Tuesday 20 November 2012

Hokkaido Day 5: Chitose & Sapporo

The trees were brown the night before but when we awoke, the whole of Akankohan was covered in white. It was snowing!

The beautiful sight outside our hotel window! =)

It was surprising as it was not supposed to snow at Akan at this time of the year. It was as if the snow followed us wherever we went as we always seemed to enter a city when it was green and left it when it was white!

The beautiful view of Lake Akan from New Akan Hotel

We were not complaining though as we were considered very lucky to have witnessed the first fall of snow, which is considered as the most beautiful by many people. And we had the privilege of seeing the transition of a town from autumn to winter not once, but twice! =)

The hubby and I went to bathe at the hot springs for one last time (gotta make our money’s worth!) but afterwards I started to have very bad headaches. It turns out I was severely dehydrated and needed to replenish my fluids. It’s very easy to get dehydrated in winter as the air is dry and you don’t feel thirsty at all.

I thought I would feel better after a very hearty breakfast but I knew my body very well. It always starts off with a headache and then nausea and vomiting would set in. It wasn’t a pleasant thing to do on the bus but I didn’t have a choice. I felt a lot better after that, thankfully.

We made our final 3-hour long journey to our final city of residence, Sapporo, the most populated city of Hokkaido (we will be staying there for 2 days). On the way to Sapporo, we stopped by the Northern Horse Farm where we got to ride on the horse carriage.

Poor horse had to drag the 9 of us on board the carriage

Finding the carriage ride very boring, I persuaded the hubby to take a short horse ride for the fun of it since he has never done it before. I myself didn’t because I have rode a horse before in Singapore (my dad used to be a jockey) and on the mountains of Yunnan China. Besides, it wasn’t cheap!

Excited over his first horseback riding experience

The hubby said that although the ride was really short, it was a great experience! =)

After the ride, we explored the rest of the farm. With such a nice backdrop, who can resist not taking more pictures.

Girlee, mummy & daddy miss you!

We then continued on our journey and made another stop for our “All You Can Eat Yakiniku” buffet lunch!

Fresh meat sizzling on a hot plate on a cold day.. tasty! =)

Ai san had also asked us 2 days before whether we would like to order Kobe beef, which would be shipped to this restaurant directly from Kobe! Despite its exorbitant price (close to S$100!), we the beef fanatics immediately answered, “Hai (yes)!”

And we were not disappointed!

Kobe beef specially shipped from Kobe, the most expensive beef steak we've ever eaten!! =)

The beef literally melts in your mouth! It was delicious! =)

After our incredibly satisfying lunch, we continued on our journey to visit Hokkaido Jingu Shrine, a large Shinto shrine situated admidst a woody forest.

Hokkaido Jingu Shrine
Ema or wooden plaques where wishes are written

We also made a short stop at the side of the road to take a picture of the famous NHK tower.

NHK Tower

And finally, we made our last stop at Sapporo JR Station, where the Underground Shopping Mall & Daimaru Departmental Store were located. The hubby and I immediately headed to the latter to patronise Burberry Blue Label, which is only available in Japan.

Daimaru at Sapporo Station

One of the wallets with pink lining caught my eye and I decided to buy it almost immediately! It's not often I see a wallet that I like as I'm really picky. Since I usually use a the same wallet for 5-10 years, I must buy a wallet that I really, really like! And so I did.. or he did to be exact. The hubby bought it as my Christmas present =)

We also joined the regular Japanese at the food bazaar outside the supermarket at the basement, where different kinds of Japanese food were sold. We decided to buy whatever caught our fancy and consume at the hotel.

An assortment of tonkatsu (pork cutlet), fried oysters, salad and hamburger patty
The bento (boxed meal) was the most value for money as it was selling at half price when we bought it =)

We stayed at Mercure Hotel Sapporo, which has modern furnishings instead of the traditional Japanese furnishings that we've been used to the past few days.

Our room at Mercure Sapporo

Although we really enjoyed the uber comfy beds and tons of pillows, I started to miss the tatami mats and hot springs. Our hotel was also not as peaceful as the other resorts that we stayed at as it was located right at the center of the busiest city in Hokkaido. In fact, the jingle of an advertisement downstairs ("Oh, oh, Hokkaidoooo!") kept ringing in our ears every 2 minutes. Drove me crazy (-_-")

The hubby also griped that we were given so little time to shop! *Sigh*

Hopefully we will have more time tomorrow.

Continue to >> Day 6: Noboribetsu, Lake Toya & Sapporo
<< Back to Day 4: Daisetsu, Abashiri, Lake Mashu & Lake Akan


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