Useful Information (Feb. 2003, #32)

Useful Information (Dec. 2002, #31)

Online Christmas Shopping (Oct. 2002, #30)

Great Momiji-gari Spots with Hot Springs

Marine Sports (June 2002)

Survival Phone Contacts

Sake, the Winter Soul of Hokkaido (Dec., 2001)

Christmas Gifts -- Japanese Style (Oct., 2001)

Sports, Fitness and Health (April, 2001)

Internet Cafe (Feb., 2001)

Sweets for the Sweet! (Dec., 2000)

Getting Ready for the Holiday and Party Season (Oct., 2000)

Asian Restaurants (Sep., 2000)

Natural Outdoor Hot Springs in Hokkaido (Aug., 2000)

All-You-Can-Eat and -Drink (June, 2000)

Coffee: Bean There, Done That

Hot Springs: Hot Enough for Ya? (April 1, 2000)

Gaijin Favorites
(Feb. 1 & April 1, 2000)

Eco-friendly Information
(Dec. 1, 1999)

Discount, Used and Antique Shops

Useful Information (Feb. 2003, #32)

Children's Theater in English: Hokkaido International School
Missoula Children's Theatre will present a humorous, musical rendition of "Red Riding Hood" on Fri., March 28, at 7 p.m., and Sat., March 29, at 3 p.m. The play will be held in the HIS Gymnasium. Tickets are \500, available through the school office or at the door. A great outing for your English class. All ages welcome. Call (011) 816-5000.

Let's Make Futomaki Rolls!

Have you ever eaten or made futomaki (large sushi rolls). Learn the basics so you can take your own homemade rolls to this year's hanami party! No Japanese ability necessary. Those wishing to take part, please reserve via phone or mail by April 20.
EII Japanese Language Center
Shikishima Minami 1-jo Bldg. 5F, S1W5, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Date & Time: April 27, (Sun.) 1 to 3 p.m.
Fee: \500
Contact: Tel. 011-271-1821 or e-mail:

Sake Open House for Kuriyama Olde Shoppe Festival
年に一度の酒蔵開放!- くりやま老舗まつり

All the sake you can drink! Kobayashi Sake Brewers will have an open house for the "Kuriyama Olde Shoppe Festival" April 12 (Sat.) 10AM to 4PM & 13 (Sun.) 10AM to 3PM. Other attractions include Akkeshi oyster and mushroom stew, drum performances, and an open house at the neighboring Tanida Confectionery factory, where freshly made millet dumplings can be sampled.
Venue: Around Nishiki 3, Kuriyama-cho, Yubari-gun (10-minute walk from Kuriyama JR Station)
Contact : (01237) 2-1001(Kobayashi Shuzo co.)

ウオフ ジャパン

Locates free work-share home stays. Receive room and board at locations throughout Japan. This includes learning experiences. The only cost is your labor in helping your home stay household.

IACE Travel: Guam Beach Resort Campaign
IACEトラベル グアム・ビーチリゾートキャンペーン実施中!

Low-priced tours to Guam during the campaign.
Recommended tours (example):
・ 4-day tour on ANA (indirect flight): \56,000 (March 2 to 4,9 to 11,16 to 18)
・ 7-day tour on ANA (indirect flight): \69,800 (March 2 to 5, 9 to 12,16,18)
Direct-flight tours (Sapporo - Guam) are also available. Contact IACE.
<おすすめツアー(一例)> ※詳細はIACEトラベルにお問合せください。
・全日空で行くグアム4日間(東京経由便利用)\56,000 (3/2-4,9-11,16-18)
・全日空で行くグアム7日間(東京経由便利用)\69,800 (3/2-5,9-12,16,18)
IACE Travel
Kita 3-jo Mitsui Bldg. 9F, Kita 3 Nishi 3, Chuo-ku
Tel.: 011-219-2796. E-mail:


Sales Agents Required
Sales agents required for the Super Net Global Card, a prepaid card for discount international and domestic phone calls. Sapporo residents with valid ID may apply. For Global Card details, see the ad on page 8.
格安の国際/国内電話プリペイドカード「Super Net GLOBAL CARD」の販売員(外国人/日本人)を募集中。札幌在住で住所/連絡先を確認できる方。Global Cardの特徴はP8の広告を見て。

10 Paperback Bestsellers
ペーパーバック Best 10

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -- J.K. Rowling
2. Silent Spring -- Rachel Carson
3. Best American Essays 2002
4. Best American Short Stories
5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone -- J.K. Rowling
6. One Door Away from Heaven -- Dean R. Koontz
7. The Locust Farm -- Jeremy Dronfield
8. The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, Part 3) -- J. R. R. Tolkien
9. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, Part 1) -- J. R. R. Tolkien
10. Lucky Man: A Memoir -- Michael J. Fox

International Speech Contest in Japanese

The 44th Japanese Speech Contest will be held at Sapporo Convention Center, May 31 (1 p.m.). The application deadline is near at hand (April 17, 5 p.m.). The speakers will present speeches on non-commercial, non-religious topics within 7 minutes. Applicant must be over 15 years old, and their native language cannot be Japanese. All contestants will receive gifts provided by co-sponsoring companies. (Sponsors will pay the transportation cost for contestants outside Sapporo.)
Sapporo Convention Center
Tel. 011-817-1010
Higashi-Sapporo, 6-jo 1-chome Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo

A new money-saving system at your old favourite, Locotonte
Every day OPEN! Every day SMILE!

A big thanks to all the customers who always pop into Locotonte. Now there's a special money-saving system for girls on Friday and Saturday nights. Pay \1,000 yen on the door and we'll give you \1,200 yen in "Locotonte money". A \200 present! Sounds good? What's more, any remaining "Locotonte money" can also be used on weekdays. Looking forward to seeing you…with a smile! (See ad on Page.19.)
■ DJs wanted! Contact Motoo. CDs and CDJs OK.
Bar Locotonte
Tel. 011-533-3728

Spring at Tipasa

"Au Printemps,Tipasa est habitee par les dieux."-- Albert Camus.
You can't visit the ruins of Tipasa in Algeria easily, but you can visit Tipasa restaurant anytime (except Mondays). Enjoy eating, drinking, chatting and singing the Latin way, chez Tipasa. Celebrate spring with a menu of "spring vegetable pasta" as well as "couscous", "casserole pasta" and apple gelato. May God bless Tipasa customers.
3-6, Misono 8-jo 6-chome
Tel. 011-818-8628

Helpful Organizations

・ JALT (Japan Association for Language Teaching) Hokkaido Chapter
A non-profit organization of English teachers who meet regularly to share ideas/experiences on improving language teaching. Guests are welcome to attend.
・ HIBA (Hokkaido International Business Association)
Business association organized by non-Japanese business people. Monthly meetings and newsletters, and active mailing list.
・ Hokkaido Insider
An e-mail service in English providing news about jobs, events, interesting Internet sites, personal sales and much more.

Useful Information (Oct. 2002, #31)

The 5th "Otaru by Candlelight" Event
Attractions include 400 candles floating on the canal, a snow-candle road, snow tunnel, and hot Hokkaido food available from stalls. February 7 (Fri.) to 16 (Sun.), 5 to 9PM.
Main venues: Otaru Canal and the former Temiya railway line.
Other venues: downtown Otaru, Asarigawa Spa and Mt. Tengu.
Otaru City Tourism Promotion Department
Tel. 0134-32-4111 (x) 267

Curry Expo 2003 ☆Presents☆
Ten delicious curries from famous restaurants come to Sapporo Media Park 'Spica'. Try mini curries with Hokkaido rice for \200 to \300. Feb. 5 to 11, 2003. 10:30AM to 5PM.
Sapporo Media Park 'Spica'
N1 W8.
Tel. 272-8247

GAP/GAPKids Debuts in Sapporo
For those wondering why there's no GAP in Hokkaido, wonder no longer. GAP's 134th Japanese store will open on the 1st floor of Stellar Place Sapporo (the new shopping mall in JR Sapporo Sta.) on March 6. A wide range of standard GAP denim and khakis, and fashion items from the casual brand that's popular worldwide. The Sapporo Superstore will stock products from GAP GAPKids and babyGAP.
Stellar Place 1F
(JR Sapporo Sta.)
10 AM to 9 PM.

Changes in Sapporo's Cinema Map
2003 will see changes in Sapporo's cinema map, with the opening of Cinecon's Sapporo Cinema Frontier on the 7th & 8th floors of JRSapporo Station's Stellar Place (photo) on March 6. Twelve screens and 2,705 seats make it Hokkaido's largest cinema. Meanwhile, several cinemas are scheduled to close in 2003: Mitsukoshi Meiga Gekijo (Feb. 27), Toei Palace (the end of March), Toho Nichigeki (the end of August), and Cine Switch and Shochiku Yurakukan (dates undecided).

New Day's Special Children's Book Selection
New picture books, including Winnie the Pooh and Curious George, from \460 at the famous imported book shop, New Day. Many titles unavailable at bookstores elsewhere. Ideal for gifts or teaching materials.
New Day
Arche Bldg. 5F, S3 W4. Tel. 223-6819

Events Galore at Booty During the Snow Festival
As Susukino slumps, newly opened Booty continues to prove popular amongst the non-Japanese community. Covered by the Tokyo media, the venue is besieged by crowds from both Sapporo and Tokyo on weekends. Dance on the 1st floor, relax in the 2nd floor lounge (no charge, drinks from \400), or enjoy a barbecue in the courtyard. Events every month, with something special planned for the Snow Festival. Make a date to go (see ad, p. 6). Booty discotheque and lounge bar.
South 7 West 4
Tel: 521-2336.

10 Paperback Bestsellers
1. Silent Spring
Rachel Carson
2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
J.K. Rowling
3. The Kiss
Daniel Steel
4. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
J.K. Rowling
6. The Summons
John Grisham
7. Minority Report
Philip K. Dick
8. Flowers for Algernon
Daniel Keyes
9. Great Blue Yonder
Alex Shearer
10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
J.K. Rowling

Studying Japanese? IAY's Short Program Begins in January
Start at one of Sapporo's most famous and long-established multi-language schools, IAY, on January 6. The program consists of 15 lessons per week, with morning and afternoon classes from Monday to Friday separated by level. Speech and discussion in small group classes, with classroom-based lessons and practical training in the city.
IAY International Academy
Tel. 281-5188
Hinode Bldg. 5F, S1 W4

Noguri Korean Market
The latest Korean music CDs and DVD movies imported directly from Seoul are available at competitive prices. Kids figures, Korean food, international telephone cards and more! Open 11AM to 8PM.
Noguri Ichiba
S3 W6 (Tanukikoji 6)
Tel. 232-6810

Online Christmas Shopping (Oct. 2002, #30)

Online shopping for additive-free foods, eco-friendly products, Fair Trade goods, and offerings from NPOs and NGOs (All sites are in Japanese.)

WWF Japan
Panda Shop, run by the WWF ム thatユs the wildlife organization, not the World Wrestling Federation ム offers original goods whose proceeds go to save endangered animals. Stuffed panda made from organic fibers (3,200 yen, above picture) for Panda Shopユs 10th Anniversary is recommended for Christmas. Cards, clothes, organic cotton products, stationary, body-care goods and lots more.

A shop in Sapporo that offers online shopping. Eco-friendly products, Fair Trade goods and additive-free foods. Soaps for cleaning and washing. Additive-free skin-care goods, toilet paper recycled from paper, clothes made from organic fibers. Fair Trade goods are recommended as Christmas presents.

Charity Net
The site donates 2% to 7% of the purchase price to the NPO of your choice. The donation rate is shown for every item. Food, sporting goods, CDs, clothes, stationary, eco-friendly goods. The site also invites NPOs and shops to participate in this activity.

Africa Reconciliation Committee
By buying cards made from banana leaves in Rwanda, you help Rwandan refugees. The handmade Christmas cards are marketed to create jobs for women, especially war widows, in Rwanda. Thirteen designs. 300 yen for each card with envelope.

This site donates 3% to 7% of the purchase price to an NPO. Books (5%), flowers (5%) and wine (3%) can be purchased. Donations to NPOs also from registering for Fletユs ADSL and B Fletユs, and from reserving at the Hotel Okura. The donation is for a different NPO each month.

Ecological goods, NGO original goods and natural foods. Fair Trade goods from India, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh and Thailand are reasonably priced. Additive-free or organic tea, coffee, jam, pasta and other food from Asian countries.

The Campaign for the Children of Palestine
The organisation helps run a school for children with disabilities, a kindergarten and a hospital for children in Palestine. Traditional embroidery made by refugee women can be purchased at this site. Book mark: 500 yen; coaster: 1,200 yen; cushion cover: from 10,000 yen; greeting card: 500 yen; bags: from 1,500 yen.

Amnesty International Japan
The organisation acts to protect the rights of all human beings. Greeting cards, stationery, clothes, skin-/hair-care goods, accessories and more. Greeting cards: from 300 yen; reversible hats: 2,600 yen; aprons with Picasso design: 1,600 yen. Educational videos on human rights are between 3,000 yen and 5,000 yen.

The shop sells ecological goods, natural food, goods to promote the independence of people with disabilities, Fair Trade products and traditional products to help preserve various cultures. Foods, fashions, outdoor goods, gifts, skincare and relaxation products and Fair Trade goods can be purchased. Lots of African- and Asian-made products.

Green Purchasing Network
A database of stores and online shops selling eco-friendly products: companies producing recycled paper, electric appliances, OA/PC supplies, stationary, cars, furniture, clothes, food and other products. List of events and workshops on ecology and nature-learning.

Lots of cards for Christmas and seasonユs greetings. Between 1,200 yen and 2,500 yen for a set of about 10 cards and envelopes. Wrapping paper, bags, notebooks, mugs, clothes. For kids: teddy bears, T-shirts, notebooks, cups and toys.

Additive-free, pesticide-free and reduced-pesticide foods. Seasonings made by traditional method. Pesticide-free Koshihikari rice: 5,000 yen for 5 kg. Western and Japanese dressings: between 300 yen and 800 yen. Organic coffee and tea: between 400 yen and 1,500 yen. Decaf coffee.
Additive-free and reduced-pesticide foods, clothes from organic fibers and other eco-friendly goods. A large selection of products and manufacturers for every product, and links to other Web sites. Useful links to NGOs, NPOs and companies active in preserving nature.

This futon shop, with 40 years in business, makes made-to-order futons stuffed with cotton, wool or feathers at reasonable prices. Single 100% cotton bottom mattress from 13,000 yen, Cotton and wool bottom mattress from 13,000 yen, 100% cotton coverlet 9,000 yen, 100% feather coverlet from 20,000 yen, 100% lambswool coverlet from 15,000 yen.

A large selection of additive-free foods, eco-friendly soaps, additive-free skin-care goods and other products. Soy sauce: from 300 yen; miso: from 390 yen; retort stew: from 300 yen; 5 kg of rice: about 4,000 yen; 500 g of brown rice: 680 yen; 130-g olive soap: 1,000 yen; toothpaste: from 450 yen; shampoo: from 700 yen.

Organic cotton clothes made in foreign countries and Japan. Baby sling (picture): 7,400 yen. Gift set for a newborn: from 6,800 yen. Underwear, fabrics, blankets, socks, towels and lots more for babies, ladies and men. Bedroom goods, such as sheets, comforter covers and pillowcases are also available.

Products made from organic and recycled materials. Bathroom goods: shampoo, towels, baby-care goods and toothbrushes. Shampoo and conditioner for dogs. Cosmetics, kitchen goods, cleaners, stationery, bedroom goods and gardening products.
Organically grown foods, additive-free foods, organic cosmetics, organic cotton clothes, Fair Trade goods and lots more. A vegetable package (7 to 8 kinds of vegetables, for 2 to 3 people) for 1,500 yen; soy sauce: from 580 yen; retort curry: from 230 yen; dried fruit: from 280 yen; 200 g of coffee beans: from 700 yen. A large collection of cotton underwear and bedroom products.

Great Momiji-gari Spots with Hot Springs

< Southern Hokkaido >
Onuma Koen and Komagadake area. Komagadake reflected on Lake Onuma surrounded by colored leaves. Trekking and canoeing are recommended.
Hot Springs: Higashi Onuma, Nishi Onuma and Nagareyama Onsen resorts are 10 to 15 minutes from Onuma Koen JR Station by car. The view of Komagadake from Nagareyama Onsen is gorgeous. All the resorts offer accomodation. The baths are 300 to 800 yen for non-guests. (English).

< Central Hokkaido and Sapporo >
Jozankei, Hoheikyo Dam and Nakayama-toge are famous. Hoheikyo Dam trails are nice to trek.
Hot springs: Jozankei, Hoheikyo and Koganeyu Onsen can be reached within one hour by public bus or shuttle bus (Hoheikyo). Many hotels at Jozankei are open to non-guests. Check the place and price in English at

Yotei-zan area. Lake Hangetsu, on the northwestern side is surrounded by old-growth forest. Even if you are not hiking the mountain, you can easily walk to the lake.
Hot springs: Kyogoku Onsen is famous for a great view of Mt. Yotei. Donan Bus runs 12 times a day from Sapporo JR Station. Only 500 yen for baths. (Japanese).

Lake Shikotsu. There are many deciduous-broadleaf trees surrounding the lake in this area. Tarumae-zan and Eniwa-dake near the lake are recommended to hike.
Hot springs: Hotels surrounding Shikotsuko Onsen have outside baths with a view of Lake Shikotsu. (Japanese).

Niseko area. Many cars and hikers go during the kouyou season. If you donユt want to see those tourists, you may want to go kayaking down the Shiribetsu River and see the autumn leaves from there.
Hot springs: Konbu Onsen is the most famous among the onsen resorts in the Niseko area. Makkari Onsen is also recommended. Weekends are likely to be packed with visitors in Autumn. (Japanese).

Biei area. Biei-dake, Biei River and Yacho-no-mori are famous.
Hot springs: Shirogane Onsen near entrance to trails to Biei-dake and Tokachi-dake. 40 minutes from Biei JR Station by bus. (Japanese).

Sarugawa Canyon is well known for its thick forest and beautiful autumn leaves. Sarugawa Onsen, however, is not so comfortable.

< Eastern Hokkaido >
Lake Mashu and Kussharo. Autumn leaves reflect on the surface of Lake Mashu, which is famous for its clear water. Lake Kussharo is likely to be more crowded.
Hot springs: Mashu, Kawayu, Ikenoyu and Tobetsu Onsen are near Lake Kussharo. Kotan and Wakoto open-air hot springs (mixed bathing) by the side of Lake Kussharo are free. (Japanese).

Shiretoko-toge (pass) and the “Shiretoko five lakes.” Kouyou on Rausu-dake as seen from Shiretoko-toge is famous.
Hot springs: Yuhidanoyu. A nice view of the sunset from its outdoor bath located on the top of a cliff facing the Okhotsk Sea. (Japanese). Kumanoyu, an outdoor hot spring by the Rausu River is surrounded by trees. It is famous among campers and is free.

Lake Akan. Quiet area to enjoy the autumn leaves. The lake is surrounded by thick forests.
Hot springs: Akan-ko Onsen. A few hotels allow non-guests to use their baths. (Japanese).

< Northern Hokkaido >
Daisetsu-zan (Souunkyo). Autumn leaves on the cliff side are awesome. Tokachi-dake and Asahi-dake are also recommended.
Hot springs: Souunkyo Onsen resort and Asahiadke Onsen resort are well known. Most hotels allow non-guests into their baths. Taisetsu Kogen Onsen area is famous for beautiful autumn leaves. Tenninkyo Onsen is famous for waterfalls. (English). Onsen information in Daisetsu area: (Japanese).

[Momiji Festivals]

< September >
Sep. 23
Tokachi-dake Onsen Momiji Matsuri: Tokachidake Onsen Hiroba, Kamifurano-cho. Info: Tel. 0167-45-3150.
Aki no Mikaku to Momiji Matsuri: Shikaoi Shizen Land, Shikaoi-cho. Info.: Tel. 01566-6-2311

< October >
Oct. 6
Momiji Matsuri: Recreation-no-Mori, Shimukappu-mura. Info. 0167-56-2121
Yoroushi Onsen Momiji Matsuri: Yoroushi Onsen, Nakashibetsu-cho. Info. 01537-3-3111
Oct. 10 - 13
Onuma Momiji Matsuri: Onuma Kokutei Koen Hiroba, Onuma Koen. Info. 0138-65-2511
Oct. 13
Mikasa Katsurazawa Momiji Matsuri: Katsurazawa Lake, Mikasa-shi. Info. 01267-2-3181
Early October
Hotaru no Sato Momiji Matsuri: Hotaru-no-Sato, Numata-cho. Info. 0164-35-1188
Mid. October
Torisaki Keikoku Hakkei Momiji Kansho-kai: Midori-to-Rock-no-Hiroba, Mori-machi. Info. 01374-2-2181
Jozankei Momiji Dai Chakai: Jozankei Onsen, Sapporo. Info. 011-598-2012
Shikotsu-ko Momiji Matsuri: Shikotsuko Onsen, Chitose-shi. Info. 0123-23-8288
Eniwa Keikoku Momiji Matsuri: Jiyu Ichiba, Eniwa-shi. Info. 0123-33-3131
Noboribetsu Momiji-gari: Noboribetsu Onsen, Noboribetsu. Info.: 0143-84-3311
Yubari Momiji Matsuri: Takinoue Park, Yubari-shi. Info.: 01235-2-1365

Xene Picks Others - Naka Sorachi Guidebook in English

Travelling independently around Hokkaido isn't a simple task for visitors who can't speak Japanese. One can get by, but there is a lack of information and detailed road maps in English and other languages. Consequently, it's easy to miss out on a unique festival, an out-of the-way hot spring, a special cultural event, a bargain hideaway hotel, or just beautiful lesser-known places in Hokkaido such as Naka Sorachi, an area situated between Sapporo and the popular tourist destinations of Daisetsuzan/Furano and Asahikawa. This is why Geoffrey Pinchbeck, a former Coordinator of International Relations (CIR-JET program) in Ashibetsu, decided to make a guidebook in English with detailed maps and information about the Naka Sorachi region. In March 2002, Pinchbeck presented his idea to the different tourist associations in the area, and they agreed to fund the printing of the booklet. Time was limited, as Pinchbeck was due to complete his CIR contract and leave Japan. He worked with his supervisor, Yoko Sato; Jennifer Caldwell, the CIR in Takikawa; and Conor Bint (JET program ALT), a graduate in Cartography. They completed the mammoth task of translating and editing all the available tourist information and drawing detailed maps of the area only one week before Pinchbeck and Caldwell left Japan. The booklet contains 28 A-4-sized pages in full color, 18 of them are road maps. The remaining pages offer facts about various festivals and events, descriptions of restaurants and accommodations, and information on sights and hot springs. The booklet is free and is available at Sapporo International Communication Plaza, the English-speaking Tourist Center at Sapporo JR station, Chitose Airport, Some JR stations including Iwamizawa, Takikawa, Asahikawa and Furano, ward offices in the Nakasorachi area, and will be distributed to non-Japanese living in Nakasorachi. Photographs of the area may be viewed at

Marine Sports

<Swimming and Marine Sport Beaches>


Dream Beach (Zenibako 3-chome)
The beach closest to Sapporo. Open late June to late Aug. Buses from Teine JR Sta. and from Hoshioki JR Sta., July 29 to Aug. 12 / 011-681-3637.

Zenibako Beach (Zenibako 2-chome)
A 1-minute walk from Zenibako JR Sta. Rental of sailboats, windsurfing boards and dry/wetsuits.

Asari Beach (Asari 4-chome)
Rocky beach. A 2-minute walk from Asari JR Sta. Boat rental.

Shioya Beach (Shioya 1-chome)
A 20-minute drive from Otaru JR Sta. Wind surfing and other marine sports in fall.

Ranshima Beach (Ranshima 1-chome)
A 5-minute walk from Ranshima JR Sta. Camping, boat rental, accommodations.

Hamanasu Beach (Abuta)
A long, sandy beach backed by splendid dunes, 1 hour northeast of downtown Sapporo.


Sunset Beach (Haboro-cho)
A 3.5-hour drive from Sapporo. Buses from Rumoi JR Sta. and Sapporo JR Bus Terminal. Open July though Aug. Camping. Tent and marine sport rentals. Wind surfing and jet boating / 01346-2-1211.

White Beach (Tomamae-cho)
A 3-hour drive from Sapporo. White sand imported from China! Hot spring nearby. Auto-camping / 01646-4-2211.

Web sites on Hokkaido beaches

<Rafting, Kayaking and Canoeing Tours/Schools>

Canoe making/fixing, sales, lessons and guided tours on the Toyohira River, other rivers in Sapporo and in Eastern Hokkaido, and on lakes. 2-26 Kita 12-jo Higashi 9-chome, Higashiku / 742-6653 or

NOASC Outdoor Adventure Tours
Rafting, kayaking and ducky tours in Niseko and elsewhere. 70-138 Aza-Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun / 0136-23-1688 or

Tokachi Adventure Club
Rafting and kayaking lessons and tours. Aza Kuttari 539-21, Shintoku-cho, Kamikawa-gun / 01566-5-2727 or

Hokkaido Adventure Tours
Rafting, canoeing and kayaking tours. Ochiai, Furano-cho, Sorachi-gun / 0167-38-4000 or

Scott Adventure Sports
Rafting and ducky tours. Aza-Yamada 193, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun / 0136-22-3599 or

Northern Adventure Kayaks
Sea kayaking lessons and guides. 447 Aza-Niseko, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun / 0136-58-2479 or

<Marine Sports Rentals>

Zenibako Marine Sports Center
3-46 Zenibako, Otaru / 0134-62-2411.

Marine Gallery Cruise
S5 W27, Chuo-ku / 562-3225.

Both have rentals of boards for windsurfing, wake-boarding, surfing and body-boarding. Dry and wet suits and sailboat cruises.

<Swimming Lessons/Pools>

Kiyota-ku Taikukan, Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. 10 AM - 9 PM, closed on the second Mon. Hiraoka 1-5-4-1, Kiyota-ku / 882-9500.

Doritsu Nopporo Sogo Undo Kouen
550 yen/2hrs. 9 AM - 5 PM (Closed Mon.). 9 AM - 8 PM (June 1 - Aug. 10).
9 AM - 6 PM (Aug. 11 - Aug. 31). Nishinopporo 481, Ebetsu / 384-2166.

Nishi-ku Taikukan, Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. 10AM - 9PM. Closed the third Mon. Hassamu 5-8-9-1/ 662-2149.

Atsubetsu Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. About 50 swimming lessons for all levels and ages. 10 AM - 9 PM. Closed the third Mon. Atsubetsu Higashi 3-2-1-10 / 897-2581.

Shiroishi Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. Facilities for wheelchair users. Swimming lessons and diet programs available. 10 AM - 9 PM. Closed the second Mon. Heiwa-dori 1 Minami 2-5, Shiroishi-ku / 846-0004.

Teine Akebono Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. Swimming lessons for all ages. 10 AM - 9 PM. Closed the second Mon. Akebono 2-1-2-60, Teine-ku / 683-0676.

Teine Pool
Adult: 1,000 yen. High schooler: 500 yen. 6 kinds of pools, waterslides and big waves. 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM. Maeda 1-5-1-1, Teine-ku / 682-6588.

Toyohira Kouen Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. 45 kinds of swimming and diet classes. 10 AM - 8:50 PM. Closed the third Mon. Misono 6-1-1-1, Toyohira-ku / 813-6556.

Higashi Onsui (heated) Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. Waterslide for children. Various exercise lessons. 10 AM - 9 PM. Closed the third Mon. and from early Dec. to Jan. 2. N16 E16, Higashi-ku / 785-6812.

Hiragishi Pool
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. 50 m and 25 m. 10 AM - 9 PM. Closed the second Mon. Hiragishi 5-14-1-1, Toyohira-ku / 832-7529.

Meruparuku Sapporo, Yubin Chokin Kaikan Pool
Adult: 700 yen. High schooler, senior: 500 yen. Various lessons. 12 PM - 7:30 PM (10:30 AM - 6 PM Sun. and holidays. S1 W27, Chuo-ku / 642-4327.

Rifure Sapporo
Adult: 580 yen. High schooler: 280 yen. Senior: 140 yen. Various swimming lessons. 10 AM - 8:45 PM. Closed the third Mon. Hondori16 Minami4-26 / 866-3817.

Survival Phone Contacts


Tel: 110

Fire and Ambulance
Tel: 119

Public Offices

Sapporo City Hall
N1 W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 211-2111

Hokkaido Prefectural Government
N3 W6, Chuo-ku
Tel: 231-4111

Immigration Bureau
Odori W12, Chuo-ku
Tel: 261-7502 (English speakers available)

Hokkaido Police Headquarters
N2 W7, Chuo-ku
Tel: 251-0110
Tel: #9110 (from public telephones and cell phones)

Public Utilities

Hokkaido Electricity Company
Tel: 0120-126-565 (toll free)
Emergency: 221-3161 (24 hrs)

Hokkaido Gas Company
Odori W7, Chuo-ku
Tel: 231-9511
Emergency: 233-5533 (24 hrs)

Water Supply Service Center
Tel: 211-7770
Emergency: 211-7123 (24 hrs)

Nippon Telephone & Telegram Company (NTT East Japan)
Tel: 116 (toll free)
Tel: 0120-364-463 (toll free inquiries in English)

KDD (for international calls)
Tel: 0051 (operator-assisted calls)
Tel: 0057 (information on international calls)


Nippon Rent-A-Car
JR Sapporo Station North Exit / S7 W6, Chuo-ku / Chitose Airport
Tel: 746-0919

Orix Rent-A-Car
S1 W4, Chuo-ku / S5 W7, Chuo-ku / Chitose Airport
Tel: 241-0543

Acom Rentals
(Rentals of electric appliances, outdoor goods, office furniture, etc.)
5-1 Miyanomori 3-jo 2-chome, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-417-447 (toll free)
Tel: 614-9991

Kimono Kobo "Hana" (Rental kimonos)
Paseo B1F (inside "Beautiful Land") adjacent to JR Sapporo station.
Tel: 213-5087

Banks / Post Offices

N2 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-110-330 (toll free, English speakers available)

North Pacific Bank (Hokuyo Bank)
Odori W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 261-1311

Hokkaido Bank
Odori W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 261-7111

Sapporo Bank
Odori W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 251-2111

Sapporo Central Post Office
N6 E1, Chuo-ku
Tel: 748-2451
Tel: 251-3957 (inquiries in English)
Tel: 0120-232-886 (toll free, general inquiries about postal services)

Odori Post Office
Odori W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 221-4280

Courier Services

Kuroneko Yamato
Tel: 0120-365-812 (toll free)

Nittsu Pelican
Tel: 0120-410-202 (toll free)

EMS (Sapporo Central Post Office)
Tel: 723-1123

Federal Express
Tel: 0120-003-200 (toll free)

Travel Agencies & Discount Int'l Air Tickets

Daihyakuseimei Bldg. 1F, N1 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 222-0606

IACE Travel
Mitsui Bldg., N3 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 219-2796

Map International
Century Royal Hotel B1F, N5 W5, Chuo-ku
Tel: 210-0231

Airlines and Airports

Japan Air Lines (JAL) / JAL Express
Mitsui Bldg. 1st floor, N2 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-255-971 (Domestic reservations)
Tel: 0120-255-931 (Int'l reservations)

All Nippon Airways (ANA) / Air Nippon
N4 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-029-222 (Domestic reservations)
Tel: 0120-029-333 (Int'l reservations)

Japan Air System (JAS)
Mitsui Annex Bldg. 1st floor, N2 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-511-283 (Domestic reservations)
Tel: 0120-711-283 (Int'l reservations)

Air Do (Hokkaido International Airlines)
Pole Town Underground Shopping Arcade,
S2 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 200-7333

Korean Air
N4 W5, Chuo-ku
Tel: 210-3311

Cathay Pacific Airlines
Ito-Kato Bldg. 2nd fl., N4 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: (03) 3504-1531 (Tokyo)

Continental Air
N1 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 0120-242-414

China Northern Airlines
N1 W11, Chuo-ku
Tel: 207-2017

Sakhalin Air
S2 W6, Chuo-ku
Tel: 200-8840

Air Flight Japan (Charter flights)
Okadama Airport, Higashi-ku
Tel: 781-4275

New Chitose International Airport Information
Tel: (0123) 23-0111


Higashi Nihon Ferry
(Tomakomai - Hachinohe, Hakodate - Aomori, Muroran - Oarai, etc.)
Tsutai Bldg. 8th fl., S4 W11, Chuo-ku
Tel: 518-2718

Shin Nihonkai Ferry
(Otaru - Niigata / Tsuruga / Maizuru)
Hakuo Bldg. 1st fl., N2 W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 241-7100

Taiheiyo Ferry
(Tomakomai - Sendai / Nagoya)
Nikko Shoken Bldg. 5th fl., N4 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 281-3311

Blue Highway Line
(Tomakomai - Oarai)
Irifune-cho 1-2-34, Tomakomai
(0144) 34-3121

Trains & Buses

Japan Railways Telephone Information Center
Tel: 222-7111
Tel: (03) 3423-0111 (Tokyo / in English, Korean and Chinese)

JR Travel Center
JR Sapporo Station
Tel: 222-6133

Sapporo City Transportation Bureau Information Center
Subway Odori Station
Tel: 232-2277

Chuo Bus
(The most extensive bus service between Sapporo and regional cities. Various sightseeing tours, too.)
Odori E1, Chuo-ku
Tel: (011) 231-0500

Donan Bus
Express buses to Lake Toya hot springs resort and other cities in Southern Hokkaido
Tel: 261-3601

JR Hokkaido Bus
JR Sapporo Station
Tel: 221-5894


Sapporo City General Hospital
(volunteer interpreters available)
N11 W13, Chuo-ku
Tel: 726-2211

Emergency Clinic
(Nighttime only: Internal medicine & pediatrics)
Odori W19, Chuo-ku
Tel: 641-4316 (7PM - 7AM)

Emergency Dental Clinic
S7 W10, Chuo-ku
Tel: 511-7774 (7PM - 11PM)

Emergency Hospital Information Center
Tel: 0120-208-699 (toll free)
Tel: 221-8699

Marui Imai Department Store
S1 W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 205-1151

Mitsukoshi Department Store
S1 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 271-3311

Robinson Department Store
S4 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 531-1111

Seibu Department Store
N4 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 251-0111

Yodobashi Camera Multi Media Center
(Electric appliances)
N6 W5, Kita-ku
Tel: 808-1010

Bic Camera (electrical appliances)
N5, W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 261-1111

(Imported books available)
Odori W1, Chuo-ku
Tel: 231-2131

S1 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 241-7251

New Day Books
Arche 5F, S3 W4, Chuo-ku
Tel: 223-6819

General Information
Sapporo City Department of Tourism
City Hall 2nd fl., N1 W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 211-2377

Sapporo Tourist Information Center
Subway Odori Station
Tel: 232-7712

Sapporo International Communication Plaza
Sapporo MN Bldg. Ground floor, N1 W3, Chuo-ku
Tel: 211-3678 (English available)

International Information Counter
JR Sapporo Station (inside West Ticket Center)
Tel: 213-5062 (English available)

Non-Japanese Residents Support Desk
(Hokkaido Government)
Consultation services for non-Japanese residents of Hokkaido
In English, Chinese and Russian
Tel: 231-4134
Mon. - Fri. 9AM - 5PM (for Russian, only until

Sapporo Central Library
S22 W13, Chuo-ku
Tel: 512-7330

Road Information Center
inside Hokkaido Police Headquarters
Tel: 281-6511

Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry
N1 W2, Chuo-ku
Tel: 231-1122

Japan Automobile Federation (JAF)
Fukuzumi 3-jo 1-chome, Toyohira-ku
Tel: 857-7341

The Japan Association for Language Teaching

Hokkaido International Business Association
Fax: 271-5400

Hokkaido International School
Hiragishi 5-jo 19-chome, Toyohira-ku
Tel: 816-5000

Internet Cafes
Vitamin PC
MA Bldg. 8F, S1 W6, Chuo-ku
Tel: 200-6976 (11AM - 10PM)

Bon de Bon
Paseo B-1 fl. (adjacent to JR Sapporo station)
Tel: 213-5726 (10AM - 9PM)

E Comics
Sugai Bldg. 5F, S3 W1, Chuo-ku
Tel: 221-9081 (11AM - 6AM)

Hotel Arthur Sapporo (Business Center)
S10 W6, Chuo-ku
Tel: 561-1000

Hotel Royton Sapporo (Business Center)
N1 W11, Chuo-ku
Tel: 271-2711 (Open 24 hrs)

Foreign Consulates
Consulate General of the U. S. A.
N1 W28
Tel: 641-1115

Consulate General of the Republic of Korea
N3 W21
Tel: 621-0288

Consulate General of the People's Republic of China
S13 W23
Tel: 563-5563

Consulate General of the Russian Federation
S14 W12
Tel: 561-3171

Australian Consulate
N1 W3
Tel: 242-4381

Help Lines
Japan Helpline (in English)
Tel: 0990-53-8127 (24 hrs)
Tel: 0120-46-1997 (toll free, 24 hrs)

AIDS Hotline (in English)
Tel: 0120-46-1995 (toll free, 24hrs)

Web Sites

All web sites listed below have pages in English.
Sapporo City

Tourism Department of Sapporo
Tourist Information In English, Chinese and Korean

Hokkaido Government

Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Hokkaido International Business Association

The Japan Association for Language Teaching
24-hr. non-profit worldwide emergency assistance service

Xene Inc.
Interpreters & translation in various languages

Sake, the Winter Soul of Hokkaido
By Bill Andrechek

With the snow falling every day and the temperature dipping lower and lower, why not warm yourself with a delicious cup of sake - the perfect drink for our not-so-perfect weather. And of course, when in Hokkaido, do as dosanko do and try Hokkaido sake!


As Hokkaido was developing in the Meiji era, people who were relocating from Honshu experienced quite a shock when winter came and temperatures dropped, so they naturally longed for something to warm their blood. Initially people drank sake from Honshu, but a few entrepreneurs saw a business possibility in making a local product that could eliminate high transportation costs and utilize the clear water and perfect fermentation temperatures of the region. By 1890 more than 300 sake makers were operating in Hokkaido, but as competition increased the level of quality increased and only the best survived. Today there are 15 sake makers or 'Sakagura' in Hokkaido.
You may be wondering what Hokkaido sake is like. Well, unlike stronger-tasting brands from southern regions, Hokkaido sake is dry, clean and elegant and there are a few reasons for this.
The simplest reason is that Hokkaido people prefer such a beverage because traditionally this taste goes well with light seafood dishes, Hokkaido's specialty. Another not-so-special specialty of Hokkaido, the cold weather, is actually beneficial in the making of sake because it slows fermentation, making a dry, smooth product. The local water and air also contribute greatly to the process.


The four basic types of sake are:
junmai-shu (rice with no distilled alcohol added),
honjozo-shu (a little distilled alcohol added),
ginjo-shu (highly milled rice with or without added alcohol),
daiginjo-shu (very highly milled rice with or without added alcohol).

Hot sake is popular in the winter, but the pleasant aroma of daiginjo-shu and ginjo-shu is destroyed by heating.
With the right type of sake though, we can enjoy romantic yukimizake, which means watching the snow fall while drinking sake in a warm room. Mmm, cozy!
In Japan, it's difficult to separate drinking from eating, so this means the menu selection is as crucial as the selection of sake.
As a rule of thumb, seafood goes well with daiginjo-shu and ginjo-shu sake, as it does with white wine. If you are eating heavier foods, such as meat or spicy food, the lighter-tasting types may be drowned out, so junmai-shu is the best bet. If you are a good planner, then why not enjoy different types of sake at different stages of your meal? Have daiginjo-shu or ginjo-shu as an aperitif, choose the correct sake for your main dish, as mentioned, and finish with a stronger honjozo or junmai-shu sake for a perfect meal. Incidentally, to improve your good fortune, drink kanzake (hot sake) with kazunoko (herring roe) over the New Year's holiday.

Choosing Sake

Choosing sake is similar to choosing wine. The tastes range from flavorful and fruity to light and dry to rich and smooth to aged with a nutty taste reminiscent of sherry. In Hokkaido, sake tends to be dry and sukkiri (refreshing) but if you're not one to trust labels, or have a hard time reading the kanji, try a few brands or ask the liquor shopkeeper or maitre-d' for assistance. That's what they're there for, right?

Visiting a Sakagura

If you're tired of taking relatives to the Clock Tower or if you would just like to experience something a little different yourself, why not visit a sakagura? Winter is the time to see one, because sake is made only then. The temperatures are right (and traditionally farmers needed something to supplement their incomes in the off season). The steaming rice in the mornings and the use of snow and ice at some sakagura will make the experience a true Hokkaido highlight. Call ahead for reservations.

Recommended Sake

Fukushi Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Kushiro, 0154-41-3100)
Kushiro Shitsugen (Honjouzou): Traditional techniques bring out the full bouquet.

Godo Seishu Co. Ltd. (Asahikawa, 0166-31-4131)
Kinuyuki (Junmai Ginjo): Made with Hokkaido rice and water from the Taisetsu range. Light and smooth in taste.

Kinteki Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Shintotsukawa, 0125-76-2341)
Hohoemi Ikkon (Daiginjo): A dry, refreshing and aromatic sake made with Hokkaido rice prepared on site.

Kita no Homare Co. Ltd. (Sapporo, 011-221-0126)
Sakeboshi (Junmai Ginjo): Made with 100% Hokkaido rice, delicious when served either lukewarm or chilled.

Kita no Katsu (Nemuro, 01532-3-2010)
Kita no Katsu (Ginjo): A brewery rare in Hokkaido, which produces sweeter sake with a rich bouquet.

Kobayashi Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Yubari, 01237-2-1001)
Kita no Nishiki (Hizo Junmai): Matured for 5 years, this full-bodied sake goes well with meat dishes.

Kunimare shuzo Co. Ltd. (Mashike, 0164-53-1050)
Yuki no Kaori (Ginjo): Japan's northernmost brewery, with a 120-year history. This is light, aromatic sake.

Nihon Seishu Co. Ltd. (011-221-7106)
Setsugen no Mai (Daiginjo): Made with Hokkaido rice and slowly fermented to give a refined, mellow taste.

Niseko Shuzo Inc. (Niseko, 0136-22-1040)
Shizuku (Daiginjo Nama sake): Draught sake collected in drips from a hung sake-bag and matured for 2 years.

Otokoyama Co. Ltd. (Asahikawa, 0166-48-1931)
Otokoyama (Junmai Daiginjo): Awarded gold medals at overseas contests for 25 consecutive years.

Takasago Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Asahikawa, 0166-23-2251)
Ginga Shizuku (Junmai Daiginjo): A sake collected in drips in an ice dome. A rich bouquet and smooth taste.

Tanaka Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Otaru, 0134-23-0390)
Shiboritate (Nama Genshu): Undiluted draught sake, made with only Hokkaido rice.

Yamani Watanabe Co. Ltd. (Otaru, 0134-24-0101)
Hokkai Kumakorori (Karakuchi): A dry sake with a name that suggests it would make a bear topple over.

Yamada Shuzo Co. Ltd. (Kitami, 0157-24-5717)
Okhotsuk Ryuyo Zukuri (Junmai Daiginjo): Made with 20% meltwater from pack-ice. Slightly dry.

Yuki no Hana Co. Ltd. (Otaru, 0134-22-4364)
Yukinohana (Ginjo Koshu): A dry sake matured for 4 years. Delicious when served chilled or on the rocks.

Christmas Gifts -- Japanese Style (Oct., 2001)

Sakura Horikiri -- Japanese Crafts Store
A crafts store selling do-it-yourself kits for floor lamps, miniature chests, dollhouses, and more. Beautiful handmade paper (yuzen) is half the price of that sold at department stores.
Yuzen paper: from \450, Miniature chest: from \800, Lamp kit: from \2000.
S2 W7 Family Bldg. 1F. Open 9a.m.-5:30p.m. (Closed on Sun. and holidays.) Tel: 281-1477.

Iori -- Igusa (Rush) Gallery
The smell of igusa (rush) gives a relaxing feel to the store, which stocks various products made from natural rush. Rugs, mats, slippers, folding shades and much more.
Rush Mat: from \2,000, Rush Slippers: from \1,700. 2-26, S9 W6 (on Densha dori St.) Open 11a.m.-4:30p.m. (Closed on Sun.) Tel: 562 - 6443.

Omorien -- Japanese Tea
Various organic Japanese teas, free from additives. The store can give you health tips on making tea.
Green tea: around from \1,000, Green tea ice cream: \240. Miyanomori 2jo 10chome Open 10a.m.-6:30p.m. (Closed on Wed.) Tel: 642 - 3662.

Minamoto Kicchoan -- Japanese Sweets
Traditional wagashi (Japanese confectionery) with additional influences from China and the West. Enjoy a creative series of fruit-based desserts and artful confectionery.
Fuga assortment: from \1,400 (8 pieces). S1 W3 Mitsukoshi Dept. Store B2F. Open 10a.m.-7:30p.m. (Closed when Mitsukoshi is closed.) Tel: 222 - 8753.

Usagiya -- Miscellaneous Japanese goods
Popular among young women. Hand towels (tenugui), wrapping cloths (furoshiki) and curtains (noren) in pretty designs. Pottery and tableware made by Japanese artists.
Paper slippers (washable): \2,100, Japanese hand towels (tenugui): from \700. S2 W4, Pivot 3F. Open 10a.m.- 8p.m. (Closed when Pivot is closed) Tel: 219 - 4123.

Gendaiya -- Japanese Footwea
A wide selection of Japanese footwear (geta, zouri, setta) up to size 30 cm for men and LL for women. They also have cool snakeskin zouri (sandals)!
Men's Geta: from \7,500. Women's Geta: from \4,800. YES 1F, S2 W3 (Tanukikoji) Open 10:30a.m.-8p.m. Tel: 214 - 2807.

Kyara -- Incense Store
The pleasant scent of quality incense and honey candles welcomes you to the store. The lamps made from Chinese lantern plants and handmade paper are the store's original (order necessary).
Original aloeswood:\1,500. S1 W24, Estar Avenue Bldg. 2F. Open 11:30a.m.-7p.m. (Closed on Tue.) Tel: 614 - 9271.

Mamegura -- Secondhand Kimonos
The store is a refurbished cozy old house where new, secondhand and antique kimonos, obis and fabrics are sold at reasonable prices.
Kimonos: from \2,000. Odori Nishi 14. Open 11a.m.-7p.m. (Closed on Mon.) Tel: 272 - 6788.

Sports, Fitness and Health (April, 2001)

■Exercise & fitness

Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center (also known as Kitae-ru)
Big, new, clean sports facility run by Hokkaido Government. Clean training room with latest fitness machines and shower rooms open to anyone for \300 /2 hours (including the 330-m running course in main arena). No annual or membership fees needed. Basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court, judo room, kendo room, kyudo room, climbing wall and so many other facilities are also available for \400. Equipment is available for rent. You need to bring clean gym shoes (for indoor use) and gym clothes when using the training room. Various kinds of fitness tests are available (reservation required). Open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed on Mon. and Dec. 29-Jan. 3. Connected directly from Toyohira-koen Subway Station (Toho Line). No parking available. 1-1, Toyohira 5-jo 11-chome, Toyohira-ku/ 820-1703.

Kampo Health Plaza Sapporo
Various sports classes include boxercise, jazz-dance, Yoga, Qigong, ballet, aerobic workout and Taijiquan, and the use of a training gym equipped with the latest machines and shower rooms for \1,000/ a day. Sauna for \500 (only for training gym or sports class users). No annual or membership fees needed. One-day ticket (including sports classes, training gym and sauna) \1,300, regular pass \5,000 for one month, and other types of tickets and passes are available. Fitness test with latest computer enables us to make the best fitness program for you. Training gym opens 10 a.m-9 p.m. (Closed at 6:15 p.m.. on Sun. & national holidays). Sauna opens 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (closed 6:30 p.m. on Sun. & national holidays). Open every day. Kita 7 Nishi 5, Kita-ku/ 756-0606.

Sapporo Central Health Promotion Center
Training floor equipped with 40 training machines, exercise floor, relaxation room and shower rooms, open to anyone for \390. No annual or membership fees needed. The center provides custom-made workout programs by professional doctors, dietitians, and athletic instructors according to the results of the health examination and fitness test for \8,000 (Wed., Thu., Sat..). Fitness class \9,000 (for 15 classes). Anti-flab class for \20,000 (including examination, dietary advice and fitness program). Closed on Mon., Sun., year-end and new-year holidays. Open 9:30 a.m -8:30 p.m. (closed at 6 p.m on Sun. and national holidays).
5 minutes'walk from Nishi 11 chome Subway Station (Tozai Line). Minami 3 Nishi 11, Chuo-ku/ 562-8700.

Sapporo West Health Promotion Center
Training gym equipped with 40 training machines, exercise studio, walking deck, fitness examination room and shower rooms open to anyone for \390. No annual or membership fees needed. The center provides the custom-made workout program by professional doctors, dietitians, and athletic instructors according to the results of the health examination and fitness test for \2,500 (reservation required). Fitness class \9,000 (for 15 classes). Healthy diet class for \12,000 (including body fat examination, dietary advice and fitness program). Closed on Mon, Sun., year-end and new-year holidays. Open 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. (closed at 6 p.m. on Sun. and national holidays). 10 minutes' walk from Kotoni Subway Station (exit 2: Tozai Line). 1 minutes'walk from JR Kotoni Station.

Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center
Renewed public facility in Nakajima Park. Clean training room with latest fitness machines including aero-bike, shoulder-press, leg-extension and arm-curl machines open to anyone for \390/ a day. Basketball court, volleyball court, tennis court, Karate space and other facilities are also available. Aerobics, Yoga, tennis, and various other kinds of sports classes are provided. For further enquires, please call 530-5906/ Sapporo Nakajima Taiiku Center. 5 minutes' walk from Horohirabashi Subway Station (Nanboku line). Open 9 a.m.-
12:30 p.m, 1 p.m.-5 p.m, 5:30 p.m.-9 p.m.

■ Swimming

Hiragishi Swimming Pool
This fully equipped pool is often used for local and national competitions. No annual or membership fees needed. Swimming cap is required. Makeup in the pool, smoking/eating/drinking in and on the side of the pool, and washing your hair or bathing suit is prohibited. \580/ adult. Scuba diving class available from Jun. 7 to Aug. 2 (\29,800 including insurance, text and rental fee for equipment). Apply by mail or directly to pool from May 1 to 15). Open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Closed on second Mon. every month (first Mon. if the second Mon is a national holiday), year-end and new-year holidays. 7 minutes' walk from Minami-hiragishi Subway Station (Nanboku Line). Hiragishi 5-jo 14-chome, Toyohira-ku/ 832-7529.

Mielparque Sapporo Swimming Pool
Big pool at Mielparque Hall in front of the Maruyama-koen Subway Station (Tozai Line) is run by the Post Office Savings Division. No annual or membership fees needed. Swimming cap is required. Makeup in the pool, smoking/eating/drinking in and on the side of the pool, and washing your hair or bathing suit is prohibited. \700/ adult. Open 12 p.m.-7:30 p.m. on weekdays and Sat, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sun. and national holidays. Swimming classes available. Minami 1 Nishi 27/ 642-4327.

■ Yoga

Yoga Life School
English guidance available. Various kinds of courses including beginner's Yoga, relaxation Yoga, medical Yoga, shape-up Yoga, Yoga for pregnant women, and breathing-method classes are available. Take a deep breath for your body and soul. Entry fee \4,000 (only once). Lesson fees: 1)\5500 for 4 times within 28 days (4 weeks), 2)\7,000 for 8 times within 28 days (generally twice a week), 3) \9,000 for as many times as you like within 28 days (4 weeks), 4) \11,000 for 7 times a year. For further information, call 222-0012/ Dai 5 Fujii Bldg. 8F, Minami 1 Nishi 2.

■Batting/ Pitching

Digital Batting Stadium Sluggers
Batting machines, "struck nine" game, Karaoke room, and billiard tables available. Batting machines \400 for 30-20 pitches (depending on the time)/ a game. Various kinds of pre-paid cards available. "Struck nine" is a pitching game with 12 pitches for \300. You'll get a "perfect" prize if you can hit nine targets. Their DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) Karaoke rooms provide popular DDR, video and MD recording for \400. Reservations and parties welcome. Best of all, it's located in the center of Susukino! Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (open until 3 a.m. on Fri, Sat, and day before national holidays). Open 12 p.m.-1 a.m. on Sun. and national holidays. Minami5 Nishi 2/ 513-5252.

Internet Cafe (Feb., 2001)

NTT Aurora Bell
Run by NTT to promote its ISDN service, this showroom in the Aurora Town mall offers free Internet access. In true NTT style, however, use is limited to about 15 minutes and checking web mail is frowned upon. (Access to Hotmail is blocked.) Expect to wait if you go on the weekend. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day except the third Wednesday of the month. Sapporo Chikagai (underground shopping arcade) Aurora Town near the TV Tower / 212-4261

Vitamin PC
\350 for the first hour, then \150 every half hour (free drinks). For only \500 / 30 min, beginners can receive one-to-one instruction on how to use the Internet and e-mail (reservations required). Open everyday from noon to 8 p.m. Ark 36 Bldg. 4F, S3 W6, Chuo-ku (near the Sosei Shogakko streetcar stop) / 200-6948

Bon de Bon
This cafe in Sapporo Station's Paseo mall lets you surf the 'Net while waiting for your train. \400 for the first hour, then \200 every 30 min. Open every day from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Paseo B1F (shopping arcade connected to JR Sapporo Station) / 213-5726

Manga Kissa Hot Station
\500 for the first hour, then \50 every 10 min. (free drinks). Open every day from 10 a.m to 11 p.m. Shimizu Bldg. 5F, S2 W3, Chuo-ku. / 223-5422

E Comics
\480 for the first hour, then \80 every 15 min. (Free drinks). Members pay \380 for the first hour, then \70 every 15 min. (annual membership fee \300). Open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sugai Bldg. 5F, S3 W1, Chuo-ku / 221-9081

Sugai Kita 24
The same rates as its sister store, E Comics, with the same membership privileges. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Sun through Thu.) or 6 a.m. (Fri. & Sat. nights). 2-39, N23 W4, Kita-ku / 757-8540

Dub Internet Desk
\100 every 10 min. Open from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 37 Sankyo Bldg. 4F, N7 W2, Chuo-ku/ 738-5552

Yasuragi Kurabu
\300 for the first hour, then \50 each 10 min. (free drinks). Membership (\300) and ID required. Open every day 24 hrs. Sakae-dori 19-11-43, Shiroishi-ku (inside Karaoke Cat's Eye) / 853-5319

Smile Time / Olympia branch
\500 for the first hour, then \50 every 10 min. (free drinks). You can bring your own food if you like. Open every day from 10 a.m. to midnight. N1 E12, Chuo-ku, (inside Sapporo Olympia Bowl, 1F) / 208-9555

Smile Time / Taihei branch
Same rates as above. Open 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays, 24 hrs. on weekends. Taihei 2-1-1-27, Kita-ku (along Ishikari-kaido Avenue) / 775-6799

Smile Time / Ishiyama branch
Same rates as above. Open 24 hrs. every day. Ishiyama 1-9-10-10, Minami-ku / 593-1118

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Atsubetsu branch
\480 for the first hour, then \60 every 10 min. (free drinks). Another place requiring membership (\300) and ID. Open 24 hrs. Billiard tables also available. Atsubetsu-higashi 4-3-3-12, Atsubetsu-ku / 899-7166

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Nishimachi branch
Same Manga Kissa rates and requirements. No pool tables, though. Open 24 hrs. Nishimachi-kita 13-1, Nishi-ku. (inside Namco Wonder City) / 669-4337

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Shin-Kotoni WAO branch
Suds'n surf. This Manga Kissa has free laundry machines. Open 24 hrs. Shin-Kotoni 7-17-1, Kita-ku (inside WAO) / 768-5871

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Kiyota branch
Same Manga Kissa rates and hours, but with billiards and table tennis. Kiyota 2-3-6, Kiyota-ku / 888-4111

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Hokko branch
Same as above, with billiard tables. Open 24 hrs. N37 E8-1, Higashi-ku / 741-8501

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Hakodate Hanazono branch
Manga Kissa's no-frills joint. Rates and rules same as above. Hanazono-cho 19-1, Hakodate / 0138-31-4750

Manga Kissa Jiyu-Kukan / Hakodate Kamiiso branch
Same as above. Open 24 hrs every day. Minatomachi 3-17-1, Hakodate / 0138-42-6990

\1,200 for the first hour, then \500 every 30 min. Open every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nango-dori 8- chome Minami 4-5, Shiroishi-ku (One- minute walk from Nango 7 chome Metro station #4 exit) / 860-2581

Hotel Arthur Sapporo
You don't have to be a guest to use the PCs in the hotel's business center. \315 for 30 min. Open every day from 9 a.m to 8 p.m. S10 W6, Chuo-ku / 561-1000

Hotel Royton Sapporo
Another hotel allowing the public to use its business center. \1,000 for 30 minutes on-line, \500 for off-line use. Open 24 hrs. N1 W11, Chuo-ku / 271-2711

Sapporo Biz Cafe
This restaurant rents space and rooms for computer use and conferences, but you have to bring your own laptop. No connection charge. Computers are also available for use in the restaurant. Room rates depend on the size of rooms (from \3000 per hour). Open every day from 11 a.m. to midnight (to 10 p.m. on Sun. and holidays). N7 W4-8-1, Kita-ku. (near JR Sapporo Sta. North Exit) / 700-5000.

Chitose Multi-Media Information Center (CMMIC)
A facility at New Chitose that offers a place to browse the Internet in privacy while waiting for your flight. Rates depend on the type of rooms. (\500, \750, \3000 per hour). Due to a technical glitch, Hotmail can't be accessed. Open every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. New Chitose Airport Terminal Bldg. 4F/ 0123-27-9882

Sweets for the Sweet! (Dec., 2000)

- Cakes & baked pastries -

Sweet Lady Jane
Finally! We found an English-speaking sweets shop in northeastern Sapporo. A pastry chef who lived in the U.S. for 12 years recreates good-old American homestyle recipes. You have to try their old-fashioned cookies and French-inspired, American-style semi-sweet cakes. The most popular products are the chocolate-chip, oatmeal, and peanut-butter cookies (\80-\180). You can even order an American-style birthday or anniversary cake (\3200-). They bake a tarte of seasonal fruits. Contact them in English! Closed on Tuesdays (the following day if Tuesday is a holiday). Open 10 a.m.-8: 30 p.m. (10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays). N23 E13 2-5, Higashi-ku/ 743-6565.

La Pomme Verte
Eat-in or take-out cakes on the ground floor of the chic L'Hotel de L'Hotel, in a peaceful atmosphere. This is the best place to spend some time to kick back and relax alone with wonderful hot drinks and fresh cakes. Their most popular is the double cheese tarte, a tea-flavored cheese tart topped with cheese cream and fresh cream (\450). This winter, they are making a hot-chocolate cake (\850). You can always find items with plenty of seasonal fruits. Open every day 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (-8 p.m. on Sundays). L'Hotel de L'Hotel. 1F, S3 W2/ 251-3383.

A la Rive Gauche de la Seine
An authentic French patisserie serving traditional and regional sweets. The pastry chef trained at a pastry shop in Paris and is eager to supply real French sweets. Stop by and you'll swear you were in Paris! Most popular is the chestnut cake (Mont Blanc) made with French chestnut paste, meringue and fresh cream (\350). From November to February, seasonal tarts and pies are recommended (\360). You can also get macaroons, pate de fruit and more. Closed Mondays (open if Monday is a national holiday). 10 a.m.-8 p.m.. Park Forme Motomachi, N20 E15 2-8, Higashi-ku/ 742-7023.

Opened three and a half years ago and run completely by women, this shop makes the loveliest products using seasonal ingredients. They shoot for the ultimate in tastiness, rather than mere fanciness. The pastry chef trained in Osaka and France. You can get fresh cakes, baked sweets for gifts and pies, all fresh from the oven. Most popular is the small gelatin cheesecake called futakuchi-zu (\110), which means "double mouthful." This winter, they recommend the caramel chocolate cake (\300) and French apple tart (\350). Open every day (closed irregularly) 9 a.m.-9 p.m. (-8 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays). Sapporo Kokusai Bldg. B2F, N4 W4/ 221-7291.

Patisserie il Nido Sapporo
The pastry chef has 27 years of experience. It's been 10 years since he opened the shop after his study with French and other European chefs in Tokyo. They sell fresh cakes, baked pastries, ice cream (eat-in only) and chocolates. They try to make products attractive, unique and reasonable (\250〜\320). Most popular is the apple pie (\270) freshly baked with local apples and almond cream. Their melon pudding also is recommended (\220). This winter, you can find chestnut crepe (\280). 10 a.m.-9 p.m. (- 8 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays). Closed the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Wednesdays. Fushimi 1-chome 4-16, Chuo-ku /562-3666.

Based on their philosophy, "The best products are made from only the best ingredients," this shop prides itself on creating superb sweets. The chef tries to make the best of the uniqueness of each ingredient he collects by himself. Most popular is chou Perisienne, a thick, original, crispy creampuff stuffed with fresh cream from Kyushu and custard made from special eggs (\250). This winter, they are offering a Mont Blanc (chestnut cream cake, \380) from January to March. 9 a.m-8 p.m. Closed Wednesday and the third Thursday. Hiragishi 5-jo 7-chome 8-27, Toyohira-ku /841-7339.

Patisserie Petit Chocola
They always serve you fresh pastries directly from their open kitchen. Most popular is the cr塾e caramel (their original light-tasting cr塾e brulee, \300). They will toast the surface of after you order. Trifle roll, a sweet roll with custard cream, fresh whipped cream, and fruits, is also recommended. There is the seasonal special: pear tart with la France pears (\320). 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Monday. Chez-Pres Vert 1F, Odori W 14-3-17, Chuo-ku/ 271-3239.

Kashikobo Ann
You'll love their hearty homestyle cakes and sweets. They always use healthy ingredients such as brown sugar and organic food. This fall, fresh apples organically grown at Murase Orchards were bought for their apple pies and cakes. Macaroons, of which the chef is proud after a two-year effort to create an original recipe, are one of the most popular items. You can choose your favorites from six flavors including chocolate, lemon, green tea and coffee (\120/ apiece, \850/ six). They will be happy to bake your own original cake or birthday cake! Delivery is also available. Opens 10AM-8PM Closed on Monday and 1 St and 3 rd Tuesday, Shinkotoni 7-7-18, Kita-ku/ 0120-377-866 (toll free) or 763-2300 (fax and phone).

- Chocolate -

A showcase filled with authentic chocolates and other baked sweets. Relax at their cozy cafe with a nice cup of coffee and sweets. Their very popular four flavors of soft chocolates are made of the finest select ingredients and fresh cream (\500-). Enjoy the feeling of chocolate softly melting in your mouth. Praline chocolates of 20 different flavors also are recommended (\80- apiece). Gianduja and Hennessey-flavored soft chocolates are seasonal specials (from Jan. 15, \600). Open daily, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Dentsukousan Sapporo Bldg. 1F, Odori Nishi 5-11-1, Chuo-ku/ 218-3636.

Chocolatier Masale
Specialty chocolates to eat in or take out. All their products (freshly baked cookies and cakes, chocolates, fruit jellies) are homemade. They create the sweets using abundant seasonal fruits. The top seller is their original style Sacher torte (Viennese chocolate cake, \280). 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Minami 11-jo Nishi 18-chome 1-30, Chuo-ku / 551-7001.

- Ice Cream -

31 Ice Cream (Baskin Robbins)
Enjoy 24 kinds of ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate mint, caramel ribbon, and rum raisin are popular flavors (\200/S, \280/L). Cappuccino Blast, a special mix of ice cream, cappuccino and crushed ice, is recommended (\290/M, \380/L). There are some specials this December, such as the Super Sundae with tea au lait or cinnamon apple flavor. They also provide seven different ice cream birthday cakes. The popular Millennium ice cream with Pop-Rock candy will return in January! Opens 10 a.m.-10 p.m. S 22 W 12, Chuo-ku/551-7831.