So I live in Kitahiroshima, which is a suburb of Sapporo. This past May, our town just opened a new factory: Ishiya.
The factory is located very close to the train station, which is not even a five minutes walk. Every time I walk to the station, I smell the sweet, buttery smell of baking cookies and my mouth always waters. I love the smell.
Ishiya is synonymous with Hokkaido. Their most famous product is Shiroi Koibito, which is the standard souvenir you get from Hokkaido. It is basically a cookie sandwich with white chocolate in the middle. Although they also make one with regular chocolate, I prefer the white version. These cookies are so good and luscious; they’re not too sweet and not too bland. Imagine smelling it everyday on your way to work…mmm 🙂
Kitahiroshima also finished construction of its new city hall, which coincided with the opening of the factory. On the fifth floor, there is a small Ishiya cafe that features its own brand of coffee and soft serve ice cream. They also serve a few choices of pasta and some dessert. If you order one of their coffee drinks, you get one of the cookies for free.
The dining space is quite big and it is surrounded by an open terrace with amazing views of the town. If you’re a train fanatic, the train tracks run close to the building and there are plenty of opportunities for train watching or photography.
The cafe in this beautiful new building is clean and inviting. If you’re in town, it is about a 10 minutes walk from the train station. I think the view alone is quite fantastic. You can see and feel how vast and big Hokkaido is.