Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is a gift shop showcasing and selling the very best souvenirs of Hokkaido in the JR Sapporo Station building. This is not a huge shop, but it sells a great range of goods that you can only find in Hokkaido. Although it resembles a small supermarket, this promotional store sells around 2,000 specialty food and drink products sourced from different areas of Hokkaido. Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza’s prime location close by the West Ticket Gates also makes it a good spot to grab some last-minute souvenirs before leaving Sapporo.
Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is operated by the Hokkaido International Trade and Industry Promotion Association as a venue for the display and sale of Hokkaido’s unique regional goods. The name of the store is also suggestive of its regional pride. Originally, “Dosanko” was the name of a native breed of small horse in Hokkaido, but it has now also become a kind of nickname for people who are born and raised in this prefecture.
Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza sells mainly edible goods, but also some cosmetics, and local handcrafted arts, crafts and fabrics which include traditional items made by the Ainu indigenous people of Hokkaido. Typical products include confectionary, seafood products (including crab), pickles, sauces, cheese, butter and other dairy goods, and local alcoholic beverages such as sake, shochu, beer, and wine. Different Hokkaido companies hold events here on a weekly basis at which customers can try free samples of their products.
Every three months the store also reveals its own current top ten bestselling products and introduces new items that cannot be found in other stores. Although Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is marketed as a “cultural gift shop”, this store is just as popular with locals as it is with tourists, because of the rich assortment of products on sale.
Because Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is attached to the JR Sapporo Station’s Tourist Information Center, this area is collectively called the “Hokkaido-Sapporo Food & Tourism Information Center”. At the nearby Tourist Information Counter you can find staff speaking Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean who can help you with your sightseeing enquiries. The Information Center also features a currency exchange machine, an ATM that accepts international bank cards, a mobile phone charging station, and a JR Information Desk where you can get information on local rail passes and railway services.
Hokkaido Dosanko Plaza is located on the West Concourse of JR Sapporo Station and is just inside the station’s North Exit.
Open: 8.30 – 20.00 (every day)
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.