Translated by Lester Somera
Shopping In Hokkaido? Hit Up Sapporo PARCO
Written by Keisuke Yamada
In this article we introduce Sapporo PARCO, a shopping center popular with both locals and tourists.
Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost prefecture. Visitors from all over the world come to Hokkaido for its abundant natural scenery and, delicious seafood.
Sapporo is Hokkaido's largest city. Being Japan's fourth-largest city by population, the downtown shopping area is extremely lively. For that reason, we recommend that you do your shopping in Sapporo if you come to Hokkaido.
We would like to introduce you to Sapporo PARCO, popular with locals and foreign travelers alike.
What is Sapporo PARCO?
The huge Sapporo PARCO department store with eight floors and two basement levels faces out onto Odori Park. Naturally, PARCO has brand shops for male and female shoppers; it also houses restaurants which use Hokkaido produce, as well as other commercial facilities. Each floor is pristine and gives off an aura of freshness, so it is popular with families and couples.
Here, we would like to cover a few specific brand shops which we recommend for foreign travelers to the Sapporo PARCO.
1. United Arrows
With affluence and fine quality as keywords, the United Arrows brand offers a stylish lifestyle through fashion.
The store handles a wide range of clothing for different occasions, from casual and formal items to business attire. Offering collections from foreign designers, selected domestic-brand goods, and plenty of original items, United Arrows is very popular with Japanese adults who care about fashion.
At Sapporo PARCO, United Arrows operates on the first and second floors. Each floor has spaces specifically laid out for male and female shoppers. First, let's take a look at the men's section.
The store interior feels high-class with its composed atmosphere. To offer shoppers a relaxing experience, the store is set up so that you can touch the items yourself and make decisions without feeling rushed. The goods on the second floor are primarily aimed at the businessperson, so suits, neckties, shoes, formal jackets and the like are all found there.
The first floor on the other hand, is aimed primarily at adults looking for casual clothing, stocking items like T-shirts and shoes.
The ladies' section is also split between the first and second floors. Clothing for all occasions, ranging from casual to formal wear, is located on the second floor, while shoes, bags and accessories are located on the first floor.
There is a corner for the brand HYKE, located on the first floor. HYKE's concept is "heritage and evolution." It is an ambitious brand with a specific aim: through its designers' interpretations of the history and heritage of clothing, HYKE wishes to spark an evolution in original fashion.
2. Tsumori Chisato
The identity of the fashion brand Tsumori Chisato is based on the honest, free expression of designer Chisato Tsumori's personal likes and interests.
With exclusive limited-quantity items that are only available at the Sapporo PARCO location, people come to Sapporo specifically to go to this store.
Wallets and accessories featuring the cat emblem, which you could say is Tsumori Chisato's symbol, are particularly popular with many tourists. The store also sells watches and other goods.
The store's interior is invitingly warm, with lighting to match. Another one of its charms is the spaciousness and ease of browsing.
3. CABANE de ZUCCa
The concept of the Cabane de ZUCCA brand is "clothing that is pleasant both to wear and look at, and clothing that adds a new, organic spice to everyday life." To that end, the store offers superior-quality clothing that is soothing to the touch.
The interior of the store feels immaculate, and the atmosphere is conducive to poring over items one by one. Once you see the originality and carefully-selected brand quality on display in the store, you will want to take a thorough look for yourself. Cabane de ZUCCa also sells bags and accessories, so you will certainly be able to find something stylish for yourself. In addition, the Sapporo PARCO branch stocks both men's and women's fashions.
Hysteric Mini started as a children's clothing brand in 1985. Using elements taken from 1960s-1980s Japanese subcultures to create rock-esque, poppy designs and the cute appeal of an original character, Mini, the brand has been garnering popularity.
Catered towards children, the clothes are highly rated for their art and design quality.
For its children's clothing, Hysteric Mini uses materials chosen for their excellent functionality and gentleness on skin. The store offers goods from classic-styled clothes to clothing for everyday wear, and from miscellaneous knickknacks to lifestyle support items.
Mujirushi is a Japanese brand that offers simple, easy-to-use home and lifestyle goods, without being influenced by current trends. Everything is stocked at Mujirushi: delicious healthy food, comfortable and easy-to-wear clothes, easy-to-use necessities, and all sorts of miscellaneous goods.
This "Ultrasonic Moisture Aroma Diffuser" is particularly popular. Filling it with a special essence oil will spread moisture and fragrance throughout the room. Since no fire is involved, you can use this while you sleep without worry.
The picture on the bottom-left is of popular skincare products. Mujirushi's products moisturize the skin, recovering its condition by using combinations of ingredients naturally derived from fruits and plants.
Mujirushi also has a bounty of delicious food items that only require heating up or adding hot water.
The store enjoys great popularity from foreign visitors, with its huge assortment of stationery, ball pens, water-based as well as oil-based color pens, and the like.
The Samsonite brand has changed with the times in order to keep up with how travelers behave and respond to their needs. It offers products with superior functionality and design sense, with the purpose of supporting the journeys of the world's travelers.
Samsonite travel products are known for being light and comfortable. With technology like patented locking mechanisms only available in Samsonite products, the brand is trusted not just by Japan, but by the entire world.
If you run out of luggage space from all the clothes and other goods you bought at PARCO, why not pick up a Samsonite bag?
Restaurants and dining
Up to now we have focused on apparel and general goods, but Sapporo PARCO has plenty of restaurants and other places to eat. If you get hungry after shopping, or want to take a break, try some of these places.
These are Sapporo-exclusive restaurants that use local Hokkaido ingredients, so drop by when you come to PARCO.
Daichi no Friet
Daichi no Friet is a French fry specialty shop where you can enjoy many varieties of Hokkaido potatoes from different local producers, one slice at a time. With your choice of salt or any one of ten specially-developed house dips, you can eat your French fries in a myriad of ways.
Inside the shop, you can take a break with delicious fried potatoes and organic drinks made from Italian produce. You could also try a monaka (※1) cone made with 100% Hokkaido-grown rice, created in conjunction with local producer Tengudo, filled with anko (※2) from Hokkaido and soft serve ice cream.
(※1) Monaka is a Japanese sweet made from mochi (rice cake), stretched out until thin and grilled. Anko is a typical filling.
(※2) Anko is a bean paste made by boiling azuki beans and sugar together, often used in Japanese sweets.
Mr. Jones' Orphanage
The interior of Mr. Jones' Orphanage is just like a magical world full of baked goods, and is practically a dessert theme park.
The desserts at Mr. Jones' Orphanage are made with affection, just as though a mother were baking for her children. There is an abundant assortment of other fresh desserts available on the daily menu.
Kushiro Fukutei Kaiteirou
Kushiro Fukutei Kaiteirou is a Japanese dining establishment based on the image of Kushiro, a port city in Hokkaido.
You can enjoy fresh, locally-caught Kushiro seafood in the restaurant's spacious interior and relaxed atmosphere, with special courses that capitalize on the bounty of the ocean.
With several lunch menus available, you will definitely find something to suit your tastes.
The restaurant is set up with both tables and counter seating, so couples and families alike can enjoy their visit together. If you come to Hokkaido, please give the seafood a try!
Address：Hokkaido, Sapporo-shi, Chuo-ku, Minami 1 Jonishi 3-3
Shops - 10:00-20:00 (Mondays-Fridays and Sunday), 10:00-20:30 (Saturday)
Restaurants (8F) - 11:00-23:00
Fixed holidays: Closed on New Year's Day (1/1)
Wi-Fi access: Yes
Credit cards accepted: VISA、Mastercard、JCB、AMERICAN EXPRESS、Diners club INTERNATIONAL、DISCOVER、Union Pay（varies by store）
Closest station: Odori, via subway.
Access: Connected to Odori station via subway. One minute walk from Nishi Yon-chome via streetcar.
Phone number: 011-214-2111
Official homepage: Sapporo PARCO