Category Archives: Journal

Fukushima Women’s Sumo Tournament

Are you a lady who is interested in learning a bit about Japan’s sumo wrestling culture? Have you ever wanted to try it yourself?

Here’s your chance to participate in a female-only sumo competition hosted by Fukushima-cho in the south!

Fukushima-cho is the hometown of two renowned sumo champions (yokozuna), Chiyonoyama and Chiyonofuji. This is the 24th year the event is being held. The participants are all female, but the age ranges from young (the minimum age to participate is 18) to old, and in recent years fellow JETs have joined this event as participants and competed in some powerful matches!

Here are some more details of the event:

Sunday, May 8 2015
9:30 – around 14:00

Kagamiyama Park (Fukushima Daijinguu)
Matsumae-gun, Fukushima-cho, Aza-fukushima 219

Ladies over the age of 18

How much?
2000 yen to participate (paid by registered mail (Genkin Kakitome), or in person at Fukushima-cho office)
Free to come watch

Not only do the winners get fabulous prizes including cash, there are prizes and souvenirs for all participants, too!

How do I apply?
Fill out this form below and send it, with 2000 yen cash, by registered mail to Fukushima Tourism Association:

〒049-1392 北海道 松前郡 福島町 字福島 820番地
Hokkaido, Matsumae-gun, Fukushima-cho, Azafukushima 820-banchi
Fukushima Tourism Association

The deadline to apply is Wednesday, April 22 (or when it reaches the max number of participants, 64 people), so get your applications in early!

Please direct them to Fukushima Tourism Association:
Phone 0139-47-3004
(You should be able to e-mail them in English)

What else?
If you’re not so inclined to participate but want to watch, or you are into photography, there is also a photo contest! Attend the event, take some amazing shots of these wonderful wrestlers, and send them to Fukushima-cho to win great prizes.
And no, you don’t have to be a lady to take the photos!

Apply here:

Can I do anything else at the event?
This year, Fukushima Tourism Association is calling for female volunteers in judging/call-out of participants, too. If you have communicative Japanese skills, and you would like to take part in this event as a volunteer, please contact the association at the e-mail above.


Where to Eat in Sapporo

It’s no secret that Sapporo has some of the best eating in Hokkaido. So we’ve assembled some of our favorites. If it’s 12:30 and everyone’s complaining that they’re getting hungry and you’re from like Enbetsu or something so how are you supposed to know where a good restaurant is in Sapporo — you know where to look. Here. Here is where you look.

Burgers ‘n Things


Specialty: American-style burgers and fries


Hours: Lunch 11:30~15:00 / Dinner 17:00~23:00

Street Address:

  • Kita 24 Location
    • 札幌市北区北23条西3丁目2-51 コープビル1F
  • Odori Location
    • 札幌市中央区北1条西8丁目2-9 丸二羽柴ビル1F
  • Asabu Location
    • 札幌市北区麻生町3丁目9-7鈴木ビル1F
Nut’s Café

Specialty: “world dining,” burgers highly recommended

Websites and Street Addresses:

Tony Roma’s

Specialty: American-style casual dining


Hours: 11:00 ~ 23:00

Street Address: 〒060-0001 北海道札幌市 中央区北1条西3丁目3番地 札幌MNビル1F


Organic +

Specialty: smoked tofu dishes, cheese ravioli

Website: Find on Facebook at オーガニックプラス – 北海道 札幌市 – 食品・レストラン

Hours: 17:30 ~ 24:00

Street Address: 〒060-0063 北海道札幌市中央区南3条西6-1-3ティアラ36ビル1F

Veggie no Ie

Specialty: pasta dishes, tapas


Hours: 17:00 ~ 1:00, (Last order 24:30)

Street Address: 〒001-0024 北海道札幌市北区北24条西2丁目1−13


Mohan Dish

Specialty: authentic curries, garlic naan


Hours: 11:00~15:00, 17:00~23:00

Street Address:

  • Kita 24 Location
    • 北海道札幌市北区北24条西4丁目2−10
  • Shiroishi Location
    • 札幌市白石区南郷通2丁目南10−6 13
  • Hiragishi Location
    • 札幌市豊平区平岸2条6丁目 2-16
Taj Mahal

Specialty: curries


Locations and Hours:

  • Sapporo Factory Location
    • 〒060-0032 北海道札幌市中央区北2条東4丁目 ソフトバンクサッポロファクトリ
    • 011-207-0765
    • Hours: 11:00 ~ 21:30
  • Nishioka Location
    • 〒062-0034 北海道札幌市豊平区西岡4条8丁目4−23
    • Hours: Mon, Wed-Fri 11:00 ~ 15:00, 17:30 ~ 21:30 ; Tue 17:30 ~ 21:30 ; Sat,
    • Sun, & Nat’l Holidays 11:00 ~ 21:30

Soup Curry


Specialty: Blue Herb-style soup with lamb


Hours: 11:30 ~ 21:30

Street Address: 〒060-0063 北海道札幌市中央区 南3条西1丁目12-19 エルムビル1階

Soup Curry Samurai

Specialty: mild coconut soup


Hours: 11:00 ~ 15:30, 17:00 ~ 21:00

Street Address: 〒062-0933 北海道札幌市豊平区平岸3条3丁目2−3


Specialty: vegetable add-ins


Hours: 11:30 ~ 15:30, 17:00 ~ 23:30

Street Address: 〒060-0063 北海道札幌市 中央区南3条西2丁目7

Soup Curry SAMA

Specialty: kakuni (simmered pork belly)


Hours: 11:30 ~ 15:30, 17:00 ~ 22:30

Street Addresses

  • Kita 18 Location
    • 札幌市北区北16条西3丁目21 1F
  • Teine Location
    • 札幌市手稲区前田5条10丁目5-10
  • Kaminopporo Location
    • 札幌市厚別区上野幌1条2丁目4-43



Specialty: spicy food, miso broth


Hours: Mon – Fri 12:00 ~ 4:00 ; Sat, Sun, and Holidays 12:00 ~ 24:00

Street Address: 札幌市中央区南六条西7丁目1-6 高砂ビル1F



Specialty: miso broth


Location and Hours:

  • Esta Location
    • 札幌市中央区北5条西2丁目エスタ10階 (Ramen Yokucho)
    • Hours: 11:00 ~ 22:00
  • Tanukikoji Location
    • 北海道札幌市中央区南3条5丁目20-2
    • Hours: 11:00 ~ 5:00 ; Holidays 11:00 ~ 1:00
Nibo Shin (にぼshin)

Specialty: sardine-based broth


Street Address: 北海道札幌市北区北23条西8丁目3−19



Specialty: high-quality lamb and veggies


Locations and Hours:

  • Original Location
    • 〒064-0805 北海道札幌市中央区南5条西4
    • Hours: 17:00 ~ 4:30
  • Second Location (だるま4.4店)
    • 札幌市中央区南4条西4丁目ラフィラ裏(旧ロビンソン)
    • Hours: 17:00 ~ 3:00
Hokkaido Beer Garden

Specialty: tabehodai plan with lamb, pork, and chicken, + veggies and rice

Website: Find on Facebook at 北海道ビール園 / HOKKAIDO BEER GARDEN

Hours: 17:00 ~ 24:00

Street Address: 札幌市中央区南3条西3丁目3番地floor 9



Specialty: “better than the Tokyo location”


Hours: 10:00 ~ 22:00

Street Address: 〒064-0804 北海道札幌市中央区南4条西3丁目9


Specialty: low prices, and an excellent view of downtown


Hours: 11:00 ~ 22:00

Location: Sapporo Station, Esta Building, 10 F

Specialty Restaurants

Emmy’s Kitchen

Specialty: Mexican

Website: Find on Facebook at Emmy’s Kitchen – 北海道 札幌市 – レストラン

Street Address: 〒001-0024  北海道札幌市北区北二十四条西4-2-2

Very Fancy

Specialty: Pancakes


Hours: 11:00 ~ 19:00

Street Address: 北海道 札幌市中央区 南8条西3-1-4 HOTEL RELIEF札幌すすきの 1F

Sosan no Yamucha

Specialty: Dim Sum (note: only at dinner time)


Hours: 11:00 ~ 22:00

Street Address: 札幌市中央区南1条西2丁目 IKEUCHI ZONE(旧アルタ)8階


Daimaru Buffet

Specialty: a little bit of everything


Hours: 11:00 ~ 16:30, 17:00 ~ 22:00

Location: Sapporo Station, Daimaru Building, 8F

Bakery Restaurant Saint Marc

Specialty: lunch set with all-you-can-eat pastry buffet


Hours: 8:00 ~ 22:30

Street Address: 〒064-0916  北海道札幌市中央区南16条西5-4-20

Where to Stay Overnight in Sapporo

Looking to visit Sapporo but need a place to stay? Our first suggestion is always to check out HAJET’s new Tatami Timeshare program. But! If that doesn’t work for you, you can always check out these places recommended by Hokkaido ALTs. From internet cafés to swank hotels, there should be something here that fits your plans. Just be sure to book early as needed!

Cafés Etc.

Dino’s Café

Info: Clean and comfortable internet café in the basement floor of Don Quixote. Showers can be rented for an extra fee.


Price: ~¥2,000 / night

Location: Tanukikoji Block 3

Street Address: 北海道札幌市中央区南2条西3丁目6-1


Honoka “Komichi”

Info: Ladies-only spa that offers overnight plans. Includes access to a small locker, communal bunk beds on the top floor, and full use of spa facilities.


Price: ~¥2,500 / night

Location: Tanukikoji Block 2

Street Address: 〒060-0063 北海道札幌市中央区南3条西2丁目15-5

Guest Houses

Guesthouse Yasube

Info: A popular guesthouse close to Nakajima Koen. Also doubles as a café with great coffee. Book early!


Price: ~¥3,000 / night

Location: near Nakajima Koen

Street Address: 〒064-0810 北海道札幌市中央区 南10条西7丁目6−6

Guest House Enishiya

Info: A guesthouse that’s great for extended stays. Has a cozy atmosphere and very friendly staff. Book early!


Price: ~¥3,000 / night

Location: near Nakajima Koen

Street Address: 〒064-0808 北海道札幌市中央区南8条西8丁目515



Business Hotel Norte

Info: Two hotels with good prices and facilities. Hotel Norte also offers parking spaces for a small fee.

Price: ~¥5,000 / night

Locations and Websites:

Nest Hotels in Sapporo

Info: On the upper end of the price spectrum, but are excellent hotels. Highly recommended for those who have the budget.

Price: ~¥10,000 – 15,000 / night

Locations and Websites:

Other Possibilities

NOTE: the following are not recommendations per se. But if you’re still looking for accommodations in Sapporo then this list might give you a place to start. We’ve had no member feedback on these locations so please be careful and do your own research! (And if you do stay somewhere and find out that it’s awesome, let us know and we’ll pass on the word!)




Location: near Sapporo Ekimae

Price: ~¥2,000 / night

Sapporo International Youth Hostel


Location: close to Gakuenmae station on the blue Toho line

Price: ~¥3,500 / night

NOTE: may or may not require a membership (which can be purchased on arrival)


Backpacker’s Hostel INO’s Place


Location: near Shiroishi station on the orange Tozai line

Price: ~¥3,000 / night

International Hostel Kaosan Sapporo


Location: near Susukino

Price: ~¥2,500 / night


Jimmyz Backpackers


Location: near Susukino

Price: ~¥3,000 / night

Sapporo Maruyama Guesthouse


Location: near Maruyama Koen

Price: ~¥3,000 / night


Time Peace Apartment


Location: near Susukino

Price: ~¥3,000 / night


Capsule Inn Sapporo


Location: near Susukino

Price: ~¥3,000 / night


Sapporo Inn NADA


Location: near Susukino

Price: ~¥3,500 / night


Sapporo Crescent Hotel


Location: near Sapporo Ekimae

Price: ~¥4,000 / night


Mark’s Inn


Location: near Nakajima Koen

Price: ~¥6,000 for a double room / night (price per room)


Wakka Wildflower Park

Located in the Northeast of Kitami City, in Tokoro-cho, is a large flower garden with approximately 300 kinds of flowers on a sandbar of 25 km in length between Lake Saroma and the Sea of Okhotsk. The best time to visit is in summer when most of the flowers are in bloom. Admission is free, but if you’re not keen on walking around the entire field you could pay to ride the horse-drawn carriage (around 1500 yen), or bring your bike, or rent one for about 600 yen, and cycle around the area. Other activities include bird watching, walking along the secluded beach near the ocean, and treasure hunting amongst the thousands of washed up objects. If you’d like to learn more about the park, visit the Nature Centre near the entrance to learn more about its history.

Opening Hours:
8:00 – 17:00        Late April – October 9th
8:00 – 18:00        June – August
Closed                 November 1st – Late April

Image courtesy of Rambling On My Hokkaido, here.

2015 Pacific Music Festival

The 2015 Pacific Music Festival starts this weekend and will run through August 4th. PMF is a one-of-a-kind international educational music festival held in Sapporo each July. Now in it’s 25th year, PMF brings musicians and performers from all over the world. There will be almost 40 concerts, open rehearsals, and educational seminars, with something happening every day. And many of these events are free to the public! Don’t miss your chance to experience some amazing music and culture. For more information, check out