Hokkaido Winter Self Drive Travel – Sapporo 札幌

Sapporo is just 45 mins drive away from Otaru. It is the biggest city in Hokkaido and our last stop for our Hokkaido trip. Most Sapporo attractions are in the city centre and quite close to each other hence you can just walk.

Sapporo Attractions

1. Susukino

Susukino was originally a red-light district, but since 1920 it has slowly evolved into a buzzing district of funky bars, swanky restaurants, boutique cafes and shopping district. Susukino is still home to host clubs and love hotels although not very obvious from main streets.

2. Nijo Market (二条市場)

Nijo Market (Map) is a 100 years old public market in Sapporo dealing with fresh local produce and seafood such as Alaskan king crab, scallops, oysters and other fresh fish. This is one of our favourite place to eat Alaskan King Crab which we will recommend later part of the article.

Address: Minami 3-jo ~ Higashi 1-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo

Opening Hours: 7.00 am to 6.00 pm

 

Grill Scallop – 500 JPY each

Fresh Oyster – price depending on the variety

3. Tanukikoji Shopping Street (狸小路商业街)

Tanukikoji shopping street (Map) is a 1km long shopping street that houses restaurants, pharmacies and fashion boutiques. It is a great place for shopping and dining in Sapporo.

Tanukiji Shrine

4. Sapporo TV Tower

Sapporo TV Tower (Map) built in 1957 on the ground of Odori Park, is a 147.2-metre-high TV tower with an observation deck. The TV Tower was built by Tachū Naitō, who planned Tokyo Tower at a total cost of 170 million yen.

Opening Hours: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm

5. Former Hokkaidō Government Office

The Former Hokkaido Government Office (Map) was constructed in 1888 and was used for approximately 80 years until the new government office was built. The building is an example of American neo-baroque architecture.

The hall which is now a museum that exhibits the history of Hokkaido is open to the general public free of charge. There are volunteer guides available to explain the different aspects of the building.

Opening Hour: 09.00 am to 18.00 pm

Admission: Free

6. Sapporo Clock Tower

The Clock Tower (Map) is one of the few surviving western architectures and is a symbol of Sapporo. It was built in 1878 as a drill hall of the Sapporo Agricultural College and is the oldest building in Sapporo.

The clock was commissioned and purchased from the E. Howard Watch & Clock Company of Boston and installed in the building in 1881. The clock tower now serves as a museum.

Opening Hours: 9.00am to 17.00

Admission: 200 JPY

7. Shiroi Koibito Park (白い恋人)

Shiroi Koibito Park (Map) is the home of the famous Ishiya Shiroi Koibito Chocolate. In the Shiroi Koibito Park, you can join the factory tour and also enjoy the cafe with a magnificent view. The factory tour cost is JPY600 per pax and is open daily from 9.00am to 18.00pm.

Notice: The factory is undergoing renovation until 11 July 2019 however the souvenir shop and the ground is still open to the public.

Address: Miyanosawa 2-jo 2-chome Nishi-ku, Sapporo 063-0052

Website: Shiroi Koibito Park

8. Asahi Beer Factory

Asahi Beer Factory (Map) offers Free Factory Tour and visitors are able to sample 3 types of Asahi beer for free after the guided tour. Reservation is needed hence we called one day in advance to book our slot. Please note you are not allowed to drink and drive in Japan.

Address: 1-1 Minami 4 Nango-dori, Shiraishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

Opening Hours: 9.30 am to 3.30 pm

Admission Fee: Free

Website: Asahi Factory Tour

9. Sapporo Beer Garden

The Sapporo beer is one of Hokkaido oldest beer brand, brewed since 1877. The company has opened a Sapporo beer museum (Map) in one of their former brewery introducing the history of beer and the process of making them. Visitors can pay to sample up to 3 types of beer.

Next to Sapporo Beer Garden is Ario Supermarket which we usually do our grocery & souvenir shopping.

Operating Hours: 11.30am to 9.00pm

Address: 9-2-10, Kita7Jo, Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, 065-0007. Free parking available.

Website: Sapporo Beer Garden

Sapporo Beer Sampling

Sapporo Must Eat Food

1. Picante Soup Curry (Map)

The only food you must try in Hokkaido is definitely soup curry. Soup curry is a unique dish from Hokkaido rarely seen in other parts of Japan. Picante soup curry uses more than 20 spices that pair with local vegetables and succulent meat.

Our favourite dish is the Lamb Soup Curry follow by chicken soup curry. You can choose the level of spiciness. The soup is rich in flavours and completely different from Japanese curry or Indian curry.

What to order: Lamb Soup Curry & Chicken Soup Curry

Opening Hours: 11.30 am to 11.00 pm daily

Price: Approx 1,100 JPY

2. Nijo Crab Market Alaskan King Crab (Map)

Nijo Crab market is the first stall in Nijo Market selling Alaskan King Crabs, Snow Crab and Hairy Crabs. It was just a small stall the first time we visited a few years ago. Now Nijo Crab Market has its own dining area.

The best cooking method for Alaskan King Crab is to steam. Steaming the crab preserves the flavours and enhances the sweetness. The quality of the crab here is superb. The owner is happy to give a chunk of king crab for you to taste before committing the order.

What to order: Steam Alaskan King Crab

Price: Depending on weight. Approx 10,000 JPY

3. Ebiten Bunten Tempura てんぷら蛯天 (Map)

Ebiten Bunten Tempura was opened in 1963 by owner Yagi Toshio has accumulated plenty of regular customers. The tempura batter is crisp and light while only the freshest ingredients are used.

Address: 4 Chome Minami 2 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0062

Opening Hours: 10.30 am to 10.00 pm

What to order: Mix Tempura Rice Bowl

Price: 1,000 to 1,500 JPY

Our tempura bowl comes with prawns and seasonal vegetables

4. Gyukatsu Ichihana 牛かつ いち華 (Map)

Gyukatsu Ichihana serves quite delicious gyukatsu at an affordable price. There is also wagyu gyukatsu on the menu however the normal beef gyukatsu surprised us with its tenderness. The best gyukatsu we had so far was at Gyukatsu Motomura in Osaka however Gyukatsu Ichihana is worth the try.

Address: 1 Chome-1-46 Shinkotoni 8 Jo, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0908

Opening Hours: 11.00 am to 9.00 pm

What to order: Gyukatsu

Price: 1,500 JPY

5. Rojiura Curry Samurai

Rojiura Curry Samurai is famous for their thick golden curry soup which differs from Picante’s lighter soup. The curry is accompanied by plenty of fresh vegetables and meat topping.

Opening Hours: 11.30 am to 3.00 pm; 5.30 pm to 10.00 pm

Price: 1,300 JPY

6. Minamisanjo

You get to enjoy all you can eat wagyu, scallops, prawn and even alcohol at Minamisanjo for only 6,500 JPY. It is a yakiniku buffet restaurant that worth the value.

7. Ganso Ramen Yokocho (Map)

Ramen Yokocho is a ramen alley in Susukino. The narrow alley surprisingly houses more than 15 Hokkaido style ramen shops. Sapporo is famous for Miso Ramen whereby the broth is mixed with miso.

The alley is a favourite spot for locals looking for midnight meals as most ramen shops open till late night.

Sapporo Accommodation

We have stayed in both hotels and Airbnb during our Sapporo trip.

Hotels

Airbnb

Airbnb is a good alternative choice apart from the hotel. Get Extra RM160 off on your Airbnb booking when you Sign up new Airbnb HERE!

Hokkaido Car Rental

We booked our Nissan car online with ToCoo Japan. If you are travelling to few cities, Hokkaido Highway Pass will be beneficial as HEP allows unlimited use of Hokkaido’s expressways, for one fixed price thus saving on toll.

Read: How to Rent a Car in Hokkaido

Pocket Wifi

We rented our portable wifi from Roaming Man which offers 3GB data daily at a 4G speed at only RM12 per day for up to 5 devices.

Promo code: RMWIFI19 for 10% off discount. (validity: 4th May till 31 July 2019, for travels until 31 Dec 2019)

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About Tommy Ooi 440 Articles
Luxury Hotel Reviewer & Destination Blogger. Passionate for travel, exploring new culture & indulging divine food, Tommy has traveled to 42 countries & 140+ destinations.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Tommy,

    Can you share the detail for your visit to Minamisanjo the location etc?

    Thanks

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