* 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.



懷石 / Kaiseki (Cha Kaiseki)


Kaiseki is a genre of Japanese cuisine. Sometimes it is called Cha Kaiseki to distinguish it from the identically named genre, Kaiseki (Kaiseki Ryori). Kaiseki (Cha Kaiseki) is a light meal before enjoying tea in the process of a Japanese tea ceremony. Before drinking tea, in case of participant being hungry, the tea couldn't be fully enjoyed. When one was invited to a tea ceremony, a light meal was served historically. It’s Cha Kaiseki; Cha means tea. Nowadays, the meaning has changed. In restaurants, Kaiseki stands for just a light meal which consists of several small dishes as a course.

Photo from Wikipedia

精進料理(素食料理) / Shojin Ryori


Shojin Ryori is a category of Japanese cuisine. Shojin literally stands for purifying or devoting oneself to something. Shojin Ryori is based on the ideas of Buddhism, and doesn’t use any meat or animal proteins. Actually, it’s seen in various Asian countries, but the style and ingredients are slightly different. As dashi (soup stock) has an important role in Japanese cuisine, kombu (kelp), red beans, soy beans, kanpyou (dried gourd), dried shiitake (mushroom), turnip, and gobou (edible burdock) are typically used to make the stock. Mirin is a very important seasoning in Japanese, but it’s not used because it contains traces of alcohol.

Photo from Wikipedia

一汁三菜 / Ichijyu Sansai


Ichijyu Sansai is a key part of understanding the concept of Japanese cuisine. It’s a fundamental way of thinking for cooking meals, especially in the home. Ichijyu literally stands for one soup, and Sansai stands for three side dishes. Basically, one bowl of rice and one soup, such as miso soup, are the staples. Then, one main dish using meat or seafood as animal protein, and two other side dishes using vegetables, seaweed, or tofu as vegetable food are traditionally said to be typical and fundamental. This concept is typically seen in set meals, or Teishoku, in restaurants.


日本料理的特徵 / The character of Japanese cuisine


The character of Japanese cuisine consists of two things. One is to make use of the natural tastes of the ingredients themselves, and the other is to value the sense of seasons. Japanese cuisine is also sometimes called Washoku. Wa stands for Japan or Japanese style, and Shoku stands for eating or diet. Yoshoku is it's foreign counterpart. Yo stands for Western style. In 2013, Washoku was designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO. In Japanese cuisine there are different categories; Shojin, Chakaiseki, Kaiseki, Osechi, and so on. For a balanced daily diet, Ichiju Sansai (one soup and three dishes) is an important keyword.

Photo from Wikipedia

2019 札幌雪祭10丁目的大雪像 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at 10-chome site


The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 10-chome site is Star Wars. In 2019, the new film, titled “Episode IX”, will be released on the big screen. 2019 is the third year that Sapporo Snow Festival has included a Star Wars sculpture. The past two times, many fans from around the world were amazed at the size. This year, a new entertainment concept, using new technology, is going to be shown. R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8 will be made from snow, as well as the X-Wing fighter space plane.

2019 札幌雪祭8丁目的大雪像 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at 8-chome site

RED BEARJR貨物柴油機車「DF200」的暱稱。連結全日本242處貨物車站,一日中約有500輛貨物列車運行。總行駛距離大約為繞地球5圈。從北海道運送許多農產品到日本各地。北海道產的馬鈴薯中約四成,洋蔥約七成是透過鐵路來運送到本州。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 8-chome site is Red Bear. It is the nickname of the DF200, which is a locomotive used by Japan Rail Freight. The number of all DF200s running on a typical day is about 500. They carry a lot of cargo between 242 stations throughout Japan. The total distance across which the rails extend is about 200,000 kilometers, which is equivalent to circumnavigating the globe five times. From Hokkaido, a lot of agricultural products are transferred to all parts of Japan. About 40 percent of potatoes and 70 percent of onions produced in Hokkaido are sent to Honshu.

2019 札幌雪祭7丁目的大雪像 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at 7-chome site


The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 7-chome site is Helsinki Cathedral in Finland, which was completed in 1852. 2019 is the 100th anniversary of when Finland and Japan began a friendship officially. Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, faces the Baltic Sea, and presides over beautiful landscapes. This cathedral standing at the center of the city is their icon and landmark. The walls are white and the domes are green. This contrast of colors makes for something impressive. On the upper parts of the outer building, there are sculptures of 12 angels, as well as relief design. The architecture is of the neo-classic school.

2019 札幌雪祭5丁目大冰雕 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large ice sculpture at Odori 5-chome site


The theme of the large ice sculpture at the 5-chome West site is Mt. Jade and the former Kaohsiung Station. Mt. Jade is the highest peak in Taiwan at 3952 meters. The area surrounding the mountain is a nature reserve. Because of beautiful nature with different animals and plants, it’s a popular destination. In 2014, a friendship agreement between Mt. Jade and Mt. Fuji was established. The former Kaohsiung Station, built in 1940, remains a symbol of Taiwan. It has been preserved, and is now being used as a museum of its construction. In the future, the former and present Kaohsiung Stations will be connected.

2019 札幌雪祭4丁目的大雪像 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at 4-chome site

以音樂的樂趣為主題的大型雪雕。挑戰將看不見的東西以實體來表現。虛擬歌手-初音未來和手機遊戲「BanG Dream!少女樂團派對」的角色-戶山香澄組成的二人組特殊組合。在冬季札幌的雪景舞台上持續展開特殊的演奏會。

The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 4-chome site is the fun of music. It features two singers, Hatsune Miku and Toyama Kasumi. They are characters based on virtual reality. Hatsune Miku is a virtual singer created using software which enables her to sing a song that users 
upload. Toyama Kasumi is a character from a gaming app for smartphones  - BanG Dream Poppin'Party. This snow sculpture shows a limited session for Sapporo Snow Festival.  A special music show which implements projection mapping will be held every night. The lights and music are to entertain viewers.

2019 札幌雪祭5丁目的大雪像 / 2019 Sapporo Snow Festival Large snow sculpture at 5-chome site


The theme of the large snow sculpture at the 5-chome East site is thoroughbred horse racing in the vast lands of Hokkaido. Hokkaido is famous for the breeding of racehorses, with 98 % of race horses in Japan coming from the Hidaka and Iburi areas of the island. Behind two running horses, snow sculptures of Sapporo Clock Tower, the statue of Dr. William S. Clark on Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, and the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building stand. The inclusion of running horses in the design suggests that Hokkaido will develop strongly, even in spite of natural disasters. In September 2018, a big earthquake hit Hokkaido.

章魚 / Octopus


Hokkaido is the biggest fishing prefecture in Japan when it comes to the annual octopus catch. There are a number of species but approximately 70% of the catch is mizudako - the prevalent species of the octopus family. It’s not uncommon to catch octopus weighing more than 20 kilograms. Mizudako mainly live in the area of Sea of Japan and Sea of Okhotsk. As the texture is juicy and soft, it’s typically used for sushi, sashimi, and shabu shabu. On the other hand, yanagidako is another popular octopus. Yanagidako mainly live in Pacific Ocean. It’s used for sashimi also, but takoyaki (octopus balls) or deep-fried are popular cooking methods.


御飯團 / Onigiri

Photo from Wikipedia

Onigiri is translated as rice ball in English, but its significance to the Japanese lifestyle and cuisine in particular is present at every turn. Onigiri are eaten in various situations. In the home, they're made for lunch in everyday life, or for picnics and such. It has been a handy meal for hundreds of years. Traditionally, ingredients which are a little salty or sour are popular because of the taste itself and their 'shelf life.' Pickled ume (Japanese plum), dried bonito with soy sauce and boiled kombu kelp are common ingredients. At onigiri specialty shops, they have signature recipes. At convenience stores, tuna with mayonnaise is popular.
Photo from Wikipedia

散壽司 / Chirashi-zushi

Photo from Wikipedia

Chirashi-zushi is a kind of sushi, with several cooked ingredients placed atop vinegared rice (sumeshi). Su means vinegar and meshi stands for rice. People outside may perhaps think sushi is just like fresh sashimi which comes as a bite size rice serving which is called Nigiri-zushi. However, we have many types of sushi, and Chirashi-zushi is one of them. At home, Chirashi-zushi is usually cooked on a happy days of celebration. Toppings such as shiitake mushroom, dried gourd shavings, deep-fried tofu, carrot and strings of fried egg are commonly used.
Photo from Wikipedia

除夜敲鐘儀式 / Joya-no Kane


Joya-no Kane is a special event held in Buddhist temples in Japan over the the transition from the old to the new year. Joya means December 31st, which is a very special day in Japanese culture. Kane means bell in English. At each Buddhist temple, they hit a bell 108 times. It’s not a countdown for the coming year, because the ringing period straddles the old and new years. The reason for 108 peals of the bell has different theories. The most popular is that it is to take away the 108 human desires according to Buddhist beliefs.



Guarana is a carbonated drink which has had deep-rooted popularity in Hokkaido for decades. The color is light brown, and the taste is kind of between coke and ginger ale. Its main ingredient is the fruit of the Guarana plant. Guarana originated in South America. The drink contains caffeine and catechin. Guarana was invented in the late 1950’s to compete with cola drinks from the U.S.A, and it was sold throughout Japan. In Hokkaido, before cola spread, guarana had enjoyed a large share of the market. Ultimately cola gained control, with Guarana remaining popular predominantly in Hokkaido. As it is still popular only in Hokkaido; some producers restrict sale of the drink here only.


Ribbon NAPOLIN (緞帶那不勒斯)是札幌啤酒集團旗下的飲料製造商所生產和銷售的碳酸飲料。誕生於1911年,1954年開始成為北海道限定商品。因此也受到來北海道觀光的日本觀光客的喜愛。使用甜椒的色素因此飲料呈現橘紅色。使用北海道產的飲用水和北海道產的甜菜所製作的砂糖來製造。

Ribbon NAPOLIN is a carbonated drink made and sold by one of the Sapporo Beer group of companies. This drink is over 100 years old, first released in 1911. Since 1954, it has been sold only in Hokkaido. This is why even Japanese people who don't live in Hokkaido are eager to drink this, and excited as they find in it. This drink gets it color from paprika so the color is orange though it doesn’t use orange fruit. Also, NAPOLIN uses Hokkaido water and sugar from sugar beet. The name is derived from Napoli in Italy, because it aimed for the bright image of the city.

薄野 / Susukino


Susukino is the biggest nightlife area in northern Japan. There are a lot of restaurants where visitors can find many famous and popular Japanese dishes and bars to have a drink. Almost all restaurants and bars are closed during the daytime and are just open at night, with some staying open until morning. Depending on one's budget, a visitor can enjoy a wide range of restaurants or bars, starting at reasonable prices through to luxury prices. In December, many more local people visit there for their Bounenkai (year-end party). As shown on the Susukino Tourism Association, Susukino is safe place even at night.