One of Japan's newest cities—it dates back only to 1871—Sapporo is famous for skiing, beer and its bustling leisure and cultural scenes. It has enough great restaurants, bars and shops to keep its 2 million residents happy. The Sapporo Beer Museum, which profiles the city's brewing history, has a pleasant beer garden that invites lingering. Outside of town, plenty of top-quality ski slopes and winter sports abound. A nice half-day can be spent exploring the Nopporo Forest Park at the edge of the city.