Sapporo Jazz Clubs / Bars

Sapporo’s jazz scene exists and it seems fairly healthy since there are quite a few jazz bars/clubs in the city. Are you a jazz fan looking for jazz related bars/clubs to explore? Please read on!

1 — Out of all the bars that I frequented in Sapporo, I went to Lazybird the most. It’s located a bit outside of downtown, close to the North 24 area (click here for the link).

For live music, check the schedule. Usually there are 4 or 5 shows a week (two sets, usually starting at 8).

What I liked about this bar was getting to know the owner over a course of nine years. When there weren’t shows scheduled, I would go there just to chat with the owner and the regulars.  The owner can speak some English and is someone that I trust. He has a very impressive collection of jazz albums and takes requests (don’t overkill on this though… he likes to be the DJ).

Some of the best concerts in Sapporo happen at Lazybird because of the owner’s connections with some of the finest musicians in the country. If you check the live schedule, these concert usually cost over 1600 yen plus a 500 yen house charge (drinks are extra). Shows with a cost of 3000 yen plus the 500 yen charge usually feature musicians from Tokyo or out of town.

Every month there are jam sessions... I would recommend jamming if you’re an intermediate to advanced level musician. Usually the leader will choose which musicians participate and it’s tightly run.

If you’re going to be a regular here, I would recommend getting a bottle since it saves money and please mention that you know of the bar because of me (Mark). 

2 — For those that need their downtown Sapporo jazz fix, there's Slowboat (click here!). Slowboat was run by Mr. Fukui Ryo and has been around for quite a while (I don’t know specifically for how long). It’s located on the 4th floor and has a nice grand piano. Mr. Fukui passed away on May 13th on 2018. Perhaps, he has “legend” status in Sapporo.

Basically there’s a music charge to get in so depending on the night you’ll have to pay 3000 yen or more to get in (drink are seperate). I suppose the reason why the charge is above average is because of the level of musicianship at this bar. There are some pretty good local musicians performing here every night.

3 — Halfnote is run by Ms. Anzai (click here for the link). It’s located in a very unique building in Tanuki Koji (Sapporo’s only overhead arcade area) in the basement (this is a very fun building to explore since it has tons of bars and small restaurants).

The house pianist is Mr. Toyoguchi and out of all of the pianist that I’ve seen in Sapporo, he’s one of the best. He has a very broad repertoire of tunes in his head. There are vocal concerts every week (please check the schedule).

The food at this bar is quite good and there’s a good selection of alcohol.

Each set is a bit more compact than other bars... and there are three sets per night (7:30, 9:00 and 10:30). The last set is Sapporo’s latest. Fridays are trio nights and there is the odd “special” guest every once in a while...

There’s a live charge of ¥1500 - 2300 plus a house charge of ¥1000. Drink and food are seperate.

Overall it’s a very clean bar and maybe a good place to bring a date.

4  I’d probably say the oldest running jazz club in the city is Jericho (click here for the website). It’s been open since 1983 and the owner has a pretty impressive collection of albums. The bar is located in the basement of a building that is one block away from Susukino.

The owner seems to be a free thinking type. He runs the place alone and listens to the music intently during the concerts. I don’t think he can speak much English but he’s a friendly man.

The one thing I like about Jericho is the feel of the place. Nothing in that bar has really changed since it opened… the decor and the worn out tables are something to be seen. Bottles can be purchased fairly cheaply and they’ll keep it for you for a certain period of time.

5 —  Jamusica is located close to the West 28 station on the Tozai line (click here for the website). They have a pretty good variety of “types” of music (some evenings are “fusion”, funk, jazz, latin themed). 

This bar is one of the more spacious jazz clubs in town. The owner is a decent guy and plays a pretty funky piano.

6 — Ku (click here for the website) is located close to the West 18 station. It has some pretty exciting shows and some of the most reputable musicians in the country perform at this place on occasion. Most days are local musicians. 

If you make a reservation the price of the concert will be 500 yen cheaper.

7 — D Bop is a place I’ve never been to but know about from Facebook. Click here for the link. I have a feeling they used Google translate on their webpage...


Do you just want to lay back and listen to jazz records, while sipping a coffee or some booze? Bossa is the place to go (click here). Located on the main road of downtown, near Susukino, it’s a nice cozy place to spend an afternoon or to take a nice lady out in the evening.

One more place to listen to records is Jamaica, which is located in the Tanuki Koji Arcade area (around 5 Chome Minami 3). You’ll have to find your way through a maze of small bars/restaurants. This place is cozy and is basically for listening (don’t be a dope and try to talk over the music to your friend).


Well, I’ve mentioned a few jazz spots in the town of Sapporo so check ‘em out. Most jazz related people in Japan are pretty open minded and accepting to “outsiders”. I find if you can play an instrument and know enough about jazz, that’s enough to get accepted very quickly.

Enjoy your time in Sapporo and Japan.

© Mark Quigley 2024