May 10, 16 | Shizuko Kosuna
Hokkaido-Sapporo "Food&Tourism" Information Center, the perfect starting point for your travel to Sapporo!
▲Located on the west aisle, the north exit of Sapporo Station.
Hokkaido-Sapporo "Food&Tourism" Information Center was built in 2007 as the first facility by Hokkaido, Sapporo City, and JR. It has become the largest tourist facility in Hokkaido now and 1.5 million people stop by the facility every year. Not only the tourist information center but also cafe and shops are included.
How do people use the facility? What requests does the facility answer? Let’s take a look!
“Hokkaido-Sapporo Tourist Information Center” where you can get all tourist information in Hokkaido▲You are able to gather information about all Hokkaido at this one place.
This is the largest tourist information in Hokkaido. They have information about not only Sapporo City but also sightseeing and event information all over Hokkaido. The staffs who speak English, Chinese, and Korean are permanently stationed, so no worries if you do not speak Japanese at all.
They have various pamphlets and discount tickets of spots in Hokkaido. Even just gathering these is worth a visit. Other than that, they take reservations for day-trip sightseeing buses and Wi-Fi rentals. They also sell original goods.
▲The various discount tickets, coupons, and pamphlets of sightseeing spots all over Hokkaido.
The manager Asa Takehana told us about the characteristics of Hokkaido-Sapporo "Food&Tourism" Information Center.
“Tourist Information is the starting point of travel journey. We try to be quick and make travelers relaxed so that they can have a good time in Hokkaido. I hope people who currently living in Hokkaido use the facility, too. We even tell you our recommendations of restaurants in Sapporo!”
▲“JR Information Desk” built in Hokkaido-Sapporo Tourist Information Center. They buy or reserve train tickets for travelers from overseas.
“Sapporo City Sightseeing Volunteer Counter” to answer tiny questions about traveling Hokkaido▲The blue costume is their icon. Sightseeing volunteer Akiko Nakata (left) and Kyouko Yokosuka (right).
Sightseeing Volunteers are permanently stationed at “Sapporo City Sightseeing Volunteer Counter”. They guide inside Sapporo Station, which is a little complicated to first-time visitors. For example, you might think that asking how to buy train tickets is a trifling matter to ask, but Sapporo City Sightseeing Volunteers are here to help tiny problems. Ms. Nakata and Ms. Yokosuka, the Sightseeing Volunteers told me; “please ask us anything frankly!”.
“Hokkaido Universal Sightseeing Center” where you can rent wheelchairs and buggies▲They provide rental wheelchairs, buggies, and other welfare-related articles.
“Hokkaido Universal Sightseeing Center” opened in December 2015, and the specialized staffs who supports everyone to enjoy traveling Hokkaido are permanently stationed. They mainly give you information about barrier-free sightseeing spots and helps you reserve caregiving taxi and busses, or rent wheelchair and buggies.
The rental wheelchair and buggies are available for 500 yen /day (rental for more than 2 days are available, too) for all travelers from Japan or from overseas. They have the connection with Asahikawa, Otaru, Hakodate, and Teshikaga Universal Sightseeing Centers so you can also ask help for the destination where you are going to. In addition, they have information about facilities with nursing rooms which is helpful for families traveling with babies!
Visit “Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza” for your souvenir shopping▲“You will be able to encounter various delicious Hokkaido products,” says the staff Yuka Tateno.
The shop sells over 2,000 kinds of Hokkaido products. They sell numbers of basic souvenirs but the characteristic of this shop is that they have rare and new products. “Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza” is a place for test marketing in Hokkaido, so you will be able to find rare souvenirs here.
There are red tags for test selling products and ranking for popular products are displayed together with the products, which will help you pick which product to buy. Test marketing changes every three months so finding new products are a fun thing to do here in Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza.
▲The orange tag on the left is for regular products and the red tag on the right is the test marketing products.
▲The shelf filled with Hokkaido crafts.
“CAFE NORTE Sapporo”, the best place for breakfast, lunch, and relaxing▲ “Special Hokkaido Onigiri Set” 620 yen. The ingredients of Onigiri are salmon from Maehama Shibetsugun and Tarako (cod roe) from Kojouhama
This is a cafe provides Onigiri, curry, and Sapporo sweets which use ingredients produced in Hokkaido.
The recommendation is “Special Hokkaido Onigiri Set”, contains 2 Onigiris, a small side dish, and miso soup. You can choose 2 ingredients from 4 kinds; Ume (plum pickles) from Hamamasu, Konbu (kelp) from Hidaka, Salmon from Maehama Shibetsugun, and Tarako from Kojouhama.
The Onigiri made with Hokkaido produced rice is, delicious of course, but miso soup comes together really well with Onigiri. Miso used for miso soup is raw miso which matured for few years. The taste is very deep but without disturbing tastes, and extremely gentle.
Other recommendations are 4 kinds of curry, soft serve made with milk from North Plain Farm in Okoppe-Cho, and cakes supervised by Sapporo Park Hotel.
▲The original cake White Mont Blanc is 380 yen, with drink 630 yen.
“Genki Shop Iko-ru”, shop handcrafted items“Genki Shop Iko-ru” sells items handmade at facilities for the disabled. Colorful and cute items are sold at reasonable prices, such as paper crafts, scarfs, purse changes seasonally. Sweets such as cookies and chiffon cakes are sold.
▲Many travelers visit “Genki Shop Iko-ru”
Hokkaido-Sapporo "Food&Tourism" Information Center contains a variety of facilities. They correlate each other and together trying to improve their services. The staffs here are very kind and friendly.
Stop by Hokkaido-Sapporo "Food&Tourism" Information Center and make the best start of your journey!
Hokkaido Likers writer Shizuko Kosuna