Walking in Sosei Higashi by Keyword

The Showa era lives on in this restaurant row under a bus terminal

We visited the old-timey restaurant row under the Chuo Bus Sapporo Terminal, a well-kept secret.
Words by Inoue Yumi
Photographs by Ida Yukitaka
Translation by Xene Inc.

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.

Ebisutani Yukio, the president of CB Tours

A guide map of Chuo Bus Sapporo Terminal Depato in 1976
(Courtesy of Hokkaido Chuo Bus Fun Club)

The underground restaurant would get quite crowded, he said.
"There also was a pachinko parlor here in the late '70s and early '80s. I often went there on my lunch break and kept losing money."

"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.

Ebina Shizuko, the reserved manager of "Little China"

"Offal miso hot pot" for two people (600 yen for one person).

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.

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