The Kurashi Store of Hokkaido is a chain of select stores that sells only select Hokkaido produce. This store is also called Hokkaido Kurashi Hyakkaten in Japanese. “Kurashi” means “lifestyle” and “hyakkaten” means department store. However, for the most part this store sells gourmet food and drinks, as well as a variety of groceries and craft products that you can only find in Hokkaido. Here you can find a wide range of specialty goods from every region of Hokkaido that make for excellent souvenirs and gifts.
The Kurashi Store has two outlets in Sapporo and a larger store inside New Chitose Airport. Until recently, this store had a branch in the Norbesa building in Susukino. However, the Norbesa branch of the Kurashi Store was closed down in November 2020. In April 2021, a new branch of the Kurashi Store was opened in the Ario shopping center which is located beside the Sapporo Beer Museum. This is now the Kurashi Store’s main branch in Sapporo.
Typical food products at the Kurashi Store include seasonal agricultural produce, frozen seafood, dairy products such as cheese, butter, yoghurt and cream, jam, honey, and breakfast cereals such as granola and corn flakes. You can also find seasonings, sauces, and condiments as well as confectionary and savory snacks. However, the most popular souvenir foods are the Ishikari canned pork curries, and the boil-in-the-bag retort pack curries and soups. The Kurashi Store is particularly well-known for its Hokkaido-style curries and its Kitami onion soup.
In the drinks section you can find coffee, tea, fruit juice, and soft drinks as well as locally produced craft beers, sake, wine, cider, and gin. Hayakawa roasted coffee beans and Hop Kotan craft beers are two of the most popular products in this section.
In addition to the gourmet food and drink section, the Kurashi Store also stocks limited edition stationery, essential oils, kitchenware, and bathroom amenities such as soaps, bath salts, skin creams, and shampoos.
The main Sapporo branch of the Kurashi Store of Hokkaido is located on the 1st floor of the Ario shopping center which is located beside the Sapporo Beer Museum. To get there from Sapporo Station take Bus 188 from Bus Stop 2 on the north side of the station building. This bus runs directly to Sapporo Beer Museum in around 7 minutes for a fare of 210 yen. This branch of the Kurashi Store is open from 10.00 to 21.00. Here is a map showing Ario’s location.
In addition to the Ario branch of the Kurashi Store, there is also a Kurashi Store corner inside the Kita-8-Jo branch of the Satsudora drug store. Though it occupies a small space, this mini-store sells many of the Kurashi Stores most popular products including retort-pack curries, onion soup, and Hayakawa coffee. This branch is an 11-minute walk from Sapporo Station and is open from 9.00 to 21.50. Here is a map showing the location.
There is also another branch of the Kurashi Store inside New Chitose Airport. In the airport branch you can buy gelato ice creams, light meals, craft beers, and take-out Hayakawa coffee. The airport branch of the Kurashi Store can be found on the 2nd floor of the Domestic Terminal Building close to Boarding Gate 5 and it is open from 9.00 to 21.00.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.