8th February, 2003 - After a big day out, we hit the slopes so to speak and visited Ookurayama ski jump, which is another venue from the 1972 Winter Olympics, and is still used to this day for international ski jump competitions. It has one advantage of having a great view over the city, especially by going up the chairlift to the summit lookout. The chairlift is an nice way to get to the top - and thankfully it's a return trip (no volunteering to go down via the express route on two skis). They do ski-jumping here at night too.
The view of Sapporo City from the top of the mountain is quite spectacular - if a bit cold. Definitely worth going. You can get there via a bus from Maruyama subway stop - which is also where Sapporo's zoo is... unfortunately the zoo is closed during winter (all the animals get shipped to the tropics to improve their tan).
From the summit you can clearly see the city centre, and the towering Sapporo Station complex that sits atop the central train station. Sapporo is low-lying by Japanese standards, and much of the shopping exists either underground (e.g. Sapporo Station, or Pole Town) or scattered between Sapporo Station and Odori Koen (that's the darkish patch on the right (at right angles to the road to Sapporo Station) - about two-thirds up in the photo below.