August 13, 12 | Eri Makino
Located in the heart of Sapporo, running from Nishi 1-Chome (West 1st St.) to Nishi 7-Chome, is the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade. This roughly 900 meter long street has been around for over 135 years, making it one of the oldest shopping areas in Hokkaido. Currently Tanukikoji is decked out in decorations in celebration of the Tanuki Festival (Raccoon Festival), which runs through Monday, August 20th.
Last month, on July 28th, each block of Tanukikoji celebrated a special night-bargain sale in their own unique way. For Nishi 1-Chome, the night was marked by the sudden appearance of a bear in the middle of the street!
This large mounted bear is usually seen in front of the brand-name import and used goods boutique “Shichikuraya.” The bear, one of two often seen in front of the boutique, was stuffed and mounted over 20 years ago by the company’s president, an avid hunter. In recent years mounted bears of this size have become a rare sight in public, so the pair make this spot one of Sapporo’s hidden photo opportunities.
The Tanuki Festival is just one part of the citywide “Sapporo Summer Festival.” Be sure to also visit the Beer Garden in Odori Park running through Wednesday, August 15th, and the North Sea Bon Odori event being held from Tuesday, August 14th to Monday, August 20th. It’s events like these that make Sapporo the perfect place to visit this summer!
Tanukikoji Shopping District Homepage
Sapporo Summer Festival Homepage
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Eri Makino)