Any visit to the fresh seafood mecca of Sapporo won’t be complete without trying seasonal sushi from Hokkaido
Enjoying delicious sushi in Sapporo, where the seasonal flavors of Hokkaido come together
*Updated October 15, 2019
Many visitors come to Sapporo in search of delicious sushi. It’s a city with a passion for sushi that brings together fresh ingredients from all over Hokkaido and offers a wealth of options, from high-end establishments to more casual conveyor belt restaurants. Hokkaido is a treasure trove of great seafood, and as its largest city, Sapporo is the perfect sushi destination.
Read on for recommendations from Sapporo locals about where and how to enjoy the best sushi!
You can also use the Sapporo Gourmet Coupon app to enjoy great sushi at a fantastic price.
Why is sushi in Sapporo so good?
Hokkaido is a treasure trove of delicious seafood, thanks in part to the wide variety of species can be caught in the three seas that surround it, the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean. As the main city, Sapporo acts as a focal point for many of these products, and with some of Japan’s biggest markets, such as the Central Wholesale Market and Nijo Fish Market, ensuring a steady supply, there is always an abundance of freshly caught seafood.
In order to make the most of this freshness, uncooked sushi is the most popular type. In particular, Ezo-mae sushi is an incredible experience. Ingredients are expertly chosen by master sushi chefs, who then prepare the dishes with swift precision. However, whether you’re looking for a high-end restaurant or conveyor belt sushi, Sapporo’s huge variety of delicious options make it the perfect place to eat to your heart’s content.
The best way to enjoy sushi
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with just eating your sushi in the order that takes your fancy, but there are some tricks for the discerning patron.
Go from light to dark
It is recommended to start with light-colored fish such as hirame (flounder), tai (sea bream) and aji (horse mackerel) before moving onto fish with red flesh such as maguro (tuna) and shellfish like hotate (scallops). This will help you to feel the change and depth of flavor as you transition onto heavier toppings like toro (tuna belly) and hamachi (yellowtail).
Adding soy sauce
When adding soy sauce, it is best to just add a small amount to the fish in order to fully enjoy the flavor and freshness of Hokkaido seafood. If chopsticks aren’t your forte, it’s perfectly acceptable to pick up sushi with your fingertips. Another trick is to brush soy sauce onto the fish using a piece of gari (pickled ginger), which is ubiquitous at all sushi restaurants.
Seasonal seafood throughout the year
Hokkaido has a variety of different seafood that can be caught throughout the year. It is then transported to Sapporo as quickly as possible to ensure optimal freshness. In winter, there is an abundance of delicious kaki (oysters) and Ezo awabi (Ezo abalone), while the warmer temperatures of March bring yari ika (spear squid) from Hakodate to market along with shako (mantis shrimp), another perennial favorite that embodies the taste of spring. Catching of uni (sea urchin) is allowed from the summer and autumn is the season for sanma (pacific saury), hokke (atka mackerel), kuromaguro (bluefin tuna) and lake-caught sake (salmon).
Where to get the best sushi
With a huge variety of establishments beloved by locals and visitors alike, these restaurants recommended by Sapporo locals are not to be missed!
Great discounts with Sapporo Gourmet Coupon!
Not just limited to sushi, Sapporo Gourmet Coupon is a smartphone application with a huge selection of restaurants recommended by the Sapporo Tourist Association. Download it now to take advantage of the range of discount coupons that are available!