Because of the coronavirus (covid-19) many of us have been spending our days inside the house. Recently I took this great opportunity to try something I’ve been interested in for a while, a ‘smokepot’. It’s a great cooking instrument where you can easily make smoked food without going to a camp site or barbecue.
I bought it online and it arrived at my house a few days later. Opening up the box and unpacking it, I found a round, cute-looking pot. Although it looks cute, the attached thermometer gives it a man’s gear feel. After donning my denim apron and taking up my position in the kitchen, I decided to give it a quick try.
As a beginner I decided to use simple ingredients, a soft-boiled egg and some cheese. I placed the cherry blossom tree smoke chip, which I ordered online at the same time, on the bottom of the pot and lit the stove. The smoke began to rise, giving off the delicious scent of smoked food. I quickly placed the grill on the pot and placed my ingredients on top. If you cover and heat for around 10 minutes using the attached thermometer, you can turn off the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, it’s very easy to cook. You don’t really need an apron…
Although it was still daytime, I decided to crack open a can of cold beer and dig into my smoked food. The ingredients glistened like gold and tasted divine. When I split the boiled egg in half, I found a beautiful contrast between the cross-section of white and the golden yolk. It tasted great! When you put it in your mouth, the smell of smoke escapes your nose and it tastes like you’re pulling it back. It goes with beer perfectly. The store-bought cheese also tasted great!
Honestly I was so surprised that you can make smoked food so easily at home with such a rich aroma. In the future, I can see myself sitting by the fire with my golden retriever sipping a whiskey in one hand, with smoked bacon in the other, enjoying perfect evening! Until then I think I’ll keep busy from now on, polishing my skills and raising my dog.
Name: SOTO Smokepot
Made in Japan
Recently there has been a new craze in Japan of making ‘chawanmushi’ using the soup from cup noodles. Chawanmushi is an egg custard dish but unlike other egg custard, chawanmushi is not sweet; it has a savoury flavour from dashi stock and topping ingredients. Today, we would like to teach all our readers how to make it!
1. Finish eating the noodles in the pot but leave some of the toppings.
2. Pour the remaining soup into a microwaveable container (like a mug), add an egg, and lightly mix.
3. Cover with kitchen wrap and put in the microwave on 500W for 2-3 minutes.
4. When the top layer becomes nice and firm it’s ready to eat!
Please try using many flavours of cup noodle!
MORIHICO Coffee Shop
Today we would like to introduce a Sapporo coffee shop.
When people think of Hokkaido original coffee, ‘MORIHICO brand’ often comes to mind. It’s also the name of a coffee shop that represents the face of coffee in Sapporo. Founded in 1996, this well-known shop is famous for its unique view of the world and excellent coffee, which has not changed in over 20 years. It is fascinating how they have renovated an old house that has been built for more than 50 years, into a heartwarming and cozy coffee shop. In recent years it has become popular among both locals and tourists.
If you ever get the chance to visit, we recommend you try their special ‘Mori no Shizuku’, which can only be tasted at their main shop. The coffee is carefully filtered through a funnel drip and has a beautiful rich taste. Also be sure to check out the antiques that are scattered in various places around the shop. Enjoy your coffee!
Hokkaido, Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku, Minami 2-jyo, 26 Chome 2-18
Opening hours: 10:00～21:00 (last order 20:30) (closes for new year)
Car park: 9 cars
4 minute walk from Maruyama Koen Station (exit 4)
Our Recommended Cafes in the Area
While we are still in the midst of winter, there are days where the temperature is surprisingly high, and walking around town has become very hard because of the melting snow. Please be careful when you are walking around Sapporo this time of year! In this blog post we would like to recommend some great local cafes to pass time.
1. Coffee Square Do
We recommend this café for those who want to enjoy their coffee in a quiet, relaxing atmosphere. You can pass time here by indulging in delicious desserts and enjoying a wide range of drinks on the menu.
Opening hours: 11:00～23:00
Address: Chuo-Ku, Minami 8 Jyo, Nishi 1-3-28, Habita Eight Building 1F
Distance from Hotel: 10 minute walk
We recommend this café for those who would like to have something to eat before they check in with us. They have plenty of great lunch items on their menu at very reasonable prices. There is also a seating area by the counter which is great for those visiting alone.
Opening hours: 11:00～19:00
Telephone number: 011-533-9009
Address: Chuo-Ku, Minami 7 Jyo, Nishi 6-7-169-100, Dai8 Matsu Building 1F
Distance from Hotel: 5 minute walk
This café opens from 10am so it’s perfect for those who want a late breakfast or a light morning snack. They have a great lunch menu that changes every day and is definitely a wallet-friendly establishment.
Opening hours: 10:00～18:30
Telephone number: 011-513-8101
Address: Chuo-Ku, Minami 7 Jyo, Nishi 3 Jasmac Plaza Hotel 1F
Distance from Hotel: 5 minute walk
Ichiran Ramen Opens in Sapporo
It has become extremely cold in Sapporo recently! Please make sure to wrap up warm if you are visiting! In today’s post we would like to introduce Ichiran Ramen, a famous tonkotsu ramen chain from Kyushu that has recently opened a store in Sapporo (23rd January 2020), the first in Hokkaido.
While there is only one type of ramen on the menu ‘tonkotsu ramen’ you can order it with many different ingredients and spice levels. The ramen tastes milky and sweet, mixed with smooth thin noodles and topped with delicious sliced pork and their original homemade spicy red sauce. Once you buy a ramen ticket from the vending machine the staff will give you a form to fill out (don’t worry they have an English version) on which you can personalize your ramen from the richness of the broth, noodle texture, amount of garlic and spicy red sauce. You will then be shown to a booth where you wait for your ramen. If you want additional toppings or side dishes such as boiled egg or pork belly slices you can press the little button at the both.
Please try a taste of Kyushu ramen when you visit Hokkaido!
Address: located on the first floor of Norbesa
Opens from 10am to 4am the next day
Gyoza and Curry ‘Miyoshino’
While we have entered February, the amount of snow is actually a lot lower than usual.
There are probably people who wanted to go to Sapporo’s famous ski resorts and while this is unfortunate we would like to cheer those up by introducing a great place to eat gyoza and curry in Sapporo: ‘Miyoshino’. This restaurant is only available up in Hokkaido.
The menu includes a set meal, curry and ramen, but I would especially recommend gyoza curry. When I first started living in Hokkaido, and came across Miyoshino’s gyoza curry it came as a shock to me because these are two dishes that are usually eaten separetly. The two foods are not usually eaten from the same bowl. However, upon trying the dish, I was blown away by how good it tasted. I could not put my spoon down it was so good! It's a little bit spicy and the soup inside the dumplings is very juicy mixed with the meat. Priced at only 440 yen its perfect for lunch or a late-night snack! It's the best! Even if you’re not a big fan of spicy food, when you order you can ask them to make it without spice, perfect if you have small children.
While you may think of ‘soup curry’ when you come to Sapporo, this place is not to be missed!
Address: Nichidai Shoten 4th Street 340 Minami No. 5 West, Chuo Ward
Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 4:00 the next day
Friday - Saturday 11:00 - 7:00 the next day
Sunday 11:00 - 2:00 the next day
Tanukikouji store Minami 3-West 2 Chome 16-4 in Chuo Ward
Monday - Thursday 11:00 - 21:00
Friday 11:00 - 23:00
Saturday 10:00 - 23:00
Sunday 10:00 - 21:00
Seven minutes walk from Tmark City Hotel Sapporo
Three minutes walk from Susukino subway station
Sounkyo Hot Springs Ice Waterfall Festival
How has 2020 been treating you all so far?
Today we would like to introduce the Sounkyo Hot Springs Ice Waterfall Festival, an event which takes place from 23rd January 2020. The annual event, which starts in late January, is held at Sounkyo Onsen in Kamikawa Town, Kamikawa-Gun, Hokkaido. It is a famous event that many people in Hokkaido know about. This is a recommended event for those who have been to Hokkaido many times but have never been to this particular area!
This winter event takes place along the Ishikari River in the hot spring village and features multiple buildings and structures made of ice and snow (similar to the Sapporo Snow Festival). The event is open during the day and into the night time over a 2 month period starting in January and ending in mid-March. There is a small entrance fee to get into the event space. While the layout changes through the years, there is usually many large snow domes and ice sculptures that surround a large stag built of snow where stage shows are held. In the night time everything is illuminated with colorful sparkling lights.
There are many food and drink stalls on site and also a small fireworks display is held in the evening on most days in February. The fireworks start at 20:30 and last around 10 minutes. Please enjoy with friends and family!
23rd January to 15th March
Telephone number: 01658-5-3350
Hello everyone! Happy New Year!
We would like to thank everyone for all the support you have shown us in 2019 and we hope for your continued support in 2020. We are hoping for the best in 2020 for all our readers!
Our special menu for January and February features twice cooked pork. It is a delicious dish where cabbage and pork are fried with miso, bean paste. It was originally a Chinese dish from the Sichuan Province (famous for spicy Chinese food), where young garlic sprouts where roasted instead of cabbage. It is said that it changed to cabbage when the dish was introduced to Japan. Cabbage is abundantly rich with vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin K. Vitamin C helps prevent colds, recover from fatigue and improve skin roughness, and vitamin K contributes to blood circulation and bone formation.
When you stay at T-mark City Hotel Sapporo, please be sure to try our twice cooked pork for breakfast and go out healthy enough not to catch a cold! We are serving breakfast from 6:00 to 9:30 for 1200 JPY per person. Please enjoy!
New Year’s Day Sunrise in Hokkaido!
We hope you all had a fantastic 2019 and made some great memories.
While this New Year’s Day is special because we are entering a new decade, it is extra special In Japan because we are also celebrating the end of the Heisei era and start of the Reiwa era. While there is a bit of time left in 2019 we would like to welcome 2020!
In this post we would like to talk about some great spots to view the sunrise on New Year’s Day in Hokkaido. The place where you can see the sunrise earliest is Cape Nosappu, in the eastern-most tip of Hokkaido. If the weather is good, you can also see with your naked eye, the Habomai Islands, a few kilometers from Cape Nosappu. In preparation for the New Year, the event site offers free tea and coffee and sells the local speciality, Hanasaki crab soup.
The bus for the first day of the annual trip to Cape Nosappu (scheduled) departs from the bus terminal in front of Nemuro Station at 5:30 am and takes roughly 40 minutes. There is free parking at the site (200 car spaces).
There is also a great viewing spot closer to our hotel, in Sapporo: Mount Moiwa, one of the famous night scenery spots in all of Japan. Mt. Moiwa can be reached in about 30 minutes from the center of Sapporo and is a popular spot throughout the whole year. The sunrise is especially beautiful as it brightens the streets of Sapporo from an altitude of 531 meters. On New Year’s Day the cable carts will be operating from 5:00 to 17:00 (last ride up is at 16:30).
Address: Fushimi 5-3-7 in Chuo Ward, Sapporo
Access: Approximately 17 minutes by bus from Maruyama Park Station on the city subway as well as the free shuttle bus.
Telephone number: 011-561-8177
Opening hours: 5:00 to 17:00 on the first day of January 1st (last 16:30 up)
Fixed Holidays: approximately April 11th - April 25th every year for maintenance
Thank you very much for visiting the T-Mark City Hotel Sapporo this year.
We hope that you all will be healthy and have a happy New Year.
Happy New Year to all of you!
Tanuki Kouji Shopping Arcade Street
In today’s post, we would like to introduce you to the area surrounding our new sister hotel, Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori. The hotel is situated next to Tanuki Kouji Shopping Arcade Street. The arcade, which many tourists visit, features many old and new shops, karaoke bars, souvenir shops, and great places to eat. The arcade opened around 146 years ago!
If you are heading to the arcade, we would suggest going to a café called ‘STANDARD COFFEE LAB’. While most coffee shops open early and close early, this place is open from 8:00 to 1:00. While the coffee is great, they also serve wine and a variety of desserts including gelato. There is also a great ramen shop called Sankakuyama nearby which serves delicious ramen. Please enjoy a stroll through the arcade when you stay at the newly opened Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori!
Our new sister hotel: Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori opens
Coming into December, the number of winter days that have been below zero has steadily been increasing. Sapporo has been transformed with winter scenery.
With the coming of winter also comes the opening of our brand new sister hotel: Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori which opens on the 1st December 2019! Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori is the third Tmark City Hotel to be built in Japan. It has been built with the theme and concept of ‘Japanese Modernity’. Our guest rooms feature brand new equipment such as a large LCD T.V screen, air purifier machine, fast Wi-Fi, and a coffee machine (capsule type). We also use Sealy mattresses to offer our guests a comfortable sleeping experience. Our double rooms come equipped with large unit baths, while our twin and triple rooms include a separate room for the bath and toilet. We promise our guests a luxurious experience when you stay with us!
Address: Tmark City Hotel Sapporo Odori. Sapporo, Chuo-ku, Minami 2-jo, Nishi 7 Chome
Telephone: 011-219-330 FAX: 011-219-3303
You can get to the hotel by walking around 7 minutes from Odori Station or Susukino Station. It is a 2 minute walk from the end of Tanuki Kouji shopping street (west side).
Hello everyone! Today, I'm going to introduce you to Kou Seiyu from Taiwan and in particular her book ‘Hokkaido-style Journey’. While the author is Taiwanese, it is not a book that features tourist attractions and beautiful scenery such as the night view of Hakodate. This book offers Hokkaido from the perspective of somebody who has lived here for a fairly long time. She moved to Hokkaido from Taiwan in 2010 and has lived in here for nine years, and this can be seen from the beginning of the book and her descriptions of Hokkaido in spring, summer, fall and winter. Flicking through the page, you will come across pictures of the streets of Sapporo filled with grey puddles of water in spring. It is a sight which is very familiar to the Hokkaido people and is not beautiful by flattery, but they can feel the coming of spring in this grey landscape.
Other things covered in this book are how to remove snow using a snow shovel and how to make salmon soy sauce at home. As she has been living in Hokkaido for a fair while, Kou Seiyu’s perspective of Hokkaido is precious for those wanting to experience Hokkaido as the locals do. A range of great Izakaya, boutique coffee shops, and a variety of specialty shops are introduced that you will not find in your typical tourist guide. If you are interested in this book, which is extremely interesting, you should definitely give it a read. Although it's written in Chinese, if you can understand Japanese you can sort of understand the meaning.
18th German Christmas Market in Sapporo
It has officially snowed for the first time here in Sapporo so we are welcoming winter! When you think of winter events in Sapporo, what comes to mind first? While there are many events in the winter here in Sapporo, we love the Christmas ones the best!
The Sapporo German Christmas Market started in 2002 as a city exchange activity with Munich. There is a mixture of Japanese and German stalls that sell food, hot mulled wine as well as Christmas decorations to help promote a friendly relationship between the two cities. The market begins in late November and stays open until December 25th, Christmas Day, in Odori Park. There are around 40 different stalls at the market and it continues to grow and grow each year. Try all different types of foods from around the world and relax with friends in the rooms available near the stalls!
To get to the event from Sapporo Station, take a two-minute subway ride to Odori Park and choose an exit near the Sapporo TV Tower for direct access. The stalls are open from 11:00 to 21:00 (last order is 20:45)
Miyanomori Frances Illumination
As soon as the last of the autumn leaves touches the ground, it signals the start of a long cold winter season here in Hokkaido. As we enter November, we would like to share with you a great spot to see Sapporo’s famous winter illuminations. The spot we would like to share with you is called Miyanomori Frances Church.
In winter, the Miyanomori French Church is filled with more than 10,000 illumination balls and has a dream-like atmosphere. The appearance of the church, which has a 200-year history of relocating from southern France, transforms into a photogenic space! Walking through the front gate to the church garden, you'll see an illumination like a hedge of light that envelops visitors with its overwhelming beauty. The church garden trees are decorated with lights, and the light bulbs change colour and brightness from time to time.
There is also another area in this church where you can enjoy illumination. It's a restaurant called ‘Frances Kitchen’. As you look out the window from inside the dimly-lit restaurant, you can see the garden full of glittering decorations. How about having dinner while enjoying the scenery?
Address: Sapporo, Chuo-ku, Miyanomori, 3-jo, 10-chome 3-25
Event time: 2nd Nov 2019 to 30th March 2020 (17:00 to 22:00)
Opening times: weekdays 10:30 to 20:00 weekends 10:00 to 19:00
You can walk to the church in roughly 7 minutes from Susukino Station.
Recently, it has become extremely cold in Sapporo!
If you are reading this blog post in Hokkaido, please take care of yourself and keep warm! In today’s post, we would like to talk about a midnight cruise.
Most people take the plane from Chitose Airport when travelling to mainland Japan but we would like everyone to know that taking the ferry is also a great choice, and you can even park your car on the ship. You can also bring your pet (dogs only). As well as that, you can use the toilet at any time without having to worry if the seat belt sign is turned off!
Because there is not much to do in the ferry terminals at night, we recommend taking your car and leaving the terminal when you arrive to avoid boredom.
If you are travelling from mainland Japan to Hokkaido, you can take the ‘Silver Ferry’ between Hachino (Aomori) and Tomakomai (Hokkaido). While you can also take the ‘Silver Eight Ferry’ at 6:00, we recommend taking the ‘Silver Ferry’ as you can get the bus to Tomakomai station which leaves the port frequently (starting from 6:30).
The ‘Shin Nihon Kai Ferry’ departs early in the morning from Niigata Port in Niigata Prefecture to Otaru Port in Hokkaido, arriving at 4:30 a.m. The ship is called LAVENDER.
However, there is no connecting bus from the port to Otaru station, so if you don’t have a car you should take a taxi to Otaru Station which takes around 10 minutes. It is also possible to stay on board the ferry until 6 a.m. This is great if you are travelling with small children so they can avoid the very cold 4am winds. Vehicles are only accepted at Niigata Port on the first-come-first-served basis on the day of boarding. Walkers will be accepted only at the information center after boarding.
Having read this, we hope you consider boarding the ferry when you come up to Hokkaido. We are looking forward to welcoming you!
The Rain is Gentle
Sapporo ramen, which recently topped the list in the TV Asahi-series "Gojiden General Election," has a lot of famous ramen shops in Sapporo, so we would like to introduce to you a recommendation of where to go. This time, we will introduce the popular Sapporo Ramen shop, ‘Ame wa Yasashiku’, it translates to ‘the rain is gentle’.
This is also the place where Team Nax, who belongs to Yoizumi and Kenso Yasuda, won the award for the best in its TV program; the shop has their signatures proudly hanging on the wall. The most popular ramen among them is miso ramen.
This is ramen (miso, dried miso, salt) that you eat while melting the white liver paste of chicken.
As you can see from the photos, the serving is big! Many people don't like the taste of liver, but this one is cooked in white wine so it has no smell and it is very easy to eat.
There is also ramen for children (with rice balls, candy and juice). Please visit and try one day!
Let’s showcase the start of Halloween!
Held every year on October 31st, Halloween is a festival believed to originate from the ancient Celts. Originally, it was a religious event to celebrate the autumn harvest and to expel demons, but now it has become a community event especially in the United States, and the religious significance of the festival has almost disappeared.
There are numerous customs such as making and decorating "Jack O’ Lantern" pumpkins and children dressing up as witches or ghosts to visit nearby houses to get sweets.
In this blog we want to introduce you the many Halloween inspired events that are being held in Shiroi Koibito Park. There are many Halloween-limited souvenirs and foods being sold there.
Location Shiroi Koibito Park
Price Factory Course Adults (over 18) 600JPY, Children (below 13) 300JPY, 3 years and under is free. Premium Factory Course Adults (over 18) 1500JPY Children (below 13) 1200JPY, 3 years and under is free.
Event Period Saturday 5th October 2019 to Sunday 27th October 2019
Event Time 9:00～18:00
Entrance is until 17:00
Address Hokkaido, Sapporo, Nishi-Ku, Miyanosawa2-2-11-36
Access 7 minute walk from Miyanosawa subway station
Parking Free of charge
※Please note that the above information on the event, the business hours of the facility, etc. are subject to change.
※The displayed fee includes 10% consumption tax. For more information, please contact the facility, store, organizer and operator.
※Premium Factory Course, Tasting Course are charged separately.
Directions from our hotel
If you wish to use the subway, walk to Susukino subway station (7 minutes)
Susukino Station Namboku Line 2 minutes →Odori Station Tozai Line 16 minutes
→Miyanosawa Station Walk 7 minutes → Shiroi Koibito Park
If you wish to drive: Tmark City Hotel Sapporo 30 minute drive to Shiroi Koibito Park
The summer is finally coming to an end in Sapporo and the surroundings are slowly becoming more autumn-like. With that in mind, today we would like to introduce to you a park that is within walking distance of our hotel, Nakajima Park. It is a great spot to see the beautiful autumn foliage.
The park is located just south of the centre of Sapporo and has more than 40 kinds of trees. Mid-October is a great time to see the colorful autumn leaves. Around the end of the month, the leaves begin to fall and make beautiful trails beneath your feet like carpets. You can also enjoy other features of the park such as:
1) Ayame Pond
This pond is in the centre of Nakajima Park and there is a well-organized path that leads around its perimeter so that you can take a leisurely stroll. There is also a rent-a-boat service* so that you can view the beautiful autumn leaves while rowing around the pond, it’s great for a romantic date or if you are with family!
2) Japanese Gardens
There is also a Japanese garden located in the eastern section of the park. The garden is wonderful to walk around and toward its main gate there is a traditional Japanese tea ceremony room. While it is unfortunate that you cannot go inside of the room you can view it from the outside. If you continue walking past the team ceremony room you will find a small pavilion where you can sit down and relax while enjoying the view.
We hope you can find time and enjoy the autumn scenery before it quickly changes to the cold Hokkaido winter!
To reach the park from the hotel walk out the front entrance, turn left and then right at the second traffic lights. Then walk straight for 5 minutes.
Sapporo Autumn Fest
Today we would like to introduce Sapporo Autumn Fest!
This festival showcases the richness and diversity of food production around Hokkaido, including Sapporo. Hokkaido’s four distinct seasons of the year is essential to all kinds of crops to grow and be harvested. The eight sites along Odori Park bring to you, many different varieties of Hokkaido-produced foods. Although eating and drinking is the highlight, it is also a great learning experience!
1-chome site Sapporo Oktoberfest
‘Oktoberfest’, the world’s largest beer festival held in Munich, Germany, is reproduced here.
4-chome site Sapporo Welcome Park
The entrance for Autumn Fest is full of Hokkaido’s charms. This year, the food court has an unprecedented variety of shops!
5-chome site Hokkaido Ramen Festival
Selling unique ramen that was made using Hokkaido wheat noodles and locally-produced ingredients.
6-chome site Aozora x Hoshizora Harvest Festival
This food area has a variety of Japanese food, Western food, ethnic food etc. Also, popular local food such as soup curry will be available.
7-chome site Bar Area
This area offers appetizers using Hokkaido grown ingredients that pair well with alcohol such as Hokkaido wine.
8-chome site Sapporo Odori Furusato Market
Local cuisines from around Hokkaido are available at the 8–chome site.
10-chome site Meat Jyu Chome
In addition to beef, pork, chicken, and lamb, wild game venison is served. There are also plenty of live performances in this area.
11-chome site World Food Park/THE Sapporo Autumn Fest
Please enjoy a taste of the world through the authentic tastes and talents of every country’s chefs!
Event Period: 6th September ～ 29th September
Time: 10:00 ～ 20:30 (Last order 20:00)
The park can be reached from our hotel by walking north for 15 minutes.
Shiroi Koibito Park Renewal
Hello everyone. How is your summer going?
So what do you all think of Hokkaido souvenirs?
Royce fresh chocolate, potato porcles, marsie butter sandwiches...
There are many kinds of sweets, but I think the most famous and best tasting one is Shiroi Koibito. The chocolate factory that produces these treats park will be reopened on July 12th. You can see the production process of the famous confectionery ‘Shiroi Koibito’ which represent Sapporo, and enjoy the experience of making sweets. Why not go and check it out?
At the Chocolatopia House, there is a 30-minute tour with a chocolate professor to find a ‘secret’. You can also enjoy projection mapping showing the history of chocolate. The Chocolatopia Factory offers a new tour of the Baumkuchen production line as well as a Shiroi Koibito, which is also available in the park’s cafes where you can taste it. You can enjoy creating memories with your friends and family with many chocolate making experiences. There are many shops filled with chocolates, such as airports, but there are sweets limited to the Shiroi Koibito Park, so check them out! In addition, there are many photo spots and facilities where children can play, so it is a place where friends, couples and families can all enjoy.
From Maruyama Zoo, you can get to Shiroi Koibito Park in about seven minutes' walk from Miyazawa Station on the subway east and west line.
You can enjoy sightseeing all day by going to Maruyama Zoo in the morning and going to the park in the afternoon. If you use the subway, you can go sightseeing without a car, so please check out the Sapporo subway map. From September, the temperature will be cooling down, so I think you can enjoy the cool view. Hopefully you make lots of great memories at Shiroi Koibito Park!
Opening Time: 9:00 ～ 18:00 (entry until 17:00 and shops open until 19:00)
Price: adults 600JPY children 200JPY free for those under 2 years old
Lake Toyako Long Run Fireworks Display
Hello everyone .
It is no secret that the Japanese go crazy for fireworks in the summer, and Hokkaido is no exception! Today we would like to introduce a fireworks display that you definitely don’t want to miss out on, the ‘Lake Toyako Long Run Fireworks Display’.
Lake Toya was recently selected as one of the top 100 views in Japan; it is rich in nature and surrounded all around by magnificent mountains. It was also the location of the 2008 G8 Summit. From spring to autumn, fireworks are set off from the surface of a ship that floats around the lake every day for six whole months. It is fantastic to enjoy the fireworks while taking in the breathtaking views of the lake. Also, the location is not very crowded as the fireworks can be seen from anywhere around the lake and even from the Lake Toya hot springs!
Please enjoy the fireworks!
Event Period: 28th April 2019 ～ 31st October 2019
Time: 20:45 ～ 21:05
The Lake can be reached from Sapporo by car or bus in around 2.5 hours
We hope you are all enjoying the summer weather. It seems like each year is getting hotter and hotter perhaps due to global warming.
In today’s post we would like to talk about ‘Geoparks’. The Japanese Geoparks Network (JGN), a nonprofit organization which acts as a networking platform for the Geoparks in Japan, describes a Geopark as a ‘single, unified geographical area where sites and landscapes of geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development’. It is a place to learn about the earth and enjoy geotourism. You can take a closer look at mountains and rivers and learn in more detail how they were formed.
UNESCO began providing support for Geoparks in 2004 and since then, the World Geopark Network (headquarters in Paris) was established in June 2008. As of writing this blog, 57 locations around the world have been certified, 44 of which are in Japan. The closest Geopark to our hotel is called Mt Apoi. Samani Town in the eastern Hidaka area of Hokkaido is home to numerous mountains and gorges. The town also has an interesting history and rich culture which visitors can have fun learning about. The park is roughly 3.5 hours by car from Sapporo.
Sapporo Haunted House 2019
Recently the weather in Hokkaido has been very hot!
In Japan, it is a tradition to visit haunted houses, or obake yashiki, in the summer. These scary attractions are meant to quite literally chill you to the bone! Today we would like to introduce everyone to a haunted house event in Sapporo.
The haunted house is located on the third floor of the Norbesa building (the one with the big Ferris wheel on the roof). Since 2015 the house has been in operation throughout the summer months. This time the house is said to be haunted by the spirits of twin sisters. The sisters used to be very close to each other and then something happened that separated them and split their souls. As you walk through the haunted house the mission is to reunite the twin sisters into one soul.
In addition, if you purchase a ticket to the haunted house, you can show your ticket to food and drink vendors around the facility to get some great discounts. Please give it a try if you visit Norbesa!
Location: Norbesa 3F
Event Period: 5th July 2019～1st September 2019 13:30～21:30
2 minute walk from Susukino Station
4 minute walk from Hosui Susukino Station
7 minute walk from Odori Station
Sapporo City Jazz
In our last blog we talked about the Sapporo Summer Festival and in today’s post we would like to continue the theme of summer events and introduce the ‘Sapporo City Jazz’ event.
Sapporo City Jazz first began in 2007 and has grown to become one of the largest jazz festivals in the country over recent years. Various artists, Japanese, and overseas congregate and perform at 10 locations around the city. Entrance to the event is free of charge and there are around 300 artists that participate. We recommend heading to the North Jam Session area (located in Sapporo Art Park) where you can listen to the top artists play.
There is a stigma that jazz is sometimes difficult to listen to; we believe this is a misconception. At the Sapporo City Jazz festival you can sit outside on the grass and relax with a nice cold can of Sapporo beer and enjoy the music. Who knows, you might just find a new favourite artist!
Location: Odori Park, Sapporo Art Park, Sapporo Community Plaza
Event Period: 7th July 2019 ～ 25th August 2019
Sapporo Summer Festival
So a few posts back we wrote about enjoying beer and Genghis Khan Barbeque; in today’s post, we would like to extend our recommendations to the ‘Sapporo Summer Festival’! Let’s forget about the short Hokkaido summer and enjoy the festival! The festival began in 1954 and at that time the main event was held in Nakajima Park. Nowadays the festival is held in Odori Park and has a really nostalgic feel to it.
In 2019, the festival is celebrating its 66th anniversary. As mentioned before, the event is mainly held in Odori Park in the centre of the city, and you can enjoy the refreshing summer breeze while relaxing in the beer garden and enjoying traditional Japanese dancing by the event’s participants. There are roughly 13,000 seats available in the beer garden, the largest in Japan. There is some great tasting food stalls to choose from too, so please try some Japanese goodies along with the cold beer. It is worth mention that while the beer garden is strictly non-smoking, there are many smoking areas dotted around the park.
In addition, as part of the Sapporo Summer Festival, the ‘Hokkai Bonodori’ (traditional Japanese dance) while be held from August 10th to the 16th. The dance originated from Hokkaido in 1954 and these days more and more overseas tourists are coming to Japan, making the dance more widely known internationally. It consists of two parts: a child part and an adult part, so you can enjoy it regardless of your age. After the child’s part the organizers often hand out small presents to those who took part. Every year, participants in unique costumes parade around the park on the festival’s final day. The festival is a great way to make some amazing memories of your time in Japan so please feel free to join in the festivities!
Odori Beer Garden
Event schedule: 19th July to 14th August
Event time: 12:00～21:00
Event location: Odori Park
10th August to 16th August 18:00～19:00
There is also a lottery and the winner can experience playing Japanese drums on a float. Entry for the lottery takes place at 17:30～18:00
10th August to 11th August 19:00～20:00
12th August to 15th August 19:00～21:00
16th August 19:00～20:20
The climate is getting warmer in Hokkaido and we are all looking forward to the summer season. In this blog we would like to introduce and recommend a great tourist location called ‘Zenseien’, a farm where you can go and enjoy picking cherries. The farm boasts an impressive 1500 trees that produce cherries with perfect sweetness. Jams made without preservatives and additives are also sold on site.
Speaking of cherries, there is a well-known variety in Japan called ‘Sato Nishiki’ but there is also a very sweet, delicious variety called ‘Gombei’. They both have different balances of sweetness and tanginess so you should have fun comparing them until your belly is full of cherries!
Other than enjoying cherries, there are also many things to do around the large farm such as relaxing in hammocks for adults, or playing on the swings for children. It makes for a great family day out.
Address: Horo 403-1, Hamamasu-ku, Ishikari
Business Hours: 8:00～17:00
Parking: Free parking available
Access: 2 hours by car from Sapporo
Adults: 1000 JPY
Children (6-11 years): 500 JPY
Preschool (4-5 years): 300 JPY
Lemon Sour Festival
Hello all! In today’s blog we would like to introduce you to the Lemon Sour Festival which will be held on Friday July 5th and Saturday July 6th.
The Lemon Sour Festival started in 2017. It is a large food and drink event dedicated to the Lemon Sour alcoholic drink. This will be the festival’s third anniversary, it has already taken place in Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Osaka. More than 10,000 people attended the Tokyo venue in April of this year, and a combined total of 70,000 people have participated over the course of its three year existence. Each venue has its own variation of the lemon sour cocktail.
As well as the classic lemon sour made with ‘shochu’ (traditional Japanese spirit), many kinds of lemon sours such as ‘evolved lemon sours’ which use frozen lemons and preserved lemon syrup, can be enjoyed with various kinds of foods.
Furthermore, this year a special competition will be held in a tournament hall for the first time, the ‘King of Lemon Sour Play-off’. The most popular best-tasting lemon sour will be decided by the votes of the event’s visitors. ‘Standard Lemon Sour’ or ‘Evolutionary Lemon Sour’, which of them will get to sit on the King of Lemon Sour’s throne?!
Hopefully you can have some fun participating in this event and enjoy drinking lemon sours!
Event dates: 5th/6th July 2019
Event times: 5th July 15:00～20:00 (19:30 LO), 6th July 11:00～18:00 (17:30 LO)
Location: Sapporo Kita3jo Plaza
Address: Hokkaido, Sapporo City, Chuo-Ku, Kita 2jo Nishi 4 Chome
Access: 7 minute walk from Sapporo Station
Entrance fee is free of charge
Warm Rice Balls
The northern island of Japan, Hokkaido, is famous nationwide for sightseeing; the locals here pride themselves on being the top tourist destination. Today we would like to introduce you to a local custom that is a little bit different from the other prefectures of Japan.
If you visit a convenience store in Hokkaido and buy a delicious rice ball, when you take it to the register the store clerk will almost always ask you if you want it heated in the microwave. While it is common practice all over Japan for clerks to ask customers if they want their bento boxes heated, only in Hokkaido will they ask if you want your rice ball heated. When we asked the staff in our sister hotel ‘Tmark City Hotel Tokyo Omori’ they replied they almost never get asked if they would like their rice ball heated, and furthermore, people in Tokyo almost exclusively eat their rice balls at room temperature. The reasoning is probably due to the cold weather in Hokkaido!
If you are coming to Hokkaido in the upcoming winter season, please try tasting a warm rice ball! Go to your nearest convenience store and see if the clerk asks you if you want it heated. On the other hand, when we next visit mainland Japan, we will try to ask them to heat up our rice balls!