Virgin woods highlight this sensational park. Lions and giraffes are found in spectacular snow-covered surroundings.
Maruyama-koen Park is located in the western suburbs of Sapporo on the dome-shaped Maruyama hill, 226 meters above sea level. This huge 60,000-square meter area contains virgin woods with oak, 'katsura' (Japanese Judas tree), magnolia, maple and other varieties of trees, and is a designated natural monument.
In spring the park is busy with visitors who flock to see the blooming of the more than 1,700 Hokkaido wild cherry trees. At Hokkaido-jingu Shrine on the hillside, there are giant elm and cypress trees where woodpeckers gather, making it a great place for bird watching.
Maruyama Zoo contains an aviary for tropical birds and an insect house. The park contains about 200 species of living things. In winter, the zoo is enveloped in snow, and giraffes and lions walk around in the middle of this snow-covered landscape - a strange and wonderful scene that you cannot see at any other zoo.
A 10-minute bus ride from the park takes you to the Okurayama Ski Jump Slopes, where you can watch ski jump competitions during the season. There are also ski resorts and other facilities nearby where you can enjoy winter sports.
From Tokyo:[Air]1h 30 min from Haneda to Shin-Chitose Airport. 35 min from the airport to Sapporo Station by JR Chitose Line (rapid train). 5 min from Odori to Maruyama-koen Station by Tozai Subway Line.[Rail]17h from Tokyo to Sapporo by sleeping car.
From Osaka:[Air]2h 10 min from Itami, or 1h 55 min from Kansai International Airport to Shin-Chitose Airport.