Crowning Japan’s northernmost main island of Hokkaido is Sapporo, a fashionable urban wonderland offering an imitable mix of neon-lit nightlife, traditional breweries, and ski resorts. The mountainous island’s capital is also famous for its weeklong Sapporo Snow Festival, which takes place every February. Travelers visiting during the festival should head to Odori Park and the Susukino District to watch local artists create ice and snow sculptures. For lovers of the outdoors and winter sports, Sapporo is the ideal vacation destination. Mountain bike around Lake Shikotsu; go kayaking or canoeing on the Chitose River; hike through Nopporo Forest Park, home to more than 400 types of wild plant; and soak in the healing waters of Hoheikyo onsen. Taking a private tour of Sapporo’s thriving center means you can customize your itinerary to suit your interests. Stroll around the lush greenery of Odori Park (Odori Koen), sample local beer at Sapporo Beer Hokkaido Brewery, admire the neo-baroque architecture of Hokkaido Prefectural Office, or venture outside of the city to Otaru, where traditional mansions and cobblestone streets sit prettily on the banks of canals. If you’re looking to explore more of Japan, Sapporo serves as a convenient jumping-off point for day trips to Furano, whose lavender fields let off a gloriously heady scent; the snow-smothered slopes and hot springs of Niseko; and Biei in the Kamikawa District, whose Panorama Road reveals rolling hills and vast fields.