Friday, 21 November 2014

Japan Trip (Hokkaido): Sapporo

We took a domestic flight via Japan Airline to Sapporo Shinchitose Airport from Tokyo. To get from Sapporo Shinchitose Airport to Sapporo Station, we took the JR Rapid trains. The train journey took 35 minutes and cost 1070 yen per person. If you have the Japan Rail Pass or Hokkaido Rail Pass, you can use the pass for this train ride. Otherwise, tickets could be bought at the ticketing machine in Sapporo Shinchitose Airport.

Do note that the train from Sapporo Shinchitose Airport to Sapporo station stops at many stations in between and the train was very crowded. To make matters worse, there's no space to put our luggage. It's not a comfortable ride.

Sapporo Station

The Sapporo station itself is a huge shopping and food centre. There are huge departmental stores like Daimaru and many other shops. It's so big that we kept losing our way in it.

Sapporo Clock Tower

It's around 15 minutes walk from Sapporo station but erm.. It's really nothing much. Just a building?!

Sapporo TV Tower

Some distance away, diagonally across the clock tower is the Sapporo TV Tower which I thought was more spectacular.

The Sapporo TV Tower is open for tourists to go up the observation deck at a fee of 720 yen.

Sapporo Beer Factory

There's a large shopping mall next to the Sapporo Beer Museum and there're several food options around the area. We went to Sapporo Bier Garten which was rated No. 5 of Sapporo's restaurant on Tripadvisor. It's a BBQ alfresco dining style restaurant. So be prepared to catch the BBQ smell on your clothes and hair. Their specialties is mutton. There's seafood to order from the menu as well.

Nijo Market - Where we had our king crab

To get to Nijo Market, alight at Odori station. It's just 5 minutes walk from the station. There were many fresh seafood such as scallops, various sashimi,uni, king crab at Nijo market.

Hubby and I are crab lovers and we couldn't resist the temptation of king crab and ordered one for 3800 yen.

The king crab were super duper delicious! So much meat, so tender, so sweet and so juicy! 3800 yen for one whole king crab was so cheap! I think in Singapore it should be selling for S$100+. I'm drooling while looking at this picture. OMG!

Tried another kind of crab called Hanasaki Crab that cost 6,000 yen. The season for this crab is July. This was super delicious as well. The meat of this crab tasted more like lobster meat than crab meat and it was OMG so fresh and sweet!!

We also saw the super sweet and fragrant Hokkaido melon in Nijo market, but we didn't buy it because we don't feel like spending S$25 for a melon. Lol.

Shiroi Koibito Park - The chocolate factory

Just us before taking the train to the chocolate factory.

To get to Shiroi Koibito Park, take the Tozai Subway Line to Miyanosawa station. There're signs to direct us to Shiroi Koibito Park from Miyanosawa station, about 10 minutes walk. Admission fee is 600 yen per person and the opening hours is 9am to 6pm. We were given a passport and a Shiroi Koibito chocolate biscuit after we bought the tickets.

We walked through the Chocolate Time Tunnel which showed how chocolate was made since long long time ago. After that, we were able to see through the glass window the process of making the chocolate biscuit! They have strict QC leh! Biscuits that was a little out of shape would be picked out by the workers.

We had some high tea at the cafe, enjoying views of the park.

We signed up "Make your own Shiroi Koibito cookie", the fee was 1080 yen for 1 cookie per person. We have to put on shoe cover, apron and chef hat to go into the baking room. Don't forget to sanitize your hand!

First step, making the cookie dough.

After we used the machine to mould the heart shape dough, the lady helped us put the dough in the oven. We would sit and wait for our biscuit to be ready for next step!

We were told to wear the gloves and then placed the piece of white chocolate filling on one piece of biscuit and then flip the other piece of biscuit over. Eh, it's not easy leh, have to be careful not the break the biscuit.

 Then we were given a pen filled with molten white chocolate to decorate the biscuits! It's so fun, even though I sux at art.

Can you tell which one was decorated by me and which one by hubby?
After that, we got to wait for another 10 minutes for the molten white chocolate to cool. Then we have to carefully put the biscuit into the Shiroi Koibito packaging, and it's done!

Before leaving, we took some photos around the park.

Mount Moiwa

To get to Mount Moiwa, alight at Susukino station, exit at Exit 4 of the station and take the streetcar to Moiwa Ropeway Iriguchi stop. The cost of the streetcar is 170 yen per person and you pay when you alight the streetcar. The journey is around 25 minutes. There is a shuttle bus near the street car stop which will bring you to Moiwa Ropeway in 5 minutes.

The cost of going up to the summit of Mount Moiwa is 1700 yen per person, and there's a Bell of Happiness at the viewing platform.

Ringing the Bell of Happiness together!
On Mount Moiwa, we saw stamp chops which we could collect! Subsequently, at many other attractions, we saw many stamp chops too. Next time must bring a notebook to Japan to collect all the stamp chops!

Tanuki Koji (狸小路)

Tanuki Koji is a long shopping and food street in Susukino. It has 7 sections. There were some duty free shops and tons of eateries to choose from. We went to a Ramen shop recommended by my friend, it was located at section 7, 狸小路 7

The dumplings was one of their recommendation and it's really nice!
A different version of the miso Ramen, fused with Chinese tan tan mian style. It's delicious!
While walking along Tanuki Koji, we saw this deal. Barbecue meat at half price!!

Oh my god! Plates of chicken, pork, beef all at half price! One plate was only around 250 to 300 yen, which was about S$ 3 to S$4! The quality of the meat was good and it was certainly delicious! They used charcoal for the barbecue. We were so happy that we found this superb deal.

Other than food and shopping along Tanuki Koji, we also saw Pachinko parlours. Hubby wanted to try playing it but we couldn't as they require some member card to operate the Pachinko machine.

We rented a car to bring us around for the rest of our journey in Hokkaido. We rented Honda Fit with Honda Car rental at Sapporo train station branch. Our next destination: Sounkyo Gorge!

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