Three hundred buses a day come and go from the Chuo Bus Sapporo Terminal northeast of Sapporo TV Tower. The fact that there is a restaurant row underground here is surprisingly not well known.
Ebisutani Yukio has been patronizing this collection of restaurants for 40 years. Mr. Ebisutani is the president of CB Tours, which has an office on the second floor of the building.
"There used to be a department store called Terminal Depato on the second floor, and it had everything. People who came by bus from the area around Sapporo all shopped here before returning home," he said.
"The offal miso hot pot is good," Mr. Ebisutani said, introducing the Chinese restaurant "Little China." It is in its 21st year of operation.
"When I say that we've been in business for 20 years, people are surprised, but we still have a long way to go," said the reserved manager Ebina Shizuko.
I asked and learned that the oden restaurant in the district has been in business for more than 45 years and the set meal bistro for more than 30 years.
The tables, chairs and menu prices of Little China have not changed since it opened.
"There are some regular customers who say they like this old quality," Ms. Ebina said. It's true that it is strangely comfortable.
Mr. Ebisutani had the following to say.
"When we take business partners here for lunch everyone is happy to have learned about a good place. The oldness is popular among middle-aged people and senior citizens."
In this world where everything keeps changing, this restaurant row teaches us the value of things that stay the same."
Chuo Bus Sapporo Terminal
Higashi 1-chome Odori Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
The underground restaurant row open hours:
Weekdays: 10:00 to 21:00
Weekends and Holidays: 10:00 to 20:00
* The open hours differ among restaurants.