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A lively trattoria in the heart of Sapporo dedicated to sharing the story of local Hokkaido growers. From aged Tokachi wagyu beef to homemade Okoppe milk mozzarella, Semina’s rustic northern Italian menu is a scrumptious feast of fresh ingredients from across the prefecture. Set in a cozy atmosphere, Chef Toshifumi Tanaka creates a true farm-to-table experience by highlighting where each and every ingredient came from.

Opened in 2017, Semina is a small Italian eatery located on the central avenue of Sapporo Odori. Naming the restaurant after the Italian word for sowing, Tanaka reimagines classic recipes he mastered in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Veneto using a variety of Hokkaido produce. Whether it’s the surprising combination of ingredients or the hidden flavors in a sauce, his excellent technique shines through the small details.

The blackboard on the wall shows a map of the island with all the local growers they source from, ranging from cheese makers to wineries. Take your time to find their names in the day’s eclectic menu. Served on crockery made by local artists such as Manabu Kachi and Shuichi Ogata, each dish is beautifully plated and garnished, appealing to all your five senses.



The story of local Hokkaido growers

From appetizers to main course, guests get to pick and choose from Semina’s original menu. The appetizing descriptions, such as “Butter confit of Mr. Nakanishi’s burdock roots from Kunneppu,” add to the excitement of the meal while highlighting exactly where the ingredients came from.

Freshly made after each order, fresh Okoppe milk mozzarella is a delightful appetizer. Served with Italian prosciutto, the cheese is silky, soft and rich in flavor. The chef also makes his own ham using fresh pork from a farm in Ashoro. The meat is sliced into layers and served with sauteed apples and grated mountain wasabi.

A lover of pasta, the chef has a number of recipes using a variety of regional pastas such as chitarra and paccheri. The day’s choices include spaghetti with bottarga and snow-preserved cabbages. The saltiness of the fish roe and the sweetness of the cabbage go so well together. The bowl of Ezo deer ragu is rich in flavor.

Rice koji risotto is a Semina signature. The malt is cooked for just a couple of minutes until al dente and tossed with mussel to bring out more umami. The exquisite texture makes this dish unique and unforgettable.

Roasted Ezo venison is served with butter-confit burdock. The meat is well cooked at a high temperature, creating a crispy texture on the outside and a moist texture on the inside. Aged Tokachi wagyu sirloin roast is grilled to perfection with the inside moist and tender. The meat is sourced from Sakaeya, a famous butcher in Shiga Prefecture. Kita Akari potatoes are ripened to bring out its sweetness. “After returning to Hokkaido from Italy, I realized this place is full of incredible produce,” Tanaka says.

As described in the detailed menu, most of the ingredients used in Semina’s cuisine are made in Hokkaido. Tanaka pays regular visits to producers, helping build strong relationships. The Okoppe milk used to make the homemade mozzarella is delivered to the restaurant three times a week. The rice malt comes from Ezo-Fuji Brewing in Yubari. The olive oil from Veneto has a gentle flavor.

Semina cuisine #0
Semina cuisine #1


Toshifumi Tanaka

Toshifumi Tanaka was born in 1984 in Takikawa City, Hokkaido. When he was in middle school, he began cooking for his mom who was busy working as a nurse. Receiving praises from family and friends, he became interested in becoming a chef. It was when his mother bought him a guidebook about Italy, he became fascinated by its food and culture.

After graduating from culinary school, he spent the next 7 years training at restaurants in Sapporo, Tokyo and Kanagawa. He went on to further improve his skills in Italy by learning from top chefs and being immersed in the local culture. In Friuli-Venezia Giulia, he studied traditional cooking at a Michelin-star restaurant. He then worked at a top restaurant in Veneto where he was the first Japanese to be hired.

When he returned to Sapporo, he joined SAGRA, an Italian restaurant owned by Hiroto Murai. When the restaurant moved to a new location in Yoichi in 2017, Tanaka took over the property and opened his very own Semina.

On days off, he likes to spend his time visiting producers as well as playing sports and traveling to hot springs. He enjoys meeting up to play baseball with fellow chef friends like Murai and Wataru Nakahara of Shinonome.

“I want to bring the producers even closer to the people tasting the food,” Tanaka says. He plans to visit the producers more regularly and collaborate closely with them. For example, he would like to organize pop-up restaurants on the farms to bring people directly to where the ingredients are grown. It would be the best way to share the story of the producers and show how incredible their products are, he says. The chef also wants to open a shop that stocks all the wonderful ingredients he uses in his cuisine at Semina. He wants to create a network that promotes these local products and convey the charm of Hokkaido as a culinary destination.


As the map on the blackboard shows, Tanaka sources all sorts of produce from across Hokkaido. He also stocks a fine selection of local wines, made mainly in the Sorachi region. Some of his favorites come from Shinga Winery, Japan’s most northern winery in Nayoro, 10R Winery, Ebeotsu Wein and Nakazawa Vineyard.


Lunch/ Dinner
Semina omakase course menu
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
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Italian, Sapporo
1F, 〒060-0061 Hokkaido, Sapporo, Chuo Ward, Minami 1 Jonishi, 8 Chome−20−1
Lunch (Fri-Sun only): 12PM, Dinner: 5PM-8PM (Last entry)


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