Food & Nightlife

One of the highlights of Asahikawa is the abundance of restaurants and bars. Apparently there are over 1,200 bars and restaurants in downtown Asahikawa!

Asahikawa Restaurants

There’s something for everyone with many types of restaurants including upmarket cuisine, Yakitori bars, classic Hokkaido ramen bars, small family run establishments and large restaurants offering a variety of Japanese food. All the restaurants provide great value for money and it’s easy to get a cheap meal for under ¥2,000.

The chances of finding a restaurant in Asahikawa with an English menu are small (if you don’t count McDonald’s as a restaurant!). There are some restaurants with pictures on the menu and many without, and if you really want to get into the Japanese culture you may need to be brave and use your limited Japanese, your phase book, or sign language. Half the fun is trying to convey what you want, and if in trouble you may need to look at what others are eating, and politely point at their food.

One of our favourite restaurant areas is a quaint laneway parallel (left on the map) to the main street near 5th-6th avenue, where there are small authentic family-run restaurants.

If you’re desperate for some Western food, there are a couple of options in the main street (shopping street – 8th street).

For a caffeine fix, there are a few Starbucks-type coffee shops, although as seems to be typical in Hokkaido, they don’t seem to open until after 10am. They don’t seem to appreciate some folks’ desperation for an early morning coffee!

Asahikawa Bars and Nightlife

There are hundreds of bars in Asahikawa and if you’ve got any energy left after a big day riding, you can wander the streets and do some bar hopping. Considering the cold temperatures in the evening, you may need to duck into lots of bars on the way home just to stay warm.

In the centre of the nightlife district is the Den bar. This is an international bar with great dining, drinking, live music and a pool table.

And in the name of being a tourist, there are three sake breweries in Asahikawa where you can partake in a tour. Alternatively you can just sample the cultural experience of Japanese sake in one of the many bars or restaurants!

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