Recommended summer cuisine in Sapporo, made from ingredients gathered from every region in Hokkaido
Sapporo, the gathering place of Hokkaido cuisine
Surrounded by three oceans—the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk, each with a different current—Hokkaido is a treasure trove of seafood ingredients. There are also expansive inland plains, making this a region rich in dairy and farming resources. With a food self-sufficiency rate of 200% (based on calories), Hokkaido serves as the homeland for food ingredients in Japan. As the weather climate changes across the seasons, so does the freshness of the ingredients—as such, there are certain seafood types that are only available during limited times. Don’t miss out on the seasonal food ingredients that are only available now.Surrounded by three oceans—the Sea of Japan, the Pacific Ocean, and the Sea of Okhotsk, each with a different current—Hokkaido is a treasure trove of seafood ingredients. There are also expansive inland plains, making this a region rich in dairy and farming resources. With a food self-sufficiency rate of 200% (based on calories), Hokkaido serves as the homeland for food ingredients in Japan. As the weather climate changes across the seasons, so does the freshness of the ingredients—as such, there are certain seafood types that are only available during limited times. Don’t miss out on the seasonal food ingredients that are only available now.
We would like to introduce 3 methods for enjoying the summer season in Sapporo, where the cuisine of each region in Hokkaido can be found.
1. Eating outdoors, where you can experience the fresh northern country winds.
2. Tasting the fresh foods from markets and supermarkets.
3. Visiting a restaurant, where chefs utilize their skill in bringing out the flavor of quality ingredients.
Each method is a great way to enjoy Hokkaido’s best season!
Crisp skies, the secret ingredient for a delicious experience
Eat outdoors to taste Sapporo’s refreshing summer!
One of the things that the people of Sapporo greatly look forward to during the short northern summer is seizing the opportunity to eat and dine outdoors. In the latter half of August the nights in Sapporo start to become chilly, making this a short-lived enjoyment. The “Fukushi-kyosan Sapporo Odori Beer Garden”, held from mid-July to mid-August in the 5th to 11th “chome” districts of Odori Park, is the main event of the summer that many citizens highly anticipate. At the gathering place of each district you’ll find beer from four major domestic makers, international beer, and meat and fish snacks to perfectly compliment your beverage. As the nights and weekends can get full from the crowds of Sapporoites looking to share a drink with their friends after work, we recommend for tourists to visit during the day on weekdays if you’d like to grab a seat. It’s a special treat to enjoy a draft beer under a clear blue sky and the gentle northern breeze! Many menus at the event feature pictures of the dishes, making it easy for those who don’t understand Japanese to order. Be sure to enjoy a getting into a “picnic mood” right in the middle of town.
Regional style for enjoying an evening drink!
Hokkaido take-out cuisine from markets and supermarkets
Hokkai shrimp, known for their unusual striped pattern, can be found at the storefront of markets and supermarkets in the summer. Plump and chewy, and with a rich sweetness, this is a luxurious summer taste that can only be experienced in Hokkaido. They’re boiled as soon as they’re fished from the ocean, so you only need to remove them from their shell. The simplicity is part of its charm. Enjoy a beer while removing the striped shell to fully enjoy the evening Hokkaido-style! Hokkai shrimp are fished just twice a year, from mid-June to mid-July and from mid-October to mid-November. Occurring off the Notsuke Peninsula of Betsukai town in eastern Hokkaido, in a somewhat rare process the fishing boats employ sails and use the power of the wind alone, so that the propellers don’t stir up the algae in the shallows.
The delicious flavor of the ingredients brought out by the chef
Experience the flavorful cuisine of Sapporo at recommended restaurants!
As summer seasonal foods such as sea urchin and corn hit the market, the restaurants of Sapporo begin to feature summer-only menus. The chefs go as far as the area of production to get a taste of the ingredients they will use to bring out the flavor and freshness in their dishes, giving you a different deliciousness than just sampling the ingredients as-is. Why not look to the collection of recommended restaurants in the Sapporo gourmet guide produced by the “Sapporo Gastro-Tourism Promotion Committee”, to help guide you on your restaurant adventure?
The kita-murasaki sea urchin of Shakotan town and the ezo-bafun sea urchin of Rebun Island are available during the fishing season from June to August. They retain their sweet, salt-water flavor even when used as an ingredient in other dishes. It’s a delicacy that can be enjoyed thanks to the proximity to the area of production. Also be sure to check out the chewy Hokka shrimp, a summer seafood fished from mid-June to the beginning of July off the Notsuke Peninsula of Betsukai town, and the juicy corn that’s harvested from the beginning of July to the end of September, for fresh summer flavors. Fill your belly with the delicious tastes of Hokkaido here in Sapporo!