2 Best Places to Shop in Hokkaido, Japan

Otaru Orgel Doh

With a selection of 25,000 music boxes, Otaru Orgel Doh is Japan's biggest music box emporium. It is also Otaru's most famous store, housed in a beautiful brick building, with an iconic 5½-meter bronze steam clock standing outside its doors. The giant clock chimes and steams every 15 minutes, and is a sibling to the steam clock found in Vancouver's Gas Town. The music boxes range from cute toys for just a few thousand yen, to the fine craftsmanship of movements such as the 72-note Sankyo Orpheus. The melodies played by the music boxes vary from classics such as Pachelbel's Canon to the latest anime and Disney tunes.

Sapporo Factory

If you're in Hokkaido to ski, snowboard, hike, climb, or bike then the Sapporo Factory mall is the best place to stock up on any missing gear. Within the mall you'll find specialist stores for Arc'teryx, Descente, Mont-bell, Columbia, Mammut, Rossignol, and The North Face. The food court has a wide range of vendors, and there's a cinema complex with IMAX on the second floor. Sapporo Factory is a 15-minute walk southeast from Sapporo Station.