Though I’d already be living in Sapporo for nearly half a year, I was embarrassed to admit that I still hadn’t made my way out to this city’s famous Sapporo Factory. So when a friend invited me to go to a goldfish themed event held there under the title “Art Aquarium,” I gave out an enthusiastic, “let’s go!” Thus began my maiden voyage the Sapporo Factory.


If you take a look inside you might think to yourself that “factory” is a bit of a misnomer. But standing there in the spacious and open building you really get a sense of the place’s factory past. My friend and I had a difficult time picking a restaurant with so many Japanese and ethnic cuisine to choose from, but we finally decided on Chinese. After filling up it was on to the goldfish.


Having no information beforehand, the term “goldfish event” brought to mind one giant tank packed with those cheap goldfish you’ll find at the pet store. But upon arriving at entrance I realized that the real deal was quite a bit more artistic than I had imagined. Stepping inside everything went pitch black, save for the black lights radiating from the tanks embedded in the wall, and took on the shape of a corn maze.


Walking along, I saw goldfish after goldfish of varieties I’ve never before seen in my life. There were bug-eyed goldfish, and goldfish appearing to sport a poofy poodle haircut. The kaleidoscope tank, traditional Japanese paper screen shaped tank and the giant fish bowl housing 1000 goldfish sent the exhibit way beyond my expectations.

I later learned that this “Art Aquarium” is a traveling exhibit in Japan. Naturally, Northern Metropolis Sapporo was selected as a host city.


The Sapporo Factory’s homepage reveals that these types of interesting events are always going on there. My trip to see the goldfish only opened my eyes to a small portion of this large facility, so I feel like I need to go back for other events and exhibits in order to see it all. Colorado sweets company Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is specially selling their candied apples and other American treats at the Factory until March 31, so I think I’ve found my excuse to go back!

(Note: the Art Aquarium Exhibit in Sapporo ended January 19, 2014)



Sapporo Factory

Hours: Shopping 10:00–20:00, Restaurants 11:00–22:00
Location: Kita 2-jo Higashi 4-chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
TEL: 011-207-5000
















営業時間 ショッピング 10時~20時、 レストラン 11時~22時
住所   札幌市中央区北2条東4丁目
電話   011-207-5000