Hokkaido Ice Cream

February 10, 2017

Hokkaido is pretty famous for its milk. So I figured if their milk is special, their ice cream must be to. The fact that it’s freezing outside with the ground colder than ice cream DOES NOT factor in.

See, in the peak of winter and they sell it! Of course the tourists will buy that ice cream!


Sapporo Snow Festival – Odori Site

February 9, 2017

Every early February, Sapporo celebrates the Snow Festival with snow sculptures and lights. It all started oh so many years ago when a couple of students created snow sculptures. This then got the ball rolling into what is now one of the most famous festivals in Japan.

So. There are three sites for the festival:

  1. Odori site – where the snow sculptures are, the light festival, etc.
  2. Susukino site – where the ice sculptures are
  3. Tsudome site – where the snow activities are

Visit Odori site during the night (open until 10pm), Susukino and Tsudome during the day.

Now, after seeing these videos, the pictures will be so boring. But still, I find them adorable.

No, this is not part of the exhibits. This is just one of those created by the stalls. But it’s cute, ain’t it?
Oh, so many PPAP! There was even one with his face! His face which is the size of a small house!
My favorite. I love the well defined face, the trees inside, and the meaning I took of it.
They maintain the snow sculptures on a daily. That’s a lot of work (and consider how cold it is!)
The dragon in Super Mario!
I don’t know her, but she was really cute.
Muay Thai sculpture. goodness, ho did they do that? Like the arm – that has to be difficult to do.
Hihi. The end!

Food Trip in Sapporo

February 9-10, 2017

Japan isn’t really a street food friendly. The thing is, eating while walking is highly frowned upon, though the clean streets make it worth it. So chances are, the only time to eat streetfood is during of the festivals. Another thing about the Japanese? When they decide to do things, they go all out.

Sapporo is Japan’s food heaven. It’s not Osaka (at least for me. :p) What to try?

  1. Ice cream. The soft serve ice cream here is way better than the one in Tokyo. Then again, Hokkaido is apparently famous for their milk.
  2. Ramen. They have a “ramen alley”. I think that’s a pretty good signal of how good their ramen is. I can recommend some, but I only visited two (Sumireya and Teshikaga), and they are really good but not earth shattering good (or maybe I’ve eaten far too much good ramen?)
  3. Streetfood. The stalls at the festival are a must try. They have the almonds coated in chocolate, cinnamon, etc. They have plenty of seafood on a stick (TRY EVERYTHING YOU CAN!)
  4. Pastries. There are these small stalls with small pastries filled with heavenly chocolate, caramel or cheese. It’s like cream puffs, but the size of a thumb and made of pancake-ish shells. The heavenly one was in Sapporo station that I passed when I was lost, and there are some so-so ones in Otaru.
This is crab with lots of cheese and nori. Nomnomnom.
One of the many many stalls of… hot alcoholic drinks.
This was described as Hokkaido’s very own “coke”.
This is not streetfood – this is Teshikaga Ramen at the Ramen Alley. They seat around 8 people, so either you are lucky to get in quickly (like me), or you have to wait in line. Oh, get the gyoza.

Susukino Site

February 10, 2017

Outside the Susukino Station is a street with ice sculptures in the middle. Yes, that’s the Susukino Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival. You’ll be done in about 10 minutes. The street isn’t even blocked, so you’ll have to wait for the cars to stop you take the pictures. It’s close to the Ramen Alley so it’s worthy of a look.

Had to wait ’til all the cars are out of sight.

Tsudome Site

February 10, 2017

One of the trio for Sapporo Snow Festival, the Tsudome Site is for those who wanna play with the snow.

I decided not to take the bus from the station and just walk. On the way, I saw these cute snowmen!
Hello little snowman!
Look at their snow covered bike parking lot!
These rows and rows of snowmen will welcome you once you get in. Oh, it’s near the dome, not IN the dome. it’s an open area.
and the first game that caught my attention? Snow rafting! (sorry, no pictures allowed during the ride). You have to pay around JPY600, if I remember correctly. Just zoom in on the picture if it’s clear enough haha
It’s a short ride, and this is the end of the trail. 😦
The next (and last for adult) ride, is right next to it.
Now this one is free, and you have to drag your own ride uphill. It’s a short walk, don’t worry
WHEW! that was way higher when viewed from up top. That was a fun ride, but I didn’t wanna line up for another hour. Time to head out.
This one you simply throw snowballs to the target. You have unlimited tries, make your own snowball. Honestly. Nobody’s even watching this place.
they also have a make your own snowmen. It was kinda cute. Once a section is filled with snowmen, they close off the section and open another block.

Sapporo Streets at Night

February 9, 2017

Guess what this article contains? Pictures of Sapporo Streets at Night!!! :p

I just can’t help it, I have to share coz this was fairly magical. I won’t even bore you with captions, as basically I went:

“oh, that’s pretty”

“oh, that looks like whipped cream”

“oh, that looks like icing”

“oh, that’s a lot of snow”

Yeah, quite smart remarks from an intelligent lady like me. I know. You can go ahead and marvel at how my impressive mind works.

Otaru During that Night…

February 10, 2017

I found Otaru Snow Light Path Festival to be more magical than the Sapporo Snow Festival. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of snow and fire – the lights are not bulb / LED lights. They are from candles. So there’s only one color – white.

The Otaru Snow Light Festival coincides with the Sapporo Snow Festival, so do hit them both at the same time. They are pretty cold though, so that’s also something to consider. Sapporo has three spots to go to (Tsudome, Susukino and Odori) on top of the other regular Sapporo go-to tourist spots. Adding up Otaru will make the trip longer and well, colder.

I’ve got all my tips in the article “Otaru During the Day”, so the items below are merely pictures of the place when I was walking all over the place.

This is the canal at night. It is the MOST crowded place.
One of my favorites. ❤
This is the bridge over the canal. That’s how crowded it is from dusk to dark.
They basically put these candles inside the ice sculptures. They use buckets and water to shape these “ice lanterns”. Basically put snow in the bucket, add a bit of water, and voila! Ice lantern.
It spells out “omotenashi”, which is Japanese hospitality.
Pathways are basically lined up with these.
Awwwww. ❤
Now that I don’t know how they maintain.
This is the before-night btw. Not as impressive, eh?
They have these glass holders all over the place, and they sell it too.
That’s the glass holder in their hands. No, I don’t know them.
This is pure ice, if I’m not mistaken.
Him and his minions.
❤ ❤ ❤
I feel like I should be singing “under the sea”
The fun part is that the neighborhood also participates and makes their own lantern/sculptures outside their establishments/homes.