Tag Archives: Sapporo

Kitaca, Sapica or Suica, which one is the most useful transportation card in Sapporo?

When getting public transportations in Japan, IC transportation card is commonly used overall Japanese major cities. An advantage of IC card against single ticket is a simple ticketing system that allow you to keep using same one card as long as top-up on it while single ticket is required to purchase for every single destination. Further more,Read More

What to wear in Hokkaido in winter (Nov to Dec)

When it comes to Nov, the temperature rapidly falls and the lowest is below 10℃ in most areas in Hokkaido until mid Nov. After late Nov, it becomes below 0℃ and even the highest temperature is lower than 5℃. The first snow also falls in late Oct to early Nov every year. If you plan to come to Hokkaido in this period, may be able to see such a fresh snow by chance.
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5 tips for winter clothes in Hokkaido

Winter is the season exactly representing the image of Hokkaido, beautiful, white and quiet ,which would be very attractive for lots of domestic and foreign tourists. Hokkaido’s major events, white illumination and each local area’s winter festivals including Sapporo snow festival are also held in this season. However, some tourists may guess winter in Hokkaido is too cold to enjoy the trip…. To enjoy and stay more comfortable in winter in Hokkaido, let me introduce not only outfits commonly known, but also tips for winter clothings in Hokkaido. The season almost starts from November and continue until early April. People in Hokkaido overcome the serious coldness of winter for a half of the year along with following tips!

1, Difference between city and county side

Outfit for shopping in Sapporo and exploring nature like watching drift ice on the ship at Okhotsk sea is totally different. Even though saying “Travel in Hokkaido”, the option is various and clothings should adjust to locations where you go and activity you do. If you go to Shiretoko, Mt. Taisetu or any spots with beautiful natural surroundings, I recommend to visit outdoor shops in advance to get winter jacket and other clothes to protect from severe coldness.
Meanwhile, it’s actually enough hot in the department stores and shopping malls in Hokkaido, so outfit doesn’t look much different from shopping places in Tokyo, Osaka or other areas in Japan. I often feel too hot during shopping at Sapporo city, therefore also recommend tourists not to wear heavy sweater on under your coat. My most comfortable sets of closing is Uniqlo’s HEATTECH underwear + long sleeve T-shirts + thin sweater. Some local people may feel even this set of clothing looks too hot, but layering with three clothes is just comfortable for me and also helpful as I can take off shirts at washroom once feeling too hot^^

2, Unbrella is not necessary but hooded coat is more helpful

You would expect to see lots of snow in Hokkaido, on the other hand, may be anxious about it. Snow can be continuously falling from morning to evening in a day , but it is not always necessary to use umbrella in whole winter. In case we move from a building to another building or walking distance is short during a little snowing, local people don’t use umbrellas. Instead of that, hooded coat is very useful. Snow in Hokkaido is very light and not watery , so covering by hood is enough helpful to avoid snow. In order to walk safe on the slippery and frozen road, it would not be a good idea to bring an umbrella and be better to keep both hands free.

3, Winter shoes to avoid falling over frozen road

If you move around Sapporo city center, walking with sneaker should be no problem as from Sapporo station to subway Odori and Susukino station is connected by underground path or most road in the city area is developed with heating system to melt snow of the surface. Wearing business shoes whose sole are smooth and slippery or high heels are dangerous in winter in Hokkaido. If you want to continue to wear your own shoes during travel in Hokkaido, some shops in new Chitose airport or JR station selling non- slip tools to directly attach on your shoes might be convenient for you. As local shoes shops are normally allocates most of selling space to snow boots or other winter foot wears during snow season, you could also find your favorite one there.

4, Gloves, wool scarf and woollen hat

Gloves and wool scarf are the accessories most Hokkaido people are putting on in Winter. Those are not for looking fashionable, but also used for protecting against coldness. It is good to prepare wool scarf and gloves made by wool or fleece fabric or whatever light and handy rather than thick ones like used at skiing. Once hands are getting colder, it’s difficult to recover warm when staying outside. Additionally, I especially emphasis that walking with own hands in the pockets is very dangerous as it makes us much difficult to keep balance and easier to fall down.
Sometimes in winter the wind brow strong, so woolen hat or earmuff is very useful to cover your ear and head. A hat is also useful to avoid head hitting on ground in case you fall down on slippery road.


5, Underwears

I recommend to wear tight underwears to protect cold air coming in your body during winter in Hokkaido. HEATTECH underwear by Uniqlo which is made by thin material and also has high heat keeping effect is one of my necessary winter clothes. For ladies, it would be just suitable to wear before wool sweater and cotton shirts or cotton blouse. Although it is actually cold in winter in Hokkaido, local women don’t hesitate to wear skirt as well. I also usually don’t feel cold when wearing long boots and putting on thick stockings with the thickness of 60 denier to 80 denier under the skirt. If the temperature becomes below -5℃, many ladies even put on stockings under jeans. By the way, you plan to keep staying inside like department stores or shopping malls over a long hours in a day, clothes under the winter jacket are no need too thick as those places always keep enough warm in winter.

10 popular shopping malls in Sapporo

Sapporo has the largest population in Hokkaido and even has 4th largest population in Japan. It is not such big city as Tokyo or Osaka, but you can surely enjoy shopping in Sapporo which has a lot of shopping spots as well.
In this post, I introduce 10 popular shopping places like shopping malls, department stores and outlet malls in Sapporo city and near Sapporo area.

1. Sapporo Stellar Place
Sapporo stellar Place is located at quite convenient place directly connected from Sapporo station. The shopping mall is composed by more than two hundred shops from apparel shops, cosmetics shops and movie theater to restaurants, which always attracts both local people and tourists. Sapporo Stellar Place is also linked to Daimaru department store and under ground shopping area such as ESTA and APIA. If you stay at JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo, you can easily reach Sapporo Stellar Place as well as JR Sapporo station.
By the way, I obtained valuable information regarding discount coupon for shopping at APIA, ESTA, paseo and STELLAR PLACE. “Welcome Coupon” is given to foreign tourists when they show their own passport or “JR pass” at each information counter. Please check JR TOWER WELCOME COUPON to see more details about it

– Popular shops in Sapporo Stellar Place-
– Shiro- Made-in-Japan natural skin care items
– ORBIS-Skin care items
– Diana-Shoes
– DIESEL-Clothes
– ADAM ET ROPÉ-Clothes
– Disney Store
– ABC Mart-Shoes
– Sanseido Book Store
– Sapporo cinema flonteer-Movie theater
– Hands Be by Tokyu Hands-Stationary and cosmetics
– Nemuro Hanamaru-Kaiten Sushi restaurant

– Basic information –
Address: Nishi 2-5, Kita 5, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo
*Directly connected from JR Sapporo station and subway Sapporo station
Official website: http://www.stellarplace.net/foreign
Open: 10:00-21:00(11:00-23:00 for restaurants)

2. Sapporo Factory
Sapporo factory is a shopping complex including more than 160 shops such as apparel shops, amusement zone, restaurants and hotel. Red brick building in Sapporo factory especially has a spot to sell souvenirs and locally originated items which is limited to be sold at this place. It is not a selling product, but the most famous attraction about Sapporo factory is a big beautiful Christmas tree appeared from Nov to Dec.

– Popular shops in Sapporo factory –
– Toko Store-Supermarket
– United Cinema-Movie theater
– Namco-Gaming place
– Nike Shop
– The North Face Plus
– Mont-bell Factory Outlet
– Beer Keller Sapporo Kaitakushi-Beer Hole
– Seria-100 Yen Shop
– Sapporo Drug Store-Cosmetics, medicines

– Basic information –
Address: Higashi 4, Kita 2, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
*3 minutes walk from Subway Bus Center Mae station
Official website: http://sapporofactory.jp/foreigin/english/index.html
Open: 10:00-21:00(11:00-23:00 for restaurants)

MITSUI OUTLET PARK SAPPORO KITAHIROSHIMA is one of the biggest outlet mall in Hokkaido. It is not located at Sapporo but located at Kitahiroshima city. More than 170 shops including domestic and international brand shops are offering items with special discounted price. Not only clothes, but accessories, watches, glasses, cosmetics and kitchen items are also sold at MITSUI OUTLET PARK SAPPORO KITAHIROSHIMA. Spacious places are offered for shopping and you can also enjoy eating at food coat and restaurants.

– Jimmy Choo
– United Arrows
– Micheal Kors
– Dunhill
– See By Chloe
– Folli Follie
– Ray-Ban
– Crocs
– LUPICIA-Tea shop
– GODIVA-Chocolate
– Combi-Kids Items
– Matsumoto Kiyoshi-Cosmetics & Medicines

– Basic information –
Address: 7-6, 3 Chome Omagari Saiwai Cho, Kitahiroshima
*20 minutes by bus from JR Kitahiroshima station, 50 minutes by bus from JR Sapporo station,
Official website: http://www.31op.com/sapporo/english/
Open: 10:00-21:00(11:00-21:00 for restaurants)

140 shops are gathering and offering popular brand items at CHITOSE OUTLET MALL RERA. Free shuttle bus runs from New Chitose airport, so you can directly reach there on the day of your arrival. CHITOSE OUTLET MALL RERA is just located next to JR Minami Chitose station, so the access would not be so inconvenient even though it is not situated in Sapporo city.

– Popular shops in CHITOSE OUTLET MALL RERA –
– Gucci
– Coach
– MAX&Co.
– Samsonite
– Beams
– Levi’s
– Seiko
– Tasaki- Accessories
– Lego-Toy
– Laox- Electrical Appliances
– Sapporo Drug Store-Cosmetics, medicines
– ABC Mart-Shoes

– Basic information –
Address: 2-1, 1 Chome Kashiwadai Minami Chitose
*10 minutes by free shuttle bus from New Chitose Airport, 3 minutes walk from JR Minami Chitose station
Official website: http://www.outlet-rera.com/english/
Open: 10:00-19:00

ESTA is directly linked to JR Sapporo station. From B2 to 10F, you can enjoy shopping at local sweet snack shops, 100 yen shop, Uniqlo and big camera etc… . These ESTA’s wide varieties of shops attracts local people as well. There is a special zone named as “Ramen Kyowakoku” gathering many Ramen shops on the 10th floor.

– Popular shops in ESTA –
– Can Do-100 Yen Shop
– Bic Camera-Electrical Appliances
– Uniqro-Clothes
– Loft-Stationary, Interior items
– Nitori-Interior items
– Global Works-Clothes
– ABC Mart-Shoes
– GU-Clothes
– Namco-Gaming place
– Ramen Kyowakoku-Ramen shops

– Basic information –
Address: Kita 5 Nishi 2, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo
*Directly connected from JR Sapporo station and subway Sapporo station
Official website: http://www.sapporo-esta.jp/foreign
Open: 10:00-21:00(11:00-22:00 for restaurants)

DAIMARU Saporo branch, the department store directly linked to JR Sapporo station, is the best place to buy luxury brands goods in Hokkaido. Not only clothes and accessories, I also recommend foreign tourists to go to the basement floor which is selling delicious local foods from fresh seafood to sweet snacks. Some of them would be good for souvenirs.

– Popular shops in DAIMARU –
– 4℃-Accessaries
– M・A・C-Cosmetics
– ALBION-Cosmetics
– Armani
– Helmes
– Cultier-Accessories
– Shu Uemura- Cosmetics
– Tasaki-Accessories
– Tiffany & Co.
– Paul Smith
– Pokemon Center
– Max Factor/SKⅡ-Cosmetics

– Basic information –
Address: NIshi 4-7, Kita 5, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo
*Directly connected from JR Sapporo station and subway Sapporo station
Official website: http://www.daimaru.co.jp.e.md.hp.transer.com/sapporo/index.html
Open: 10:00-20:00(11:00-22:00 for restaurants)

7. Ario Sapporo
Ario Sapporo is located at residential area which is still not far from JR Sapporo station. The nearest station is JR Naebo station and you can get to Ario Sapporo by approximately 10 minutes walk from the station. There is Sapporo beer garden neighborhood, so you can enjoy both shopping and drinking there! A big supermarket, Ito Yokado and more than 100 shops are situated in Ario Sapporo.

– Popular shops in Ario Sapporo-
– Ito Yokado-Supermarkt
– Tower Record-CD&DVD
– XEBIO Sport-Sports item
– HABA-Cosmetics
– Uniqro
– ABC Mart-Shoes
– Cando-100 Yen Shop
– Ainz-Cosmetics&Medicines
– Akachan Honpo-Baby Items

– Basic information –
Address: Higashi 9-2-20, Kita 7, Higashi-Ku, Sapporo
*10 minutes walk from JR Naebo Station
Official website: http://www.ario-sapporo.jp/web/en/
Open: 10:00-21:00(11:00-22:00 for restaurants)

PARCO has been attracting young people for long years. Many apparel shops, MUJI, interior goods shop and hair salon are located in PARCO. Restaurants offering nice foods with cozy atmosphere on 8th floor are getting high reputation from local people. As the 8th floor is open until 23:00, you can enjoy food and relax there after shopping.

– Popular shops in PARCO –
– LUSH-Cosmetics
– Cath Kidston
– Samantha Thavasa
– Onitsuka Tiger
– United Arrows-Clothes
– DIESEL–Clothes
– LABLISS-Kimono

– Basic information –
Address: Nishi 3-3, Minami 1, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo
*Directly connected from subway Odori station
Official website: http://sapporo.parco.jp/page/storeinformation/index?type=recommend&lang=eng
Open: 10:00-20:00(11:00-23:00 for restaurants)

9. AEON Sapporo Soen Shopping Center
The core tenant of AEON Sapporo Soen Shopping Center is AEON supermarket. Because AEON Sapporo Soen Shopping Center is situated just next to JR Soen staion, its access would be very convenient for tourists. The number of shops in the shopping mall is not many, but it is attractive that the large scale supermarket is unusually located in Sapporo city center.

Popular shops in AEON Sapporo Soen Shopping Center
– AEON Supermarket
– Seria-100 Yen Shop
– Miraiya Book Store
– Claire’s-Accessories
– Donguri-Bakery
– Sazae-Japanese snucks
– Roman Tei-Cake shop

– Basic information –
Address: Nishi 14-28, Kita 8, Chuo-Ku, Sapporo
* 5 minutes walk from JR Soen Station
Official website: http://www.aeon.jp.e.aai.hp.transer.com/sc/sapporosoen/

10. Marui Imai Sapporo branch
Marui Imai Sapporo branch is directly linked to Subway Odori station and it is very close to Sapporo TV tower, one of the major sight seeing spots in Sapporo. Marui Imai Sapporo branch has been offering books, clothes and furniture, etc…for many years as a local department store. Basement floor selling delicious local foods is most attractive for me. It is surely good place to buy souvenirs, in addition that, is also fun place to check many variety of local foods as well.

-Popular shops in Marui Imai Sapporo branch-
– Chloé
– Fendi

– Basic information –
Address: Nishi 2 Minami 1, Chuo-Ku Sapporo
*Directly linked to Subway Odori Station
Official website: http://www.marui-imai.jp.e.ba.hp.transer.com/sapporo/s_top/index.html/
Open: 10:00-19:00(11:00-21:00 for restaurants)

6 stores to buy Japanese books, Manga and anime goods in Sapporo

I guess there are many fans of Japanese Manga in the world. When you go to bookstores in Japan, you may be surprised the quantities of Mangas they are dealing with.
Even if you don’t understand Japanese language, should be excited to the original edition of your favorite Manga once you take it by your own hands. If you have no idea how to find the manga you want, book store clerks kindly help you to find out it.
In Japan, each book store sells not only books, such as novels, magazines, Manga, travel guides and language learning books, but also keeps postcards, diaries and various kinds of stationeries. When it comes to drop at book store, I always spend more than one hour, staying there much longer than expected. Under current situation around book stores in Japan, more and more small sized book stores close down and large sized book stores are surviving while e-book is becoming popular. Below listed book stores are large sized book stores dealing wide range of items in Sapporo down town.

Aside from ordinary book store, I also recommend Manga fans to go to second hand book store.
Book Off (Sapporo Minami 2 Jo branch) which sells second-hand books such as Manga, novels, and even used CD and DVD is a store I visit every time when I go back to Sapporo. All Manga in the shelves as looked like brand-new are second hand and much cheaper than new one. Some popular Manga are sold as a set like including vo.1 to vo.10. For those who don’t mind second hand items, Book off would be a great book store to get many manga by cheaper price.
Walking one minute from Book Off (Sapporo Minami 2 Jo branch), you would find Toranoana (Sapporo branch) which deals anime goods like figures, fanzines and other items Otaku usually loves. Unless anime fans go to Akihabara, could get special Manga in Sapporo which is usually not sold at usual bookstores. Animate (Sapporo branchi) is just located to Toranoana ‘s neighbor, which also deals plenty of books, Manga, anime character goods, DVD and games.

-Large sized book stores in Sapporo downtown-

Kinokuniya (Sapporo Honten)
Address:sapporo 55, 5-7 Nishi, Kita 5 Jo, Sapporo
* Close to Sapporo station for JR line and subway Toho line, North-South line

Maruzen & Junku Do (Sapporo branch)
Address: B2F-5F Marui Imai Minami Kan, 8-2, Nishi 1, Minami 1 Jo, Sapporo
*Close to Odori station for Subway Toho line, North-South line and East-West line

Sanseido (Sapporo branch)
Address: 5F JR tower Sapporo Stella Place, Nishi 2-5, Kita 5 Jo, Sapporo
* Close to Sapporo station for JR line and subway Toho line, North-South line

-Second hand book store-
Book Off (Sapporo Minami 2 Jo branch)
Address : Nishi 1-3, Minami 2 Jo, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
*Close to Odori station for Subway Toho line, North-South line and East-West line

-Dealing special mangas and anime books-
Toranoana (Sapporo branch)
Address : 1F, 2 Bankan Building, 7-1, Nishi 1, Minami 2 Jo, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
*Close to Odori station for Subway Toho line, North-South line and East-West line

Animate Sapporo branch
Address : 2F Marudai Building, Nishi 1-5, Minami 2 Jo, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
*Close to Odori station for Subway Toho line, North-South line and East-West line

100 Yen Shop Can Do-Sapporo Esta Branch

100 Yen Shop Can Do Esta branch is a shop I visit every time when I go shopping around Sapporo Ekimae area.
As it is located in the same building as uniqro and bic camera, a large electrical appliance store, which is directly linked to subway staion, most foreign tourists are also able to find it easily.
The size of 100 Yen Shop Can Do Esta branch is not so big as 100 Yen Shop Daiso-Sapporo Chuo Branch , but most daily used items such as stationary, kitchen goods and beauty and health related items are available at the store. The items I recommend to get here is foods including snacks and even seasonings. If you are interested in cooking Japanese food, you can get basic Japanese seasonings like Wasabi at JPY 108 here without going for a further shopping at any supermarket. Many types of snacks and candies made in Japan are sold, which would be suitable as souvenirs for friends and even for yourself.
Except some excluding items, almost all goods in 100 Yen Shop Can Do Esta branch are sold at 108 yen(inc VAT)as well as other brand of 100 yen shops.

100 Yen Shop Can Do-Sapporo Esta branch

Address:B2 Sapporo Esta, Kita 5 Nishi 2, Chuo Ku, Sapporo
Open: 9:00-21:00

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