Susukino Nightlife District
On 19 Feb 2011, we went to Teine skiing but came back early to rest so that we can check out the Susukino nightlife in Sapporo. We are very lucky as our Mecure Hotel is in the Susukino district, so not far to walk.
Our hotel staff told us that Sapporo has one of the best nightlife districts in Japan. The best part of this is that a substantial part of bars, restaurants, karaoke and junk food outlets etc are under cover due to the cold. It also has the largest collection of seedy businesses north of places such as Kabuki-cho in Tokyo, a place to have eat, drink and have fun.
The most famous food that tourist go for is the Ramen, made famous by Ramen Yokocho, but available everywhere else as well.
I was told that the most famous nightclub is “the King”, but there are also many bars for drinking, from traditional yakitori or izakaya to western bars such as Rad Brothers, Jersey Bar, Locotonte and Salsita.
I am more into the quiet jazz clubs and not noisy live houses. If you are free, check out theses odd places such as Voodoo Dance and 350 Bar, as well as interesting but pricey beer pubs like Mugishutei.
In most countries, seedy areas are not very safe, with gangsters or people who are drunk or those who want to rob you of you hard earned cash. In Susukino (in my opinion)I feel quite safe as the streets were well lit. I would go on to say that if I were a girl and travelling by myself, I can visit Susukino district with no problem at all.
There are large numbers of hotels (both the regular kind and the rent by the hour “love hotel” kind) as well as some budget accommodation. We had heard about these “love hotel” in some websites and wanted to see what they might look like but unfortunately we didn’t know where to start looking. Our hotel staff was not much help in that area.
The Susukino Ice Carvings is what I wanted to see but unfortunately we had arrived at the last day of the Sapporo Snow Festival. They didn’t wait a few days before they bulldoze all the sculptures down, so don’t miscalculate your visit there, otherwise you will miss the magnificient sight, just like I did.
Susukino is one of the 3 major venues of the Sapporo Snow Festival. The sculptures in Susukino are different in that instead of being hand sculpted from boxes of pressed snow, they are carved using chain-saws and other power tools from stacks of 130 kilogram blocks of ice in a fascinating competition between the artists, the ice, and the clock.
The ice sculpture show is held on Ekimae-dori (the main street that leads through Susukino to Sapporo Station) on the blocks between South 7 and South 4. The street is closed to all except pedestrians.
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