Hokkaido's Famous Soup Curry

Hokkaido's Famous Soup Curry

A guide to this Hokkaido specialty, how to eat it and locations of the best soup curry restaurants on the ski fields and in the cities of Hokkaido.
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Soup Curry is a famous Hokkaido specialty perfectly suited to the region’s cold climate. The dish first originated in the kitchen of a Sapporo diner & has evolved over the years with input from different chefs & influences from abroad into a dish quite unlike other Japanese or East Asian curries.

The first soup curry was said to have been served at Ajanta Indo Kari. One of the customers suggested combining 2 of Ajanta’s dishes - a medicinal chicken soup & their curry creating the very first soup curry that is loved by locals and travellers today.

Soup Curry’s main difference lies in the way it is made. The ingredients are usually fried together with a mix of spices. A broth is then added resulting in a soup with strong spicy flavours, rather than a thick gravy. Soup curry restaurants have signature dishes with different combinations of meat & vegetable ingredients including some you will not find in more traditional curries. The more interesting being duck meat balls, deer meat, bear and cheese. Soup curry restaurants let you order the spice level according to your tolerance from zero heat to a mind numbing, euphoric hallucinatory experience.

There are over 200 soup curry restaurants in Hokkaido, most of them located in the major cities of Sapporo and Asahikawa. They are also popping up in ski resorts around Hokkaido to satisfy the cravings of hungry skiers & snowboarders.

How to Eat Soup Curry

Decide on the toppings and the amount of rice you would like.

Decide on your spice ranking. From experience anything past midway is suicidal to Western tastebuds. Save your bravery for the slopes. 

When your soup curry arrives, as a sign of appreciation to the chef you should firstly have a sip of the soup to appreciate its unique flavour. 

Then dip a spoonful of rice into the soup, immersing it in all the rich flavours before eating. Towards the end, you are also meant to slurp up all of the soup leaving an empty bowl. 

Where to Eat Soup Curry in Sapporo

Ajanta Kari


The restaurant where it all began is a local favourite. It’s slightly out of the way but a must visit for a taste of how it all started



Suage means deep fried food skewers. At this restaurant not only do you get toppings of skewered meat and vegetables, but they also come with one the best soup curries in Hokkaido.



Garaku’s famous soup is made with over 20 herbs and spices and it’s broth is made with chicken & pork bones.



Soup Curry Picante is known for their healthy medicinal herbal soup curries.

Okushiba Shoten


People love this restaurant for their unique shrimp based soup curry.

Where to try Soup Curry in Ski Resorts


Okushiba Shoten in Asahikawa has a much loved shrimp based soup curry broth.


This little shop in downtown Furano uses ingredients from local producers and is popular with visiting snow trippers.


One of Sapporo’s famous soup curry restaurants - Garaku has an outpost at Hotalu street in Tomamu ski resort.


Tsubara Tsubara’s soup curry is a warming meal made for Niseko's cold winter nights.

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Picante Eki-mae

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