After driving around for days, I was back to Sapporo where I had landed. Sapporo is the biggest town of Hokkaido and many people choose to fly here to begin their Hokkaido trip. But honestly, a city like Sapporo is kind of boring, somewhat like Nagoya. I would recommend travelling out to other areas of Hokkaido which has more to offer, and spend probably a day, maximum 2, in Sapporo.
Crab was not in season yet in September, but being a something Hokkaido is famous for, we just needed to have crab. There are many crab restaurants around the main shopping area of Sapporo but many of them looked dubious and touristy. Think menus translated into several languages all placed outside and big signs on the main road. I found this crab restaurant by searching online and it has pretty good rating. The main entrance was hidden away from the road and the signage was very subtle – that’s a good sign.
It’s quite easy to miss this place because of non conspicuous signage, but I managed to spot 氷雪の門! After this entrance, you need to take an elevator up.
We arrived without reservations and was almost turned away because they were full, almost planning to reserve for the next day, but since it was already 8+pm, some rooms were vacated and we were lucky to be able to dine here for tonight! Do make your reservations if you wish to dine here.
Meals are all served in traditional looking private rooms. Always remove your shoes.
Explanation about crab types and parts
They do have English menu and after much consideration, I decided on this one for variety. This set comes with hair crab, king crab and snow crab, served in various styles. It was like crab kaiseki.
This set the standard for the meal – good.
Hair crab sashimi
I don’t think I’ve ever eaten crab raw! This was an experience.
Grilled king crab leg
One leg per person, cooked on the charcoal grill in our tatami room. This one was very yummy!
Hot pot of king crab and snow crab legs
Steamed live hairy crab
I thought this was for sharing but no it’s one whole crab per person! This was crab overkill. There was a lot of flesh and this crab isn’t small! It was yummy but the hairy crab was kind of prickly.
Tempura of King Crab and Vegetables
King crab nigiri sushi
Was completely stuffed by this point.
The meal was enjoyable and this restaurant is pretty good!
氷雪の門 Hyosetsu no mon
2 Minami 5 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 064-0805, Japan
One of the most famous and probably the best attraction of Sapporo is the Shiroi Koibito Park. Shiroi Koibito is a famous white chocolate filled shortcrust biscuit which is commonly sold at duty free shops in Japanese airports, making it a popular choice of souvenir for people flying from Japan.
The factory where it is being produced lies at the edge of Sapporo and it has become a popular tourist attraction. The whole place is designed like a museum/ theme park and is friendly for all ages. Besides the biscuit making process, you can also see other exhibits which is unrelated to chocolate biscuits, like retro toys display and old fashioned music players and discs.
Upon getting your entry ticket (¥600) , you’ll get a piece of Shiroi Koibito cookie too. Hands on workshops comes at additional costs and you could participate to make your own personalised biscuit too.
Beautiful cups on display, which was used for hot chocolate.
The pathway is so cute.
Their in house cafe serves mainly sweet stuff and drinks.
Was lucky to get a nice seat by the window.
Halloween themed tea set
The sweets were yummy! Unlike typical cafes within theme parks, this one is quite worth trying because it isn’t that overpriced and the sweets are good.
The biscuit making process was quite therapeutic to watch.
Technical information, for those who are interested.
Of course, there are products on sale. Besides Shiroi Koibito, Ishiya (the name of the company) produces other confectionery too.
Soft cream is sold indoors and outdoors, but strawberry flavour is limited to the outdoor booth. The soft cream here is legit.
The garden outside was just as charming. There were lots of flowers and many spots for a good photo. There’s also an hourly whimsical wooden character display on their clock tower.
Overall this place is fun to visit and I would recommend it if you need something to do in Sapporo!
Shiroi Koibito Park
Miyanosawa 2-jo 2-chome, Nishi-ku, Sapporo
9:00～18:00 (Last admittance: 17:00 , shop closing time: 19:00)
Open throughout the year