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A complete guide to the best après-ski spots in Sapporo and Otaru

September 02, 2021
Hokkaido, as the world's ultimate ski destination in Japan. Hokkaido is well known for the world-renown powder but also for a world of gourmet food. Hokkaido provides all kinds of seasonal Japanese delicacies including the seafood especially tasty during the winter season. We will introduce you to many types of food from Sapporo and Otaru.

What Sapporo and Otaru has to offer

There are many ski areas which can be accessed within about one hour from Sapporo or Otaru area that are suitable for a day trip.

Major facilities are all in the city so you can enjoy from sightseeing, gourmet, hot springs, to ski, all in one reach.

Now, let us see the features of Sapporo and Otaru.

Sapporo, a city offering many sightseeing and gourmet spots.

Sapporo is a big city in Hokkaido (and a capital city) with great access to many places with major transport terminals such as train, subway and bus. From New Chitose Airport to Sapporo is about 30 to 40 minutes by the rapid train “Airport”.

Susukino is one of Japan's three largest entertainment districts with many good restaurants open day and night. You will find your favorite as there are more than enough options to choose from.

Otaru, the canal and seafood.

Otaru is a port town in the coast of the Sea of Japan known for the canal and glassworks. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes from New Chitose Airport. 30 minutes from Sapporo.

Being close to the sea, you will find many seafood restaurants serving sashimi, sashimi bowls, sushi and crabs fresh from the sea! Strolling along the streets of Otaru is also fun. You will see many glass craft shops where you can make your own glasswares. Otaru also has always been famous for desserts. If you have sweet teeth, make sure you visit Otaru.

Five gourmet specialties you should definitely try in Sapporo and Otaru.

Both areas have many cafes and restaurants which you can casually walk in even if you are by yourself.

Soup Curry, an addictive spicy dish

Soup curry is the most popular dish of Hokkaido specialties. This is a dish to try in Hokkaido for many Japanese too. What makes this dish exquisite is the vegetables and the spice. Many restaurants make the curry with chicken broth made out of one whole chicken stewed overnight. Chicken and vegetables make the perfect broth. Often there are many types of toppings to go with the curry and you get to choose the level of spiciness for your order.

If you walk around in Sapporo, you will see that there are many soup curry restaurants in the area. I recommend you stroll around and find the one you like.

Miso Ramen, the ramen of Hokkaido with butter and corn

When you come to Hokkaido, miso ramen is a dish you can’t miss! You can find shops in both Sapporo and Otaru, but Sapporo is probably a better destination.

Hokkaido ramen in general is known to be thick leaving a distinct taste in your mouth. Especially butter and corn ramen has many people get hooked on.

Flavouring to ramen differs region to region. You can only taste the difference if you try. Ask your hotel front to see what his or her favorite is. Everyone has his or her own recommendation.

Uni-Ikura Don, fresh sea urchin and salmon roe on rice

If you visit Otaru, you should try seafood bowl. You can also have it in Sapporo, but better in Otaru as it is a port town. Try to find a small, local diner (called teishoku-ya) loved by locals.

The photo is the Uni-Ikura Don (rice topped with sea urchin and salmon roe) served at a restaurant inside a market which is located to the left of a train station. It is pricey but fresh and rich tasting sea urchin and salmon roe is worth the price!
The restaurant also serves regular sushi combo or other type of rice bowls which can be enjoyed by yourself or with your family. A must try for seafood lovers.

Stone Oven Pizza, an experience in a great nature of Niseko

This is optional, but if you are willing to extend your trip a bit from Otaru, you can experience a great nature of Niseko.
There are many ranches in Niseko which are famous for producing milk, cheese and other dairy products and local gourmet using those ingredients.
You can find restaurants serving pizzas using lots of cheese produced from local fresh milk baked in a stone oven creating a crispy crust.

Ice Cream, using lots of fresh milk of Hokkaido

Hokkaido is is an indulging destination for people with sweet tooth. Out of many kinds, ice cream is famous for its local ingredient, fresh milk. There are many cafes and shops creating their own ice cream desserts from simply a scoop of ice cream which makes the most of the original taste of local ingredients to an combination with apple pie or cake.

LeTAO is one of the famous and popular confectionery companies in Hokkaido and their main shop is in Otaru. There are many cafes and shops serving sweet treats and desserts in Otaru. If you love sweets, Otaru is the right place.

One-day ski trip destinations from Sapporo and Otaru

There are ski areas accessible from Sapporo and Otaru for one-day ski trip. You can plan ski and gourmet all in one trip!

Sapporo Kokusai Skiing Resort is a resort near Sapporo popular for its fine powder snow. Snow Cruise Onze is an attractive ski resort accessible from Otaru with marvelous view overlooking Ishikari Bay.

⇒ To find out more about Sapporo Kokusai Skiing Resort, click here.

⇒ To find out more about Cruise Onze, click here.

Both ski resorts can be reached within one hour from the nearest station. If you wish to come back and try tasty local gourmet for dinner in the city, we recommend you stay at a hotel near Sapporo or Otaru.

WAmazing Snow has a long list of ski resort and accommodation. We hope you will find the one best matches your travel desire.

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

Related ski resorts

Sapporo Moiwayama Ski Area Hokkaido Prefecture

Longest run distance2,620 m
Maximum gradient38 °
Longest run2,620 m
Maximum38 °

SNOW CRUISE ONZE Hokkaido Prefecture

Nov. 20th to Mar. 27th
Longest run distance1,500 m
Maximum gradient30 °
Longest run1,500 m
Maximum30 °

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