Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan so visiting Sapporo Beer Museum was one of the top must do items on our list (other than Shiroi Koibito Park). To avoid getting too drunk for our afternoon train ride to Noboribetsu the next day, we decided to make the museum the first item on the itinerary once we touch down in Sapporo. We can feast on the famous Japanese beer to our hearts content and enjoy a relaxing dinner at one of its restaurants.
Hailed as one of the oldest and most popular beer brands in the country, Sapporo Beer started its brew since 1877 and is now produced and sold around the world. This museum housed in a former brewery from the Meiji Period was opened in 1987 with the objective of introducing the history of beer in Japan as well as the process of beer making.
The open area around the museum was beautifully decorated into a Christmas Wonderland. The sun sets early at around 4pm during winter so we got our shots before heading into the museum. In this cold weather, they must have really employed good heaters to keep the interiors warm and cosy.
If you do not read or understand Japanese, you would be out of the main exhibition hall rather quickly. The exhibits offered elaborated content but they were all in Japanese.
The popular Japanese Beer Brands were represented.
and they also showcased some of the old apparatus and beer containers used in the olden days.
Colourful figurines were used to illustrate and explain the beer making process.
Next, we moved to an exhibit that would be of interest to marketers – The Sapporo Beer Advertisement Gallery.
They make a lovely backdrop for photos.
After the exhibitions, beer tastings are available at a small fee via the ticketing machine. We went for the Sampler Package which includes 3 of their renowned beer and a mini slice of cheese or Shiroi Koibito to go with it.
Next to the museum is the Sapporo Beer Garden, which consists of two restaurants. A relaxing meal can be enjoyed at the Garden Grill restaurant, while the Genghis Khan Hall is an atmospheric beer hall that offers all you can drink beer and all you can eat mutton BBQ. We had some reservations initially because mutton is not exactly our favourite meat due to its gamy smell and taste but that’s the only choice available.
We opted for the individual menu and were pleasantly surprised because they have skilfully removed most of the mutton gaminess and the meat was unusually tender. You must give it a try when you are there. Despite the restaurant sincere attempt to provide plastic bags for you to wrap up your sweaters, jackets and bags, the smell of barbecue will stick to you after dinner.
Overall we enjoyed the visit to the Sapporo Beer Museum but it would have been more meaningful if they have prepare English explanations for their exhibits. If you are heading there during winter and you have never experienced snow before, their Christmas Wonderland decorations are going to wow you. Here’s the full details for your visit:
Sapporo Beer Museum
Address: Kita 7-Jo Higashi 9-chome Higashi-ku, Sapporo
Opening Hours: 10.30am – 6.30pm (Entrance until 6pm). Closed during Mondays or Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday, New Years Holiday Period as well as other days due to facility maintenance.
How To Get There: Bus Loop 88 & walk 10 minutes from Higashi-kuyakusho Station on Touhou-Line