Ramen has become a world renowned noodle with many varieties, most typically popular outside Japan as a cheap food source for college students. But the real thing is much better! Ramen in Japan is both delicious and can be a full meal. How about trying a bowl of miso ramen at its birthplace in Japan. Sapporo, the main city of Japan’s northern Hokkaido Prefecture, is the place to get that authentic ramen taste and is the birthplace of miso ramen.
In 1955, Miso ramen was born through the culinary skills of Mr. Morito Omiya, the first chef of the ramen restaurant “Aji no Sanpei”. Whilst he invented the miso soup, Mr. Takayuki Nishiyama, the founder of Nishiyama noodle company, invented the Multi-hydrolysis aged noodles which helps ramen noodles go down so smoothly.
Nowadays Sapporo is famous in Japan for its ramen in the world of culinary artistry, and the best ramen can be found at the famed ramen street called “Ganso Ramen Yokocho”. Here you will find 17 ramen restaurants in one place, with a real authentic atmosphere that harks back to the old days.
Each ramen restaurant in “Ganso Ramen Yokocho” is of high quality and has its own particular taste and specialty. Differences include the noodle's thickness and the flavor of the different soup, so it would be a great experiment to sample the various tastes even if they are all simply called miso ramen. Restaurants not only sell miso based ramen, but also soy sauce, salt, and unique flavored ramen with Hokkaido crab on top.
Lately ramen has been getting more and more popular internationally, and due to Sapporo’s fame as a top ramen spot, the number of visitors to “Ganso Ramen Yokocho” is increasing too. To keep the influx of customers happy, they are making great efforts to satisfy 'the generation change and meet the diversity of needs'. It is said that there will probably be a new flavor introduced in 2019!
During your trip to Sapporo for the Rugby World Cup 2019, let’s make the great ramen journey to “Ganso Ramen Yokocho”!
Traveling to the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Sapporo? Then tasting the local specialties is a must!
Hokkaido’s cities are renowned throughout Asia as some of the biggest and best gourmet cities in the region. Since Hokkaido is surrounded by cool, clean ocean, the fishery industries thrive with Japans freshest and most tasty catch. It is also one of Japan’s best breadbasket regions, thanks to the farming and livestock breeding in its vast and wide nature.
Needless to say we should enjoy the full of fruits of the sea and Hokkaido harvests while we visit, so let’s explore the markets of Sapporo, Hokkaido’s main city, to find something fresh to sink our teeth into!
Sapporo Central Wholesale Curb Market or the “Jyogai Ichiba”, is the biggest food market in Hokkaido. Here, the freshest produce and fish are put on sale every morning. The outer retail market called "Curb market" is open to public and is composed of approximately 80 stores. These stores sell a variety of items ranging from fruits to fresh and dried fish, to Hokkaido’s specialties, sushi and other prepared foods. The freshness makes it a major tourist attraction for both domestic and overseas visitors. Speaking of Hokkaido’s specialties, these include highly celebrated seafood products such as crabs and scallops, farming products like potatoes, asparagus and melons, and dairy products like milk and cheese.
Located in the center of Sapporo, the Nijo market is open to public from 07:00 to 18:00 every day. It is exciting to visit the Nijo market because of its over 100 years of history, which contributes to great popularity among locals and tourists. Here we can enjoy sushi, seafood “donburi” (rice bowl) and fresh boiled crabs just caught from the water. Experiencing the Nijo market's offerings is an excellent way to discover the true taste in Hokkaido.
Just one hour away from the centre of Sapporo, Jozankei Onsen is the ideal healing spa resort to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience some of what Hokkaido is best for, nature! With its 150 years of history and surrounded by beautiful nature, Jozankei Onsen is one of the most popular hot spring towns in Japan. The hot spring facilities run along the Toyohira river, radiating a nostalgic Japanese vibe.
The source of Jozankei’s hot spring water is a sodium chloride spring, giving it a transparent colour and slightly salty composition. Besides Jozankei there are two more onsen close to Jozankei Onsen, Koganeyu onsen and Hoheikyo onsen.
The accommodations in Jozankei Onsen vary from expensive Japanese-style inns (ryokan) to large hotels, guesthouses, and condominiums. This means you can choose where to stay depending on your budget and the purpose of your visit. Japanese style inns usually include meals, so factor that into your calculations! Jozankei Onsen is famous not only for overnight stays, but also as a day trip destination. It is usually crowded with people from Sapporo as well as tourists from Japan and abroad.
As Jozankei Onsen's beautiful scenery changes with the seasons, visitors are treated to different picturesque views all year round. Popular spots include Shiraito Falls, Yunotaki and the Pool of Maizuru. Around the time of the Rugby World Cup 2019 season, Japan will be in the Autumn season. Japan is famous for its Autumn foliage where many kinds of trees turn their leaves red, yellow and some mixed greens. One of the best ways to experience the autumn foliage is by canoeing down the river of Shikotsu Toya national park. From here we can admire the radiant autumn leaves reflecting picturesquely in the river waters. It’s such a perfect way to see the autumn leaves of Sapporo! We are so fortunate the Rugby World Cup 2019 is held at the same time as the leaves!
After the excitement of a game at the Rugby World Cup 2019 and knocking back a few beers with local foods at the Sapporo Autumn Fest, the night is not yet over! There are many more things you cannot miss in Sapporo – but the night views really shine the brightest! Along with the cities of Nagasaki and Kobe, the night views of Sapporo have been designated as one of the three most beautiful night views in Japan. Thanks to the clear and clean air of Hokkaido, you can admire wide panoramic views of one of Japanese biggest cities alongside beautiful nature.
Mount Moiwa is a forested mountain located to the southwest of central Sapporo. From the top, you get a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Not only popular for the night views, Mount Moiwa is also a popular destination for a day-trip climbing. Mount Moiwa can be reached by a ropeway cable car, so you can skip the hike if that’s not your thing.
Directly connected to Sapporo Station, the JR Tower offers the most intimate view of the bustling city of Sapporo. The observation deck is 173 meters tall, totaling 38 stories, making it the tallest building in the entire Hokkaido prefecture. It boasts works of art along the walls, a souvenir shop and a cafe that turns into a bar at night.
Sapporo TV Tower gives another 360-degree panorama view of the city and is located on the grounds of the Odori Park, which divides Sapporo into north and south. Odori park is home to not only the famous Sapporo Snow Festival, but also the Sapporo Autumn Festival, which runs at the same time as the Rugby World Cup 2019.
Surrounded by nature, the more secluded Asahiyama Memorial Park offers not only another great panoramic view of Sapporo, but also the Sea of Japan beyond! The park was built to commemorate the cities 100th year. When the fountains in Asashiyama Memorial Park light up, it adds a special atmosphere to the glittering lights of central Sapporo.
These observation decks and parks attracts many couples, especially at night, so why not explore Sapporo at night after the game and feel the romantic scenes and enjoy one of Japans top 3 night views.
Since 2008 the “Sapporo Autumn Fest” has grown into one of Sapporo's most popular festivals. The events popularity centers around the food festival, where many brewers and food producers gather from all over Hokkaido into Odori Park for the Sapporo Autumn Fest. Here they showcase their craft beers, Japanese Sake and wines, agricultural and livestock products, as well as various processed products.
The festival is held in September, from the beginning of the Autumn season (in 2017 the festival runs from September 9th to the 30th). It sprawls across two blocks of Odori Park, from 4-chome to 11-chome, at the heart of Sapporo city centre. The event is very popular, achieving over 2.3 million attendants in 2016.
Booths feature popular local food items like Hokkaido ramen, soup curry, “soba” (buckwheat noodles,) seafood such as “uni” (sea urchin,) scallops and crabs, and more! As Hokkaido is well-known for the high-quality seafood caught in its cold waters and the agricultural products grown on its wide farmlands, most food at the Sapporo Autumn Fest is made with fresh, locally grown and sourced Hokkaido seafood and vegetables. Not to mention, there are many craft beers, sake and wine stands which are sourced both locally and globally. You can really feel the vibes of Octoberfest from Munich, as that is the sister city to Sapporo! Food booths are also available for non-Japanese foods or beers to sample dishes from all over the world.
Each of the various festival venues has its own unique atmosphere and set of stores, so it’s fun to walk around and enjoy the delicacies and drinks while enjoying the live performances of music and dance. Tents with seats are available, so you don’t even have to worry about the rain, wind, and cold!
The Sapporo Autumn Fest runs at the same time as the when you will be visiting Sapporo for the Rugby World Cup 2019. So why not grab some craft beers, fresh local delicacies and chat with your family, friends, fellow supporters and cheers! (or as the locals say “kanpai!”)