Sapporo Esta is a large shopping center on the south-east side of JR Sapporo Station which contains branches of the popular electronics store Bic Camera, casual clothing store Uniqlo, and the general lifestyle store Loft. In addition to general shopping and dining facilities Esta also contains an amusement arcade, a ramen noodle theme park, and on its 1st floor it houses the Sapporo Station Bus Terminal.
In this article we will take a floor-by-floor look at some of the main shopping and dining facilities in Esta.
The lowest level of Esta is the second basement B2 level which is occupied by the Can Do 100 yen shop. This store sells a variety goods for the home and office including stationery, drinks, and sweets – and all for just 100 yen! From this level you can directly access Sapporo Subway Station’s Toho Line or take an escalator up to the food court on the B1 basement level.
The B1 basement level contains a food hall with a variety of stores selling bento lunch boxes, side dishes, traditional confectionery, pickles, imported foods, alcohol, and baked goods, as well as fruit and vegetables. There is also a food court here with a number of cheap fast food shops and cafes selling donburi rice bowls, burgers, noodles, and Chinese food. This level also includes a pharmacy and a flower shop.
Bic Camera occupies floors 1 – 4 of Esta. This is the place to shop for cheap electronics although Bic Camera does sell other products too.
- On the 1st floor you can find cameras and smart phones.
- On the 2nd floor you can find small everyday appliances such as hair dryers and electric tooth brushes, but you can also find cosmetics here and there is a liquor store and a drugstore on this floor.
- The 3rd floor has TV, video and audio equipment, computers, printers, printer ink, electronic dictionaries, and electronic instruments. However, golf equipment, bicycles, baggage and other travel gear can also be found on the 3rd floor.
- Large household appliances are located on the 4th floor. Here you will find refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and lighting, but also toys, games, and interior furniture.
If you are in a hurry, head straight to the 2nd floor as this is where Bic Camera has a section with recommended goods for overseas visitors (such as rice cookers, cameras, and hair dryers) and there is also a tax free application counter on this floor.
On the 5th floor you will find the Uniqlo store which has a wide range of casual clothing and accessories for men, women and children.
Loft is located on the 6th floor. Here you can find a broad selection of everyday items such as stationery, cosmetics, kitchen and bathroom products, interior goods and ideas for gifts.
The 7th floor has a number of clothing and accessory stores but also the Nitori Express interior goods and furniture store.
There are more fashion boutiques on the 8th floor, but also the ABC-Mart sneaker store and the Village Vanguard “exciting bookstore” where besides books you can find a jumbled mix of pop-culture goods including comics, CDs, toys, clothes and accessories.
The 9th floor is Esta’s “Amusement Zone”. This includes a Namco amusement arcade which has a variety of video games, “print club” photo booths, UFO Catchers, and a virtual reality area. Just across from the Namco arcade is Thomas Station which has a play area for small children as well as a variety of Thomas the Tank Engine themed goods on sale. There is also a café on the 9th floor where you can get sandwiches, sweet pastries, and refreshments.
The 10th floor is Esta’s main dining area. On one half of this floor you will find restaurants serving Chinese, Korean and Italian cuisine, and also typical Japanese meals such as udon and soba noodles, okonomiyaki pancakes, tonkatsu pork cutlets, sushi, and Hokkaido style soup curry. The other half of the 10th floor is occupied by Sapporo Ramen Republic which has 8 restaurants serving different Hokkaido varieties of ramen wheat noodles as well as a souvenir shop and ramen shrine. For more information on the types of ramen available, see our detailed article: Sapporo Ramen Republic.
On the 11th floor there is an event space and gallery which hosts occasional art shows and cultural exhibitions. There is also a rooftop flower garden on this floor where you can relax for a moment, overlook the city view, and enjoy the breeze.
Facilities & Services
Esta has an information desk on the B1 level where you can make inquiries about the department store, pick up a brochure with a floor map, ask about lost property, report a lost child, borrow a pushchair for small children or borrow a wheelchair. The information desk is open between 10.00 and 21.00.
The following credit cards can be used throughout Esta: VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Diner Club International, and JCB. Most stores in Esta accept the following pre-paid IC cards for payment: Kitaca, Suica, PASMO, toica, manaca, ICOCA, SUGOCA, nimoca and Nanaco. A small number of stores (including Uniqlo and Loft) also accept the WeChat and Alipay payment systems.
Free Wi-Fi can be accessed in the areas around the following locations:
B1 Level: Doutor Coffee
10th floor: by the Escalator & inside Sapporo Ramen Republic
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.
Some stores in Esta (including Bic Camera, Uniqlo and Loft) 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.
Esta is one of five interconnected department stores which are located in and around the JR Sapporo Station building. This complex of commercial facilities is collectively called “JR Tower”. Esta is located on the south-east side of the station building.
Shops: 10.00 – 21.00
Restaurants: 10.00 – 22.00
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.