Put yourself in an Olympic or professional ski jumper’s shoes (or ski boots) and brave the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. This interactive sport-centric complex is an exhilarating attraction for both athletes and fans. Here, gain an understanding of the place’s history and experience an adrenaline rush. The spectacular views over Sapporo are just the icing on this steep cake.
Sapporo’s ski jump has been around for a long time. Construction finished in 1931, but renovations were in order when the city was to play host to the elite athletes of the 11th Olympic Winter Games in 1972. Its now modern facilities mean that it’s usable both for night jumps and in warm weather. When world-class competitors are not using the jump, it’s open to thrillseeking tourists who’d like to get a taste of what it’s like to be on top of the world.
To get to the top of the mountain, hop on the speedy-but-picturesque double chair lift – for a nominal fee. You’ll climb 300 metres in just five minutes, with panoramic views of the Ishikari Plain and Sapporo landmarks awaiting your arrival. But the viewing lounge is more than just a scenic lookout; it’s an opportunity to see what the world’s best skiers see before they go over the edge at the starting line.
Next, head inside to the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum and get even more into the action with some not-as-extreme extreme sports. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the Sensation/Experience Zone allows you to get a feel for the ski jump using a simulator, so you can know the elation of jumping without the holiday-ruining risk of broken bones. You’ll also find an informative explanation of the sport and its rules, as well as a section dedicated to the Olympics and other international competitions that have taken place here. The museum is open daily from 8:30am to 6pm; opening hours for the stadium vary based on official practice schedules and competition schedules, so call ahead before you visit. Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium is a 20-minute taxi ride from Sapporo’s city centre.