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Etude エチュード洋菓子店

Etude is a cake shop near the campus. You can buy Christmas cake or cake for someone’s birthday and even you can buy the pudding. I recommend you go there with your family, children, and by yourself. It has a parking lot.

The address is Hokkaido Asahikawa shi asahimachi ichijou 9-689-23.

It is open daily open from 9:00 until 20:00. It is closed on Wednesday.

Okushiba Shoten

< Okushiba syouten (奥芝商店) >

This is soup curry shop near H.U.E.A.  Soup curry is Hokkaido’s original food.

Adress : 北海道旭川市旭町1条13丁目2146-14

URL   : http://www.okusyo.com/

I love this shop. We can choose to add veggies and the level of spiciness.

We can eat lunch or dinner there.

This shop is very famous, so I recommend making reservation. In the evening, you may need to wait at least 15 minutes — sometimes 30 minutes (on Fridays or Saturdays).

Surya – Nepalese Curry

< SURYA  (スーリヤ) >

This is a Nepalese curry shop.

Adress : 〒070-0816  旭川市川端町6条10丁目1-13 (Asahikawa Kawabata-cho 6-10 1-13)

URL   :  http://www.solid-surya.jp/index.php

They offer All-you-can-eat naan and rice.

We can eat lunch and dinner. But lunch is cheaper than dinner, so I recommend lunch.

This shop’s naan is very big and delicious! I love this shop, too.


Gusto: Japanese Family Restaurant with Bottomless Beverages

I can’t say enough about the goodness that is the Japanese family restaurant, known as a ファミレス (famiresu) for short. But let me try to do it justice.

A famiresu is a kind of Japanese diner which features drink bar, meaning all-you-can-drink beverages such as tea, hot chocolate, juice, soda, and types of coffee. Think something slightly like Denny’s but way more cozy with friendly and smiling staff, a menu with ample options for a lacto-ovo-pescatarian vegetarian like me, great prices, and constant hydration while you study with friends, work away at a paper, enjoy a casual date, write a novel, or hang out. (And if you have kids, there’s the Happy Meal-like “Lucky Set” that includes a Gashapon toy).  Famiresu are often themed around salisbury steak (called hamburg) or Italian fare, but since they aim to be all-around appealing, you can order anything from Western meat dishes to traditional Japanese staples to daily lunchtime teishoku set meals to the pure amazing-ness that is famiresu breakfast (sunny-side-up eggs, fluffy pancakes, perfect golden Hokkaido potatoes).

A block away from HUEA is Gusto (ガスト), my most frequented go-to place.  I often order the basic spaghetti and tack on the drink/salad set (bottomless fountain drinks + unlimited soup + a small side salad), but the half-boiled-egg-and-veggie doria (a casserole similar to risotto) is also hearty and warming.  When I’m under the weather, nothing beats kinoko mushroom zosui (a sort of rice porridge similar to okayu or Chinese congee).  My favorite “mixed drink” from the drink bar is 3 spoonfuls of Vanilla Ole swirled into a glass of Coca Cola.

Eating out doesn’t cost much more than cooking at home.  Some famiresu even include soup or soft serve in the drink bar, a teapot you can take to your table, or salad bar.  In Sapporo, some good ones to relax in are Royal Host, ON, Cowboy Kazoku, Coco’s (adapted from the American one), and Victoria Station (Japan’s adaption of Bob’s Big Boy); Saizeriya isn’t quite as awesome but is cheaper and thus very popular with high schoolers.

If I ever had to leave Japan, famiresu is probably the element of everyday lifestyle convenience that I’d miss the most – including its unlimited access to oshibori wet towels at the drink bar.

Asahikawa Weather

In Asahikawa, it’s hot in summer and very cold in winter.

The temperature range is about 50℃ degrees. We have a lot of snow in January and February. We can ski and skate. Asahikawa winter festival is held in February every year. There is a big snow sculpture and a long slide made from snow and there are many beautiful ice sculptures(ライトアップされた) near the station during Asahikawa winter festival. In Asahiyama zoo, we can see penguins walk on snow only in winter. Because the four seasons are vivid here, the scenery is beautiful.

Katouya 加藤屋

Katouya is a ramen shop in front of the main entrance of HUEA.

You can enjoy lunch and dinner from about¥999 there. I recommend you go to eat with your friends, colleagues or by yourself.

It has 29 seats (5 counter seats, 3 seats with chairs and 3 tables of raised tatami sittings) and it has a parking lot.

The address is Hokkaido Asahikawa shi Hokumonchou 9-2644-6 and the phone number is 0166-53-6560. It is open daily from 11:00 until 14:30 and then again from 17:00 to 21:00. On Sunday, it is open from  17:00 to 21:00. It is closed on Mondays.


Top 10 Places to Eat near Campus

  1. Katoya (加藤屋) – ramen
  2. Tsutamori (つたもり) – hot pot, sashimi, tempura, donburi
  3. Umamiya (うまみ屋) – izakaya; students often eat here with their zemi because it’s near to campus and quite cheap (now out of business – hopefully the students can give another suggestion!)
  4. Hisoka (緋甦霞) – izakaya
  5. Okushiba Shoten (奥芝商店) – soup curry
  6. Ganbi
  7. Étude – bakery
  8. Suriya – authentic Nepalese curry
  9. Hamazushi (はま寿司)- conveyor belt sushi
  10. Gusto (ガスト) – family restaurant with bottomless beverages

But don’t overlook the school cafeteria (学食, where you can get a filling meal for about 300 yen) and the Seikyou (生協) convenience store on campus.

I am looking forward to the summaries from our students about these places to eat! I haven’t been to several of them.

10 Fun Things to Do in Asahikawa

Some people say there is not much to do in Asahikawa, but we think they’re wrong! We found 10 places in just 10 minutes:

  1. Visit the Asahiyama Zoo. Tourists trek to it from other countries.
  2. Eat ramen (梅光軒、青葉). Asahikawa is famous throughout Japan for its ramen!
  3. Eat soft serve (called ソフトクリーム). Hokkaido is renowned for its dairy products, and you can find exclusive flavors such as haskap (a blue, oval-shaped berry).
  4. Visit the airport.  You can find Asahikawa and Hokkaido specialties like omiyage, yuru-chara collectibles, onsen bath salts, corn-flavored Pretz, etc. Visit the gelato store near the airport too!
  5. Snow Museum (雪の美術館). Ice corridor, exhibits, concerts, art gallery.
  6. Take a stroll along the riverline (石狩川公園).
  7. Asahiyama Snow Village (旭山・雪の村). Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snow bananas, snow rafting, sledding, tubing, snow plow rides
  8. Hang out at the Asahikawa Station area (ice festival in spring, beer festival in summer, restaurants, shops, market, game center, movie theatre, etc.)
  9. Asahikawa City Museum (旭川市博物館)
  10. Asahikawa Science Center (旭川市科学館「サイパル」). Observatory, planetarium, science exhibits.

For more ideas and events, check out Asahikawa International Center‘s monthly Asahikawa INFO newsletter and Asanavi.

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