Where to Stay on a Budget in Sapporo

Fresh and contemporary, Red Planet Sapporo proves that you can travel on a budget in Japan without skimping on style
Fresh and contemporary, Red Planet Sapporo proves that you can travel on a budget in Japan without skimping on style | Courtesy of Red Planet Sapporo / Expedia.com
Alicia Miller

Japan usually ranks high on lists of the most expensive countries to travel, but with a little research and planning it is easy to find affordable accommodation. Famous for its fresh seafood, rich history and modern architecture, Sapporo city has plenty of options, from Susukino to Hokkaido University, for an authentic local experience that won’t break the bank. Take a look at some of them below, bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Quintessa Hotel Sapporo

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

Quintessa Hotel Sapporo
Courtesy of Quintessa Hotel Sapporo / Expedia.com

Not only is the Quintessa Hotel just north of Nakajima Park, a scenic green space for walks in summer or cross-country skiing in winter, it’s also only a sushi roll’s toss from a metro station – so exploring Sapporo is easy. The spacious rooms, decorated in cappuccino tones, also come with handy add-ons: parking for your hire car, rental bikes and laundry service. The breakfast buffet is a serious affair, with around 80 different dishes on offer, from Hokkaido pumpkin to local milk.

2. Karaksa Hotel Sapporo

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

Karaksa Hotel Sapporo
Courtesy of Karaksa Hotel Sapporo / Expedia.com

Only a couple of blocks from Sapporo’s party heart, Susukino, which is packed full of whisky bars, izakaya pubs, lamb-scented jingisukan barbecue restaurants and more, Karaksa is a natural pick for night owls who want to enjoy the city after dark. Cheery rooms are decked in whites and light woods, while a restaurant serves up only-in-Hokkaido specialities. A second-floor public bath is ideal for warming frosty limbs after a winter’s day exploring.

3. Red Planet Sapporo

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

Red Planet Sapporo
Courtesy of Red Planet Sapporo / Expedia.com

A fresh, youthful vibe pervades at Red Planet, from the dramatic red-and-black lobby stylings to the minimalist, contemporary rooms with white-washed walls. Desk areas suit business travellers planning to mix work with pleasure, but in truth this hotel is best used as a crash pad for further exploration. After all, you’re primely placed: just a short walk from Odori Park, the centre of Sapporo’s annual Snow Festival.

4. The Stay Sapporo

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel, Guesthouse

The Stay Sapporo
Courtesy of the Stay Sapporo / Expedia.com

Looking to socialise? The Stay, the largest guesthouse in Hokkaido, has shared kitchens, lounge spaces, bedrooms and even bathrooms, to give you the chance to meet fellow travellers. Sleeping between two and eight people in hostel-style dorms – stylishly decked out in raw woods – the rooms are walking distance from going-out hotspot Susukino (so you’ll have plenty of bars to visit with your new friends). There’s a coin laundry on hand if you’re planning on staying a while.

5. Hotel Lifort Sapporo

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel

Hotel Lifort Sapporo
Courtesy of Hotel Lifort Sapporo / Expedia.com

Lifort is a winner for outdoorsy types who want to immerse themselves in one of Sapporo’s prettiest green spaces, Nakajima Park. There are loads of amenities on site, including a 24-hour front desk, a chapel and even a restaurant, while fans of Japanese culture will love the proximity to the Koharadojo Calligraphy Art Museum. It’s a popular spot for big weddings and banquet events, so keep eyes peeled for local revellers dressed to the nines.

6. Grids Sapporo

Hostel

Grids Sapporo
Courtesy of Grids Sapporo / Expedia.com

Sapporo is best-known for its annual Snow Festival, when epic, multi-storey ice sculptures – fashioned by the world’s finest carvers – appear in central Odori Park. And Grids Sapporo puts you in the centre of this energetic strip, also home to live music and cockle-warming drinks. The hostel itself is set in a shopping arcade, so you can indulge in a spot of boutique-browsing before bedding down in dorm-style rooms. Travelling as a family? Book a traditional tatami room with futon beds for the full Japanese experience.

7. Untapped Hostel

Hostel

Untapped Hostel
Courtesy of Untapped Hostel / Expedia.com

Right next to Hokkaido University – as well as a metro stop that will whisk you to central Sapporo station – Untapped is one of Sapporo’s coolest affordable stays: think concrete-style walls, industrial-chic lighting and distressed wood detailing. There’s a comfy lounge area and kitchen space where you can catch up with friends, old and new, over a steaming hojicha roasted tea. Or, prep a meal before tackling the Sapporo brewery tour – an easy journey away via public transport.

8. Backpackers Hostel Ino’s Place

Hostel

Backpackers Hostel Ino’s Place
Courtesy of Backpackers Hostel Ino’s Place / Hostelworld.com

Want to see the real Hokkaido, away from the tourist trail? In the eastern reaches of the city, Ino’s Place is in a local neighbourhood that gives you an authentic Japanese experience. With free coffee and tea, and a cosy lounge – as well as equipped kitchen for self-catering – it’s not fancy, but it’s certainly homely. Wooden bunk beds feature in sleeping quarters, while there are laundry facilities and lockers for storing away valuables when you head out to explore.

Dave Afshar contributed additional reporting to this article.

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