Mount Okura Ski Jump Stadium

Our next stop in Sapporo, after visiting Ishiya Chocolate Factory at Shiroi Koibito Park was the Mount Okura Ski Jump Stadium, officially, Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium and also known as Okurayama-Schanze. This massive (at least to us) ski jump is perhaps most well known from the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics.

Sapporo Olympic Museum
Sapporo Olympic Museum

Before I get into it though, I’ve got a question for you:

Do you prefer Winter or Summer Olympics, and should I go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? I find the Winter Olympics are like a high speed, more dangerous version of the Summer ones, but I’ve never actually attended either. Let me know what you think in the comments at the end of this post and whether I should go to the Tokyo 2020 games!

Disclaimer:

This article is all our own experience. Everything we did was paid for by us, and no part of it was free or subsidised. That said, many of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click it and make a booking or purchase. I hope that you’ll use these links anytime you need to book a place to stay or activity! These small commissions help me to keep travelling so I can write and film more travel guides for you 🙂 I would never recommend anything I don’t or would not personally use!

Getting to Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

The Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium and Olympic Museum are on the Western outskirts of Sapporo, located on Mount Okura in Chuo Ward. Coming from the heart of Sapporo, you can almost get there on just one road.

The full address is:

Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

1274, Miyanomori, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 064-0958 Japan

By car

The drive here is reasonably straightforward following a GPS, but some of the roads up the mountain are narrow and windy. Keep an eye out for cars coming the other way.

There is a car park located just below the stadium called Okurayama Parking Lot on Google Maps.

Looking back down over the Okurayama parking lot towards Sapporo
Looking back down over the Okurayama parking lot towards Sapporo

It’s about a 30-minute drive from central Sapporo and then a short walk across the road and up the escalator to the stadium itself.

Looking from the car park towards the escalator.
Looking from the car park towards the escalator.

Public transport

To access Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium by public transport, take the Sapporo Tozai subway line to Maruyama-Koen Station and transfer to JR Bus route 14 at the Maruyama Bus Terminal. It’s about a 12-minute bus trip to Okurayama Kyogijo Iriguchi bus stop, which is the closest public transport. From here it’s a 10-minute uphill walk to the entrance and up the long stadium escalator. You can expect all up that it will take around 45-50 minutes to get here by public transport from the heart of Sapporo.

At the time of writing, it will cost about 360 Yen for the subway and bus. The bus segment alone would be about 210 Yen.

The escalator is long and steep, and it saves you climbing the stairs, bringing you out between the Okurayama Crystal House and Winter Sports Museum.

Looking up the escalator tube
Looking up the escalator tube

Admission fees and other costs

Parking and entry to the stadium are free, so if you just want to check it out on the cheap, you can. You can also walk the trail to the Observation Platform right up to the top for free if you are feeling energetic and want to keep your costs down.

First view of the ski jump
First view of the ski jump

If the thought of walking all the way up this 134m high hill is a bit much for you, you can purchase round-trip tickets for the chairlift from the booth in front of the Okurayama Crystal House for 500 Yen for adults and 300 Yen for children.

The Crystal House - the chairlift booth is off the left side.
The Crystal House – the chairlift booth is the green and white box off the left side with all the vending machines.

The lift takes you from the base of the ski jump, outside the training centre, to just outside the Observation Platform. You’ll still have to walk the 2 or 3 stories of stairs to the lookouts on the second and third floors.

Keep an eye out for vouchers in the Hokkaido travel maps and magazines as well as on the official website. Coupons for 450 Yen for adults and 270 Yen for children are easy to come by. At the time of writing, there is a printable coupon on the official website here.

The Okurayama Crystal House has a restaurant and gift store in addition to lots of vending machines, so you can choose to buy a meal or souvenirs here. If you go to the restaurant, prices are quite reasonable with decent size lunch set menus from 1180 Yen and dinner set menu’s from 2000 Yen. You can of course also order individual items. Check out the official website here for more information, menu’s and prices (note, the website is in Japanese, so you may need to use Google Translate). A free dessert coupon is also available on their website for use with an eligible meal. Otherwise, you can see the menu’s here (current at the time of writing):

Lunch Menu Dinner Menu

You can also choose to browse the museum for 600 Yen per person or get a 100 Yen discount if you buy your ticket with a chairlift ticket.

Opening hours

Mount Okura Ski Jump Stadium is open for public access from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm seven days a week during the warmer months between April 29 and November 3.

From November 4 to April 28, public opening hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Note that the stadium is occasionally closed and the chairlift is not open to public access during competitions.

The museum opening hours are slightly shorter. 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from April 29 to November 3 and 9:30 am to 5:00 pm from November 3 to April 28.

The restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30 am until 2:00 pm with last orders at 1:30 pm and for dinner from 5:30 pm until 9:30 pm with final orders taken by 9:00 pm.

About Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium

I had no idea about the long history of Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. I thought the 1972 Winter Olympics was the reason it was built, but it turns out it was opened in 1931 independently and donated to the city of Sapporo.

It was only renovated in 1970 for the 1972 Winter Olympics, and it officially became known as Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium.

It’s quite daunting from below, but you don’t grasp the height of this stadium until you go to the top. From the base of it, you get some great photo opportunities in front of the fountains with the mountain rising in the background.

At the base of the ski jump
At the base of the ski jump.

 

The fountains at the bottom of the jump run on a timer and are not always going.
The fountains at the bottom of the jump run on a timer and are not always going.

Up the top though, the view down over the jump and towards Sapporo is magnificent.

Looking straight down the ski jump from the viewing lounge toward Sapporo.
Looking straight down the ski jump from the viewing lounge toward Sapporo.

We didn’t have a lot of time here as we had to get some lunch and head to Kushiro to check into our hotel, so we opted to take the chairlift to the top.

Chairlift base camp
Chairlift base camp

In my opinion, this is worth doing, not just for the time-saving, but also because you ride right beside the jump itself.

Heading up the chairlift
Heading up the chairlift

It takes about 5 minutes each way on the chairlift, and it gives you the perfect view of the jump side-on, enabling you to see just how steep the grade is.

The ski jump side on.
The ski jump side on.

I didn’t realise just how steep these jumps are until seeing it like that and travelling up and down it at almost the same gradient. The chairlift also takes you past the judges viewing building.

The judges building.
The judges building.

At the top, the Observation Platform, also known as Okurayama Viewing Point gives you two viewing locations. On level 2, you can have a look any time of year in comfort from the closed-in viewing lounge. You will also find toilets here, and just in case, there is free wifi available in the viewing lounge.

Head on up to the viewing lounge, observation deck, or toilets.

On level 3 though, the entire level is open-air. This platform gives you the best view at 307m above sea level and also has some skis you can use for your selfies/family photos.

Right up the top!
Right at the top!

Of course, it can also be windy and cold, so take care, and if you struggle with heights, this might not be the place for you. If you can handle it though, the jump and observation building is almost in line with Odori Park in Sapporo, making for excellent viewing.

Looking down the jump and over Sapporo from the level 3 Observation Deck.
Looking down the jump and over Sapporo from the level 3 Observation Deck.

While we didn’t see any practising jumpers, the stadium is all-weather and all-year-round, so there is a possibility of seeing some athletes training while you are there.

If you need some sustenance at the top, there is not a lot to choose from, but you can get ice cream and a small selection of drinks from the viewing lounge.

Back at the base of the ski jump, the gift shop has most of the same souvenirs you will see elsewhere around Sapporo but with a few more Olympics related items. One other thing you will find is the podium. Queue the selfie shots!

GOLD!!!!
GOLD!!!!

Should you choose to dine at the restaurant, it is open for both lunch and dinner with a focus on lamb dishes. Genghis Khan is the unlikely inspiration, and each table has a hot plate to cook their lamb to taste. We would have loved to experience a meal here, but due to the wait time for meals, we decided we didn’t have enough time.

We opted not to visit the museum on this trip due to time constraints. In doing so, we found that we only needed about 45 minutes to take the chairlift to the top and experience everything. You could do it all in less than 30 minutes by not going to the gift shop. If you do visit the museum, you will probably want to allow an extra 45 minutes.

Pros

  1. Very easy to experience everything if you take the chairlift.
  2. Cheap.
  3. Fantastic views of Sapporo city.
  4. The realisation of just how steep and high these ski jumps are.
  5. Potentially see some practising ski jumpers.
  6. Learn more about Olympic history.
  7. Take a photo on the Olympic podium.

 

Cons

  1. Not the most accessible place to get to by public transport.
  2. Very limited nearby accommodation

 

Overall

We found the experience here to be a very positive one overall. It was easy to get to by car and gave us a whole new perspective on what is happening when athletes are performing on slopes like this one. The escalator and chairlift made it easy to access and, of course, who can go past the obligatory Olympic selfies?

Hotels near Mount Okura

Due to the location of Mount Okura on the outskirts of Sapporo, there are no nearby hotels. If you are travelling by public transport, your best bet is to pick a hotel in the city near a station on the Tozai subway line. Alternatively, an Airbnb may give you a closer option.

Check out Airbnb

Or, you can check out the hotel where we stayed. We were driving, but the Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo is near a station on the Tozai line and is very convenient for other attractions in Sapporo.

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo

Hotels Combined

Agoda

You can also search for nearby hotels using the search box below.

Helpful links

 

Don’t forget

I’d love to hear what kind of Olympics you prefer and why. I love the high-speed of the Winter Olympics and personally also quite enjoy the dance ice skating. What about you? Let me know in the comments below and also let me know if I should go to the Tokyo 2020 games!

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