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.

Chitosetsuru Sake Museum

Address Higashi 5-1, Minami 3-jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Open 10:00 – 18:00
Closed Year-end and New Year holidays
Fee Free of charge


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Master sake sommelier Mr. Takashi Kamada, owner of Hokkaido Local Sake—BAR Kamada

Japanese rice wine, or sake, is a brewed alcoholic drink like wine but made from rice.

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.

Sapporo day-trip bus tours

Otaru Bay Story Tour (Hokkaido Chuo Bus)
Historic and Romantic City OTARUFamous Hokkaido Whisky and Sake (Hotbus)