Sake, the national alcoholic drink of Japan. Enjoy drinks sourced from local Hokkaido breweries, right here in Sapporo
Visitors to Sapporo are highly encouraged to stop by a local brewery to sample Japanese sake made locally. Here, we will take a closer look at how best to enjoy Japanese sake in Sapporo.
Sampling locally alcoholic beverages over a meal really brings out the deliciousness of the food and adds an element of excitement to your travel experience. Sapporo is famous for its beer, but let’s not forget sake, Japan’s national alcoholic drink. Here, we will take a closer look at how to enjoy Japanese sake right here in Sapporo.
* “National alcoholic drink” (kokushu) is a term that refers to Japan’s representative traditional drinks, Japanese sake and shochu.
Visit the only museum in Sapporo owned and operated by a brewery to learn about Japanese sake born in Sapporo
Sapporo is located on an alluvial fan created by the sand and sediment deposited over the millennia by the Toyohira River, which flows from Jozankei. The area has a wealth of underground water resources created when rain and snow that falls on the surface filters through the strata, as well as groundwater that then bubbles back to the surface downstream. Chitosetsuru, the very first sake brewery in Hokkaido, located its brewery in the heart of downtown Sapporo because of the city’s access to pristine water, which is the lifeblood of sake. The Chitosetsuru Sake Museum unravels the history of Sapporo from the time the brewery first opened as Sapporo’s sole brewery to the present, and offers tastings where you can choose your favorite Japanese sake. Patrons can also sample the pristine water used to brew the sake, or try the popular sake lees soft-serve ice cream.
The taste of sake brewed in Sapporo stems from the water of Hokkaido
Mr. Kazuyuki Sato, President and fifth-generation chief brewer of Nipponseishu Co., Ltd.More details
Japanese rice wine, or sake, is a brewed alcoholic drink like wine but made from rice.
Master sake sommelier Mr. Takashi Kamada, owner of Hokkaido Local Sake—BAR Kamada
Enjoy sake with your meal at a Sapporo izakaya owned and operated by a brewery
If you want to sample Japanese sake together with Hokkaido’s best seasonal cuisine, we recommend heading for the izakaya called Kissho that is owned and operated by the brewer of Sapporo’s own Chitosetsuru sake brand. Enjoy sake straight from the brewery together with your meal, or check out the special Kissho Sake Hot Pot, which is made with a hearty serving of sake. Also, Nanabangura, an izakaya owned and operated by Kobayashi Shuzo, a brewery situated in Kuriyama Town, serves its locally brewed sake together with seasonal favorites including sashimi and charcoal-grilled fare. Sampling locally brewed Japanese sake from Hokkaido at a brewery-owned and operated izakaya in Sapporo is a must.
Kissho is an izakaya owned and operated by the brewer of Sapporo’s own Chitosetsuru brand of sake
Address Sapporo North Plaza Building B1F, Kita-1-jo Nishi-4-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo Open Monday to Saturday: 17:00 to 23:00 (L.O. 22:30), Sunday and National Holidays: 17:00 to 22:00 (L.O. 21:30) Closed None
Local Sake & Local Chicken Maruta Nanabangura
Address Fairy Square Building 1F, Minami-2-jo Nishi-4-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo Open 17:00 - 23:00 Closed Sunday (open if Sunday is a holiday, and closed the next Monday), year-end through New Year holidays *In some cases it may be closed on both Sunday and Monday
Join a bus tour to a brewery to get the most out of tastings
Another way to enjoy Japanese sake is to visit a brewery yourself. You can tour the brewery to learn how sake is made, purchase unique Japanese sake only available locally, or sample tastings to find your favorite type. When you go, we recommend traveling by JR train or bus to get the most out of your visit. There are even convenient day-trip bus tours that depart from Sapporo. Hokkaido Chuo Bus’ regular bus tours and the Hot Bus take you to Otaru’s Tanaka Shuzo Brewery and are equipped with a multilingual system. Taking the bus means you do not have to worry about driving and can get the most out of your brewery visit.
Sample Hokkaido-made sake from 13 local breweries in one place while taking in the captivating sights of the Sapporo Snow Festival at Odori Park
A booth selling local Japanese sake will be set up at the 10-Chome venue of the Sapporo Snow Festival in February at Sapporo’s Odori Park. Here, you can sample the sake and shochu of 13 different Hokkaido-based breweries for just 100 yen per shot. Taking in the huge snow sculptures—up to 15 meters tall—and the surrounding white winter wonderland at Odori Park together with local Japanese sake is truly the best. Sampling sake while outdoors in February, Hokkaido’s coldest month, is truly something worth experiencing while in Sapporo.