Part of our jobs as motoring journalists involves regular sojourns to Japan, the birthplace of many major carmakers. So we're no strangers to the Land of the Rising Sun and the many cool cars that can be found in cities like Tokyo. But it's not often we find ourselves on the northern island of Hokkaido.
Sapporo is the island's capital, and is the fifth-largest city in Japan. It hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, so you can only imagine how cold and snowy it gets during the colder months. You would think that big SUVs and all-wheel drive cars would reign supreme around these parts. And while you will find vehicles like those, alongside them you'll spot just as many kei cars puttering along the ice.
Kei cars, as many of you probably know, are a unique Japanese segment of small vehicles with specific regulations for size and engine displacement. They're distinguished from other cars by a set of yellow license plates. Diminutive as they may be, these are some of the most practical cars you'll ever find. And as their abundance in Sapporo proves, they're comfortable in almost any kind of terrain and weather.
We've put together this small gallery to show you guys some of the kei cars you'll find if you're ever in Sapporo. Sleet or snow be damned, these little cars just continue to putter along and amaze us.