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One of the must-try dishes when traveling to Sapporo is Jingisukan, a lamb dish cooked on a helmet-shaped grill. The name originates from the resemblance of the grill to the helmets worn by Mongolian warriors. Among the many Jingisukan restaurants in Sapporo, Jingisukan Daruma is one of the most famous.

Jingisukan Daruma

Jingisukan Daruma Branch Locations and Operating Hours

Due to its popularity, Jingisukan Daruma has several branches. The numbers following each branch name refer to their respective addresses, indicating that the branches are close to each other. The menus are similar across branches, and all have waiting lines. It’s best to check the operating hours and the length of the queues before you visit. Each branch offers highballs made with famous Japanese whiskey. For instance, Daruma 5.5 serves highballs with the rare Hibiki whiskey. Although I considered visiting Daruma 5.5, I opted for Daruma 6.4 due to shorter waiting times.

Main Branch

4.4 Branch

5.5 Branch

6.4 Branch

7.4 Branch

Waiting Times

Queue of people waiting outside Jingisukan Daruma 5.5 Branch in Sapporo.

I stayed near Daruma 5.5 and noticed that there were always waiting lines. If you plan to visit during the winter, dress warmly as you may have to wait outside. Jingisukan Daruma is popular with both tourists and locals. I visited a few years ago and waited over two hours in the cold. On my recent visit, I arrived at midnight, knowing that waiting times would be shorter. Both Daruma 5.5 and 6.4 are open past midnight, but I chose Daruma 6.4 since there were no waiting lines.

Jingisukan Daruma 6.4 Branch

Inside the Restaurant / Solo Dining

Upon entering, you’ll find bar-style seating facing the kitchen, with additional seating for those waiting inside. Even though it was cold outside, I was able to get a seat within two minutes. The interior is smoky, with the smoke extractor hoods installed high above. There are cabinets to store your coats to prevent them from smelling like smoke. The bar-style seating makes it comfortable for solo diners, and I saw several other people dining alone.

Interior view of Jingisukan Daruma 6.4 Branch with bar-style seating

Jingisukan Daruma Menu and Prices

Menu of Jingisukan Daruma with Korean and English translations

The menu is well-translated into Korean and English, making ordering easy. In addition to the main lamb dishes, there are various side dishes and beverages. Jingisukan Daruma’s lamb is considered a premium dish, so prices are on the higher side.

Jingisukan Daruma Taste and Experience

The food is cooked right in front of you. The staff will light the grill and place a heap of green onions and onions on the round grill. The initial vegetable cost is 170 yen, with additional servings at 220 yen. I ordered one serving each of the regular lamb and the premium lamb, which is highly recommended. The premium lamb is noticeably fattier than the regular lamb.

During my previous visit, I found the lamb to become a bit greasy towards the end, so this time I ordered kimchi to balance the flavors. I also ordered rice and a Hakushu highball. The dipping sauce was soy-based, with garlic and chili available to add. As a Korean, I added both generously.

Hakushu highball served with grilled lamb at Jingisukan Daruma

The regular lamb cooked quickly and had a clean, mild flavor with no gaminess. It paired perfectly with rice and dipping sauce. The kimchi and highball helped cut through the richness. The premium lamb was incredibly flavorful, rich, and tender, far surpassing the regular lamb. I highly recommend trying the premium lamb if you visit Jingisukan Daruma.

Premium lamb being cooked on a grill at Jingisukan Daruma
Premium lamb being cooked on a grill at Jingisukan Daruma

For two servings of lamb, a highball, kimchi, and rice, the total came to 4,593 yen. It was a delicious and satisfying meal, and next time, I hope to try even more dishes.

This has been an introduction to Jingisukan Daruma, one of Sapporo’s top restaurants. I had an excellent dining experience, and I recommend visiting late at night to avoid long waiting times.