JR Tower and Sapporo Station
Sapporo Station was totally renovated at the beginning of the century and now encompasses a sprawling network of shops, department stores, electronics stores and offices. The shopping/dining side of things mainly circulates around five areas: Stellar Place, Daimaru, Apia, Paseo, and Esta, all of which connect through the underbelly of the station.
Centrally located, Stellar Place houses seven floors of shopping and dining, and a cinema complex, all connecting to JR Tower, which hovers above and includes an office complex and four-star hotel. Spectacular views of the city can be seen from T38, its 360 degree 38th floor observation deck.
Daimaru and Esta are multi-story department stores catering to a variety of shopping and dining needs, Daimaru being situated on the western wing and Esta on the eastern. Apia and Paseo are two smaller shopping areas which weave around the lower levels between the two larger department stores. A variety of privately-run boutiques, restaurants, ‘select shops’ and cafes can be found throughout these two lower areas.
The underground floor of the department stores or ‘Depachika’ is the place to go for food shopping. While not supermarkets proper, they are more like a condensation of smaller foodstands, food courts, and independent sellers. Always an interesting experience for sights and smells, these subterranean markets can be tricky to navigate on busy days, but offer a fascinating glimpse at the bustling life of the city.
The two major electronics stores, Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera can be found by the north-western and south-eastern ends of the station, respectively.
Built to accommodate the often harsh winter climate of Hokkaido, one can spend hours inside Sapporo Station unaware of the weather and daylight conditions outside!
For zone maps, shops, and information see the JR Tower Area Guide.