29 Sep, 2010
Just a hop skip and a jump from Sapporo's Maruyama Park is a charming walk that an be enjoyed by all through out the seasons, even in winter!.
The trail up the hill is fairly gentle and is frequented by the elderly and children alike. It is a great place to go if you have a spare hour and feel like communing with nature and perhaps even saying a Buddhist prayer for luck and prosperity. The trail climbs the hill that is marked on the map as Maruyama although some locals call it Kurasu Yama or crow mountain. You will mosty likely to run into a crow along the way and it will will probably peer and caw at you from the branch of a Birch tree. Another creature you will likely see is a squirrel either the smaller red Shima Rissu or the native Hokkaido Ezo Rissu which is grey and much bigger. Here the squirrels are quite tame and will often pose for pictures while they wait for you to offer them some sandwich. The biggest draw card to the walk however is not the widlife but the the rows of Buddhist statues that line the trail. Big and small statues that laugh and cry with you as you wander up the pathway. Almost all of which are dressed by locals in one way or another and usually in colors and styles befitting to the current season. There are many things that may draw you to the Maruyama area such as Hanami (the blossom festival), the Sapporo Shrine, shopping or the Okurayama ski jump, what ever it maybe that takes you there the trail to the top of Maruyama is well worth a look as is the view from the top! Getting there is easy, simply take the Tozai Subway line heading west and get off at Maruyama Station, get out at exit 6 and walk toward the park!