Enjoy "Sapporo Black" at Isono Kazuo, a Delicious, All-night Ramen Shop!

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Written by  Takashi Sato

When people think of Sapporo, many think of Miso Ramen. Actually, there is a delicious ramen that only the locals know about. It's called "Sapporo Black", and you can try this specialty at Isono Kazuo, a ramen shop that's only open at night.

If people will line up for it in the middle of the night, it must be really good!

The Ramen You Can Eat in the Middle of the Night

Isono Kazuo is located in Susukino, in Sapporo's business district. The bustling streets around this area are lined with restaurants and "izakaya" pubs, making it a bright and crowded place, even at night.

Following a night of drinking, many Japanese will say, as a set phrase, "Let's call it a night with ramen" and head to a ramen shop. Since warm ramen fills the stomach after drinking, people have the habit of eating it on their way home.

Isono Kazuo is open from 10 pm to 6 am the following morning, so it's the perfect place to "call it a night" after drinking!

It's just a tiny shop with only counter space, but the customers never stop coming.

The ramen shop open late at night
The ramen shop open late at night

The Main Attraction on the Menu: Sapporo Black

Although the menu offers salt, soy sauce or miso-flavored broths, many people order the main attraction of this place: Sapporo Black. The menu says that the soup is easy to drink if you add some "Shoga" (sliced red ginger) at the end of your meal.

Isono Kazuo's menu
Isono Kazuo's menu

The First Time to try Sapporo Black at ¥750!

Just like the name suggests, the main feature of the ramen is the astonishing black soup. With "charsui" pork slices on top, it's full of volume! Judging from its appearance, it seems to have a deep, strong flavor...

The black and shiny Sapporo Black! (¥750)
The black and shiny Sapporo Black! (¥750)

The Gap Between its Appearance and Taste is Shocking!

While it appears to be rather oily and very rich, when you eat it, you'll find an unexpectedly light flavor. However, in this simple-tasting broth, you can clearly taste a variety of ingredients. The thick and curly noodles are the perfect match to this soup. It's so delicious that once you try it, you can't stop.
(If you like, it is possible to exchange medium-fine noodles for the thick ones.)

The thick, curly noodles that are deeply entwined in the black soup
The thick, curly noodles that are deeply entwined in the black soup

The charsui pork is light and tender, and the fat on it makes it sweet and tasty.
(It is possible to add on toppings.)

When you scoop the soup with your Chinese spoon, it will be full of finely chopped garlic! The variety of sweet and sour flavors combine and spread throughout a milder soup, just as if it were calculated to do so!

It takes time because it's only open at night, the interior of the shop is really crowded and only one person cooks and serves the food, but it's definitely worth a visit! Please be sure to come and try it out!

Basic Information about Isono Kazuo

Sapporo-shi. Chuo-ku, Minami 5 Jonishi 5 Chome 21, Dai 2 Asahi Kanko Building, 1st Floor
Sapporo Tram, Yamahana Line, Shiseikan Shogakko Mae Station: 2-minute walk from the entrance
Sapporo Subway, Nanboku Line, Susukino Station: 2-minute walk
Business Hours
10 PM-6 AM (*Closed when the soup runs out)