Sapporo first became known internationally when it hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics. Today, Sapporo is known for its Snow Festival held annually for one week in early February. It is estimated that about two million people visit Sapporo during the festival. In the 1870’s, the Japanese government engaged a number of American and European consultants to advise on the development of Hokkaido. These consultants helped to layout Sapporo on a grid system, with wide avenues and parks, giving Sapporo an international feel. Sapporo is also well known for its beer. The Sapporo Brewery, established in 1877 by Kihachiro Okura after studying beer brewing in Germany for more than two years, was Japan’s first beer brewery. Today, you can tour the brewery museum, or visit the Sapporo Beer Garden next door to the brewery to partake in the all you can eat and drink feast of grilled lamb and beer.