Sapporo Beer Museum: Hokkaido

If you ever visit Hokkaido, go to Sapporo! It’s a super modern town with great beer and lots of great food. You must absolutely have their famous Sapporo Ramen! The town definitely has a more European influence. I didn’t get to really explore Sapporo as much as I would have liked, but I did see how the city had a lot of Christian & European influence. I had the feeling that Sapporo felt like what Vancouver or Seattle feels like.

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We took the local bus to the Sapporo Beer Museum. Everything in the city pushes the tourist and visitor to go and check it out. I was enticed by the beautiful brick building that reminded me of some of the German Beer Houses in Munich. For a second, I thought I was going to a communist factory when I saw the Sapporo Red Star.

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Make sure you walk around the property before going in. I was very interested in actually seeing real “hops”. “Hops” are a key ingredient in brewing beer and apparently there are many varieties of “hops”.

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I can’t remember how much the entrance fee for the museum was, but I highly recommend that you go in for an English speaking tour. This was definitely a low point of the museum. Luckily, I had my mother, who is a fluent Japanese speaker and reader, but I like to take my time at museums and actually read the panels. EVERYTHING WAS IN JAPANESE! I was pretty upset, because the city of Sapporo is pretty modern & international, yet they don’t even try to put the panel readings in English. I saw several foreigners trying to figure out what the panels said. The museum definitely needs to take some customer comments from tourist crowds. Well….I guess one thing you could do is chug at least 3 beers before you go in, then maybe things will make more sense.

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A model like this is pretty explanatory, even if you cannot read the Japanese panels.

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Here is a close up of what hops look like. They are a distant relative to cannabis, but they do not have the “drug effects” of what natural cannabis have.

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I enjoyed seeing all the beautiful vintage advertisements and retired products. Sapporo made other beverages such as soft drinks and other various alcoholic beverages. I would love to have the amber beer bottle pictured in the top left as a house decoration.

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Here is that great vat of beautiful beer fermenting and getting ready for the thirsty beer drinker. I’m smiling because I am thinking about all the summer nights that I spent on top of a roof at a “nomihodai” (All you can drink) beer garden with my friends drinking Sapporo beer, eating edamame (soy beans) and “kara-age” (fried chicken pieces).

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KOMPAI (Cheers) I was so ecstatic to see such rare and unique advertisement posters. Even better, there was a beer bar right across the way. I chose the trio beer sample and tried the original draft Sapporo beer and then moved on to a dark lager.

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This poster by far has to be the BEST MANLY beer poster of Japan. Toshiro Mifune is my Japanese hero for acting. He was one of Akira Kurosawa’s premier actors and has starred in several classics ranging from Yojimbo, Rashomon, & the Seven Samurai. On a more modern note, he was also in Shogun.

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The outside facade was stunning with green shrubbery hugging the brick exterior. They have a great setup outside with lots of tables and benches and hanging lights for a festive and fun evening of beer drinking.

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If I was to do my trip to Sapporo again, I would definitely have come in the evening with lots of friends. Couldn’t come at night when I was visiting because my grandmother and mother were with me and they were exhausted from traveling. I also highly recommend eating “kakipi” (Japanese rice crackers with peanuts) which happens to be a lovely snack. The “kakipi” has little crescent shaped persimmon colored rice crackers with peanuts and gives just the right amount of savory and crunch that pairs well with the crisp and refreshing beer.

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One thought on “Sapporo Beer Museum: Hokkaido

  1. Wow, that building certainly looks somewhat out of place in Japan. Interestingly enough, I read somewhere that Hokkaido is the only place where marijuana grows naturally in Japan. Seems like a good place to grow hops then! I think that hemp was farmed there quite a bit, before the stigma of it being a drug was introduced to Japan. I don’t know too much on the subject though! Loved the manly beer drinker poster!

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