Some of the best views of Sapporo can be had from the Mt. Okura Observatory. The observatory got its start in 1972 as the site of the 90-meter ski jump competitions during the Sapporo Winter Olympics. Today, the facility still hosts ski jump events during the winter months, but during the rest of the year, the ski lift ferries visitors to the Viewing Point Lounge, located 1,007 feet (307 meters) above sea level.
Besides offering views of the city of Sapporo and the Ishikari Plain, the site also houses the Sapporo Winter Sports Museum, where visitors can learn about the history of winter sports in Japan and try simulators that immerse you in the experience of timing a ski jump or technical spin in figure skating.
The easiest way to get to the ski lift at the base of Mt. Okura Observatory is by catching a taxi from Maruyama Koen Station (a 10-minute ride) or from central Sapporo (a 20-minute ride).