2017 Asian Winter Games in Sapporo, Hokkaido

Half Pipe Snowboarding event at the Asian Winter Games

8th Year of the Asian Winter Games in Sapporo and nearby Obihiro, Japan.

The Games

The Asian Winter Games is returning to Sapporo and nearby Obihiro, Japan for the 8th edition this February. The last time the Asian Winter Games were held in Japan was in Sapporo in 1986 and 1990 (the first two Asian Winter Games) and Aomori in 2003. China, Korea, and Kazakhstan have also hosted the Games as well as Astana and Almaty co-hosting cities in 2011.

The Games are an international multi-sport event run by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) to develop winter sports. There are a total of 45 member countries and regions in Asia. The Asian Winter Games showcase five sporting events including: biathlon, curling, ice hockey, skating (figure and speed skating) and skiing (alpine, cross country, freestyle, ski jumping and snowboarding). The 8th AWG is expected to be one of the largest ever, thus far, drawing around 1,200 participants from approximately 30 countries and regions.

Date: February 19, 2017 (Sun) to February 26 (Sun)

Asian Winter Games Opening Ceremony

Asian Winter Games Opening Ceremony

The Place

Sapporo is the beautiful capital of Hokkaido and is the most northerly of Japan’s four main islands. Many people know of Sapporo for having hosted the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, as well as for its Sapporo beer, and ski resorts. The city of Obihiro will share the hosting duties with Sapporo in 2017 by staging the speed skating events.

Asian Winter Games in Sapporo City. Photo Credit- Natalie Stangl

Sapporo City. Photo Credit: Natalie Stangl

The Bird’s Eye View

Men and Women’s Ski Jumping

Location: Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

With participants competing from China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, and Australia, there will no doubt be different styles of technique (and accents) for judges to pay attention to. With a K-spot at 90 meters and a hill height of 100 meters, the goal for athletes is to try and stay airborne for as long as possible. Athletes will be judged based on distance, in-flight style, speed, turning technique, landing and more.

Date: February 21-25, 2017

Okurayama Ski Jump at the Asian Winter Games

Okurayama Ski Jump

The Grub

Ramen Alley

Location: Susukino, Chuo-ku, Sapporo

Do you like eating egg noodles in small, hot, counter service only places? So does Anthony Bourdain. He also likes Ramen. Hokkaido Ramen. (Miso Ramen). He stumbled on Ramen Alley in an episode of his TV Show, No Reservations in 2011. The area has since become even more popular and you can see the restaurant Mr. Bourdain visited along with his photo and signature on the wall.

Ramen Alley is a must see AND eat in Sapporo. It is a long narrow alley with the best 20+ restaurants serving Miso Ramen. Miso Ramen is local to Sapporo. It is unique and delicious and worth seeing and tasting!

Where to eat diring the asian winter games, Anthony Bourdain’s Ramen Alley Spot. Photo Credit- Natalie Stangl

Anthony Bourdain’s Ramen Alley Spot. Photo Credit: Natalie Stangl

 

Eating out at the Asian Winter Games, View of Ramen Alley Photo Credit- Robert Boyce

View of Ramen Alley Photo Credit: Robert Boyce

 

The Brew

Sapporo Beer Garden / Museum

Location: Sapporo Garden Park in Higashi-ku, Sapporo

While it doesn’t pair well with Ramen, Sapporo is known for its delicious beer. Not only can you taste and experience how the local beer is brewed, you can pair it with local cuisine. Enjoy an All-You-Can-Eat + All-You-Can-Drink buffet and Hokkaido’s famous “Genghis Khan” (fresh lamb meat and vegetables) with freshly brewed beer.

The beer garden campus is quite large offering 5 main halls, each offering a different atmosphere. Even though the calories might add up, we promise you it’s worth it. We recommend the Sapporo “Classic” beer for starters.

Asian Winter Games, Inside Kessel Beer Hall at the Sapporo Beer Garden

Inside Kessel Beer Hall at the Sapporo Beer Garden. Photo Credit: Sapporo

While the English translation isn’t as good as the beer, find out more information here.

For more information, head to the 2017 Sapporo Asian Winter Games website.

See the overview of the 7th Asian Winter Games from 2011 here.

Related: Navigating the Sapporo Snow Festival 

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Natalie Stangl

Natalie is an American expat freelance writer and marketer living in Hokkaido, Japan. She is a born and raised Minnesotan with an accent thicker than a pint of Paulaner Beer. She has a serious love for sports, outdoors, and overall health and wellness. While most would shutter at the thought of -27 degree wind-chill, you’ll find her embracing it with a smile on her face. She is an an adaptable, loyal, and fierce woman of “The North”. Aside from her love of sports and outdoors, her partner is an Import professional ice hockey player in Japan and together they have one child, their 7 year old golden retriever, Frenchy.

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