Apia is an underground shopping center on the south side of JR Sapporo Station. Here you can find a variety of fashion boutiques, souvenir stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, cafes, fast food diners, and Japanese restaurants.
Apia has just one floor but is divided into two main sections: Apia West and Apia Center. These two sections are divided by an underground passageway called West Avenue. Most of Apia’s dining facilities are concentrated in Apia West while Apia Center has mainly fashion boutiques selling clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. In this article we will introduce some of the main stores and restaurants in these two sections.
Apia Center has three passageways running east to west which are called Culture Walk, Fashion Walk, and Market Walk. There is also a central passageway running north-to-south which is called Floral Galleria. On the north-west side is an open area called the Taiyo Plaza where you can find some coin lockers and an information counter. On the north-east side is another open area called the Komorebi Plaza where there are several coin lockers and from here you can access Sapporo Station Bus Terminal. Although this area is dominated by clothing stores you can also find some drugstores, gift shops, interior goods stores, and cafes in this section. Below are some of Apia Center’s most popular stores.
Kokumin, on the south side of Culture Walk, is a cheap pharmacy stocking over-the-counter medicines, cosmetics, beauty products, and hair care products.
3 Coins is a cheap general goods store on the south side of Culture Walk where almost everything costs no more than 300 yen. Here you can find products for the bathroom or kitchen, interior goods, stationary, socks, sweets and accessories.
Ginza Maggy is a ladies’ fashion boutique on the south side of Fashion Walk, selling a range of elegant outfits to suit both casual and formal occasions.
Ladies’ shoe store fitfit, located on the north side of Fashion Walk, sells ergonomically designed shoes which are both attractive to look at and comfortable to wear.
Mare Mare Daily Market on the south side of Fashion Walk stocks a colorful range of casual shoes and boots for ladies.
Tutuanna, on the north side of Fashion Walk, sells lingerie, stockings and socks for ladies.
DoClasse, on the north side of Market Walk, is a fashion boutique aimed at ladies in their 40s and 50s.
Sanrio Gift Gate is a gift shop located on the north side of Culture Walk. Sanrio’s most famous character is Hello Kitty, but here you can find all kinds of cute character themed goods including stationery, school supplies, clothes, toys, bags and accessories.
Apia West has two passageways running east to west which are called Joyful Walk and Food Walk. There is also an open area in the center of this section called Yasuragi Plaza and another on the far west side called Minori Plaza. Apia West has a great mix of inexpensive eateries serving everything from ice creams, burgers, sandwiches and simple pasta dishes to fine Japanese dining. Here are some of the highlights:
If you are in a hurry, but want to eat well, Subway is a reliable sandwich store making great tasting sandwiches with healthy ingredients. You can find Subway on the north side of Joyful Walk.
Tendon Tenya is a casual Japanese restaurant on the south side of Joyful Walk serving high quality tempura meals at affordable prices.
Ramen Horyu, on the north side of Joyful Walk, is a long established noodle shop in Sapporo serving Hokkaido-style miso ramen with lots of toppings such as corn, spring onions, and soft-boiled eggs.
Kurukuru Sushi is a conveyor belt sushi bar at the west end of Joyful Walk serving super fresh seasonal seafood at rock-bottom prices.
Yebisu Bar, on the east side of Minori Plaza, serves a range of tasty Yebisu beers on draught alongside a full menu of delicious bar snacks and meals made with fresh Hokkaido ingredients and perfectly matched to the beers on tap.
Wanzhuji, on the north side of Food Walk, is a Chinese restaurant serving classic Sichuan cuisine, sweet and sour dumplings, mapo tofu, pork fried rice, and dandan noodles.
Yoshinoya on the south side of Food Walk is a cheap and casual fast food restaurant serving simple but tasty Japanese meals. Although other meals such as Japanese style curry, unagi braised eel, and kara-age deep fried chicken are all possible here, the signature dish of gyudon – or beef on rice – remains the most popular.
Facilities & Services
Apia’s information counter is located on the west side of Taiyo Plaza close to the entrance to Daimaru department store. At the information desk you can make inquiries about the shopping center, pick up a brochure with a floor map, ask about lost property, report a lost child, borrow a stroller for small children or borrow a wheelchair. The information desk is open between 10.00 and 21.00.
There is an ATM corner on Apia Center’s Floral Galleria which has cash machines for 7-Bank and Japan Post Bank. Both of these ATMs have English language guidance and accept major international bank cards.
The following credit cards can be used throughout Apia: VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diner Club International, and JCB. Most of the stores and restaurants in Apia also accept the following prepaid IC cards for payment: Kitaca, Suica, PASMO, toica, manaca, ICOCA, SUGOCA, nimoca and Nanaco. A small number of stores and restaurants also accept the WeChat and Alipay payment systems.
Free Wi-Fi can be accessed in the area around the following locations:
Apia West: Yasuragi Plaza and Apia Information Counter
Apia Center: Fashion Walk, McDonalds, and Komorebi Plaza
To access the free Wi-Fi simply log on to the network name: JR_TOWER_FREE_WiFi and you will have free internet access for 30 minutes. No password is necessary, and you can log on 4 times a day.
Several stores in Esta offer tax-free shopping for overseas customers who are carrying a passport if they spend over 5,000 yen on general goods or between 5,000 and 50,000 on consumable goods (such as food, drinks, cosmetics, and medicines). This exemption will save you having to pay the Japanese consumption tax which is 10% on most goods. Look for the Tax-Free Shop sign in each store to see if you can claim your tax back.
Apia is one of five department stores in and around the JR Sapporo Station building. This interconnected complex of commercial facilities is collectively called “JR Tower”. Apia can be accessed directly via above-ground entrances on the south side of JR Sapporo Station or via the B1 levels of the surrounding department stores. Apia West is directly accessible from the south side of Daimaru department store’s B1 level. Apia Center is directly accessible from the south side Stellar Place department store’s B1 level. On Apia Center’s east side an underground passageway called East Avenue divides Apia from the B1 level of Esta department store. Apia also has easy access to the Namboku and Toho subway lines on its south side.
Shops: 10.00 – 21.00
Restaurants: 10.00 – 21.30
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.