Updated: May 11, 2020
Hokkaido in Japan is one of my favourite places not just for its beautiful nature, delicous food but also for its amazing sake!
Chances are if you do visit Hokkaido, you will be arriving in Sapporo, either via Shinkansen or plane and if you are lucky, you may have a day or two to discover this great city. Sapporo host some of the best festivals in Japan including the famous snow festival in winter, but is also famous for its unique miso ramen and of course Sapporo beer. Of course you must try the beer, but I dare you to also try the sake while you are here and with plenty of small bars and restaurant you will be spoilt for choice.
Sapporo's Hidden Gem: YATA Sake Bar
YATA Sake Bar is a small standing sake bar with two locations, one in the colorful area of Susukino and the other one near Sapporo Station.
I visited both but really loved the Susukino location. However it was not hard to find the first place around. All the bigger is the excitement when you do find it. Located on the first floor of a shared building, hidden towards the back, only a small sign lets you hint you found the right place.
Why do I love it?
Well for one, YATA Sake Bar’s minimal design is inviting and stylish, but what makes this place stand out is the staff, which is beyond knowledgable. Expect thermometers to measure the perfect sake temperature, that’s how serious “Sake business” is here.
However there is nothing to worry about, no snobbery just plenty of fun! As locals and visitors mingle at the counter and you get the chance to meet people in a casual environment over a sake or two.
What to order at YATA Sake Bar?
The selection at this small bar is sublime, with many Hokkaido breweries being stocked. Ask the staff and they will gladly recommend one that is to your liking. And if you are a bit peckish they do small dishes at 500¥ each. I recommend the corned beef as well as the cheese, you will be surprised how amazing they pair.
In terms of sake, the selection is ever-changing. But what I do recommend is, get the same sake twice. One time hot and one time cold, you will be amazed by the change of flavor profile…
Bookmark, Save And Visit If You Get The Chance!
This is hands down my favorite place to try sake in Sapporo and whether you try it for the first time or know what you are doing, you will enjoy Yata Sake Bar!
And if you did miss it or could not make it up to the Northern Territory, I do have some great news for you. They have a sister bar in Tokyo! Another chance not to just try great sake but also great hospitality.
Sapporo Station: 5 Chome Kita 4 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0004