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Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, home to over 2.5 million people in the Hokkaido's capital region.

Sapporo is also one of the nation's youngest major cities.

In 1857, the city's population stood at just seven people.

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 and enlarged according to the advice of foreign specialists.

Consequently, Sapporo was built based on a North American style rectangular street system.

Odori Avenue Park stretches from east to west in the center of the city with more than 1400m long, and is a symbol of the city, full of art objects, fountains, lilac and acacia plants and lots of flowerbeds.

In summer it is full of beer gardens, while in winter it becomes the location for a snow festival.

During the festival, this big park is occupied with magnificent snow statues and beautiful ice statues.

To the north stand trading companies, financial institutions and local government offices, while to the south is a large underground shopping mall, which as the city's main shopping center is always busy.

It is connected directly to Sapporo Station, which is the transportation hub for all of Hokkaido and the place to board JR lines, the subway, and both local and tourist buses.

The city surely contains many essential sights: the Sapporo City Clock, which has been marking time for over a century; the old Hokkaido government building, and the poplars outside Hokkaido University (formerly Hokkaido Agricultural College).

Sapporo became world famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there.

Today, the city is well known for its ramen, beer, and the annual snow festival held in February.

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