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Blog 10 (Vlog) Hokkaido

When: August 20th - August 24th 2013
Where: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Who: Mom, Dad, Brother, and Me




Day 1 (Sapporo)

Our flight was at 7:30am, so we had to get up extra early to get to the airport. I slept for maybe only 4 hours or so, but I was very excited. Trans Asia actually had good food on the flight! The main meal was Shu Mai, some fried buns, Chinese Tofu Dessert, and some fruits. This is the first time I've ever seen a menu like that! Super satisfied.


We arrived at the New Chitose Airport a little late since the flight was delayed during takeoff and landing due to an incoming typhoon outside of Japan and Taiwan's East coast. After getting our luggage, we took the JR train to Sapporo station (¥1040/person), then transferred to the subway Toho line to Hosui Susukino station (2 stations, ¥200/person) which is where our hotel is.



We were going to go to Hokkaido Jingu (Shrine), but it was pouring rain, so we decided to go to the underground shopping area and also Tanukikoji Shotengai (shopping street) 狸小路商店街
They were having a Matsuri (festival) there so the whole shopping street of 8 blocks were all decorated in really pretty ornaments. 
 

The shopping street had everything from fruits, restaurants, gaming centers, to pet shops, souvenir shops, make up, and clothing.


¥80/banana at 7-11


Because 7-11 in Japan is just like in Taiwan, you need a million types of drinks



Totoro Goods from a souvenir store


We had traditional Japanese food for dinner


I also bought some makeup from Rimmel London, Japan is the only country in Asia that has this brand!


And a pair of really girly heels.


Day 2 (Furano - Hometown of Lavenders)

For day 2, we were going go a city Northeast of Sapporo. It's Furano (富良野), the hometown of Lavenders in Japan. Lavenders typically start blooming early June up to mid August, so we only got to see a little bit of Lavender. But the good thing is, summer - autumn flowers were blooming, so instead of a big field of purple, we got to see a big field or rainbow.

To get there, we had to first take the subway to Sapporo Station, then get on Chuo Bus. It's a 2.5 hr ride to Furano. 4 tickets for our family was ¥7,750 (round trip total is ¥15,500, which is about $20 USD per person per trip.) The problem is, after we got to Furano Station, the Lavender fields was still 3 stations via local train away, but there's only 4 trains a day between the two stations. So we had to take a cab ride, which was a really pricy ¥3000 each way.





But eventually, we got there. Good that my broken Japanese was good enough to do so. I can imagine if we were in Kansai (West Japan), where they speak Kansai Dialect, I would be completely lost. There's no entry fee to get into Farm Tomita which is really generous of them. They plan everything by hand which is a lot of labor work involved. They sell a lot of Lavender related goods in there, and my favorite is probably the Lavender ice-cream. It's sweetness is just perfect, and the Lavender taste isn't too strong. 

 











We spent a whole day at Furano just relaxing and walking around. The temperature was really nice, at about 25C or 77F the whole time. At night we went back to the city in Sapporo, and had a Seafood All you can eat. There was grilled and also raw seafood. They limit 90 min of dining time and it's ¥3,480 per person.





Day 3 (Noboribetsu)

The 3rd day is also a far trip. We went to Noboribetsu city which is Southwest of Sapporo. We took Chuo Bus again for about 1.5 hrs. After we got there, we transferred to a local bus and got to the Date Jidaimura 伊達時代村 (Edo Period Village). The entry is ¥2,900 per person. The whole theme park is modeled after the Edo Period 江戶時代 (1603 - 1867). There are 4 shows to see and lots of small museums and attractions inside the park.












Oiran Show

(Clip included in Vlog video, link on the bottom of this blog)


Outdoor Ninja Show

(Clip included in Vlog video, link on the bottom of this blog)


Noboribetsu is famous for it's Bears?

For dinner, we went back to Sapporo to eat a huge crab meal. It was mostly hotpot crap, and included a really delicious congee dish at the end. The congee was cooked in crab's soup, so the flavor was full of crab and other seafood. I also had some Crab Chawanmushi 茶碗蒸 (Teacup Steam)







I saw this super skinny girl on the streets of Sapporo. This isn't the first time I've seen this. This is actually very common in Japan. In Japan, a girl of 5ft (155cm) is expected to weigh around 38kg or 88lbs to be in perfect/model shape. So, I would be overweight in Japan... I just hope all these girls realize that it looks very unhealthy, and that some of them aren't consciously choosing to be like that.


Day 4 (Sapporo)

The last full day in Hokkaido, we're mainly staying in Sapporo and going to 3 main tourist spots. The first is Hokkaido Jingu (Shrine). It's at the Maruyama Kouen Station. So before you enter the Shrine, you're supposed to wash your hands with the water provided at the entrance of the shrine (my vlog video has a demonstration of how to do it)




After you enter the shrine you can do various things.
1. Write your wish on Ema, which is a wodden plaque.
2. Draw your luck, and if it's bad luck, you have to tie it to the designated area
3. Pray for good luck




I got super good luck (大吉) so I don't need to tie my piece of paper.



 

On the way back to the station we saw these really cute kindergartners on their way to the zoo beside the shrine.


This is their sign in the subway to ask you to be careful

After Hokkaido Jingu, our next stop is the Shiroi Koibito Park (白い恋人パーク) White Lover's Park. It's a brand of really famous chocolate cookies made in Japan. In the park there's demonstrations of how the cookies are made. Shiroi Koibito cookies are very famous items that people who travel to Japan will bring as gifts back home.











~ Tea Time ~

After Shiroi Koibito Park, our last tourist stop is The Sapporo Beer Museum. It shows a history of Sapporo Beer, how the beer is made, where their factories are, how their ads evolved throughout the years, and also beer tasting for the various kinds of beers they make. Admission is free!





At night we just spent a lot of time shopping at JR Tower's 5 malls: Stellar Place (East, Center, West), Paseo (East, West), Apia, Esta, and Daimaru.


This is from Big Camera store in Esta, they have these really really girly emergency phone chargers. I didn't get one, but this seriously can't get anymore girly!


After dinner, we went to JR Tower's Observation Deck: T38 (on the 38th floor), you can see the whole Sapporo City view from there. 


Chart of the world's tallest buildings
(click on picture to enlarge)





Saw this Japanese dude with an I Love Taiwan Backpack! Yay


I ended up buying tons of cosmetics, since there's a lot of brands I can't find anywhere else but in Japan. I got some eyeliner, brow powder, brow gel, contour powder, whitening face wash, eyelid glue, concealer, lipgloss, lipstick, and cream blush. 

Brands: Canmake, Rimmel, Bourjois, Kate, Ettusais



And then I got this bag for ¥5,000! (original price ¥7,200) Pretty good deal!



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Unfortunately, we ate some bad beef during our last meal in Sapporo. It was at 

石窯焼きハンバーグ フランクス

(Paseo West 1F). Both my dad and I were sent to ER and hospitalized after severely throwing up and having diarrhea for a whole day. But the conditions are under control now and I've already left the hospital. I just can't believe this would happen in a place like Japan where they have such high standards on food quality! 


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Last but not least, here are the links to the two Vlogs for my trip to Hokkaido!














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