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The food of Hokkaido is one of the northern island's biggest attractions, especially the high quality seafood caught in its cold waters and the agricultural products grown on its wide farmlands.

Seafood

Hokkaido is renowned for the high quality and freshness of its seafood, as the cold waters surrounding Japan's northernmost prefecture are ideal for fish and sea vegetation.

Within the prefecture some areas are particularly famous for a certain product, such as the uni (sea urchin) of Rishiri and Rebun. Some other highly celebrated seafood products are kani (crab), ika (squid), ikura (salmon roe) and hotate (scallops).

A popular way to sample the prefecture's famous seafood is visiting a fish market and having a donburi (rice bowl) breakfast. Typical toppings are fresh uni (sea urchin), ikura (salmon roe), ika (squid) or a combination thereof. Popular markets include Sapporo's Nijo Market, Hakodate's Morning Market and Kushiro's Washo Market.

Dairy Products

Thanks to its expansive countryside, Hokkaido is able to support a massive dairy industry. The prefecture produces about half of the country's milk, of which about 60% is used for drinking while the rest is processed into other dairy products like butter, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream.

Dairy products from Hokkaido enjoys a very strong brand value across Japan, and many butter and milk packages prominently advertise their ties to the northern prefecture.

Inside Hokkaido, travelers may notice that dairy products are used in dishes more often than elsewhere in the country. For instance, ramen is frequently served with a slice of butter on top. And one of the most popular local souvenirs are butter cookie sandwiches, which consist of two cookies with butter and raisins in the middle.

Produce

As with dairy products, Hokkaido is able to support extensive farming thanks to its large size, relatively small population and favorable soil and climate.

For example, it produces almost ten times as much wheat as any other prefecture. Among other farm products readily associated with Hokkaido are potatoes, corn, onions and melons.

Ramen

Ramen is a noodle soup dish that has its origins in China, but was imported to Japan during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and then Japanized. It is popular throughout the country, but is also well known as a specialty of Hokkaido.

The soup base, noodles and toppings used for ramen vary across Japan, and even within Hokkaido there are variations between the regions. While Sapporo is known for its miso based broths, salt based broths are more common in Hakodate and soya sauce based ones in Asahikawa.

Like in the rest of the country, ramen shops are among the most numerous types of restaurants, found across cities and along major roads. Tourists can find an entire collection of ramen shops in the Ramen Village in Asahikawa or the Ramen Republic and Ramen Yokocho in Sapporo.

Genghis Khan (Jingisukan)

Named after the man who founded the Mongol Empire in the early 13th century, Genghis Khan is a dish consisting of meat (usually mutton) and vegetables cooked on a dome shaped metal grill in the middle of the table. The meat is usually dipped in a shoyu based sauce and eaten right off the grill.

Genghis Khan can be enjoyed at specialized restaurants across Hokkaido. One of the best places to enjoy it is the atmospheric beer hall at the Sapporo Beer Museum.

Beer

Beer has become the most popular alcoholic beverage in Japan since it was introduced from Germany in the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868-1912). Sapporo Beer, one of the first and most popular beer brands in Japan, was founded in Hokkaido and dates back to the opening of Japan's first brewery in 1876.

Travelers can learn about the history of beer in Hokkaido at the Sapporo Beer Museum, and enjoy a beer tasting afterwards. Beer tastings can also be enjoyed at a small tasting bar at the Sapporo Factory shopping center, the former site of the original brewery.

Hotels around Sapporo

Top rated in Sapporo
Budget:
    • Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO
      Budget-friendly
      Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO in Sapporo provides adults-only accommodation with a bar and a shared lounge. Each accommodation at the 1-star guest house has city views and free WiFi. The property is 5 km from Sapporo Dome and 5 km from Sapporo Clock Tower. At the guest house, every room includes a shared bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries. Sapporo Convention Centre is 5 km from Guesthouse OYADO SAPPORO, while Sapporo TV Tower is 5 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 9 km from the accommodation.
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    • Pirka Sapporo
      Budget-friendly
      Pirka Sapporo is located in Sapporo, within 2.9 km of Hokkaido University and 3.5 km of Sapporo Clock Tower. Featuring a shared lounge, the 1-star guest house has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a shared bathroom. Private parking is available on site. Sapporo TV Tower is 3.5 km from the guest house, while Odori Park is 4.2 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 4 km from Pirka Sapporo.
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    • BEACH AND FIELD INN
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Sapporo, within 1.1 km of Sapporo Convention Centre and 2.9 km of Sapporo TV Tower, BEACH AND FIELD INN offers accommodation with a shared lounge and free WiFi throughout the property. The property is situated 2.9 km from Sapporo Clock Tower, 3.7 km from Odori Park and 3.8 km from Former Hokkaid? Government Office. The shared bathroom is fitted with a bidet, a hairdryer and free toiletries. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 6 km from the guest house.
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    • Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo
      Mid-range
      Boasting a shared lounge and free WiFi, Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo is set in Sapporo, 1.4 km from Sapporo TV Tower and 1.6 km from Odori Park. All rooms boast a kitchenette and a private bathroom. Sapporo Convention Centre is 2.7 km from the hotel and Hokkaido University is 2.7 km away. All guest rooms come with a microwave, fridge, a kettle, a bidet, a hairdryer and a desk. Sapporo Clock Tower is 1.7 km from the hotel, while Former Hokkaid? Government Office is 2.1 km from the property. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 8 km from Hotel Classe Stay Sapporo.
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    • Shabby House
      Budget-friendly
      Shabby House is a 60-year old traditional Japanese home that is situated in Sapporo. Nishisenjuyojo Station is a 3-minute walk away from the property. The accommodation offers a free shuttle service to the home upon prior request. Shabby House features free WiFi. Guests will find a coffee machine in the room. Bathroom facilities are shared. Free bicycle and umbrella rentals are available on site. There is a 24-hour supermarket behind the property. Sapporo Clock Tower is 2.9 km from Shabby House, while Former Hokkaido Government Office is 2.9 km from the property. Shabby House is 2.5 km from Odori Park. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 40 km from the property.
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    • Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites
      Budget-friendly
      Well set in the Sapporo City Centre district of Sapporo, Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites is located 700 metres from Odori Park, 1.2 km from Former Hokkaid? Government Office and 1.5 km from Sapporo TV Tower. The hotel features family rooms. All units are equipped with air conditioning, a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, a hot tub, a hairdryer and a desk. With a private bathroom equipped with a bidet and free toiletries, rooms at the hotel also provide guests with free WiFi. At Hotel Sapporo Suites, every room comes with a seating area. The accommodation offers a hot tub. Sapporo Clock Tower is 1.5 km from Randor Residential Hotel Sapporo Suites, while Hokkaido University is 2.6 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 7 km from the hotel.
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    • Hotel Potmum Sapporo
      Budget-friendly
      Set in Sapporo, 1.9 km from Sapporo Convention Centre, Hotel Potmum Sapporo offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a bar and a shared lounge. Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel features family rooms. Guests at the hotel can enjoy an American breakfast. Sapporo TV Tower is 1.9 km from Hotel Potmum Sapporo, while Sapporo Clock Tower is 2 km away. The nearest airport is Okadama Airport, 7 km from the accommodation.
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    • Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori
      Mid-range
      Open from November 2018, Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori is situated in Sapporo. A 3-minute walk from Odori Park, the property is also a 7-minute walk away from Sapporo Clock Tower and offers free WiFi. Attractions in the area include Sapporo TV Tower, a 7-minute walk away, or Former Hokkaid? Government Office, located an 8-minute walk from the property. At the hotel, all rooms are equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. All rooms come with a kettle, while certain rooms are equipped with a kitchenette with a microwave. All guest rooms will provide guests with a fridge. A buffet breakfast is served daily at the property. Staff at reception can lend a hand around the clock with advice on the area. Hokkaido University is an 18-minute walk from Tokyu Stay Sapporo Odori. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 40 km from the accommodation.
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    • Randor Residence Susukino Suites
      Budget-friendly
      Randor Residence Susukino Suites provides air-conditioned accommodation with free WiFi in the Sapporo City Centre of Sapporo, 1.1 km from Odori Park. The accommodation features a hot tub. Each unit comes with a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, a seating area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV, a washing machine, and a private bathroom with bath and a hairdryer. There is also a fridge, stovetop and a kettle. Popular points of interest near the aparthotel include Sapporo TV Tower, Sapporo Clock Tower and Former Hokkaid? Government Office. The nearest airport is New Chitose Airport, 45 km from Randor Residence Susukino Suites.
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    • Ibis Styles Sapporo
      Mid-range
      Ibis Styles Sapporo offers modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and free internet access in Sapporofs city centre. Susukino area is a 10-minute walk away and the business district is within walking distance. Breakfast with a wide variety of dishes and beverages is served daily. Sapporo Ibis Styles is a 2-minute walk from Nakajima Koen Subway Station. It is a 3-minute walk from the beautiful Japanese garden at Nakajima Park. Spacious rooms have modern furnishings and are fitted with comfortable sofa sets. They are equipped with a hair dryer and electric kettle. Slippers and pyjamas are also provided. Guests can enjoy massage treatments at the Ibis Styles Sapporo. It also provides shuttle and dry cleaning service. A convenience store is located on the ground floor. A breakfast buffet featuring local ingredients is served at the dining room.
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