When it comes to going to travel, the weather of your travel destination would be one of concerns. Four season in Sapporo is clearly divided and the temperature difference between day and night is considerable, so adequate clothing or belongings are needed to enjoy your travel.
As a rough indicator, most Sapporo citizen wear long sleeves or cardigan around 20 degrees, cotton jacket around 15 degrees and prepare thin coat when it becomes below 10 degrees.Getting further colder like below 5 degrees, most people wear down-jacket or wool coat.
There are a number of websites to check the weather forecast for all over Japan, but the official website by Japan meteorological agency is still most reliable.
Including the weather, you can check current condition of Sapporo city center via a live streaming at Sapporo TV tower
When you visit to Sapporo, choosing suitable clothing might be one of the annoying matters for you. Weather and temperature in Sapporo are clearly distinguished for four seasons, so checking the weather forecast and preparation of adequate clothing before the travel are strongly recommended. As one of Sapporo local people, let me introduce general clothing for each season.
Spring season in Sapporo: Early April-mid Jun
*Average temperature: 7.1℃ -16.7℃
*General clothing for spring in Sapporo: Long sleeve shirt, skirt/long pants, cardigan and jacket
On Apr, a jacket is still needed. Wearing long sleeve shirt may be enough comfortable for some of you in May and Jun, but you may also feel cold without jacket in the night during this period. Wearing short sleeve is still too early even sometime after Jun.
Summer season in Sapporo: Mid Jun-Aug
*General clothing for summer in Sapporo: T shirt, short pants or skirt (long sleeves are still needed in Jun)
Some days in Jun are still cold in Sapporo, but summer is coming little by little after early Jul. Compared to other cities in Asian countries, the humidity in Sapporo is not high, so you would feel very comfortable for its summer season.
Autumn season in Sapporo: Early Sep-mid Nov *Average temperature:4.9℃-18.1℃
*General clothing for Autumn in Sapporo: Some long sleeves with Jacket or coat
It is the most difficult season to tell what kind of clothes are comfortable. After mid Sep, it is soon to become cold in Sapporo. Temperatures between day and night is largely different during this season, so it would be better to bring jacket or coat to put on any long sleeves. Oct and Nov are recognized as autumn on the calendar, but sometimes you may need winter clothes such as wool cardigan. In 2015, it fell snow in Oct…
Winter season in Sapporo: Mid Nov-early Apr *Average temperature:4.9℃（Jan：-3.6℃）-7.1℃
*General clothing and additional items for winter : Down jacket or wool coat, sweater, wool scarf, and wool gloves
Winter in Sapporo that you need to prepare for serious cold begins from mid Nov. Outside is very cold, on the other hand, heater well works at the department store and underpass, so you may be surprised with the deference of those temperatures. When you plan to go to Sapporo city center for shopping whole day, it would be better to wear a coat, wool cardigan and long sleeves so that you can put on or take off own clothes easily.
Compared to other areas in Japan, four seasons of Hokkaido is clearly divided. As you may know, winter in Hokkaido is severely cold and continues a long time, but once become warming, several kinds of flowers are bloomed at the same time, which makes people feel exact spring . Summer in Hokkaido is cooler and more comfortable than in Tokyo or other areas in Japan, but it is short and you would soon feel autumn even late August. Each season has each good point though, if I am asked the best season of Sapporo for travel, following ranking is my personal recommend order. It would be greatly appreciated if you refer to this post for your travel planning.
No 1. Autumn (Early Sep- Mid Nov)
The season enables us to enjoy hot spring with watching autumn leaves and is fulfilled with delicious foods. In particular, fresh seafood such as saury fish, salmon and salmon roe are available at the local restaurants and supermarkets at cheap price in Sapporo. If you have plan to visit Sapporo beginning of Nov, I recommend going out to Hokkaido University (North 13 Rd, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo) to see golden color scenery by ginkgo trees.
No 2. Summer (Mid Jun-Aug)
Summer in Hokkaido is very very short. Though it has exceeded 30 degrees for recent years in Sapporo as well, its weather and humidity during summer season is still more comfortable than other areas in Japan. At Sapporo Odori Park located in the central of Sapporo city, outdoor beer restaurants called “Beer garden ” are open from mid Jul to mid Aug every year. Those who have plan to visit Sapporo during this period would have chance to enjoy fresh beer with refreshing night breeze.
No 3. Spring (Early April-Mid Jun)
In Hokkaido where winter continues for a half year, many local people choose spring as the most preferable and happy season. A symbol flower of Spring, cherry blossoms are bloomed in late April in Sapporo, though those are bloomed in late March in Tokyo. Spring is a definitely beautiful season, but there is one caution for tourists who visit Hokkaido between late Mar and beginning of Apr. Due to snow starts melting during this period, road condition is so bad that it is easy to get dirty by many puddles. If you walk around the central town of Sapporo, better to use underpass to avoid uncomfortable matter.
No 4. Winter (Mid Nov-Early Apr)
Sapporo citizens experience winter for nearly 6 months in a year. Travelers who have never seen snow in their home countries may visit Hokkaido in order to see it, but this season is very hard and it makes local people feel quite long period to spend it…..What travelers need to take care in this season is outfits and shoes to spend comfortably during the travel. I guess most travelers prepare clothes with enough thick to keep warm, but heater of underground and shops in Sapporo works very well, therefore someone may feel too hot if they stay inside all day long. A recommendable way to spend comfortable in Sapporo is layering a few clothes so that you can take off some at anytime. To avoid slipping on the icy road, it is better to buy anti-slip tool to put on your own shoes at any kiosk in new Chitose airport or Sapporo Station.