to know Idol culture is inevitable if you want to take a closer look at Japanese pop culture. This event helps you to understand the diversity of Japanese idol culture. About 10 idol groups and bands with different styles will perform on the stage. Admission fee for the event is 3,900 Yen in advance or 4,500 Yen on the day of the event. Drinks are not included in these prices. Enjoy Japanese idol music and dance while you are at this festival. You will become a Japanese idol master after the event. Please find more information on this event by clicking on the following link: (Only in Japanese)

Golden Market Sapporo (Oct 13th – 14th 2018)

Image courtesy of K.Takeda

This is the biggest flea market event taking place in the northern part of Japan. This event is held twice a year in spring and in autumn. There will be about 1800 shops in Tsu Dome in Sapporo City during the festival. About 30,000 people come and join this gigantic event every year. Other than those shops, you can enjoy stage performances and fortune tellers (?!) at the venue. Let’s find something interesting and reasonable at this event! For more information about this festival, visit the official website here: (Only in Japanese. Details are not fixed yet at this moment)

Sapporo Halloween (Oct 27th, 2018)

Halloween is becoming one of the biggest seasonal events in Japan. It is no longer rare to see people putting on their costumes and parading on the streets of the big cities like Tokyo or Osaka. Yes, Sapporo is not an exception. This Sapporo Halloween started in 2015. The City gets decorated with Halloween colors and people in the Halloween costumes parade in the pedestrian area. There will be two cosplay parades at 12:30 pm and a night parade at 17:00 at Soseigawa Park. There will be standup comedy shows and music lives at the venue. Experiencing Japanese version of Halloween event would be entertaining. Let’s get a costume and join the crowd! For more information, please visit the official website of the event: (Only in Japanese)


November in Sapporo can be really cold. You may see snowflakes flying in the sky already. This is when people know that it is time for them to prepare for the winter. But the good thing about visiting Sapporo in November is the weather. No worries about rain during the daytime. You can stroll around the tourist sports under the sun! In this section, I picked up some festivals and events you can enjoy both inside and outside.

Chrysanthemum Festival (Nov 1st – 10th, 2018)

Chrysanthemum has been the imperial crest. This flower has always been recognized as the symbolic flower for Japanese culture. This Chrysanthemum festival is the only opportunity for growers to show their efforts and love for the flower. All types of Chrysanthemums are gathered at this festival and entertain visitors with its beauty. There will be over 800 pieces of followers presented at this festival. You will be amazed by the delicacy of the beauty of Chrysanthemums. The main venue of this festival is the underground walkway in Sapporo station. Why don’t you appreciate the beauty of the flower with Japanese traditional music while you are at this festival? For more information, please check the following link:

Sapporo Art Stage (Nov 1st-Dec 2nd, 2018)

Image courtesy of kyu3

If you are a big fan of art and music, this Sapporo Art Stage festival is the one for you to go. This festival is a relatively new event which started in 2005. It goes on for about the month. Fine arts, stage performances, and music will highjack the city during the festival. You will enjoy artworks by Japanese artists from all over Japan at the underground walkway of Sapporo station. It is a good opportunity for you to learn the trend of current Japanese arts. You can totally immerse yourself into Japanese art culture. Here is the official site of this festival: (Only in Japanese, the schedule for 2018 is not fixed yet)

Sapporo White Illumination (Nov 22rd – Dec 25th, 2018)

November is the high time for illumination events all over Japan. Cities get busy with decorating streets and buildings with illumination. Sapporo city does the same. Besides, this newly started illumination festival light up the city with 520,000 bulbs. If the city gets cold enough to have snow, you can see the reflection of light and snow sparkling in the sky. The scenery is fantastical and breathtaking. This festival takes place mainly in Odori Street. Enjoy this astonishing illumination while you are in Sapporo. Here is more about the event for your information:

Munich Christmas Market (Nov 25th –Dec 24th, 2018)

Sapporo city is a sister city of Munich of Germany. It may be weird to experience the German style of Christmas event while you are in Japan. But it is like killing of two birds with one stone type of thing, right? Joining this event makes you feel like you are in Germany. Anyway, at this festival, you will taste hot wine and some delicious German foods. Also, there will be workshops and concerts that entertain you during this festival. If you have been a good boy or girl, you may be able to get a present from Santa Claus at the festival! Sounds interesting? For more information about this festival, please visit this website:

Sapporo Asahiyama Music Festival in Kitara (Nov 21st, 2018)

This music festival has 30 years of history. All people who love singing in choir practice for this event. Thus, several choirs compete with each other at the festival and their singing sounds like a pro. There will be a performance with professional Opera singers at the festival. This year, you will listen to the Carmen opera on the stage. You will be carried away by their magnificent voice while you are at this festival. Why don’t you take a look at their website for more information: (Only in Japanese)

Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort (Open from the middle of November 2018)

Sapporo city gets really cold at the end of November. The temperature goes down to 0 depending on the area of the city. Sapporo Ski Resort locates only 60 minutes drive from the center of the city. The quality of snow is pretty good regardless of the location. You can rent what you need for skiing or snowboarding in the mountains. If you are looking for some outdoor activities, going to Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort could be the best option for you. Please check the schedule for opening and detailed information on their official website:

Closing Remarks

Did you enjoy getting to know about festivals and events in Sapporo? What I listed in this article is not everything of course. There are more events and festivals you can enjoy in Sapporo this autumn.  Thus, if you cannot find the events and festivals you want to go, please look for more on FestivalGo.
You can find a local guide to spend a day with you or take you to a festival and tell you even more information through Huber! Please click on the banner below and find good friends or guides for your trip!

Explore Everything in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the most northern island in Japan and is a great place to visit as it boasts plenty of tourist attractions and outstanding food. If you would like to see rural Japan, Hokkaido gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of snowy mountains and admire authentic traditional northern Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Hokkaido throughout the year, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!



Yogi and Snowboarder. Love to explore nature and to meet new people. Currently, residing in the Kansai area in Japan.

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