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5 Popular Sapporo Jingisukan Restaurants: Introducing Hokkaido's Specialty Worth Waiting in Line For

5 Popular Sapporo Jingisukan Restaurants: Introducing Hokkaido's Specialty Worth Waiting in Line For

Date published: 12 October 2019
Last updated: 14 January 2022

Jingisukan - Japanese grilled lamb - is the representative local dish of Hokkaido Prefecture. This specialty is made by grilling mutton and lamb on a round cast-iron grill.

In Hokkaido’s major city of Sapporo, you can find a range of Jingisukan restaurants where flavors of dishes differ greatly depending on where you go. Here we will introduce how to enjoy this dish, its history, and the five must-try restaurants in Sapporo City!

Table of Contents
  1. What is Jingisukan? Introducing Sakizuke and Atozuke
  2. How to Best Enjoy Jingisukan
  3. Why is Jingisukan Hokkaido Prefecture’s Specialty?
  4. 1. Jingisukan Daruma 5●5 Shop: Popular with locals and visitors alike!
  5. 2. Matsuo Jingisukan Sapporo Ekimae: Delectable sauce-marinated meat!
  6. 3. Itadakimasu: Offering Suffolk Lamb raised on its own ranch
  7. 4. Yozora Jingisukan Honten: Enjoy Susukino’s night view while eating sizzling meats!
  8. 5. Asahi Beer Garden Yoyotei: For Jingisukan and beer shipped directly from the brewery!

What is Jingisukan? Introducing Sakizuke and Atozuke

We will firstly give a detailed introduction as to what kind of dish Jingisukan is. Our introduction is based on what we learned from Matsuo Co., Ltd., operators of the long-established Jingisukan shop, Matsuo Jingisukan.

Jingisukan is usually prepared and enjoyed in one of the following two ways:

(1) Sakizuke (Takikawa City-style): A cooking method where lamb is marinated in a sauce before grilling.
(2) Atozuke (Sapporo City-style): A cooking method where grilled lamb is dipped in a sauce after it's cooked.

The way Jingisukan is enjoyed differs depending on what region of Hokkaido you’re in. When driving about an hour northwest from Sapporo, you will come across Takikawa City.

In Takikawa, as well as Hokkaido’s north-central and eastern cities of Asahikawa and Obihiro, Jingisukan is had in the sakizuke-style (Takikawa-style).

Meanwhile, when it comes to Sapporo City and the south-western regions of Hokkaido, people enjoy Jingisukan in the atozuke-style (Sapporo-style).

Sakizuke-style Jingisukan serves a plate of grilled lamb that’s marinated in a special sauce.
Atozuke-style (Sapporo-style) Jingisukan serves raw pieces of lamb and mutton on a plate.

In recent years, exactly where each cooking method is practiced has become blurred, and many regions throughout Hokkaido have started to incorporate both.

You can also find various restaurants adding ingredients and new ways to enjoy this dish. In the densely populated city of Sapporo, it’s easy to find many establishments where you can enjoy both sakizuke-style and atozuke-style Jingisukan.

When it comes to atozuke, some restaurants even recommend flavoring the grilled meat with salt and pepper instead of the standard sauce.

The basic way to eat atozuke-style (Sapporo-style) Jingisukan is to dip it into yakiniku sauce-a sweet, spice-filled Japanese BBQ sauce.

The lamb and mutton served can also differ greatly depending on which restaurant you decide to visit. Some restaurants serve lamb and mutton from Australia or New Zealand, some serve lamb that they’ve sourced from their own farms, and some restaurants focus on serving rare cuts of meat not regularly available.

If you get the chance to taste and compare dishes at multiple restaurants, prepare to be surprised at how different they can be!

How to Best Enjoy Jingisukan

One necessary item for enjoying Hokkaido’s specialty is the Jingisukan grill. A Jingisukan grill is a round, cast-iron pan that protrudes in the middle.

A Jingisukan grill that rises in the center. (Image provided by: Matsuo Co., Ltd.)

Jingisukan is made by placing vegetables around the sides of the grill while lamb meat cooks on top of the small mound in its center. During the grilling process, fat and meat juices from the lamb trickle down, enabling you to saute the vegetables in the fat or marinate them in the delectable broth.

When cooking Jingisukan in the sakizuke-style (Takikawa-style), the vegetables are boiled in the lamb broth instead of being grilled.
When cooking Jingisukan in the atozuke-style (Sapporo-style), vegetables such as bean sprouts or onions are grilled using the fat from the meat.

For atozuke-style Jingisukan, Japanese BBQ grill mesh as well as flat cast-iron pans are occasionally used. However, when it comes to sakizuke-style Jingisukan, only Jingisukan grills are used.

Why is Jingisukan Hokkaido Prefecture’s Specialty?

Jingisukan is an extremely popular local dish in Hokkaido that most of the prefecture’s residents have tried at least once. There are many theories on how it originated and became such a staple, but nothing has been proven.

According to one theory, in the early 1900s, Japan started a national action plan to promote sheep meat production. There was no custom of eating lamb or mutton dishes before this. It was only popularized since Japan wanted to breed sheep to acquire wool for making uniforms and blankets for its army.

In 1918, sheep farms called Tsukisamu were opened in five locations throughout the nation. This included Hokkaido’s Takikawa and Sapporo City. When attempting to figure out what to do with the lamb meat produced at these farms, Jingisukan was created.

Sheep are also bred in Hokkaido, but due to the low production volumes, lamb meat from Japan is very rare.

Jingisukan became a common dish in the 1950s. It’s said that the famous Japanese Jingisukan restaurant, Matsuo Jingisukan, played an important role in making the dish one of Hokkaido’s specialties.

In the early 1950s, several Jingisukan restaurants were opened in Sapporo. In 1956, the lamb meat specialty restaurant known as Matsuo Jingisukan opened up in Takikawa City.

It was common for restaurants in Sapporo to serve Jingisukan dishes in the atozuke-style while Matsuo Jingisukan served its dishes in the sakizuke-style. The meat sold at Matsuo Jingisukan was marinated in an original sauce made from locally harvested apples and onions to remove any gaminess.

Matsuo Jingisukan when it first opened. (Provided by Matsuo Co., Ltd)

Matsuo Jingisukan didn’t do so well during their initial sales. Because of this, the founder brought his portable grill and charcoal to a nearby park where people were enjoying cherry blossom viewing.

After serving the people in the park some of his dishes, Matsuo Jingisukan became an automatic hit! This led the owner to open up a Jingisukan dining hall right next to his lamb meat specialty shop.

Eventually, lamb meat wholesalers began also to open up their own restaurants, causing Jingisukan shops to spread across each region of Hokkaido quickly.

What’s more, a condiment manufacturer started producing their own Jingisukan sauce, transforming the specialty into a popular dish families could easily enjoy at home. This is said to be another contributing factor in how the dish spread throughout each region of Hokkaido.

In Hokkaido, its custom to eat Jingisukan when enjoying outdoor leisure.

As a side note, it’s now customary in Hokkaido to bring your own portable stove and charcoal to enjoy Jingisukan at outdoor events such as hanami, going to the beach, and camping.

Although one cannot say for certain that the founder of Matsuo Jingisukan bringing his food to a hanami event in Takikawa is what started it all, there’s no doubt that enjoying Jingisukan at restaurants, outdoors, or at parties is an important part of food culture in Hokkaido.

Now we will introduce the five Jingisukan restaurants in Sapporo City!

1. Jingisukan Daruma 5●5 Shop: Popular with locals and visitors alike!

1. Jingisukan Daruma 5●5 Shop: Popular with locals and visitors alike!

Founded in Sapporo in 1954, Naruyoshi Shisui Daruma is a long-established restaurant that’s so popular, you’ll always find a line out front! Here you can enjoy Jingisukan dishes in Sapporo’s traditional atozuke-style.

This restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so prepare to line up! In addition to the main shop located in Sapporo’s Susukino district, you can also find many outlets throughout the city. One outlet we especially recommend is Daruma 5●5 , which opened in 2017.

Eager customers even line up before the restaurant opens! There is a good chance of getting in even if there are 30 people lined up.

There is only one basic Jingisukan menu consisting of a combination of shoulder loin, loin, and thigh cuts of meat, all for only 1,190 yen. The meat is cut into large, satisfying chunks. With the restaurant offering Jingisukan in the popular Sapporo-style, please delight in the shop’s simply grilled meat and mouth-watering dipping sauce.

Jingisukan uses mutton delivered fresh each day

After being seated, you’ll find a unique round pot with slits placed on top of a shichirin (hibachi grill). This is where the meat and vegetables are cooked. By using this pot, excess fat from the meat drips down through the slits into the charcoal, allowing you to enjoy the light taste of meat and vegetables that aren’t too fatty!

The fatty meat makes for a juicy flavor. Be careful not to overcook it!

Other dishes to order along with Jingisukan are thick and tender fillet cuts only costing 1,485 yen, as well as various high-quality cuts also available for 1,485 yen. Both items are limited and served on a first-come basis, so they often sell out very quickly.

High-quality cuts of meat are served on a plate. These include a piece of mutton shoulder loin and two pieces of loin steak.

The Jingisukan Daruma 5●5 restaurant is outfitted with a smoke exhaust ventilation system, leaving you with no worries about smoke even when grilling over charcoal.

Also, there are lockers inside the shop where you can check your belongings and coats. This allows you to comfortably leave the restaurant after your meal without soaking up the unique Jingisukan aroma of cooked meat.

Charcoal grills lined up along the counter with smoke exhaust fans above them. Lockers are also available.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced

  • Jingisukan Daruma 5・5 Ten
    成吉思汗 だるま 5・5店
    • Address Minami 5 Jyou Nishi 5 Chome 1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 064-0805
    • Nearest Station 2-minute walk from the Susukino Station on the Namboku subway line
    • Phone Number 011-551-5529
    • ・Hours: 5:00 p.m.~11:00 p.m. (Last orders are at 10:30 p.m.)
      ・Closed: During the New Year’s Holiday

2. Matsuo Jingisukan Sapporo Ekimae: Delectable sauce-marinated meat!

2. Matsuo Jingisukan Sapporo Ekimae: Delectable sauce-marinated meat!
(Image provided by: Matsuo Co., Ltd.)

Matsuo Jingisukan Sapporo Ekimae is an outlet of the previously introduced Matsuo Jingisukan restaurant.

You can take the underground passageway known as Chikaho for easy access. This connects directly to Odori Park or the Susukino district from Sapporo Station, so you can easily get to the restaurant even when it rains or snows.

What’s more, the shop's interior is fashionable in a way different from other Jingisukan shops, with an atmosphere inviting a comfortable and enjoyable stay.

The interior has a relaxed atmosphere. Reservations are recommended for dinner time.

Matsuo Jingisukan is famous for its original sauce that’s used to marinate meat when preparing Jingisukan in the sakizuke-style.

Made with apples, onions, soy sauce, ginger, and spices, the sauce is said to make the meat more tender as well as take away its strong aroma. Garlic is not used, so those averse to the smell can rest at ease.

he shop has its own original grills which are deeper than standard ones allowing for large portions of vegetables to be stewed in the juices of the cooking meat.

Load up the center of the grill with meat that has been marinated in sauce and place the vegetables around it. The meat’s fat and juices will cascade down towards the sides of the grill, allowing the vegetables to simmer in them slowly.

If you are visiting for the first time, we recommend the taste and compare set where you get to try four different kinds of Jingisukan for only 3,300 yen!

This consists of special lamb Jingisukan, mutton Jingisukan, standard lamb Jingisukan, and lamb heart Jingisukan.

What’s more, it also comes with 60 grams of vegetables per person, rice, miso soup, and one drink. Other options include an all-you-can-eat plan (90 minutes, from 3,600 yen) as well as a salted lamb steak that costs 1,100 yen.

This is the taste and compare set for an assortment of four types of meat. This set also comes with a drink.
The salt steak – lamb chops seasoned with salt and herbs

When looking to immerse yourself in Hokkaido’s Jingisukan culture, there’s no going wrong with the delicious flavors offered at Matsuo Jingisukan! It’s a must-try restaurant for those looking to learn more about this unique cuisine!

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell – Customers are asked to wear masks

  • Matsuo Jingisukan Sapporo Eki-mae Ten
    松尾ジンギスカン札幌駅前店
    • Address Nihon Seime Sapporo Bill B1F, Kita 3 Jyou Nishi 4, Chome 1-1, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, 060-0003
    • Nearest Station 3-minute walk from JR Sapporo Station
    • Phone Number 011-200-2989
    • ・Hours: 11:00 a.m. ~ 3:00 p.m. (2:30 p.m. last order), 5:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m. (10:30 p.m. last order)
      ・Closed: open daily (closed when building undergoes maintenance)

3. Itadakimasu: Offering Suffolk Lamb raised on its own ranch

3. Itadakimasu: Offering Suffolk Lamb raised on its own ranch

This Sapporo Jingisukan restaurant takes its name from “Itadakimasu,” the expression Japanese people say before they begin a meal. It uses only pure Hokkaido Suffolk Lamb that is raised, processed, and cured on its own ranch.

Suffolk sheep, noted for their black-colored faces, grazing on the shop’s own ranch

Although the Jingisukan at this restaurant is prepared in the atozuke-style, salt and pepper are used to flavor the meat instead of the usual sauce.

The standard menu consists of regular Jingisukan at 1,078 yen, a loin cut at 1,969 yen, a shoulder loin cut at 1,790 yen, and nakaochi (meat shavings) reasonably priced at 1,969 yen.

Organ meats are also popular. Also recommended are the semi-dry sausages made using a saltwater method and Krakow sausages, each costing 580 yen.

An excellent balance of thigh, shank, rib, and shin cuts
Sheep liver 980 yen
Adding salt, pepper, and lemon to fatty pieces of loin gives additional flavor

The outlet is located in the heart of Sapporo’s Susukino district. The interior has an open kitchen surrounded by counters. There is always a line of people waiting to be seated, so please remember to add your name to the restaurant’s list and wait to be called.

Kitchen enclosed within the counters

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced

  • Jingisukan Hitsujikaino-mise Itadakimasu
    ジンギスカン 羊飼いの店『いただきます』
    • Address Minami 5 Jyou Nishi 5 Chome 1-6, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 064-0805
    • Nearest Station 2-minute walk from Susukino Station on the Namboku subway line
    • Phone Number 011-552-4029
    • ・Hours: 11:00 a.m. ~ midnight (Last orders are at 11:30 p.m.) *Hours are subject to change.
      ・Closed: open daily

4. Yozora Jingisukan Honten: Enjoy Susukino’s night view while eating sizzling meats!

4. Yozora Jingisukan Honten: Enjoy Susukino’s night view while eating sizzling meats!

Yozora no Jingisukan operates four outlets in Susukino, and this is the main establishment. Located on the 10th floor of the building, it offers a spectacular view of the Ferris wheel, a landmark of Susukino, from its windows.

Also, atozuke-style Jingisukan is served, allowing you to enjoy delicious lamb BBQ with different options for flavoring such as sauce or salt, etc.

Enjoy the night view while eating Jingisukan

A top-rated 90-minute course is the all-you-can-eat-and-drink one offering Australian lamb, kimchee, vegetables, rice, and a selection of 60 kinds of drinks, including beer, all for only 3,900 yen. There is also an all-you-can-eat course offering two types of Jingisukan for 4,100 yen.

All-you-can-eat course. Two-hour limit for seating

The a la carte menu also offers a large selection, and we highly recommend trying the “night sky local product comparison set” for 2,200 yen. The cuts of meat you get to taste and compare include an assortment of Hokkaido lamb, Australian lamb, Iceland lamb, Hokkaido Shibetsu lamb, and Sika deer venison.

Lamb from three countries and Sika deer venison combination platter

In addition to the meat, this restaurant is meticulous in choosing what kinds of vegetables are used in its dishes.

Here you will find fresh ingredients supplied by contract farmers from Naganuma, a town on the outskirts of Sapporo City. Also, three types of condiments – soy sauce, miso sauce, and herb salt – add flavor to the meat.

Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced

  • Yozora-no Jingisukan Honten
    夜空のジンギスカン 本店
    • Address MY Plaza Bill 10F, Minami 4 Jyou Nishi 4 Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 064-0804
    • Nearest Station 4-minute walk from Susukino Station on the Namboku subway line
    • Phone Number 011-219-1529
    • ・Hours: 5:00 p.m. ~ 1:00 a.m. (last order 12:30 a.m.)
      ・Closed: open daily

5. Asahi Beer Garden Yoyotei: For Jingisukan and beer shipped directly from the brewery!

5. Asahi Beer Garden Yoyotei: For Jingisukan and beer shipped directly from the brewery!

The Asahi Beer Garden is located near the Susukino intersection. Asahi Beer is one of Japan’s major beer breweries, and its Asahi Super Dry is one of the most popular brands in the country.

With private dining rooms also available, the spacious interior can seat up to 250 people. Also, thanks to the smokeless grills, another great aspect is how clean the air in the restaurant is.

It’s perfect for enjoying Sapporo Jingisukan in large groups while holding a fresh, ice-cold beer from the Hokkaido brewery. Here, atozuke-style Jingisukan is offered.

The spacious interior enables you to easily dine as a group.

Another popular menu item is the all-you-can-eat lamb shoulder loin costing 4,000 yen. Only eight servings can be made from one animal!

For another 1,300 yen, you get to enjoy free-flowing Asahi Super Dry beer or wine! What’s more, the lamb comes from the Chitose Nozawa Ranch. Here two exquisite types are produced: Texel, which costs 1,480 yen per 100 grams, and Suffolk, which costs 1,550 yen.


Health & Safety Measures
Indoor disinfection measures taken - Sanitizer installed - Disinfected after each guest leaves - Ventilation measures in place - Coin trays used - Plastic partitions installed - Staff wear masks, gargle, wash hands regularly, and monitor body temperature - Limited capacity/increased space between seats - Restricted admission, reservation system in place - Entry declined to anyone who is feeling unwell - Masks required/temperature check enforced

  • Asahi Beer-en You You Tei Jingisukan
    アサヒビール園羊々亭ジンギスカン
    • Address Matsuoka Bill 5F, Minami 4 Jyou Nishi 4 Chome, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido 064-0804
    • Nearest Station 1-minute walk from Susukino Station on the Namboku subway line
    • Phone Number 011-241-8831
    • ・Hours: 4:00 p.m. ~ 11:00 p.m. (Last orders are at 10:30 p.m.)
      ・Closed: December 31st and January 1st

Text by: Nobuka Kawashima
The information in this article is from December 2021. For updated information, please refer to each official website.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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