Sapporo is known as the capital city of Hokkaido, an island located in the northern part of Japan. With its enchanting natural beauty and fantastic natural tourist attraction, many foreign tourists come to visit Hokkaido throughout the year.
As the gateway to the snowy land of Hokkaido, Sapporo city is certainly being the first stop for tourists before exploring another part of Hokkaido.
Before the pandemic, the number of foreign tourists in Sapporo continued to increase, including Muslim tourists from various countries in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia and Malaysia.
For this reason, Muslim friendly restaurants and prayer rooms in Sapporo was mushrooming in the past few years. In this article, let me introduce you to some Muslim friendly spots in the city of Sapporo and its surroundings.
Odori Park (Muslim Friendly Spots)
Odori Park can be said to be one of the favorite spots for both locals and tourists. This park located in the city center stretches from east to west along 1.5 km and divides the Sapporo area into northern and southern parts.
In the park also stands the television broadcast tower or well known as the Sapporo TV Tower, the landmark of the city.
Odori Park always becomes the venue for various big annual events in the city for every season, such as the most famous one, The Sapporo Snow Festival which held annually in the middle of winter.
In big events like this, usually, the committee will also provide a prayer space for Muslim visitors.
For food, we can choose various seafood served at the stalls during the event. Even sometimes there are also stalls that sell halal food such as Turkish kebab and Indian curry. If you want to experience authentic Japanese foods, there are some options of halal food restaurants in Sapporo.
Tanukikoji (Muslim Friendly Spots)
Tanukikoji is a shopping arcade only 5 minutes away by foot from Odori Park. This shopping arcade extends about 900 meters and has nearly 200 shops of various things.
There are restaurants, supermarkets, cosmetic and drug stores, fashion stores, and also souvenir shops. Not only for tourists, but local residents also shop a lot here on weekends.
If we come around July and August, we will be able to see the Tanukikoji hallway decorated with many decorations to welcome local festivals.
In Tanukikoji 6-Chome, there is a prayer room provided by a travel company Zero Planning Co., Ltd. This prayer room can be used by visitors during its working hours.
There is also a big store of Don Quijote and the Gyomu Supermarket which sells a lot of halal food products for Muslims.
Everybody knows that Hokkaido is famous for its delicious and fresh seafood culinary. Not far from Tanukikoji, there is a seafood market named Nijo Market, with many seafood restaurants.
Besides, another culinary option for Muslims is halal ramen with Genghis Khan meat that we can taste at Horyuu Ramen. This restaurant is in the Susukino area, about 10 minutes walk from the Tanukikoji area.
Shiroi Koibito Park
This place is such a paradise for chocolate and confectionery lovers!
This theme park is managed by Ishiya chocolate manufacturers, so the confectionary products they sell there are mostly their original products. The attraction of this place is a tour of the chocolate factory and its museum.
Also, outside the building, depending on the season, our eyes will be spoiled by the view of a beautiful flower garden during summer and a park of beautiful lights during winter that is very instagrammable.
Shiroi Koibito Park provides a comfortable prayer room for Muslim visitors on its 2nd floor of the building.
On the 1st floor, there is a shop that sells various chocolate products and sweets. One of their remarkable products is the Shiroi Koibito biscuits which are well known as a souvenir from Hokkaido.
Unfortunately, on its list of ingredients, there is an ingredient that might still be doubtful to consume by Muslims, so I can`t recommend it. But don`t worry, besides the Shiroi Koibito biscuit, there are also many other chocolate products from the Ishiya factory which do not contain any questionable substances for Muslims.
Even though it is not a tourist spot, but as the best university in Hokkaido, this campus is also visited by many tourists, both domestic and foreign. The natural beauty that is presented in each season invites a special attraction for visitors to just take a walk along the main campus road while taking pictures with various backgrounds.
There is also a Hokkaido University museum where we can learn a lot about the history of Hokkaido in general, and more specifically about the history of the campus from time to time.
The Central Cafeteria, a canteen for students which is located next to the museum provides a halal menu which can also be ordered by visitors.
Otaru (Muslim Friendly Spots)
Otaru is not located in the city of Sapporo, but because Sapporo and Otaru seem to have become a setlist of spots that must be visited when we visit Hokkaido, I would love to introduce you to this historical tourist destination as well.
Otaru is an easy-to-reach location only about 40 minutes by JR train from Sapporo station.
In the late 1800s, Otaru was one of the most important ports and trading cities in Hokkaido. It became the terminal for the first train line that connects the port to the city center, and until now we can still find many buildings and warehouses with old and antique architecture.
Moreover, Otaru is also known as the city of lights, so there are many oil lamp decorations and glass ornaments that characterize the city.
Some of the famous spots in Otaru are the Otaru Canal with beautiful and romantic canal views at night, and Sakaimachi Street, a road with many interesting shops on its right and left.
Otaru City can be visited all year round, but I recommend visiting in winter as it will be beautifully decorated with lantern lights on winter evenings.
There is one seafood restaurant on Sakaimachi Street that also provides Muslim friendly menus, namely Donburichaya restaurant. The menu is diverse with affordable prices. In addition, this restaurant also provides a prayer room for Muslim visitors.