Magnificent view at Mt. Asahi

Even though I just used my mobile phone rather than a camera to take pictures of Mt. Asahi which is the highest mountain in Hokkaido, the photos still shows its brilliant beauty of the nature.
My explanation would not be necessary, just look and enjoy photos.

Chubetsu dam located on the way to the mountainDSC_1161

At the bottom of the mountain

View from the gondola climbing to the top

If you would like to stay around Mt. Asahi, I strongly recommend  La Vista Daisetsuzan.
The outside view from the room is like a picture, and you would know the hotel is exactly next to Mt. Asahi.

La Vista Daisetsuzan also offers very nice hot spring area with private hot spring room, and even ice bar during winter.

The food (both dinner and breakfast) is excellent. Most ingredients are made in Hokkaido, and you can also eat your original seafood bowl at buffet style breakfast.

Access to Mt. Asahi by public transportation
*The bus, Ideyu-go is only available as public transportation
From JR Asahikawa station to Mt. Asahi
Departure time: 9:30, 12:30, 15:30
Price: JPY 1,430
From Asahikawa airport to Mt. Asahi
Departure time: 10:05, 13:05, 16:05
Price: JPY 1,000

Recommended Hotel: La Vista Daisetsuzan
Address: Asahidake Onsen, Kamikawa-gun, Higashikawa-cho 071-1472 , Hokkaido
Official website:


Eat Miso ramen at Yoshino

Speaking of Sapporo local food, most travellers may come up with Ramen first.
Sapporo especially has a lot of Ramen restaurants, and it is said there are more than 600 ramen restaurants in the city.
Ramen is one of the soul foods for most Hokkaido local people.
Asahikawa city is famous for soy source taste ramen, Hakodate city is the city of the salt taste ramen and Sapporo city is famous for Miso taste ramen, even though those cities are all located in Hokkaido.
I will introduce a delicious Miso taste ramen I’ve eaten at Sapporo city center.
The ramen restaurant is Yoshino (よし乃) which is located in the underground shopping center very close to Sapporo station. Though its central branch is located in Asahikawa city, the most popular taste in Yoshino is Miso taste ramen (JPY 800). The soup looks very rich, but you would find it is not actually heavy after eating it. The rich soup matches wavy and medium thin noodle very much. Yoshino serves traditional Hokkaido ramen which includes stir-fried bean sprouts, and onions on the noodles.
When you order any ramen at Yoshino, firstly have to buy meal voucher at the vending machine in front of the restaurant. If you have any trouble about the way of buying voucher, please ask the restaurant staff to show you English menu.
The shop is not very big with 18 seats only, and so you might wait for a while at the lunch time. However, don’t worry! it would not become more than 30 minutes, because most local customer can finish eating Ramen within 30 minutes after it serves!

Yoshino (APIA Branch)
Address: APIA Joyful walk Kita 5 Nishi 4, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:30〜21:30
Official Website:

Short trip from Sapporo – Asahiyama Zoo –

It takes about 1.5 hours from Sapporo to Asahikawa, the 2nd largest city in Hokkaido by JR .
Most travellers would imagine Asahikawa is the city that has a famous zoo, “Asahiyama zoo”. Visiting there, you can see many animals and even can watch their lively expressions very close to them.DSC_0925
What I especially recommend at Asahiyama zoo is to enjoy “Mogumogu time” when you can see animals are joyfully eating foods. Asahiyama zoo currently prepares “Mogumogu time” for seals, owls, Hokkaido deers, etc *The arrangement for ” Mogumogu time” is finally fixed in every morning, so above animals can be changed. You can check today’s time schedule for “Mogumogu time” on Asahiyama Zoo official website.DSC_0536
In addition to “Mogumogu time”, it is limited in winter though, penguin walk is one of the most popular events in Asahiyama zoo. Penguin walk was originally begun to improve the lack of exercise in the zoo, rather than entertainment show. It is not for the show trained by zoo staff, but group walking by King Penguin is their natural habits to get food in wildlife. Those who want to see the penguin walk in front of you, I recommend to wait at the pass 15 minutes before it starts.DSC_0930

Asahiyama Zoo

Address:11-18 Kuranuma, Higashi-asahikawa-cho, Asahikawa-shi, Hokkaido
9:30-16:00 (close at 17:15) in summer | 10:30-15:00 (close at 15:30) in winter
* Open period varies depending on season.
Entrance Fee: JPY 820 for adults | free of charge for child 14 or under


How to access to Asahiyama Zoo from Sapporo or Asahikawa airport

JR Sapporo station →JR Asahikawa station
It takes about 1hour 20 minutes by JR
Fare for only JR ticket: JPY 5,080 (“S ticket” for round trip discounted ticket )
Fare for “Asahiyama Zoo Ticket”: JPY 6,130
*Including 1)JR ticket for round trip from Sapporo station to Asahikawa station, 2) Bus ticket for round trip from JR Asahikawa station to Asahiyama Zoo and 3) Entrance ticket for Asahiyama Zoo ]
*Only available at ticket counters of any JR station in Hokkaido.

JR Asahikawa station→Asahiyama Zoo
It takes about 40 minutes by bus (No. 41, 42, 47): Every 30 minutes
Fare: JPY 440
If you go to the zoo by Taxi, it takes about around JPY 3,000.

Asahikawa Airport→Asahiyama Zoo (By bus No. 78)
It takes about 35 minutes.
Fare: JPY 550
*10:00 -Asahikawa airport to Asahiyama Zoo, 15:10- Asahiyama Zoo to Asahikawa Airport

Drugstores at Sapporo Tanuki Koji

Not a few travelers would come up with shopping at Japanese drugstores as one of fun activities when they visit to Japan. You can also find them everywhere in Sapporo, and especially 12 shops (as of May 2018) are gathering at Tanuki Koji archeade located at Sapporo city center. Goods sold at each shop are almost same, but the prices are a bit different among them.
If you have enough time for shopping, it would be better to see shop inside to check price or variety of items carefully, but in case you have limited time for shopping, just looking at goods sold in the shelves kept outside is effective way to search what the shop especially recommend. A lot of foreign tourists visit Tanuki Koji archeade, so goods placed in those shelves is hot-selling items for them.
When you walk through Tanuki Koji archade from Nishi 1 chome to 6 chome, can find shops below.

Address: 3-4, Minami 3, Nishi 1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00-21:00

Address:2-12-1, Minami 3 Nishi 2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open 10:00~21:00

MATSUMOTO KIYOSHI (Sapporo Tanuki Koji branch)
Address:1-5, Minami 2 Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~22:00
Official website:

MATSUMOTO KIYOSHI (Tanuki Koji Part 2 branch)
Address: Minami 3 Nishi 3 13-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 9:00~23:00
Official website:

KOKUMIN (Tanuki Koji branch)
Address:3-14, Minami 3 Nishi 3, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: weekday:  9:00-23:00, Saturday: 10:00-21:00 , Sunday & Public holiday: 10:00-20:30

KOKUMIN (Tanuki Koji Nishi branch)
Address:Minami 3 Nishi 3-17-10, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00-22:00

SATUDORA (Tanukikoji 4-Chome Store)
Address: Minami 3 Nishi 4-20, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~22:00
Official website:

Address: Minami 2 Nishi 4-10-2, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~25:00
Official website:

SATUDORA (Tanukikoji 5-Chome Store)
Address: Minami 3 Nishi 5-14, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~24:00
Official website:

SATUDORA (Tanukikoji Daio Building Store)
Address: Minami 2 Nishi 5-23-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~25:00
Official website:

KOKUMIN (Tanuki Koji 5 Chome branch)
Address:Minami 2 Nishi 5-13-64, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 9:00-23:00

SATUDORA (Tanukikoji 6-Chome Store)
Address: 1F Jalan Tanukikoji Building Minami 3 Nishi 6-3-3 Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00~23:00
Official website:

 When you buy cosmetics or medicines exceeded JPY 5,000 at the drugstores, you enable to receive tax-free benefit for the purchase through direct deduction of 8% VAT from the goods price at the cashier.

100 Yen Shop Daiso- Sapporo Chuo Branch

Daiso Sapporo chuo branch located near Tanuki koji arcade holds 5 floors for selling space with various kinds of items. It looks like department store! This spacious shop keeps enough supply and you may be able to get what other 100 yen shops don’t deal with.My favorite section is the floor selling cosmetics or those related goods. Daiso’s cosmetics often become very popular among Japanese ladies, as those goods quality is much higher than expected even though all goods are only JPY 108. Some items such as Japanese Sake skin toner, “Sake Shizuku(酒しずく)”, make-up sponge detergent, and diluting liquid for mascara are often sold out.
Other than above goods, nail related items and make-up tools are also sold at same floor.

Right-make-up sponge detergent, Left-Diluting liquid for mascara
Right-make-up sponge detergent, Left-Diluting liquid for mascara

Variety of stationery, kitchen items, interior goods and foods etc. can be found at Daiso Sapporo Chuo Branch as well. As there are sections to sell Macha snacks and Japanese style fancy goods at this shop, it would be suitable for travelers to buy souvenirs for friends.

Daiso(Sapporo Chuo Branch)
Address: 1 F Togashi building, Minami 2 Jo Nishi 2 Chome, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
Open: 10:00-21:00

Check Sapporo weather and temperature

When it comes to going to travel, the weather of your travel destination would be one of concerns. Four season in Sapporo is clearly divided and the temperature difference between day and night is considerable, so adequate clothing or belongings are needed to enjoy your travel.
As a rough indicator, most Sapporo citizen wear long sleeves or cardigan around 20 degrees, cotton jacket around 15 degrees and prepare thin coat when it becomes below 10 degrees.Getting further colder like below 5 degrees, most people wear down-jacket or wool coat.
There are a number of websites to check the weather forecast for all over Japan, but the official website by Japan meteorological agency is still most reliable.
Including the weather, you can check current condition of Sapporo city center via a live streaming at Sapporo TV tower

Suitable clothing for travel to Sapporo

When you visit to Sapporo, choosing suitable clothing might be one of the annoying matters for you. Weather and temperature in Sapporo are clearly distinguished for four seasons, so checking the weather forecast and preparation of adequate clothing before the travel are strongly recommended. As one of Sapporo local people, let me introduce general clothing for each season.

Spring season in Sapporo: Early April-mid Jun
*Average temperature: 7.1℃ -16.7℃
*General clothing for spring in Sapporo: Long sleeve shirt, skirt/long pants, cardigan and jacket

On Apr, a jacket is still needed. Wearing long sleeve shirt may be enough comfortable for some of you in May and Jun, but you may also feel cold without jacket in the night during this period. Wearing short sleeve is still too early even sometime after Jun.

For Spring

Summer season in Sapporo: Mid Jun-Aug
*Average temperature:16.7℃-22.3℃
*General clothing for summer in Sapporo: T shirt, short pants or skirt (long sleeves are still needed in Jun)

Some days in Jun are still cold in Sapporo, but summer is coming little by little after early Jul. Compared to other cities in Asian countries, the humidity in Sapporo is not high, so you would feel very comfortable for its summer season.

For Summer

Autumn season in Sapporo: Early Sep-mid Nov
*Average temperature:4.9℃-18.1℃
*General clothing for Autumn in Sapporo: Some long sleeves with Jacket or coat

It is the most difficult season to tell what kind of clothes are comfortable. After mid Sep, it is soon to become cold in Sapporo. Temperatures between day and night is largely different during this season, so it would be better to bring jacket or coat to put on any long sleeves. Oct and Nov are recognized as autumn on the calendar, but sometimes you may need winter clothes such as wool cardigan.  In 2015, it fell snow in Oct…

For Autumn

Winter season in Sapporo: Mid Nov-early Apr
*Average temperature:4.9℃(Jan:-3.6℃)-7.1℃
*General clothing and additional items for winter : Down jacket or wool coat, sweater, wool scarf, and wool glovesFor Winter
Winter in Sapporo that you need to prepare for serious cold begins from mid Nov. Outside is very cold, on the other hand, heater well works at the department store and underpass, so you may be surprised with the deference of those temperatures.  When you plan to go to Sapporo city center for shopping whole day, it would be better to wear a coat, wool cardigan and long sleeves so that you can put on or take off own clothes easily.

Underpass in Sapporo
Underpass in Sapporo


Purchase electrical appliances in Sapporo

Electrical appliances are one of representative goods of “made in Japan” products , and not a few people would be considering to buy them when they visit to Japan.
If not going to Akihabara in Tokyo, we have no chance to buy them with good quality and cheaper price?
Don’t worry about it!  There are some stores keeping enough variety and quantity of electrical goods in Sapporo too, and most of them are branch stores of nationwide popular electrical appliances shops.
I introduce some major shops in Sapporo downtown.

You can directory reach Bic camera from JR Sapporo station and subway Sapporo station without walking outside.
It is located in JR tower which is one of the most popular shopping malls in Sapporo downtown.
This store holding 1st Floor to 4th floor covers electrical appliances, sports goods, liquor, medicine, eye glasses or contact lenses,  bedclothes and mobile phone etc. Bic camera is especially dealing with more variety goods in addition to electrical goods.

Address: Sapporo ESTA JR Tower, 2-1, Kita-5 nishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
YODOBASHI CAMERA  (Japanese website)
1 minutes walking distance from JR Sapporo station and subway Sapporo station.
This store holding 1st Floor to 3rd floor covers electrical appliances, games, toys, brand watches, eye glasses,outdoor related goods, brand bags, CD & DVD and mobile phones etc..
Yodobashi camera is especially dealing with more camera related goods.

Address: 1-12, Kita-6 nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo

ヨドバシ.com – マルチメディア札幌 via kwout

DEPO TSUKUMO (Japanese website)
It is a biggest store dealing office computer part’s in Hokkaido. Their specialty is low price and wide selection of computer, DOS/V parts, peripheral equipment, computer accessories and mobile phone.

Address: 1F Satsueki Bridge, 1-12, Kita-6 nishi-5, Kita-ku, Sapporo

TSUKUMO 店舗情報 via kwout

This shop is categorized as a duty free shop rather than electrical appliances shops.Laox deals with wide range of goods, such as household supplies, watch, jewelry, and even folk crafts and foods.

Address: 1F Norbesa, 1-1, Minami-3 nishi-5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo

When to visit Sapporo?

Compared to other areas in Japan, four seasons of Hokkaido is clearly divided. As you may know, winter in Hokkaido is severely cold and continues a long time, but once  become warming, several kinds of flowers are bloomed at the same time, which makes people feel exact spring . Summer in Hokkaido is cooler and more comfortable than in Tokyo or other areas in Japan, but it is short and you would soon feel autumn even late August.
Each season has each good point though,  if I am asked the best season of Sapporo for travel, following ranking is my personal recommend order. It would be greatly appreciated if you refer to this post for your travel planning.


No 1. Autumn (Early Sep- Mid Nov)

The season enables us to enjoy hot spring with watching autumn leaves and is fulfilled with delicious foods. In particular, fresh seafood such as saury fish, salmon and salmon roe are available at the local restaurants and supermarkets at cheap price in Sapporo. If you have plan to visit Sapporo beginning of Nov, I recommend going out to Hokkaido University (North 13 Rd, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo) to see golden color scenery by ginkgo trees.

At Hokkaido university

No 2. Summer (Mid Jun-Aug)

Summer in Hokkaido is very very short. Though it has exceeded 30 degrees for recent years in Sapporo as well, its weather and humidity during summer season is still more comfortable than other areas in Japan. At Sapporo Odori Park located in the central of Sapporo city, outdoor beer restaurants called “Beer garden ” are open from mid Jul to mid Aug every year. Those who have plan to visit Sapporo during this period would have chance to enjoy fresh beer with refreshing night breeze. 

hakko gakuen2
At Hakko Gakuen

No 3. Spring (Early April-Mid Jun)

In Hokkaido where winter continues for a half year, many local people choose spring as the most preferable and happy season. A symbol flower of Spring, cherry blossoms are bloomed in late April in Sapporo, though those are bloomed in late March in Tokyo. Spring is a definitely beautiful season, but there is one caution for tourists who visit Hokkaido between late Mar and beginning of Apr. Due to snow starts melting during this period, road condition is so bad that it is easy to get dirty by many puddles. If you walk around the central town of Sapporo, better to use underpass to avoid uncomfortable matter.

sakura 2 for
At Shiroishi Cycling Road

No 4. Winter (Mid Nov-Early Apr)

Sapporo citizens experience winter for nearly 6 months in a year. Travelers who have never seen snow in their home countries may visit Hokkaido in order to see it, but this season is very hard and it makes local people feel quite long period to spend it…..What travelers need to take care in this season is outfits and shoes to spend comfortably during the travel. I guess most travelers prepare clothes with enough thick to keep warm, but heater of underground and shops in Sapporo works very well, therefore someone may feel too hot if they stay inside all day long. A recommendable way to spend comfortable in Sapporo is layering a few clothes so that you can take off some at anytime. To avoid slipping on the icy road, it is better to buy anti-slip tool to put on your own shoes at any kiosk in new Chitose airport or Sapporo Station.

susukino festival
At Susukino

About This Blog (ブログについて)

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I’m a Japanese woman who was born and grew up in Hokkaido, has worked in Singapore and currently live in Shanghai, China.

During almost 10 years my life in two foreign countries, I ‘ve heard a lot of good reputation about Hokkaido from friends, colleagues and even medias. As one of Hokkaido local people, it made me feel happy and honored indeed, but at the same time, information they got was very limited and I believed I could share much valuable information with them. I hope this blog would help for those people who are looking for restaurants, local foods and shopping spots local people also recommend, popular souvenirs or even general travel information about Sapporo and other cities in Hokkaido.

My hometown, Sapporo is the biggest city in Hokkaido and only 1 hour drive away from new Chitose airport. Most travelers planning to visit Hokkaido would stay Sapporo as their first destination in Hokkaido.  Like major images of Hokkaido, Sapporo is a city surrounded by plenty of nature, and besides, Sapporo is a city with the 5th largest population in Japan, which means Sapporo also has many good places to shop and dine. As most travelers know, this city is the home town of Sapporo beer, and attracting gourmets especially seafood fans. We are also proud of tasty fresh milk, ice cream and sweets which are made in Hokkaido.
I hope I could share much more attraction of Sapporo and Hokkaido with lots of travelers through this blog.

生まれも育ちも北海道、道産子のsnowy owlと申します。20代中盤からシンガポールに住み、現在は上海で生活しています。