Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium and Observatory
Standing at 90 meters high, the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium was the glory of Japan during the 1972 Winter Olympics. We didn’t know what to expect because we didn’t plan to come here on our itinerary. But we knew it was a tourist attraction near the Hokkaido Shrine so we came here nonetheless. There was a bus from Hokkaido Shrine, and it took about 15 minutes to walk up the hill from the bus stop.
The Spectacular Ski Jump Slope
Our legs got really jellied even though our bodies were freezing. However, after we reached the stadium, we forgot how tired we were. The place was huge and the view was spectacular. It was simply amazing how steep the slope was. Like how do they even ski down that thing? As usual, we went snapping away!
There was also the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum, located at the foot of the stadium. The exhibits at the museum are all about Sapporo’s Olympic connection, athletes and history. We refrained from going to museums in Japan as we probably won’t understand a thing. It was also because we were more interested in the ski lift!
And so there is a ski lift service up to the Okurayama Observatory Lounge. We were very excited because the lift was much higher than those in Niseko. Except of course we won’t be skiing down. The whole ride took about 5 minutes. While on the way ride up, you can see various parts of the ski jump up close, as well as the judge’s tower and the scoreboard. We read that if we are lucky enough, we might get to see people practicing on the steep slope.
Once the ski arrived at the top of the slope, we will reach the outdoor observation deck first. The observatory is 307 metres above sea level! From up here, we get to see what the Olympic skiers see before taking the leap. The view is simply breathtaking, and we don’t mind freezing in the cold just for this awesome view.
The indoor observation lounge is on the 2nd storey. At last, it felt warmer inside here. Most of the landmarks of Sapporo can be seen from here. And there’s a mini cafe inside the lounge, so visitors can get themselves a hot cup of drink. For us, we had their famous melon flavored soft serve ice cream. This was hands-down the best soft serve ice cream we ever had in all of Japan!
The world famous jump stadium was really worth visiting. Definite awe-inspiring because we’ve not see one of these slopes before. Time to head back to our hotel area, and prepare for our king crab buffet dinner at Ebi Kani Gassen!
Information About Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium
Address: 1274 Miyanomori, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0958, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
Admission Fee: Free (¥500 for round trip ski lift ticket)
Recommended Duration: 1.5 hours