We stayed in the Toyoko Inn near the Sapporo train station. It was an excellent deal at $65 per night, including a simple dinner and breakfast and a free Internet terminal and wireless access in the lobby. You must stay here in Sapporo if you are on a budget or just want clean, comfortable accommodations and don't care for fanciness. Toyoko Inn is a chain of about 40 hotels throughout Japan. This is one of the three Toyoko Inns in Sapporo, and I thought that this one had the quietest and nicest location away from the main business district. This hotel is across the campus of Hokkaido University and an easy walk to the train station and livelier areas of Sapporo. We stayed in this Toyoko Inn for one night before renting a car and driving to the Daisatsuzen National Park and the resort village of Sounkyo.
Our room was very small, clean, and comfortable. The private bathroom was a bit cramped but clean and efficient. In fact, the faucet in the sink also powered the shower head! There was a small television, and the hotel offered two movies per night.
We were pleased to accept their free dinner of the National Japanese Dinner, curry and rice, served by a nice older lady in the lobby. We also enjoyed a rice ball-and-miso soup breakfast. Had I known Japanese, I would have asked for seconds!
How did we get to Sapporo and this economical and efficient Toyoko Inn? We arrived at the New Chitose Airport on a direct All Nippon Airways flight from Haneda Airport in Tokyo, and we took the Airport Express train, which is about 36 minutes away from the Sapporo train station. From the train station we just walked about 10 minutes to the hotel.
When we returned to Sapporo after our trip to the national park area, we stayed in the much more expensive Sapporo New Otani Hotel, where the lobby is fancier, the rooms bigger, and the prices much higher--at about $240 per night. For that price there was no free breakfast or dinner and no Internet access. I would have preferred the economical and comfortable accommodations at the Toyoko Inn, but it was sold out those nights.
Here is the English language version of the website: http://www.toyoko-inn.com/e_hotel/00018/index.html