Saturday 2 March 2024

5 defensive cycling tips for winter cycling in Sapporo city,Hokkaido.

Defensive Winter Cycling in Sapporo 

Winter in Sapporo is harsh. It is frigid, and snow falls every day for up to four months. Sapporo is located in Hokkaido. This is Japan's coldest region, and it is extremely near to Russia. During the winter season, you may expect a lot of snow and cold weather coming from Russia.

During the peak of the winter season in Hokkaido. In some places in Hokkaido, the temperature drops to around negative 15-20 degrees Celsius. Sapporo City usually receives an annual snowfall of 697cm with a low temperature of -10.

So, if you are like me who lives in Sapporo for 3 winters and continues biking throughout the winter. You get to learn a few tricks of cycling in the snow.

In addition, you can learn about the types of snow and icy conditions in Sapporo, as well as how to ride defensively.

So, let's dive into the 7 tips for defensive cycling in winter in Sapporo.

1. Fresh snow cycling.

Personally, I enjoy cycling over fresh snow. When the snow is fresh, there is less risk of sliding. However, you must remain mindful of the surface on which you drive.

Most of the time, ice surfaces exist beneath fresh snow. Regardless of how much snow falls that day. You must use caution before biking or riding on the solid surface beneath the fresh snow.

When cycling, always pay close attention to the surfaces beneath the fresh snow. You can tell when you are cycling on an extremely icy, unstable, or uneven surface beneath the fresh snow.

It is best to get off your bike and push over these surfaces.

2. Icy surfaces cycling.

This is the most dangerous winter condition. It usually forms at night when the temperature rapidly drops. This makes the snow on the street surfaces or on the road cool down overnight rapidly and turns into ice.

The most dangerous conditions for icy cycling in the streets of Sapporo are the places where cars drive and people have to walk over continuously. The surfaces in these places were very very slippery. 

If you find yourself cycling on these very very icy surfaces without a snow spike tyre.

What you should do is not apply to send brake at any bend, curve, or just on flat sources of the street.


Do not cycle on the road where the cars drive. It is very dangerous. Try to cycle on the footpaths and keep your wheel to where the icy surface is a little rough and has some icy spiky surfaces. This will enable traction on your wheels for firm grip.

3. Sticky snow surface cycling.

This is an intriguing and exhausting condition to ride under. This condition, in my experience, occurs after a light rain or when the daytime temperature rises slightly. For example, above 0 degrees.

When cycling on these wet and sticky snow surfaces, seek for areas where it is a little more solid. 

In this situation, you can pedal on the road. It would be slightly less slippery.

However, if you ride on the sidewalk, you must use force with your paddle. Try to avoid paths with heavy snow. This thicker-wet snow will catch your tires and prevent you from moving forward.

Shift into a higher gear to go slowly and steadily forward until you find a solid surface.

4. Heavy snow cycling.

I have ridden through several strong snowstorms in Sapporo and elsewhere in Japan. During heavy snowfall. The visibility is really low. It is best not to cycle on the road where there are cars. 

 It is preferable to cycle on the footpath. Ride slowly and always use a cycling glass. These can tremendously assist you in staying focused on cycling and not being distracted by snowflakes striking your face and eyes as you ride through the heavy snow. 

5. Muddy snow cycling.

In the situation of muddy cycling. Cycling is far easier. You will not be stuck as often. But even in muddy snowy circumstances. When cycling, try to avoid hard and slippery bumps in muddy snow pools.

When encountering icy bumps, try to go slowly and keep a good balance. When cycling, approach ice bumps head-on. Do not try to get over it from an incline.

6. Cycling on loose snow.

Loose snow surfaces occur as a result of prolonged snowfall combined with slightly warmer temperatures. As pedestrians and cars traveled across the snow.

 They chopped through the snow, resulting in a large amount of loose snow. This makes the snow more free and unstable.

If you cycle in these snowy circumstances. Do not make any sudden turns. Bike straight and use a bit extra energy on your paddle. 

In this condition, you are less likely to fall over or slip. However, it is essential to exercise caution when cycling. 

7. Wear thick warm clothes.

The cold is one of the most challenging aspects of winter cycling. Even if it is not windy, riding a bike allows you to travel against the wind. As a result, if you do not wear thick clothing, you will become quite cold.

From my experience, your feet and hands will be extremely cold and painful. I propose that you wear heavier gloves and snow boots. This makes cycling more pleasant.

8. Buy snow bike types.

I have not utilized snow spike tires, but I recommend them in snowy weather. Snow tires provide more efficient traction.

Allowing you to accelerate and make curves with ease. However, on an icy surface, I recommend riding gently and avoiding quick twists or breaks.

Written by Joshua 

The author 

Saturday 10 February 2024

差ポロのユキマツリ Winter Festival in Sapporo city.


    Sapporo Yuki Matsuri             

Sapporo Ice World                                                                          Fish sculpture

                                                                           Ainu display

Sapporo City, is the home of Japan's famous winter festival, the Sapporo Snow Festival or Japanese, Yuki Matsuri.

Every year ice sculptures from around the world converge on this city of 2 million inhabitants to showcase their ice-scalping talents.

This year 2024 was special because for 2 years the city of Sapporo was not able to hold the event. Due to COVID-19 pandemic.

 Finally this year, the city opened its doors once again to have the biggest winter events.

      Bird                                         End of Ice World


This year 2024 marks 74 years of the Sapporo snow festival. It started in 1950 with a few high school students building a snow sculpture at the Sapporo famous Odori Park. From then on the event got bigger and bigger attracting many visitors from within Japan and abroad.

This year 2024, the event is held in 3 locations;

  1. Suzukino
  2. Odaori Park
  3. Sapporo Dome Area.
This year's term is ' Finding Delight and Interacting With Ice'.

1. Suzukino


The once puzzling main, street of Suzukino is where they cornered off allowing two blocks of the main street to be taken up by the Ice Word sculptures.

This year there were approximately 60 sculptures on display  including the ice sculpture with a trapped fish, ice sculptures from the contest, large-scale Ainu ice sculptures that are powerful and magnificent, and sculptures depicting characters from each broadcasting company were on display

                              Suzukino Ice World Map

2. Odari Park

Odari Park the original place where the Sapporo snow festival started has many snow sculptures. It also features some of the biggest snow sculptures for this event.

This year the sculptures feature many of Japan's famous people, anime characters and movies, singing groups, major sponsors, and Hokkaido Indigenous People, the Ainu.

This year the largest sculptures on display in Odari Park are Upopoi National Ainu Museum, Neuschwanstein Castle, Old Sapporo Station, and Hokkaido Ballpark F Village.

                        Golden Kamuwi Movie

There are also snow sculptures from various countries including, Indonesia, Thailand, Lithuania, and Mongolia.

This year Odri Park snow festival included the curling sport for citizens to try. The curling area is located next to the Sapporo Clock Tower.

Furthermore, if you are walking around and find yourself hungry. You can try out the many delicious Japanese stall foods. They are freshly cooked and are tenderly so good.
HBC Broadcasting

                                     Performance stage 

                                 Citizen sculpture

F Village.


3. Tsudome Site 

The Tsudome site is located in the famous Sapporo Dome area. This is Sapporo's biggest dome and they can host a lot of sports events there. It is located in the Toyahria Word area.

This site is mostly composed of giant ice-skying slides. It is enjoyed by children and their parents. There are slides, snow rafts, and other attractions. The indoor space offers gourmet booths, rest areas, and other attractions for children to play in. 

by Joshua.

Friday 15 December 2023

The most breathtaking cycling track in Sapporo City for your cycling adventures.

 Top 5 cycling tracks in Sapporo City, Hokkaido.

This is for those of you who enjoy riding bicycles and are either planning a trip to Sapporo or currently reside there and are always curious;

'what is the best cycling track for cycling in Sapporo city?'

It seems like you're on a quest to find an answer to this question, and I'm here to help you out. You've come to the right place, so let's dive in and find that response together!

Are you up for some cycling in Sapporo? I've got just the right spots for you to explore on two wheels. Let me guide you to the best cycling routes in the city! I got you covered! Let me show you the best spots in the city where you can enjoy a thrilling ride while exploring the beautiful surroundings.

 1. The Toyahira River Cycling Course.


Toyahira Cycling is one of the best cycling courses in Sapporo City. It starts at Makomanai Park and finishes at the Isakari River.

The course runs parallel to the Toyahira River and ends at the Iskari River. You can decide which side of the river you want to cycle on.

The total length of the course is around 25 km, and it would take you an hour and a half to complete the cycling track. The tracks go through different river sporting areas, recreation areas, children's playing areas, and small river forested areas. The view of the Toyahira River from the cycling trail is breathtaking.

I recommend doing light cycling in the afternoon when the sun is a little brighter. You will really enjoy cycling there.

So, choose the Toyahira River Cycling Course next time you want to cycle.

2. The cycling course Shiraishi Kokoro Do.



This was once a railroad track that was turned into a bike path. The rail extends all the way to Kita Hiroshima Station from Sapporodaichi Park. The route travels through parts of Sapporo City's Shiroishi area and Kita Hiroshima. It is around 25 kilometers long.

The trail is extremely smooth because it was freshly resealed.  Gorgeous chrysanthemum trees shade the trail. You can experience the beautiful fallage of riding in the spring and fall.

Riding a bicycle to Kita Hiroshima will pass through the Learning Forest, an area of breathtaking scenery. You can purchase refreshments at the Cycling Center in the middle of the Leaning Forest route, or you can hire a bike there as well. 

In addition to cycling, hiking is another activity available in the learning forest.

It takes two to three hours to cycle from Kokoro Road to Kita Hiroshima.

Shiraishi Kokoro's cycling path is worth considering the next time you're looking for an adventurous riding experience.

3. The Kotoni River Cycling Course. 

The Kononi bicycle track begins at the north end of Hokkaido University. The cycling track in Kononi is breathtakingly gorgeous. I've gone there on numerous cycles.

Running on both sides of the river, it's a stunning cove that leads all the way to Ishari. It is quieter than the other two tracks. There are fewer parks for resting and fewer people in general. Small woodlands bordering the river's side encircle it for the most part. It descended below Shinkawa Dori Ave. Thus, if you are riding your bike on the Konoi Bike Path you will be cycling at a lower elevation than the cars on Shinkawa Dori Ave.

With any luck, you may be able to spot some wildlife, such as foxes, gorgeous cranes, and other untamed birds. While riding and running there, I have seen some amazing wildlife.

The track is 14 km long, and it would take you one hour to pedal the entire 14 kilometers of the track.

If you want to experience a calm and scenic pleasure. Try the Kotoni cycling course.

4. The Kotonihassamu River cycling path.

One of the Koni River's tributaries is the Kotonihassamu River. It empties into the Konoi River a short distance downstream from the northeasternmost point of Hokkaido University. The river flows through the Kotoni neighborhood and ascends into the Heiwa neighborhood's mountains in Sapporo.

The family picnic area beside the river is traversed by the Kontoni River Cycling Trail, which runs along its right bank. You will enter the Nishino Green Route after passing through the picnic areas. It is a lovely, verdant natural area with lots of trees.

The road is 12 km long, and cycling uphill would take an hour, but cycling downhill would take less time. It's a tough uphill ride. However, it's enjoyable and satisfying once you complete the course and reach the waterfall upstream.

The Heiwa Cycle Bridge marks the end of the trip. The Heiwa Waterfall can be reached by following the route that parallels the Kotonihassamu River from that point on. There are several scenic views along the trail that you can enjoy while cycling.

If you'd like to take pleasure in both cycling and waterfall viewing. Go the Koni route.

5. The Nakano Cycling Part.

Another river that flows into the Konini is the Nakano River. I haven't gone cycling there. On Google Earth, nevertheless, it bears a striking resemblance to the Kotonihassau River.

Despite being shorter than the riding track in Kotonihassaumu. It has several family parks and picnic spaces, and I believe the vistas are fantastic.

Hey, don't miss out on this one! I highly recommend trying out this amazing cycling course. Once you hit the road, you'll feel the wind on your face and the thrill of the ride. Don't forget to share your experience with us - we'd love to hear all about it. we're all ears and can't wait to hear about your experience!"

By Joshua Sasahombi.

Feel the joy of cycling!.

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