The biggest Halloween event at Universal Studios Japan(more…)
Explore Japan’s best kept secrets with your Kintetsu Rail Pass!
The Japanese transport system is notoriously confusing but yet we all know it’s the most efficient and cheapest way to get around! While we all know and love the usual hits in Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, there’s so much more to be explored.
The Japanese transport system is known for its efficacy and also the many different networks. Japan Rail, Hankyu, subway and also Kintetsu lines, these trains all service the same destination. But sometimes, one station might be closer to certain attractions!
If you’re looking for new sites to explore on your pilgrimage to the Kansai region, here are some hidden gems to get you started. The best part is these places can be easily accessed with the Kintetsu Rail Pass!
Visit the usual Osaka hotspots like Japan’s tallest skyscraper Harukas 300 and home to giant whale sharks Kaiyukan Aquarium! Not only does the Kintetsu Rail Pass takes you to these hotspots, it saves you the hassle of buying single trip tickets.
If you need help deciding on which pass to get, check out our guide to the Kintetsu Rail Pass for more details.
Osaka hidden gems
1. Hozenji Yokocho Alley
Located just a few blocks away from the iconic Glico man sign along the Dotonburi River, the Hozenji Yokochi Alley is your secret hideout from the crowds. This street is lined with traditional houses and charming little shops and restaurants. The most famous is a dessert store, Meoto Zenzai where you can get your sweet tooth satisfied.
P.S. Legend has it that eating the zenzai dessert as a couple will bring you luck!
Address: 2 Chome-7-21 Higashishinsaibashi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0083, Japan
Nearest Kintetsu station: Osaka Namba
But of course you can’t leave the Dotonburi area without a river cruise ride! The Kintetsu Osaka Namba station will take you right to the heart of Dotonburi where the shopping streets are! From there, you can stroll along the river and grab a Takoyaki or two or stock up on souvenirs at Don Don Don Ki!
Klook your Osaka Amazing Pass and not only will you get a free ride on the river cruise, you’ll even get unlimited transport on the subways, metros and buses!
2. Nipponbashi-suji Shotengai (Denden Town)
For the uninitiated, Shotengai is a local shopping street with rows of shops that carry everything residents in the area need. The Nipponbashi-suji Shotengai is the largest electronic product shopping area. Rivaling Akihabara in Tokyo, you can also find many animae stores where you can stock up on figurines and manga books!
Nearest station: Kintetsu Nipponbashi station
Address: Japan, 〒556-0005 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Naniwa Ward, Nipponbashi, 4 Chome−5−20 ホリノビル 3F
Nara secret spots
While many of us know Nara as the land of deers, there is so much more worth exploring beyond the doe eyed creatures. From amusement parks to cherry blossom towns, you’ll definitely want to see more than just deers.
Visiting Nara is made easy with the Kintetsu Rail pass as it covers the Nara Kotsu Bus lines, taking you to Nara’s top attractions like the Todaiji Temple, Kasuga Taisha shrine and more.
P.S. Did you know that the Kintetsu Nara station is only a 5 minute walk to the deer park whereas the other Nara stations can be up to a 20 minute walk away!
3. Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park
Apart from being home to the Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park, you can also enjoy a panoramic night view of Osaka! Located atop Mt Ikoma, after a day out at the amusement park, enjoy the firework show against the backdrop of the city lights.
Did we mention that admission to the Ikoma Sanjo Amusement Park is free!
Address: 2312-1 Nabatacho, Ikoma, Nara Prefecture 630-0231, Japan
Nearest station: Ikoma Station
Mount Yoshino is Japan’s most famous cherry blossom spot with over 30,000 cherry trees planted along the slopes. However, even if you are not visiting during cherry blossom season, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is still worth a visit. Named the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range”, there are many shrines and temples to check out on your trip up.
The Kintetsu Yoshino Line will take you straight to the Shimo Senbon where you can board the ropeway up to the entrance of the town. Plus, the Kintetsu line is the only direct train from Osaka!
Nearest station: Yoshino Station
Must visit spots in Mie
5. Yunoyama Onsen and Mt Gozaisho
Head up to the top of Mount Gozaisho and enjoy the cool breeze while you take in the spectacular views! On a clear day, you can even see as far as Mount Fuji. If you’re up for it, hike up to the top before heading to the Yunoyama Onsen Hot Springs for a good soak. Otherwise, take the ropeway up to the top of the mountain and enjoy the views along the way.
The Onsen is an 8 minute walk away from the nearest train station which is the Kintetsu Yunoyama station.
Address: 8625 Komono, Mie District, Mie Prefecture 510-1233, Japan
Nearest station: Kintetsu Yunoyama Onsen Station
6. Shima-shi Kanko Noen Sunflower Field
Many of us have dreamt of running through a field of sunflowers, well now you can! Head to the Shima-shi Kanko Noen, also known as the tourist farm and see about 5000 sunflowers planted right before your eyes. Stand in the middle of the sunflower fields for your million dollar photo moment!
However, as with all good things, they don’t last very long. The sunflower season is usually from July to August so be sure check the city website for updates before heading down.
If you head over from December to May, you won’t leave hungry because that is strawberry season!
Address: 48 Takamidai, Toyohama, Minamichita-Town, Chita-District, Aichi Prefecture, Japan
Nearest station: Kowa station
7. Shima Spain Village
The Shima Spain Village, also known as Parque Espana in the Mie prefecture is definitely one of its kind! Located inside a national park, this little village has been landscaped to mimic that of the Andalusia region in Spain. Enjoy the amusement park, soak in a hot spring, enjoy some Spanish cuisine or simply just stroll along these picturesque streets for a day out!
If you’re heading here by train, the nearest station is the Kintetsu Shima Isobe station and there are free shuttle buses that take you to the village.
Address: Japan, 〒517-0212 Mie Prefecture, 志摩市磯部町坂崎字下山952−４
Nearest station: Kintetsu Shima Isobe Station
Check out the park calendar for the opening hours before heading down.
8. Menard Aoyama Resort Herb Garden
If walking through a carpet of lavender does not sound like heaven to you, we don’t know what will. Breathe in the fresh lavender scent as you stroll through rows and rows of purple at the Menard Aoyama Resort Herb Garden. They also have hot springs for you to soak in after a long day of walking!
To get here, hop onto the free shuttle buses from the Kintetsu Iga Kambe station.
Address: 2356 Kiryu, Iga, Mie Prefecture 518-0215, Japan
Nearest station: Iga Kambe station
Kyoto hidden gems
9. Shogunzuka Seiryu-den Glass Tea House
The Shogun Mound is located on the eastern mountains of Kyoto and the highlight of this place is definitely the observation deck. Enjoy clear views of Kyoto and even Osaka on clear days. The glass tea house at the Shogun Mound makes for great pictures, especially at sunset!
You can also take a hike up to the Shogunzuka viewpoint where you’ll get to enjoy the lush greenery as well as see landmarks like Japan’s largest bell along the way! This round trip hike will take about 2 hours and can be done by anyone in decent shape. You can begin your hike at Chion-in Temple in Southern Higashiyama.
Address: 400 Rinkacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-8686, Japan
Nearest station: Kyoto station
If you haven’t gotten enough of tea houses, visit the Taiho-an Tea House and savor some Matcha from the birthplace of green tea, Uji! Participate in a traditional tea ceremony and learn about how the famous Uji Matcha was made.
10. Nagoya Science Museum
The Nagoya Science Museum is home to the largest planetarium in the world. This dome shaped landmark looks deceptively like the robot from the movie The Incredibles! With interactive displays like the “Tornado Lab”, the “Electric Discharge Lab” and the “Deep Freezing Lab,” there’s plenty to see and do.
Address: Japan, 〒460-0008 Aichi Prefecture, 名古屋市中区栄２丁目１７−１ 芸術と科学の杜・白川公園内
Nearest station: Nagoya Kintetsu station
When in Nagoya, you definitely cannot miss visiting the postcard cities of Shirakawa and Takayama. The cute little steep sloped wooden houses against a backdrop of lush greenery screams photogenic!
Other Japan essentials
Apart from these secret spots, your visit to Osaka would not be complete without a visit to Universal Studios Japan. Don’t forget to Klook your tickets to skip the lines! You’ll also need an Osaka Amazing Pass for unlimited transport around Osaka as well as free entry into these attractions.
A soaking good time awaits at Universal Studios Japan this summer 2018!
Nothing says summer in Osaka like soaking up the fun (literally) at Universal Studios Japan! Cool off from the summer heat and join your favorite One Piece characters in a battle of the super soakers. If water isn’t enough to cool you down, we hear the Minions went wild with their giant new freeze ray!
Starting from 30th June 2018, read on to find out what you can expect this summer!
One Piece invades Universal Studios Japan!
From 6th July to 30th September 2018, experience the One Piece Premier Summer in Universal Studios Japan! Based off the ever popular manga series, step into the world of straw hat pirates and get ready to celebrate summer!
One Piece Premier Show 2018
Grab your fellow straw hat friends because the One Piece Premier Show is the one thing you must not miss on your visit to Universal Studios Japan this summer. Relieve one of the most popular moments in the manga series where Luffy and the other straw hat pirates rescue Princess Vivi from crisis! Complete with fireworks, stunts and special effects, get ready for the excitement of finding your very own One Piece.
This attraction requires a separate ticket from your Universal Studios Japan admission ticket. You can get them from the official Universal Studios Japan site.
Time: Doors open at 6.15pm, show begins at 7.15pm
Duration: 75 minutes
Show period: 6 July to 30 September 2018.
*Do note that there will not be a show on 10th July, 2nd August and 5th September.
One Piece Water Battle
Of course you can’t spend summer without having at least one water gun fight! Join the Straw Hat pirates in their quest to gain the hidden treasure and get in a few soaks while you’re at it.
Pick up your weapon of choice and help Luffy defeat the enemies! Be sure to pack an extra set of clothes because you can get pretty wet.
Period: 6th July to 2nd September 2018
Venue: Near the entrance of WaterWorld
Timing: Check out the daily soak sessions at the guest services centre!
Sanji’s Pirates Restaurant
You’ll definitely be starving after all that battling and there’s no better place to feel like a Straw Hat pirate than refuelling on some food by Sanji. For the uninitiated, Sanji is the Straw Hat Pirates’ cook and this themed restaurant is one of the most popular dining options as from previous years. Enjoy some delicious french cuisine as you bask in the hospitality of Sanji!
Period: 1st June to 30th September*
Opening hours: Restaurant opens 5 times a day and requires advanced seat reservations
*Do note that the restaurant is NOT open from 4th to 7th, 11th to 14th, 18th to 21st and 25th to 28th of June.
Minion Freeze Ray Sliders
Our favorite friendly little yellow friends couldn’t stand the summer heat so they stole Gru’s freeze ray gun and the next thing we knew, the entire pool at the Minion Park is frozen! If you too can’t stand the summer heat, be sure to head over to the new ice rink. Hop into the ice making machine vehicles and slide your way around the rink to free up the other frozen minions!
Getting tickets to Universal Studios Japan
With so much to see and do this summer at Universal Studios Japan, the last thing you’d want to do is spend your time outside the park queuing up for tickets. Klook your tickets to Universal Studios Japan and skip the queues! Just flash your mobile e-voucher and enter the park directly.
From the best spots to view the night parade to secret souvenirs you can get, don’t forget to check out our insider tips to conquering the park!
Closure of Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea rides
If you’re planning a trip to Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea anytime this year, do take note that there are some rides and attractions currently undergoing works and might be closed! To help you decide when to visit, check out the full list of ride closures below.
Grab your Nimbus 2000 and get soaring!
If you’ve re-read the 7 Harry Potter books and had the movies on replay umpteen times but still suffering from severe withdrawals, we’ve got the solution for you. While you should definitely continue to check your postbox for your Hogwarts acceptance letters, we’ve found other ways of living out our wizarding dreams. These places resemble the Wizarding World so much you’d definitely want to apparate there immediately. Grab your Floo powder and get ready for some magic!
1. Set your drinks on fire at Platform 1094
Enter the enchanted world of Platform 1094 in Singapore where drinks light up in flames and food appears out of thin air! Apart from their delicious Western-fusion food, this place is perfect for your wizarding dreams. Put on your best robes and arm yourselves with the elder wand because things are about to get magical!
Take a sip of Mr Lich’s flaming brew and feel your insides set come alive! This magical drink not only seeks to rehydrate the soul but also makes a great Instagram boomerang. Klook your Mr Lich’s flaming brew for deal that will leave the Gringotts goblins very happy with your bank balance.
These melt in your mouth Pesto Mayo Pork Ribs taste so good they belong in the Grand Feast! With the right amount of Pesto over char grilled ribs served alongside some chargrilled veggies, we can see you coming back for more.
Klook your Pesto Mayo Ribs set along with Mr Lich’s Flaming Brew to enjoy a complete meal! Plus, since combos are open-dated, just apparate over whenever you feel like and chow down on these great eats.
If you’re got a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely need to try their artisanal desserts. Klook the signature combo B and get your Pesto Mayo ribs along with the Goal Seeker! We don’t know what sorcery this decadent chocolate dessert has but it will definitely leave you wanting more.
2. Visit Hogwarts at Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Get ready for your visit to Hogwarts with a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Japan or Universal Studios Hollywood! Sip on a cup of Butterbeer from Three Broomsticks as you stroll through Hogsmeade, but be warned you will be tempted to buy everything you see. More important, don’t forget to head into Ollivander’s to pick up your wand! There are special spots along Hogsmeade where you get to perform magic with just a swish and flick of your wand.
Klook your Universal Studios passes for open-dated direct entry into these parks. Afterall, with so much to see and do, who has time to queue!
3. Master your potions skills at The Cauldron
If you’re looking to hone your potions skills before attending Professor Snape’s classes, head over to the Cauldron in London to get some practice! Brew potions with molecular mixology that even Snape would approve of. They even offer magical cocktail lessons where you get to wield magic wands to create the perfect brew.
But if you’re just looking to drink to your heart’s content, we’d get a huge mug of the “Four Cauldrons”. This limited edition beer inspired by a wizard’s wand contains hints of oak, vanilla and ginger sure sounds like a treat not to be missed.
4. Visit the movie sites on the Harry Potter Walking Tour
If you’re a potterhead in London, this should definitely be on the top of your must-visit list. This walking tour takes you to places like Diagon Alley, Platform 9¾, the Leaky Cauldron and much more! You’ll even get to stand at the exact spot where the Death Eaters destroyed the Millennium Bridge.
Klook your Harry Potter Walking Tour and uncover the movie magic with your experienced guide. Be sure to put on your comfiest walking shoes because there’s a whole lot to be explored!
5. Uncover the movie magic at Warner Bros Studio Tour
Get a feel of what it’s like to be a cast of the Harry Potter films in the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London! Step through the Great Hall furnished with original props from the series and explore the Gryffindor common room and if you dare, the Forbidden Forest. There’s even a full sized model of Buckbeak!
Klook your Warner Bros Studio Tour and enjoy a round-trip transfer in air conditioned buses with free WiFi! After all, we know that getting there from central London can be quite a hassle if you can’t drive.
6. Live like Harry in the Georgian House Hotel
If you really truly want the Hogwarts experience, you’ll need to spend a night at the Georgian House Hotel Wizard Chambers in London. While this one night stay might burn a huge hole in your pocket, this secret room concealed behind a bookcase door might just your gateway to a night of magic and marvel.
Each room features stained glass windows, stone walls, trunks, cauldrons and of course four- poster beds! Each stay even comes with the full English breakfast for the complete magic journey.
7. Step into a digital wizard world with Pottermore
Not only can you live out your Harry Potter dreams in the muggle world, you can do so in the digital world as well! Head over to Pottermore and register for a free account to find out which Hogwarts house you belong to as well as what your Patronus is.
Explore the Hogwarts Castle grounds and get taken into a whole new dimension! With 100 different hotspots to uncover, you’ll be glued to your screens for sure.
8. Look the part with the Harry Potter Collection
To look the part, you first have to dress the part! Get decked out in your Harry Potter gear before heading to these muggle hotspots for the complete experience. Be sure to get sorted by the Sorting Hat on Pottermore so you can buy outfits that match your results.
We suggest Primark or Black Milk Clothing for your outfit needs! They have a huge range of Harry Potter gear that are not just fitting for the occasion but also extremely in trend!
9. Live out the magic at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
If you’re curious to find out what happens to Harry Potter after the movie ends, you should definitely catch the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child musical. We won’t be giving away any spoilers here but we know that tickets sell like hotcakes so be sure to camp early for your tickets if you plan on catching the magic!
What we can say is that you won’t be disappointed with real life magic happening before your eyes. Watch the Harry Potter characters grow up just as we all have grown up with the series.
No greater Tokyo pass than this!
Do you find it difficult to navigate Japan’s complex (and rather costly) public transportation system? If so, thank your lucky stars you can now buy the Greater Tokyo Pass for the most cost-effective and convenient way to travel ever!
We all scream for Hokkaido ice cream
They always say bigger is better right? We definitely agree when it comes to ice cream! Sink your teeth into Japan’s LARGEST ice cream sundae and load up on that sugar high. The Yukijirushi Parlor (Snow Brand Parlor), run by one of the largest dairy companies in Japan and is surely worth the visit. Read on to find out what to expect at this ice cream paradise!
Dream Jumbo Parfait
The Dream Jumbo Parfait is one of the most iconic eats of the Yukijirushi Parlor. It’s foundation of agar agar (jelly) and fruits coupled with the layers of Baumukuchen (cake) is already enough to leave you filled to the brim. But of course, the star of the parfait is the 45 scoops of ice cream all around! Are you intimidated by this humongous ice cream parfait yet?
Grab your glutton friends and challenge yourselves to finish this parfait. Do note that this parfait has to be pre-ordered as it takes about 2 hours to prepare! This is still the largest Ice Cream in Japan till today and only Angela Sato the Oogui Big Eater has managed to complete the challenge.
P.S. Klook will not be held responsible for any sugar rush or weight gain.
Price : JPY12,600
I am NO.1
For the rest of us with smaller appetites and less daring guts, the I am No.1 parfait is perfect for sharing! At a third of the size of the Dream Jumbo, this 15 scoops of ice cream is just the right amount for you to try the different flavors! Topped with fresh cream made from Hokkaido milk, fruits, cereal, biscuits and strawberry sauce, it’s heaven in a bowl!
Price : JPY4760
3. Snow Royal Special
Don’t look down on this plain vanilla cone! Deemed fit for royalty, this Snow Royal Special soft serve was made specially for Emperor Hirohito and Empress Kojun on their anniversary visit in 1968. Made solely from pure Hokkaido milk, this dense milky vanilla soft serve will surely leave you wanting more and more.
Even if you can’t squeeze in the time to visit the Yukijirushi Parlor, you can pick up a tub of the soft serve at the Shin-Chitose Airport! They come packed with 8 hour ice packs so you can have them on your way home.
Klook Fun Fact : Eggs are omitted to achieve a bright white color to resemble the snow in Hokkaido!
4. Cream Anmitsu
If you’re looking to try a traditional Japanese dessert, sink your teeth into the Cream Anmitsu! This comes with a single scoop of ice cream – we recommend getting the matcha , chewy glutinous rice balls, red Azuki sauce (red bean), plum jelly and chestnuts.
Address : Sun life Sapporo Building 1F, Kita 2 Nishi 3-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido,060-0002
Opening Hours : Monday -Sunday 10:00 – 21:00
By JR train: Alight at the JR Hakodate Main Line Sapporo Station, look for the South exit and Yukijirushi is a 3-minute walk away.
By Subway: Take the Sapporo municipal subway Namboku Line and alight at the Sapporo Station. Come out at exit 9 and your ice cream is a 3-minute walk away!
You’ll definitely need these essentials for your trip to Hokkaido. Travel around Hokkaido hassle-free with your Hokkaido JR Pass! Be sure to check out the Klook guide to conquering Hokkaido with the JR Pass to fully maximize your trip. You’ll also be needing a 4G WiFi device for showing off your bragging rights after completing the giant ice cream challenge.
Must eats in Hokkaido
There are many very delicious reasons why Hokkaido is coined the culinary capital of Japan. Giant snow crab legs, never ending bowls of ramen and Japanese curry are just some of those reasons. The Klook team tried out some of Hokkaido’s best and most yummy eats so read on to find out where to find these gastronomic paradises and how to use your JR pass or Kitaca card to get there!
1. Sapporo beer garden
You can’t say you’ve been to Sapporo without chugging a mug of Sapporo beer and there’s no better place for that than the Sapporo beer garden! Located at the iconic Kaitakushi-san building, this nostalgic building is home to Hokkaido’s speciality dish, the Genghis Khan.
Sink your teeth into perfectly grilled lamb bursting with notes of apple and lemon. This dish is of course best paired with a glass or two of draft Sapporo beer! Apart from the grilled lamb, you surely can’t miss the sweet flesh of those Hokkaido crab legs.
If you’re looking for a feast, be sure to Klook yourself the Genghis Khan buffet! It comes with FREE FLOW Genghis Khan lamb, red king crab, snow crab, sushi, 6 types of draft beer, wine, whiskey and non alcoholic drinks. We can’t think of a more perfect night out in Hokkaido.
Address: 9-2-10 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Buffet schedule: 5:00pm-7:50pm (last entry at 7:50pm) daily
From the JR Sapporo station, its a 7 minute taxi ride away. If you’re not looking to spend a bomb on transport, be sure to Klook your Hokkaido JR pass for cheap and convenient travels!
Otherwise, from Sapporo station bus stop no.2, you can also take the Sapporo Beer Garden Ario shuttle bus Line 188 using your Kitaca card.
2. Sapporo Central Wholesale Market
If you’re looking for the freshest seafood in Hokkaido, you’ll find it at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market! While we know you won’t be there shopping for groceries, you can still enjoy the freshest sashimi-topped rice, crab legs and sushi at the market.
Better yet, kickstart your morning with the Sapporo morning bus tour and discover some of Sapporo’s oldest and most charming sights. The Hokkaido Shrine, one of the most sacred places of the entire island is a one of the best photo spots in the city.
The famous confectionary park – the Shiroi Koibito Park is definitely one for those with a sweet tooth! Make your own version of the white chocolate sweet treat and decorate it however you like, making it the perfect souvenir to take home.
You’ll also get 1 hour at the Sapporo Central Market to feast on all that seafood!
Klook your morning bus tour and meet your friendly local guide at JR Sapporo station and let him show you the best of Sapporo in a morning!
3. Ramen alley
Ramen lovers rejoice! You’re in for a treat at Sapporo’s Ramen Yokocho (Alley), the birth place of Miso Ramen. With 17 different ramen places each tasting better than the next, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
In the cold winter, this is probably the best dish you could ask for. If the combination of hot savoury broth, springy noodles topped with roasted pork and a dollop of butter and corn doesn’t entice you we don’t know what will.
Address: 3 Chome-8 Minami 5 Jōnishi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō 064-0805, Japan
Opening hours: 1130am to 3am daily
4. Nishitondendori Soup curry
Hokkaido is known to be the birthplace of soup curry, one of Japan’s most underrated dishes. Do not look down on this humble bowl of comfort soup because it certainly packs a punch! We tried the Nishitondendori Soup Curry Honpo, considered to be one of Sapporo’s best. With customizable spice levels and thickness of broth, there’s a bowl of soup for everyone.
The top 3 toppings for your soup are pork cubes, cheese stuffed hamburger steaks or chicken legs! To get there, use your Kitaca card and hop onto the Sapporo Shiden and it’s just 5 stops away from Sapporo station!
Address: 13 Chome-4-5 Minami 8 Jonishi, Chuo, Sapporo, Hokkaido 064-0808, Japan
Opening hours: 11am to 12am daily
5. Daihachi Matsuda Izayaka
Run by a former fisherman, this Izakaya spot Daihachi Matsuda is extremely popular amongst local celebrities and athletes. Fans of Japanese celebrities, you might find some familiar signatures on the walls.
One of the most popular fishes is the Ezo mae Kaisen Bukkae-meshi! This dish of sushi rice, fresh crab meat and salmon roe might look simple but it definitely bursts with flavor. The staff scoop 6 scoops of salmon roe to fill the dish and will shout “Seiya” which means “Let’s go!” with each scoop.
Home to the biggest and freshest mackerels, it’s no surprise that grilled mackerel is a local favorite! Served with grated that takes away the grease, this bigger than your face mackerel might look underwhelming but it sure packs a lot of flavor.
From Sapporo station, this Izakaya spot is a 10 minute bus ride away. If you’ve gotten a Hokkaido JR Pass, bus 53 is covered by the JR pass, sparing you the hassle of purchasing single trip tickets.
Address: Monday to Sunday: 5:00pm-11:30pm
Opening hours: 6pm to 1am daily, closed on Sundays
6. Cairn Annex Steak House
You can’t miss the melt in your mouth buttery goodness of Wagyu beef when in Japan. At the Cairn Annex Steak House, reward your tastebuds with the prized Kuroge Wagyu Beef, a top quality cut of meat with rich flavors and amazing aroma! Watch the chef prepare your meat right in front of you, Teppanyaki style.
Klook yourselves a Waygu set meal which comes with various appetizers, side dishes, the famed steak and of course dessert! All the foodies out there, you definitely won’t want to miss this.
From Sapporo station, hop onto the Namboku line with your Kitaca card and alight at Susukino station. Your steak is a 2 minute walk away!
Address: 5-1 Nishi, Minami 4 Jo, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 5:00pm-11:30pm
Treat yourselves to an authentic kaiseki meal – a traditional Japanese full course meal. Sample the best of Japanese cuisine in 1 sitting with courses like butter grilled scallops, steamed shabu shabu, snow crab and even sea urchin!This gastronomic feast made from Hokkaido’s freshest ingredients will definitely leave you extremely satisfied.
Klook your Hanayuzen course meal and enjoy a this 9 course meal at a steal! Located just 3 stops away from Sapporo station on the Namboku line get ready to feast!
Address: B1F Jasmac Plaza Hotel, 3, Minami 7(shichi)-Jonishi, Sapporo-sh
Opening hours: 5:00pm-11:00pm, daily
8. Guenpin Fugu
We all know Japan is notorious for exotic eats, and Hokkaido is no stranger to that. Try the poisonous Pufferfish – Fugu and Japan’s top pufferfish chain, Guenpin Fugu! If prepared wrongly, this dish could be your last. No fret, the highly skilled staff at Guenpin Fugu will ensure that their pufferfish dishes are top notch, whether its sashimi, deep fried or hotpot, you’re in safe hands.
Klook your Guenpin Fugu set for a hassle free reservation! Guenpin Fugu is a 2 minute walk away from Hosuisusukino Station on the Tohosen line!
Address: Okura Bldg.1F, 2-1, Minami-jyounishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 4:00pm-11:00pm (last order: 10:30pm) daily
9. Sakurjima Ramen
Located in the Rera Chitose Outlet mall just 15 minutes away from the airport, if you’re looking for a hearty bowl of ramen whilst shopping, this is your best bet! The Sakurjima ramen store stands out because of it’s melt in your mouth kakuni – braised fatty pork. If you’re a char siu lover, you cannot miss this!
To get there, take the JR line with your Hokkaido JR Pass and alight at Minami-Chitose Station. The outlet mall is just a 13 minute walk away.
Address: 1 Chome-2-1 Kashiwadaiminami, Chitose, Hokkaido 066-8765, Japan
Opening hours: 11:00 – they run out daily
10. Otaru Rakuten
We’ve saved the best for last! The Otaru Rakuten is one of the 7 Izakaya spots in Hokkaido that have been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand. This humble family run establishment serves up quite a feat. Order some grilled skewers to go along with your beers for a fun night out!
If you’re up for something exotic, try the soft cod roes! Marinated with citrus, vinegar and shoyu which cuts right through the creamy texture, giving you the perfect balance of flavors.
The grilled oysters are also not to be missed. Grilled in front of your eyes on miniature grills, these oysters are marinated with a sauce made from the guts of tuna! We recommend getting a bowl of rice and gobbling these bad boys down.
Address: 13 – 7 Inaho 2 – chome, Otaru, Hokkaido
Opening hours: 6pm-11pm, closed Mon
To get there, take the JR line with your Hokkaido JR Pass and alight at the Otaru Station and the restaurant is a 5 minute walk away.
If you’re up for a challenge, try finishing Japan’s LARGEST ice cream sundae! They also have regular sized parfaits for those of us with smaller appetites. Find out more about these sweet treats in our guide!
Planning to catch the Cherry Blossoms in Korea, Japan or Taiwan this spring?
Being the Instagram addicts we all are, the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” is a line we know all too well. If you’re looking out for ways to boost your ‘insta-game’ this spring, we’ve definitely got you covered! Read on to find out the best places to flood your Instagram feed with a sea of pink this Cherry Blossom season.
Japan’s updated 2018 cherry blossom schedule!
If you haven’t already heard, the sakura flowers are expected to bloom earlier than usual! As predicted by the Japan Meteorological Corporation as of 1 February, these are the most updated cherry blossom forecast dates!