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Sapporo, Japan

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jul 10, 2023

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Sapporo, Japan: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What do I need to know before moving to Sapporo?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Sapporo, they said:

"Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, is known for its beautiful landscapes, winter sports, and delicious food, but there are several things expats should know before moving there. Firstly, the climate in Sapporo is quite different from the rest of Japan, with long, cold winters and short, mild summers. Snowfall is heavy, and the city is well-equipped to handle it, but newcomers may need time to adjust. Japanese is the primary language spoken in Sapporo, and while some people may speak English, it's beneficial to learn some basic Japanese phrases. The cost of living in Sapporo is lower than in cities like Tokyo or Osaka, but it's still higher than in many Western countries. Public transportation is efficient and reliable, with an extensive subway system and many buses, but most locals prefer to cycle or walk. Sapporo is a safe city with a low crime rate, but it's still important to take basic safety precautions, especially at night. The city is famous for its food, especially seafood and ramen, and trying local cuisine is a must. Healthcare in Sapporo is of a high standard, but it can be expensive, so it's important to have health insurance. The work culture in Japan is very different from the West, with long hours and a strong emphasis on loyalty and dedication to the company. Finally, it's important to respect Japanese customs and traditions, as the culture is deeply rooted in respect and politeness," commented one expat who made the move to Sapporo.

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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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