Autumn 2016 issue, Vol.33

Latest articles



200 years of Hokkaido Souvenirs (1)

Shogunate officials dispatched to Hokkaido during the Edo period documented the dexterity of Ainu woodworkers. Although confectionery is indispensable when it comes to Hokkaido souvenirs, the origins of this are said to stretch back to the Edo period and Esashi's Gokatteya yokan (red-bean-paste jelly).




Find your own little piece of Sapporo's history

Sapporo nanseki (soft stone) is a construction material often used in old buildings. This stone has a soft texture and gentle coloration, and can be manufactured into genuinely local souvenirs that speak of Sapporo’s history.



The towns of Hokkaido

Meet the storyteller and the landscape is transformed

If you didn’t know about them, you’d just pass them by: the alley between the Ainu kotan (settlement) and where the wajin (Japanese people) lived. The remains of the site where Tokugawa Farm once stood, and – between the Ainu kotan (settlement) and where the wajin (Japanese people) lived – on the estuary to which the Steller’s sea eagles and ...



Town management by Mitsui Fudosan

“AkaPla” Illumination 2016

“AkaPla” Illumination 2016 will be held at the Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza (“AkaPla” Red Brick Plaza) from November 11th (Friday) until mid-March next year! AkaPla’s beautiful rows of streetside gingko trees, which are in fact Hokkaido’s oldest streetside trees, will be specially lit up for their starring role...



feature - prologue

Take a piece of Hokkaido home with you

A souvenir is a story about the place where you got it. It is a precious creative expression by the people of that place. So by looking at a wide range of Hokkaido souvenirs, you can encounter the story of how Hokkaido came to...




Hokkaido's top-seller: Shiroi Koibito

We talked to Hajime Ishimizu, the president of Ishiya Co., Ltd., about Shiroi Koibito, the most famous souvenir made in Hokkaido and one that is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In this article we will also discuss the beginnings of this universally known product.




A famed hot spring product with 100 years of history

Green wasabi is a native Japanese plant. Shizuoka and Nagano represent 90 percent of wasabi production. The plant is also grown in Hokkaido, and a person who grows some famous wasabi lives in Noboribetsu onsen (Noboribetsu hot spring).



The towns of Hokkaido - Town profile

Yakumo: Japan's one and only town to join the Sea of Japan and the Pacific Ocean

With the Meiji restoration, samurai who had served as feudal retainers of the Owari Domain found themselves unemployed and struggling to make a living. In 1878 (year 11 of the Meiji period), Tokugawa Yoshikatsu, the 17th lord of the Owari Domain, brought a group of his former vassals to Yuurappu (now the town of Yakumo) and began pioneering efforts in earnest.



The towns of Hokkaido

Carved wooden bears are iconic Hokkaido souvenirs

Why do these bears seem to have emotive expressions or mischievous poses? The original generation of carvings produced in Yakumo often featured personified elements. Setting foot inside the museum, I was struck with an iconic Hokkaido souvenir image -- the fierce visage of a bear gripping a salmon in its jaws.


Soak in the open air bath, and embrace in the nature.

Hello from Sapporo

Smooth skin care at a hot spring surrounded by nature

Approximately one hour by car from downtown Sapporo is Hoheikyo Onsen, a hot spring (without overnight accommodation) known for its location and spring water that helps keep the skin beautifully smooth.



Hello from Sapporo

VELO TAXI SAPPORO – a mode of transport to experience the city air

For tourists who want to see the sights of downtown Sapporo, I recommend a velo taxi. Velo taxis are taxis that utilize bicycles originating in Berlin, and have been operating in Sapporo since 2008. They are now familiar among the locals as one of the faces of Sapporo.