Sapporo

September 28, 2017
Japan Hokkaido

Sapporo

Odori Park

Sapporo is the main city in the Hokkaido island. Other than ICBMs and skiing, not much tourism happens here compared to Honshu. We’ve always wanted to go on a road trip somewhere, so we decided to do it in Japan! We haven’t been to Hokkaido before so that was our destination.

Also, this is our honeymoon. It’s basically like every trip we’ve done before, except now we’re married.

When we landed in the airport we were pretty tired. It was pretty long, 7 hours to Thailand, then 7 hours to Hokkaido. Regardless we ran into the Smile Road area in the New Chitose Airport. This area houses a whole bunch of cool stuff, mostly San Rio related. So Doraemon, Hello Kitty, that lazy egg thing (Gudetama?). It’s like a mini Disneyland but in an airport.

This is the first of many stamps that Steph will aim to collect this time around.

Royce is pretty prominent here, a chocolate shop that has a lot of mind share in Asia. Maybe because of Korean Drama.

We took the train to Sapporo Station and got picked up by Miwako, our host at the Airbnb for Sapporo.

We didn’t want to waste the day so we went ahead to Odori Park, one of more famous parks in Sapporo. Turns out there is a big Autumn festival this month, where you can eat tasty foods. The park itself is pretty interesting because it’s looooong. Several kilometers long (I think).

Unfortunately the food was pretty expensive and not that great. A little disappointing to be honest.

Sapporo uses a lot of trams which is pretty interesting. A tram ride is a flat rate of 200JPY.

Aurora Town, Tanukikoji, Udon

The next day we decided to just have a look around the city and shops.

Some homemade breakfast first.

Quiet lines of salary men waiting for their lunch.

Floor 4 is missing which is expected. Not sure why floor 3 is missing though.

First stop was Aurora Town. This is an underground shopping mall, I guess ideal when winter starts and the entire city is below freezing.

The mall was kinda boring and unimpressive. Everything was overpriced and uninspired. The food was great though, we ate at an Indian Japanese fusiony place and had the best curry bread ever.

Next was Tanukikoji. We actually got here by accident, the plan was to actually find a cheap manga cafe to have a nap in (apparently it’s the cheapest accomodation you can get in Japan). No luck though, after lots of walking towards the map destination of one of the larger chains (popeye manga), we saw a Taito Game Station and decided to have a look.

This game we’ve played a lot when we were in Perth, nothing to see here.

This game was really fun (it’s called Groove something?), which basically involves reacting to music and flashy psychedelic horses (or your animal of choice) running around).

Theatrhythm arcade port of the DS game.

Weird slidey keyboard simulator that also requires you to do air hand movements.

Really sucky keyboard simulator when you bash the keys and it plays the actual piece properly.

A few hours later and we basically played all of the games in there! For some reason there were pretty much only rhythm games, which is pretty much our favourite. We stood no chance against the locals though.

We checked out a really sad pet shop as the puppies were all trapped inside little glass boxes.

Different regions of Hokkaido have different animals on their barricades. We saw fox, raccoon and monkey barricades during the trip.

Even the roadworks barricades have Hello Kitty on them for some reason.

That evening was the cooking party at the airbnb. The plan was to make Udon and tempura. It turned out surprisingly well!

Not to mention we got a surprise gift cake baked from Miwako, one of our hosts, to congratulate us on our wedding.

Apparently she cooked the cake on a fry pan which was pretty amazing.

Otaru

First, Sapporo station!

This is a small town near Sapporo which is famous for various things. Music boxes strangely enough is one of the main ones. And cheese tarts.

Apparently you will get electric shocks if you use a selfie stick near a train line somehow.

We went on a day trip here after some glowing recommendations. Turns out it was pretty awesome! Not sure how but we got stuck at the music box shop for probably 3 hours. Surprisingly awesome.

We were dying of hunger at this point so we grabbed food at the nearest restaurant.

We found a great store that sold wooden craft thingies.

Ninja shop!

Cute stuff shop!

One of Hokkaido famous mascots is this guy, who is famous because of his erection. I’m not kidding.

The cheese tarts weren’t as impressive though. At least they weren’t too sweet. But not really worth the price.

After we headed back to the city we didn’t want to head back to the airbnb just yet. So karaoke! I’m not much of a singer but that was fixed after a couple (cheap) shots of hard liquor.

Afterwards was dinner. We found a gyoza shop which somehow turned out to be chinese food. Still was pretty good.

Daisetsuzan Shirakabaso

Did I spell that right?

Its a road trip!

Today was the last day in Sapporo. It’s also the first day of our car rental! Luckily it’s all left hand driving here so I managed to pick it up without any issues.

The drive itself probably took about three hours.

Along the way we had a rest stop and amazingly it was awesome. Stephs lunch cost 750jpy but it was actually two meals in one (soba and curry) meanwhile I had a huge fried seafood bowl for 850jpy. We couldn’t finish it.

Got these awesome snacks for the trip. They’re… Corn, caramel and wasabi flavoured rice crackers.

The rest stops were half powered by vending machines.

The tolls cost a lot, about 35 bucks for a couple hours on the freeway.

The drive up the mountain was quite nice with good photo opportunities. Drone opportunities too except my drone didn’t work which was really disappointing.

Once we got to the youth hostel we had the first public bath experience for this trip which was great. The view on the rooftop was also amazing!