Sapporo (札幌市, Sapporo-shi, IPA: [sapːoɾo ɕi]) is the largest city in Japan lying north of Tokyo, and the largest city on Hokkaido, the northernmost main island of the country. It is the capital city of Hokkaido Prefecture and Ishikari Subprefecture. Sapporo lies in the southwest of Hokkaido, within the alluvial fan of the Toyohira River, which is a tributary stream of the Ishikari. It is considered the cultural, economic, and political center of Hokkaido.
As with most of Hokkaido, the Sapporo area was settled by the indigenous Ainu people, beginning over 15,000 years ago. Starting in the late 19th century, Sapporo saw increasing settlement by Japanese migrants. Sapporo hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympics ever held in Asia, and the second Olympic games held in Japan after the 1964 Summer Olympics. Sapporo is currently bidding for the 2030 Winter Olympics. The Sapporo Dome hosted three games during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and two games during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Additionally, Sapporo has hosted the Asian Winter Games three times, in 1986, 1990, and 2017.
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