A Complete Guide to Tanukikoji Shopping Street in Hokkaido
Tanukikoji is one of Sapporo's most famous spots. At this shopping arcade, you’ll be able to experience shopping and tasting various Hokkaido specialties. There are many points of interest in Tanukikoji and this guide is a comprehensive introduction to all these spots.
What's Tanukikoji Shopping Street?
This shopping arcade was established some 150 years ago and has been loved by locals ever since. Located between Minami Nijo and Minami Sanjo in Sapporo, it stretches for 900m from east to west and is home to around 200 shops. You’ll find restaurants, fashion stores, souvenir shops, and all kinds of other specialty shops here. This place is lively every day!
Tanukikoji Shopping Street is around a 1 hour drive from New Chitose Airport. If you’re going there by train, then it is around an 18-minute walk from Sapporo Station. Head south along Sapporo Ekimae-dori and you’ll arrive at the entrance of the shopping street. If you are using the subway, you should get off at Susukino Station or Shiden Tanukikoji Station. You’ll find it near these stations.
Check Out These Spots!
One of the main charms of Tanukikoji Shopping Street is its nostalgic and unique atmosphere. Retro signboards and shops with interesting products can be found, making strolling around really enjoyable!
One spot you should visit is the Honjin-Tanukidaimyo Shrine (commonly known as Tanuki Shrine), home to the guardian deity of the shopping street. With its big belly, the Mizukake Tanuki Jizo enshrined there is full of charm. Rub its belly and you’ll be blessed in various ways, such as having a smooth pregnancy.
Tanukikoji Shopping Street is lively throughout the day, but things get even livelier during the Tanuki Matsuri – a festival that lasts for around a month between July and August. During that period, the shopping arcade is beautifully decorated and washed in a festive mood.
During the festival, many unique events are held. Food stalls and live performances are put up for the Night Bargain event. There’s also the Tanuki Hattoku Reitaisai that features Tanuki Mikoshi Togyo (a procession where people hold up a portable shrine dedicated to the Tanuki deity) and Tanuki drums.
Festival Period: July 20 (Fri) – August 17 (Fri), 2018
A Host of Unique Shops!
Strolling along the shopping street is fun, but there are also great places for shopping and dining that need to be visited. Here are 3 top picks among these shops!
Hokkaido Souvenir Shop Tanukiya
This is the place to go for souvenirs when you visit Sapporo. This well-established store has been in Tanukikoji for over 100 years and is the largest of its kind in Sapporo. You’ll be able to spot the shop by the large tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) at the entrance. You could even say that this shop is one of the monuments of Tanukikoji. There are also many tourists who come to take pictures as mementos.
Inside the spacious shop, you’ll find a wide variety of things, from foods to crafts. There’s plenty to choose from, as they stock 5,000 items! From standard souvenirs like the Shiroi Koibito (chocolate-covered biscuits) to T-shirts with interesting designs that are unique to Hokkaido, you’ll definitely find some souvenir that you like!
Hokkaido Souvenir Shop Tanukiya
Oden to Sakana Chikuwa
This restaurant is a great place to eat oden (a type of Japanese hot pot). The restaurant’s popular and unique oden broth features plenty of ago (flying fish), which gives the broth a mellow, umami-rich flavor that will spread in your mouth.
The menu features things like Radish (260 JPY (excl. tax)) and Tofu (260 JPY (excl. tax)). They’re all standard oden ingredients, but care is taken to create a unique taste that makes the restaurant so popular.
When you come to Sapporo, it’s only natural to have some Sapporo Ramen! This rich miso ramen is a Sapporo specialty and Kiraito is a restaurant where you can enjoy this.
Their most popular menu item is the Miso Ramen (700 JPY). This delicacy is made with egg noodles that go well with the miso soup, along with a generous topping of vegetables. Instead of char siu (stewed pork), the version here features minced meat, making it stand out from other versions of the dish. Come here to enjoy the traditional taste of Sapporo!
There are many other interesting areas within Tanukikoji Shopping Street. If you're planning a trip to Sapporo, do use this guide to help you!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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