It’s celebrated as a prime wintertime destination, but summer in the capital of Hokkaido has lots to offer – from shopping to sake to seafood
If you’re a fan of all things vintage, pop by Unplugged Vintage, which sells beautifully restored furniture, lamps and more. The clothing section is well-curated, too, with many of the items in almost pristine condition. If you’re on the hunt for quirky additions to your home – think used xylophones or candle stands – you’re more than likely to find them here.
This is the season for Hokkai shrimp, which is beloved for its sweet flavour, and plump and chewy texture. It’s so delicious on its own that there’s no need for condiments – people usually eat it boiled shortly after it’s caught. Only fished twice a year, from mid-June to mid-July, and again from mid-October to mid-November, this summer delicacy is a must-try. Get your fill of it at Sapporo’s centrally located Nijo Market, which sells all manner of fresh raw produce.
Taking place from 14–16 June, the Sapporo Shrine Festival is a feast for the senses for those interested in local life and culture. The final day of the festival will see over a thousand people line the streets of Sapporo in Heian period (794–1185) costumes, complete with portable shrines and floats. The fun continues at Nakajima Park, where food stalls and other attractions lend the event a carnival-like atmosphere.
Chitosetsuru should be a pit stop for all sake lovers. This local brewery – which has been around for over a century – is known for producing sake that’s clean, dry and refreshing. Tour the facility to find out how it’s made before sampling a few varieties yourself.
Take a hike
Chitose airport services manager Tanabe Yumiko on three spots to enjoy the great outdoors
“Do an easy 40-minute hike through the pristine virgin forest of Maruyama, where you can see statues dressed according to the seasons.”
“Avid and experienced hikers should travel further out of the city to get to Mt Hakkenzan. It is a steep climb up to the 498m summit, characterised by its pointy rocks.”
“Mt Sankaku offers well-trodden paths suitable even for children. The 311m summit offers wonderful panoramic views of the city below.”