The sky is the limit at the Noria Ferris Wheel at Norbesa Sapporo (Photo: Bonson Lam)

Norbesa Entertainment Center

A night view high above Susukino

The sky is the limit at the Noria Ferris Wheel at Norbesa Sapporo (Photo: Bonson Lam)
Bonson Lam   - 2 min read

Susukino is Sapporo’s premier entertainment district and could be likened to Sapporo's version of Osaka's Dotombori and is packed with bars, restaurants, karaoke song bars.

For many teenagers, the rite of passage is a session at the Purinto Kurabu, or Puri Kura, a machine that lets you design and print out stickers with photos of your idealized face on them. This might be followed by an evening at the ten-pin bowling alley. For many people, this moment happened at the Norbesa.

This is a fun place for adults as well, and even insomniacs have somewhere to go, with most shops open until 11 pm, and the Ferris wheel until 3 am on Fridays, Saturdays, and nights before public holidays. Besides clothes stores, there are costume shops, bars, and internet and book cafes. These night owls don’t open in the morning though and spend much of the afternoon preparing for another big night, siesta style.

One place to relax amongst the entertainment overdrive is “The Café” by G Milan. This boutique lifestyle cafe features authentic Guardaroba Milano espresso coffee, as well as providing a backdrop of clothes and books that you can admire while relaxing with friends.

When you are ready to take to the skies, come up to Noria. This Observation Wheel or Ferris wheel is 45.5m in diameter. Being on the seventh floor of the Norbesa it reaches 78m to the skies.

There are 32 gondolas or cars in total, with one loop taking about ten minutes. Each car is painted red, except one in yellow. Of course, you can have the car all to yourself, but for groups of four, you can have it for the special price of 2,000 yen, or 500 yen each. In addition, because the gondola has no steps, you can also ride it with a wheelchair or pram. Children under three ride for free. The seats are equipped with a heater, allowing you to see comfortably the city covered with snow in winter. You should try it during the day, at sunset, and at night for three different vistas.

Bonson Lam

Bonson Lam @bonson.lam

I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric laneways of Kyoto last century.  I am humbled to have met many distinguished people during this time, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperia...