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Release | Takako Chiba

“Umizora No Haru”, the restaurant where you can enjoy Hokkaido sake, food, and Ainu culture


A new restaurant opened in Sapporo with full of love to Hokkaido. The place has traditional Ainu house “Chise”, offers traditional Ainu food, and Hokkaido seafood dish and sake.


Collaboration with Ruyka Project by the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Town

The new restaurant with full of love opened in Chuo-ku Sapporo City. The restaurant started from the collaboration with Ruyka Project by the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Town and Hokkaido Association of Hokkaido Produced Sake (Pashuport). The name of the restaurant is “Umizora no Haru”. 

海空のハルエントランス▲The restaurant is located on the 5th floor of J-BOX building where has the iconic Santa Claus. Their entrance is directly connected with the elevator. 
“Haru” means “food given from nature” in Ainu. There is a private room inspired by traditional Ainu house “Chise”, and you can enjoy traditional Ainu dish. 

海空のハルのエントランスから見えるチセ▲“Chise” can be seen from the entrance. 

“Umizora No Haru” collaborates with “Ruyka Project” by the Ainu Museum in Shiraoi Town. I interviewed Masahiro Nomoto, the director of Ainu Museum about Ruyka Project and the collaboration. 

白老アイヌ民族博物館館長、野本正博▲Masahiro Nomoto, the director of Ainu Museum. 

“Ruyka means ‘bridge” in Ainu language. Ruyka Project is a project to connect Ainu culture and other regions, people, and culture, which is like a bridge. By opening a restaurant in Sapporo, which is a city, I am sure that people can feel Ainu culture more closely. “ 

海空のハルのチセ▲“Chise” in the restaurant. 

“Cooking is creative. Culture is the same. Ainu culture should not be immobilized, it must change the way as time passes, and I would like to transmit the latest Ainu culture. We are museums, so we first thought to exhibit something in Sapporo. However, we became to think that we want people to more ‘feel’ the Ainu culture rather than just seeing. That is why we made ‘Chise’ in the restaurant; for people to feel at least a glimpse of Ainu culture. This Chise follows the traditions. We used traditional Ainu daily necessaries that we make at the Ainu Museum to transmit the tradition.”

海空のハルのチセにあるアイヌ民族衣装▲Ainu traditional costumes are made by Ainu Museum, too. People can borrow the costumes and wear it. 

Even if people can’t visit Shiraoi, Biratori, or Akan if they could feel Ainu culture here and become interested in Ainu. I hope this place will be an opportunity for the future chance to visit Shiraoi. Not only people in Sapporo, but I hope people from other regions and abroad can use this place as a communication environment. “


Enjoy Ainu traditional food in Chise

In Chise, people can try Ainu traditional food. It is such a rare chance to have Ainu traditional food in Ainu traditional house “Chise”. 

海空のハルのチセで食べるアイヌ料理▲The fireplace in the center of Chise is the center of life to Ainu. The fireplace was used as dining table and workbench. We get to eat the Ainu food at the fireplace. 

海空のハルのチセで食べるアイヌ料理▲Ainu traditional dish set which you can enjoy in Chise. It comes with Ainu alcohol drink “Tonoto” or “Kamui Tonoto”, which is essential in Ainu’s religious services. 

海空のハルのチセで食べるアイヌ料理のオハウ▲The soup is called “Ohau”. It is like Ishikari hot pot or Sanpei Soup, having big pieces of salmon and vegetables. It is a simple salt flavored soup but has a deep flavor of the salmon broth. 

海空のハルのチセで食べるアイヌ料理▲Chitatapu (chopped salmon), Yuku (Hokkaido Ezo deer), Chiporo Potato (Chiporo is Ikura, salmon egg, and mashed potatoes). All dishes let you enjoy the natural flavor of ingredients.  

You will need to make a reservation in advance to enjoy Ainu traditional food at “Umizora No Haru”, and it is limited for 8 dishes per day. I would love everyone to experience this food! If you have simulated experience of Ainu life by sitting around the fireplace and eating simple dishes, you probably will imagine what they were talking about or how they spent time with their families. And then, you should become interested in learning more about Ainu culture deeply. 


The love to Hokkaido is put into their food and sake! 

Another notable point about “Umizora No Haru” is that they collaborate not only the Ainu Museum but also Hokkaido Association of Hokkaido Produced Sake (Pashuport). The private rooms in the restaurant are inspired by sake breweries in Hokkaido. Each room had the name of sake labels and decorated with sake breweries related things. 

海空のハルの酒蔵の名前がついた個室▲A private room with the name of a Hokkaido produced sake label. 

海空のハルの酒蔵の名前がついた個室▲The room decorated with sake breweries related things. 

People can enjoy great food using Hokkaido ingredients with Hokkaido sake, which is said to become much better in past few years. 
“I want people to feel the flavor of the seasons, mainly by Hokkaido produced ingredients.” The manager of “Umizora No Haru”, Takayuki Nakata told me. 

「海空のハル」店長の中田隆之さん▲“Umizora No Haru” manager Takayuki Nakata. 

“We are proud of fresh seafood, but we also have Hokkaido produced beef. We are very much particular about Hokkaido produced ingredients. I am planning to visit around farms near Sapporo to provide unknown ingredients to customers.” Nakata said. 
海空のハルの「5月のハルメニュー」(道産食材セット)▲“Haru menu in May” (The Hokkaido ingredients dishes set) People can enjoy specialty of Hokkaido fully from this one dish.

“When the collaboration with the Ainu Museum started, I first tried to recreate the flavor of what Ainu people really ate. However, the director Nomoto told me that the flavor could be modern. That is ‘creating the culture’ as he said. We created that limited menu after few experiments. “
“When I cook Ainu food, I found out that lots of Hokkaido’s local food are developed from Ainu food. We put simple flavor to make the natural flavor of ingredients stand out. I think this is the best way to enjoy food in Hokkaido. “ The manager Nakata told. 
They have Hokkaido food, Hokkaido sake, and of course, Hokkaido limited beer Sapporo Classic. The place will also be used for a promotional space for local governments around Hokkaido. Not only people who live in Sapporo but also those of you who came here for holidays or business should stop by this restaurant, too. 

If you got interested in Ainu culture by visiting “Umizora No Haru”, you should visit “Sapporo Ainu Culture Promotion Center” or Hokkaido Museum in Atsubetsu-ku in Sapporo City. There are also other facilities to feel Ainu culture all over Hokkaido such as “Ainu Museum” in Shiraoi or “Nibutani Ainu Museum” in Biratori, “Lake Akan Ainu Theater Ikoro” in Akan, or “Kawamura Kaneto Ainu Museum” in Asahikawa, so visit one of them if you have a chance. 

Related Links

- Umizora No Haru
- The Ainu Museum
- Hokkaido Association of Hokkaido Produced Sake (Pashuport)
  • “Umizora No Haru”, the restaurant where you can enjoy Hokkaido sake, food, and Ainu culture

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Takako Chiba