Sapporo Autumn Fest was first held in 2008, with this year seeing the eleventh staging of the event. It's the biggest food festival in Hokkaido, and signals the arrival of autumn. The Festival is held in Odori Park in Sapporo, and there are many food stalls focusing on Hokkaido food and drink. As it happened this year, the length of the Festival was cut by one week on account of the earthquake which occurred on September 6th. In spite of this, the festival is open from September 15th to 30th. As is always the case, visitors can experience the numerous and varied tastes of Hokkaido. Each block of Odori Park has a specific theme.
The theme of 1-chome is Sapporo’s Octoberfest. It's a recreation of the actual Octoberfest - the world’s biggest beer festival, which has been an annual fixture in Munich, Germany since 1972. Here, people can enjoy German dishes, made using Hokkaido ingredients. The theme of 4-chome is Welcome Park. Many different types of Hokkaido-made Japanese sake are available at a booth here. Because the 4-chome site focuses on alcoholic drinks, there are many good foods for light meals - using meat, seafood and vegetables. This site is like the gateway of the festival, as 4-chome (the fourth block of Odori Park) faces Ekimae-dori, or the main street.
The theme of 5-chome is Hokkaido Ramen Festival and Kuidaore Square. Twenty different ramen noodle shops are operating through the Autumn Fest; five per week over the four-week duration. All these shops are using noodles made with flour produced in Hokkaido. There are also stalls selling dishes using other ingredients made in Hokkaido. Kuidaore means to eat a lot without stopping, as the food is too delicious. The theme of 6-chome is Harvest Bazaar. There is a pizza shop which is popular every year serving pizza cooked in an authentic wood-fired pizza kiln. In addition, there are Thai, Korean and Indian shops.
The theme of 7-chome is Bar. A variety of drinks are here, including wine (made in Hokkaido), cider (made from the fermented juice of apples produced in Hokkaido), Japanese sake (made from Hokkaido rice), doburoku (a variety of Japanese sake, filtering with a broader mesh, resulting in the permeating of fine rice particles and a far cloudier drink) and shochu (distilled from rice, barley, or sweet potatoes), local Hokkaido beers, and cocktails using Hokkaido fruit. The theme of 8-chome is Hokkaido Market. Shops from all areas of Hokkaido are here, showcasing a wide selection of Hokkaido food.
The theme of 10-chome is Oniku (meat) Jyuu-chome. It's a Japanese pun. The sound of barbecuing meat is recognized in onomatopoeia as 'jyuu', and the number 'ten' is 'jyuu'. There are food stalls selling various meat dishes, including chicken, pork, beef and lamb raised in Hokkaido. Also, this year sees the introduction of venison. The theme of 11-chome is Food-Create-Stage. Fourteen famous chefs are opening temporary food stalls. Visitors can taste their original dishes. Each dish is 1200 yen or 600 yen. Of course, they use Hokkaido ingredients. Moreover, there is a booth selling fresh vegetables produced at in or around Sapporo.