Susukino is an entertainment district that could be likened to Sapporo’s version of Osaka’s Dotombori. It is packed with bars, restaurants, karaoke and pachinko parlours.
Originally started as a red light district when Sapporo was founded, the area has always been home to night-life. Today restaurants and bars out number the red light establishments but there are still plenty of typical Japanese red light district places like hostess clubs and love hotels. Despite there being a seedy side to the area Susukino is as safe as anywhere else in Japan to visit, just avoid the overpriced hostess clubs, they are more for the Japanese business man than tourists.
Ramen Yokocho or ramen ally is a popular tourist spot that is part of Susukino, it’s a small street with various ramen noodle cafes lining the streets. Sapporo’s Ramen Noodles are often rated the best in Japan, some of the cafes here may not be up to that standard so it’s best to follow the locals or your nose.
During winter Susukino is not dampened by the weather due to the fact that some of the area is covered protecting you from the elements. The area is also a location for the Sapporo Snow Festival, several statues and even complete bars are carved out of huge blocks of ice as part of the annual competition.
Susukino is located one station east of Odori station on the Nanboku or Toho subway line. Its also one of the starting points (along with odori) of the Sapporo tram.
Website: http://www.sukikan.jp (Japanese only)