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Hokkaido Guide: Enjoy The History, Tastes Of Japan’s Beer And Whiskey

Hokkaido Guide: Enjoy The History, Tastes Of Japan’s Beer And Whiskey

Hokkaido is the northernmost island in Japan, with various tourist destinations such as Otaru, Sapporo, and Hakodate. It is famous for its array of natural landscapes and unique traditions as well as a unique food culture. Both Sapporo and Yoichi historically played an important part in the alcohol industry in Japan; beers and whisky originated from these places. One reason why Hokkaido is famous for alcohol production is the quality of its water, as you can imagine. Take note that the legal age for drinking alcohol in Japan is twenty years old. Please bring along your identification documents just in case, so that you won’t miss the best fresh beer and whiskey around here!

Wonderful dinner at Sapporo Garden Park

Sapporo Garden Park

Located near Higashi-Kuyakushomae Station, Sapporo Garden Park comprises several popular tourist spots such as the Sapporo Beer Museum (which will be introduced below) as well as the Sapporo Beer Garden.

Sapporo Beer Garden is just the right place for those who want to have a fun-filled dinner with family and friends. Not only are there various types of beer available, it is known for its delicious jingisukan, a Japanese grilled mutton dish, which will certainly get you hooked!

At night, the Sapporo Garden Park will be beautifully illuminated and filled with a romantic atmosphere. It is especially beautiful during winter when the park is filled with pure-white snow. There is also an old locomotive train on display there which was used in the past to transport coal.

Sapporo Garden Park

Address: 9-1-1 Kita 7 Johigashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo

Access info: 10-minute walk from Higashi-Kuyakushomae Station on Metro Toho Line

Opening hours: 10:30 am - 6 pm

Fixed holiday: Monday

Contact: +81 11-748-1876

Entrance fee: free

Official URL

Discover the history of Japan’s beer!

麦とホップを製すれば (4456936863)
Source: Photo by user Thomas Au used under CC BY 2.0

Sapporo Garden Park is also famous for the Sapporo Beer Museum. Not only is the beautiful red-brick building the only beer museum in Japan, it is also listed as one of Hokkaido’s monuments. Entry is free and there are guided tours carried out at 500 JPY (4.70 USD) per person. The tour lasts for about 50 minutes and will take you through the history of Sapporo beer. Furthermore, those who take part in the tour will get exclusive beers you can try only on the tour. Of course, you can explore the museum on your own if you are short of time; it is estimated to take about 15 to 20 minutes to finish the route. The stall in the museum is stocked with numerous choices of drinks, and you can also enjoy the non-alcoholic Ribbon Napolin cider that is exclusive to Hokkaido!

Sapporo Beer Museum

Address: 1-1, 9 Chome-2 Kita 7 Jōhigashi, Higashi-ku, Sapporo-city

Access info: 10-minute walk from Higashi-Kuyakushomae Station on Metro Toho Line

Opening hours: 11:30 am - 8 pm (last admission 7:30 pm)

Fixed holiday: Monday, New Year Day

Contact: +81 11-748-1876

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL available only in Japanese

How is beer made? Find out at Sapporo Factory!

Sapporo Factory1
Source: Photo by user Daigaku2051 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Sapporo Factory isn’t just a beer factory; it is a commercial complex with about 160 stores, an amusement park, restaurants, and other facilities. The building is located where beer was first brewed in Japan.

At the renga kan (brick building) in Sapporo Factory, you can explore the beer museum that displays the history of beer, and learn how this wonderful drink is brewed in Sapporo. Right outside it, there is a small shop where you can enjoy the fantastic beer in the quaint surroundings. There are also seasonal drinks available there so make sure you check it out!

Sapporo Factory

Address: 4 Chome Kita 2 Jōhigashi, Chūō-ku, Sapporo-city

Access info: 13-minute bus ride from Sapporo Station

Opening hours: 10 am - 8 pm (Shopping), 11 am - 8 pm (Restaurant)

Fixed holiday: depends on shop

Contact: +81 11-207-5000

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL

Discover the secrets of Kirin Beer

Kirin Brewery, Chitose - Only one hundred and more people work in such a large factory.

Posted by Junko Asai on Sunday, 1 December 2013

Located near the New Chitose Airport, the Chitose Kirin Beer Factory is also one of the places you have to visit if you are a beer-lover. You can only explore the factory through guided tours that begin as early as 9:30 am. You can register for a tour through the official website.

You will be introduced to the various departments within the factory that creates the delicious Kirin Beer. Of course, like all beer factories, you will have the chance to enjoy freshly-brewed beer right after the tour! There are also non-alcoholic drinks at the store after the tour so families with children can join too. For those who plan on driving, it is recommended that you take the shuttle bus from Chitose Station instead. Take note that driving after drinking is strictly prohibited in Japan!

Kirin Beer Hokkaido Chitose Brewery

Address: 949-1, Kamiosatsu, Chitose,

Access info: 10-minute walk from Osatsu Station or shuttle bus from Chitose Station

Opening hours: 9 am - 5 pm (Factory), 10:30 am - 9 pm

Fixed holiday: Monday, December 31 and January 1

Contact: +81 123-24-5606

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL available only in Japanese

Visit the birthplace of Japan’s whisky

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery was founded by Masataka Taketsuru in 1934, and his dedication towards whisky-brewing led to the birth of whisky in Japan. At Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Yoichi, you can find out about the history and secrets behind how whisky is made.

There are guided tours that last for about 1 hour. You can also choose to explore the distillery on your own. Apart from walking around the distillery, you can also visit the Whisky Museum, which displays various artefacts from Masataka Taketsuru, as well as the first ever whisky that was created in Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery!

Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery

Address: 7 Chome-6 Kurokawachō, Yoichi-chō, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaidō

Access info: 4-minute walk from Yoichi Station

Opening hours: 9 am - 5 pm

Fixed holiday: please refer to official website

Contact: +81 135-23-3131

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL

Enjoy Yoichi’s delicious seafood

When on the way to Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery from Yoichi Station, you will likely see an orange building with a long, long queue of people. The queue belongs to seafood restaurant Kakizaki Honten Kaisen Kobo, where you can enjoy various seafood such as shrimp, squid, and sea urchin, all caught from the sea around Yoichi!

Kakizaki Honten Kaisen Kobo

Address: Hokkaidō, Yoichi-gun, Yoichi-chō, Kurokawachō, 7 Chome-25

Access info: 3-minute walk from Yoichi Station

Opening hours: 10 am - 7 pm

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 135-22-3354

Get your Yoichi souvenirs at Elra Plaza

Posted by on Sunday, 24 February 2019

Elra Plaza, which stands for “Encounter, Leave, Return, Again” Plaza, can be directly accessed from Yoichi Station and is the best place for you to get your Yoichi souvenirs. Various local products, ranging from fruits and vegetables to seafood, whisky, and wine, can be found there. You should also try the marvellous apple pie there, which is made from locally grown apples!

Elra Plaza

Address: Yoichi District, Yoichi, Kurokawacho, 5 Chome-43

Access info: Direct access from Yoichi Station

Opening hours: 9 am - 6 pm

Fixed holiday: please refer to official website

Contact: +81 135-22-1515

Official URL available only in Japanese

Delectable wine from Otaru

Otaru Wine Gallery

Hokkaido produces the largest amount of grapes in Japan and is also famous for its wine. Over 300 grape farms from 24 cities in Hokkaido join forces to create the Hokkaido wine, which originated in 1974. There are several brands of Hokkaido wine, including the “Otaru series”, “Tsurunuma series” and “Hokkaido series”.

At Otaru Wine Gallery, you will get to witness the process behind how the amazing types of Hokkaido wine are born. There is also a shop located there for you to purchase the different types of wine.

Otaru Wine Gallery

Address: 1-130, Asarigawa Onsen, Otaru

Access info: 20-minute drive from Otaru Station

Opening hours: 9 am - 5 pm (3 pm on December 31)

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 134-34-2183

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL available only in Japanese

Yoichi isn’t all about whisky! Visit the café and bakery of Yoichi Winery

Yoichi Winery

Located about a 30-minute drive from Otaru Wine Gallery is the Yoichi Winery, another place you should visit as a wine fan. The climate and geographical location of Yoichi make it a great place for winemaking and, as a result, Yoichi wine is one of the most delicious wine ever. Apart from exploring the winery, you can also visit the café and bakery there. Various exclusive items such as their wine soft cream can be enjoyed.

Yoichi Winery is located near to the Nikka Whisky Yoichi Distillery so it is recommended that you visit both together.

Yoichi Winery

Address: 1318, Kurokawachō,Yoichi-chō, Yoichi-gun

Access info: 5-minute drive from Yoichi Station

Opening hours: please refer to the official website

Fixed holiday: please refer to the official website

Contact: please refer to the official website

Entrance fee: free entry

Official URL available only in Japanese

Beer, wine, and whisky: one of the greatest joys of being an adult is being able to enjoy these fantastic beverages together with family and friends. Definitely include some of these sights on your trip itinerary but make sure you drink in moderation!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

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