* Hokkaido Travel Tips的部落格

*Hokkaido Travel Tips’ Blog
We compile information on “0 yen tourist spots” and “must-see paid spots with extra benefits” and then keep them in our blog as archives for your convenience. We also introduce the food of Hokkaido and interesting souvenirs to take home.



小孩子用的雪盆 / Sleighs in a park

It is common for large mounds to be constructed in small parks in residential areas of Sapporo. They are typically a few meters high; with children able to easily push their bicycles to the top (or ride their bicycle to the summit for bigger children.) In winter, these small hills turn into good playgrounds for enjoying sleighs. In Hokkaido, sleighs for kids are sold at DIY centers and supermarkets. They're about a meter long are typically blue or red. Plastic sleighs are quite common among kids in Hokkaido. It’s one of the winter features here in snow country.


札幌市繪本圖書館 / Sapporo Picture Book Library


Sapporo Picture Book Library (Sapporo City Shiroishi-ku) is a city-managed library with a collection of picture books and materials for picture-card shows. Parents and their children or infants can enjoy it, even when the weather is bad. On Saturdays and Sundays, they hold special events such as public readings, puppet plays and workshops to make crafts like origami. Children and parents are welcome to read quietly together, of course while respecting other library users. They display picture books in English too. It’s on the 6th floor of the Shiroishi Ward Office Complex, which is connected to Shiroishi subway Station.

薑汁燒肉 / Shougayaki


Shougayaki is a popular dish using shouga, or ginger. Usually, pork is the staple ingredient in shougayaki. Some people like to marinate pork in soy sauce based sauce with ginger before cooking, while some like to put the pork and sauce together, then fry. Either way, shougayaki is a very popular dish in Japan. Typically, it’s served as a set meal or bento meal box at typical restaurants and izakaya restaurants. Many izakaya restaurants open at lunch time, offering different menus from dinner time. They usually offer only set meals and shogayaki is usually on it.

Photo by wikipedia

成吉思汗烤肉 / Jingisukan


Jingisukan is a local Hokkaido meat experience using lamb or mutton. In Hokkaido, it’s eaten through the year, either in the home or outdoors. Some people say Jingisukan is a hot pot, but its cooking style is simply meat cooked on a hot plate. There are two ways of enjoying Jingisukan. One is dipping the meat in a special sauce after cooking, while the other is marinating the meat before cooking. Soy sauce based sauce is used predominantly, but some prefer miso based sauce instead. Cooking with vegetables like beans sprouts, onion, and pumpkin is the typical style. In Hokkaido culture, yakiniku (grilled meat) equals Jingisukan.

Photo from wikipedia

什錦燒 / Okonomi Yaki


Okonomi Yaki is one of the favorite dishes for international tourists coming to Japan, according to various studies. Osaka and Hiroshima in Honshu are meccas for the dish, but it’s enjoyed throughout Japan. Okonomi Yaki is actually a pancake, but savory. Cabbage and other ingredients such as meat and seafood are mixed with flour and dashi, Japanese soup stock, then fried. One of the key ingredients is Japanese yam, which enable the softness of the pancake. Hokkaido is the top producer of the 47 prefectural states while the second is Aomori. Hokkaido and Aomori occupy more than 80 percent of the share of production in Japan.

Photo from wikipedia

金平牛蒡 / Kimpira Gobou


Kimpira Gobou is one of the most popular side dishes in Japanese cuisine. Kimpira is a boy's name in a famous, old Japanese tale who is physically very strong. Gobou is edible burdock, which is a popular ingredient for Japanese dishes, and is widely used as a medical plant throughout Asia. For Kimpira Gobou, a root plant such as edible burdock, carrot or lotus root is used. To cook it, the burdock is chopped into thin strips and cooked with soy sauce and a bit of sugar. Hokkaido is the fourth biggest producer of the 47 prefectural states in Japan.

高湯蛋捲 / Dashimaki Tamago


Dashimaki Tamago is a dish of fried eggs, which are first beaten and cooked with dashi. Dashi is Japanese soup stock made from fish or kombu kelp, while tamago means egg. It is nigh on a regular feature of menus in izakaya restaurants, but still typical for home cooking. This is a kind of Atsuyaki Tamago, thick fried egg rolled up. But, Dashimaki Tamago features the flavor from dashi. Because of the soft and juicy texture, it’s also popular for bento lunch boxes. To cook it, a special frying pan of a square shape is used. As for eggs in Hokkaido, they are 100% Hokkaido sourced.

Photo from Wikipedia


釧路文學館 / Kushiro Bungakukan


Kushiro Bungakukan (Kushiro City), or museum of literature, is on the sixth floor of the city library. They archive and exhibit valuable books like first editions or authors’ handwritten manuscripts. Kushiro flourished in the relatively early times of Hokkaido's developmental period. Interestingly, many novelists, such as Takuboku Ishikawa, settled in Kushiro, the main city of eastern Hokkaido. They went on to write novels using Kushiro as the setting of the story. Kushiro City is proud of regarding itself as a town of literature. This small museum shows both temporary and regular exhibits.

札幌時鐘塔 / The Clock Tower


The Clock Tower (Sapporo City Chuo-ku) reopened on November 1st, after five months of exterior restoration work. The exterior was covered over this time, and the renewed appearance brought some surprise to Sapporo locals, because the color was slightly different from previously. The new color looks relatively green, although we have recognized the Tower as white for a long time. Actually, this happened in the last restoration work in 1998, with the color turning white in the following year. So, we will see the same in 2019. According to the restoration company, they used the same paint as in 1953, when the last big renovation was held.



札幌市民交流廣場 / Sapporo Community Plaza


Sapporo Community Plaza (Sapporo City Chuo-ku, Kita 1-jo Nishi 1-chome) is a composite facility which opened in October 2018. It consists of three different sections - Sapporo Cultural Arts Theatre “Hitaru”, Sapporo Cultural Arts Community Center “SCARTS”, and Sapporo Municipal Library and Information Center. Hitaru can accommodate an audience of 2,300 for plays, operas, or other entertainment. SCART has several exhibition rooms for temporary art shows, workshops or events like that. In the library, these are many seats which allow people to sit down to work or study. The books in the library are labeled by theme which enable visitors to find material for their work or study with ease.

比目魚 / Karei


Karei (flatfish or flounder in English) is a popular fish throughout Japan, and is also a staple fish for home cooking in Hokkaido. According to the official website of Hokkaido Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Association, 14 species are caught in the sea off Hokkaido. Also, the best time to eat differs for each, and people can enjoy in all seasons anyway. However, the best way of cooking depends on each species. Some are good for boiling, while some are better grilled. Don't forget sashimi (sliced raw fish) and sushi. Find dishes and using flounder at izakaya restaurants and try them!

第17回慕尼黑·聖誕市 2018 / The 17th annual German Christmas Market in Sapporo 2018


The 17th annual German Christmas Market in Sapporo is being held from November 22 to December 25, 2018. The site is Odori Park 2-chome, which is the second block on the West side. There are many temporary shops, selling Christmas goods like ornaments and decorations. The food and drink stalls, which offer German wine, German dishes and sweets, are also popular. If you are lucky, you might even see Santa Claus! This year, a Christmas Pyramid is the special exhibit. A Christmas Pyramid is a tower ornament exhibited at Christmas time in Germany. Sapporo and Munch in Germany have been sister cities since 1972.

新琴似屯田兵中隊本部 / Shinkotoni Tondenhei Headquarters


Shinkotoni Tondenhei Headquarters (Sapporo City Kita-ku) is a historical building registered as a cultural asset of Sapporo. It is located adjacent to Shinkotoni Shrine. In 1887, 146 families came to this area from Kyushu to cultivate the land. They worked as Tondenhei, who were charged with protecting Hokkaido from other countries, and agriculture. The building used as their headquarters has been preserved and is now a museum. Visitors can learn how Tondenhei worked and lived. Tondenhei in Shinkotoni created an artificial river for agriculture and for preventing flooding. Now, it is called Yasuharu River, and it’s a popular leisure spot for local people.