Kalahana : The Bottom Line
If it wasn’t for the smoking aspect of Kalahana, then I’d wholeheartedly recommend Kalahana for drinkers coming to Sapporo. It’s a fantastic little place though to pick up some new beers, learn some local lingo, and have some laughs with the local crowd – just a shame that it allows smoking though. There isn’t any table charge at Kalahana, and you’ll need some Japanese to help you though the staff did speak some English randomly to me.
Kalahana : The Full Story
Kalahana came recommended to me from the people that run Sakamichi Brewing, with them mentioning that whenever they’re in Sapporo, they always try to get to Kalahana as the owners – Daisuke and Kana – are a fantastically fun couple running the floor and kitchen. Of course, the theme of the trip for me was to be constant disappointment and when I first went over to Kalahana, it was closed! But fear not, at the next bar, I found out that Kalahana is usually open from 6pm.
Kalahana opened in August 2010 and is one of the most popular craft beer bars in the Sapporo area. Everyone who I talked to asked if I had been there yet, and if not, why not? It’s located in the Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade in Sapporo, that runs parallel to Odori Park, but it was at the opposite end to where my hotel was. Never mind, time for a long walk to get some beers.
Kalahana : Atmosphere & Interior
To say Kalahana was a lively place would be doing it a disservice as I could hear the chatter and laughter emanating from the bar from about 100 m away. I don’t know how but there appeared to be about 20 seats in Kalahana, with a few tables at the back of the store, and 6 seats at the counter so make sure you don’t mind sitting to random people if you go alone, or get there early with a group of friends if you want a table. I arrived at about 8pm, and there was only one seat left at the counter for me.
The big downside to Kalahana is that it is a fully smoking establishment as it was opened before the smoking ban ordinance in 2020 and is small in scale so it can use that loophole. And that’s a shame as it means no matter where you sit, if someone lights up, then you’re breathing it in – Kalahana is that small. And it’s also a shame as the aromas that came from the kitchen were incredible, until they were interrupted by smoke.
Kalahana : Approach to Covid-19
Kalahana did pretty much the bare minimum – staff wearing masks and alcohol spray. With the size of the place though there was no chance for social distancing.
Kalahana : Beer & Tap Information
Kalahana has 6 taps of craft beer on, with the taplist rotating between domestic and imports. The beers come in two sizes: half US pint (240 ml) from 800 yen, and US pint (473 ml) from 1,200 yen, so the prices are inline with most of the bars in Sapporo. The prices do include tax but there isn’t a happy hour nor any beer flights.
Kalahana : Food Information
I had just come to Kalahana after a quick trip to Ganso Ramen Yokocho so I wasn’t in the mood to eat, but that doesn’t mean I can’t smell. And the smells! Incredible! The menus were all in Japanese, so you’re going to need someone to help you, but everything is cooked to order in the kitchen. One customer had ordered a broccoli and prawn dish and the amount of garlic used was enough to knock out all the vampires in the area. The menu does depend on seasonality but there were some simple staples such as chips.
Kalahana : Information
- Open : Sunday to Thursday 18:00 – 0:00 (L.O Food 23:00 Drink 23:30) Fridays & Saturdays 18:00 – 01:00 (L.O Food 0:00 Drink 0:30)
- Closed : N/A
- Happy Hour : N/A
- Phone : 011-251-1087
- Homepage (in Japanese) : N/A
- Social Media : Facebook / Twitter