On a late March afternoon in central Sapporo’s “raccoon trail,” a covered shopping arcade, business is particularly brisk. While Honshu’s main cities celebrate under the cherry blossoms, several meters of snow remain piled up beside icy sidewalks — with more expected.

That’s good news, though, for arcade shops specializing in Hokkaido-grown agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products and seasonal fish such as cherry trout. Visitors can also head to a nearby underground arcade, where packaged gourmet items such as smoked tofu from Yoichi, smoked scallops from Otaru and cream cookies made with eastern Hokkaido-grown peppermint are sold.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.