Norbesa Entertainment Center

A night view high above Susukino

By Bonson Lam    - 3 min read

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Tokyo has Skytree and Disneyland, Osaka has USJ, but Sapporo has Norbesa, in the heart of Susukino.

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.

In the movie, “Home Alone”; Macaulay Culkin turned his home into an entertainment center. If he were at Norbesa, he could be amused for weeks!

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 11pm, and the Ferris wheel until 3am 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.

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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 lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us. 

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