Sapporo, Hokkaido's biggest city, has many facilities where you can enjoy shopping and dining. Here are 6 spots to check out while you're there.
Sapporo Stellar Place is a shopping mall directly connected to JR Sapporo Station's south exit. It's a huge facility with around 200 storefronts. Of course they have stores handling fashion, beauty, everyday goods, and restaurants, but there are also massage parlors, salons, nail salons, and a movie theater. They have shops catering to people of all ages so you won't run into any problems while you shop.
If you're going to Sapporo Stellar Place, you must check out their restaurants where you can eat local Hokkaido cuisine! There's the popular cheap but satisfying conveyer belt sushi restaurant Nemuro Hanamaru as well as Tokachi Butadon Ippin, a restaurant that offers one of Hokkaido's regional specialties, butadon (pork rice bowl). If you want to fully enjoy delicious Hokkaido cuisine without worrying about the price, try Mikuni Sapporo, a French restaurant produced by the master chef Kiyomi Mikuni, who is actually from Hokkaido. There's also Mujika, a restaurant that offers simple ingredients and Hokkaido beer. You can taste plenty of delicious Hokkaido food without getting lost if you choose to eat in Sapporo Stellar Place.
1. Sapporo Stellar Place
Daimaru Sapporo is a department store directly connected to Sapporo Station. There are plenty of high-quality stores offering fashion, bags, accessories, and more at different price points, including high fashion brands and popular casual brands. The store is known for its feeling of openness thanks to its characteristic wide paths, and on the 4th floor in the baby/kids section there's even a play area perfect for families with kids. The food floor in the basement, Hoppe Town, has the best stores from all over Japan including Hokkaido's chocolate brand Royce' and cheesecake brand LeTAO. You can get a 5% off special shopping coupon at the information desk on the 1st floor if you show your passport (coupon available only for foreigners who have been in Japan for a month or less) to make your shopping even more affordable.
2. Daimaru Sapporo Branch
The Sapporo Central Wholesale Market Curb Market is one of the shopping areas you can't miss when you're sightseeing in Sapporo. There are around 60 stores there including seafood, greengrocers, butchers, and liquor stores. It's lively and full of voices calling for customers starting when it opens at 6:00 am. While the energy seems overwhelming at first, most of the stores have samples or allow haggling, so actually one of the fun parts about the market is communicating with the employees as you shop. Many of the seafood stores have eating spaces included, so one of the real pleasures of the market is being able to eat fresh seafood at a reasonable price. The market gets crowded at lunch time and many stores close when they run out of ingredients, so it's recommended that you go in the morning. There are places where you can eat Hokkaido cuisine other than seafood, such as soup curry, ramen, or Genghis Khan barbecue. After you enjoy eating and shopping, you can relax at the public bathhouse inside the market called Sakaeyu when it opens at 2:00 pm.
IKEUCHI is a department store in the center of Sapporo, right by Odori Station. It's split into two buildings across the street from each other, IKEUCHI GATE and IKEUCHI ZONE. IKEUCHI GATE offers stores with casual, fashionable collections focused mostly on outdoors and sports brands. There are many stores catering to both men and women so it's great for a date spot. Also, the model train store Popondetta, perfect for trainspotters, is also in IKEUCHI GATE. If you're tired, you can take a rest at the Mori no Ma Cafe on the 4th floor. You can enjoy delicious coffee and meals here surrounded by warm wood.
4. IKEUCHI GATE
Sapporo Factory is a facility with about 160 storefronts including stores, restaurants, and a hotel. It's split up into 7 buildings so you can wander around all day without getting tired, which is one of the reasons it's very popular. The site of the Kaitakushi Beer Brewery, the first brewery in Japan established by Japanese people, still exists and there is an exhibition hall that can be enjoyed by the whole family where you can learn about how beer is made and taste freshly made beer. There are also shops where you can learn how to make your own pottery or glass items, so this is definitely an establishment where you can enjoy a variety of activities other than shopping. It's great for dates or for a family outing.
5. Sapporo Factory
Yonchome Plaza is a shopping building at the intersection of Ekimaedori and Minami 1 Jodori. It's a shopping spot filled with unique, popular fashion focused mostly on young women in their late teens and early twenties, so the atmosphere is very vivid. There are many Japanese brands, so you can learn about the latest trends right away here. The 5th floor is a floor called 109MEN'S and it's dedicated to men's fashion. Other than fashion, there are also esthetic salons and hair salons that you can use before or after shopping. Also, the 7th floor is called Jiyuu Hiroba ("freedom square"), and there are a variety of unique stores there including those that offer body jewelry art, handmade jewelry, and miscellaneous items. This is a great place to find a piece to treasure.
6. Yonchome Plaza
There are many places in Sapporo where you can enjoy not just shopping but also delicious cuisine. Why not add some shopping time to your sightseeing plans?
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.