Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sapporo - ( Hokkaido - Day 4)

A very promising start on Day 4. I woke up in Hotel Maharoba feeling as though I am going to rock and shake more of Hokkaido. Maybe my instincts or gut feelings, but certainly after 3 days of exploring this part of Japan (Chitose & Hokkaido), I actually slept tight out of tiredness. Really tired battered by winter and the “long walks” while sightseeing, a big "yeh-yeh" as well because Hokkaido's winter has mellowed down. "Joy To Hokkaido" and "Here I Come Sapporo", morning was broken like the previous mornings with buffet breakfast. Comparatively an unlimited spread of Japanese and Western dishes as in Niseko Hilton Village, buffet is such a sheer waste for me. But logically, breakfast while travelling is essential to fuel up energy. So, I kicked in some food. Thereafter, Sapporo was all mine.  

City tour began with passing by the heart of Sapporo to glance at Odori Park and Tokei-dai (clock tower), our first stop for the day was at Asahi Beer Factory. Ushered into the huge area, undoubtedly touring the factory was an interesting and knowledgeable experience to comprehend back then history of Asahi. Equally impressive was knowing about the critical success factors of Asahi as a world known brand, also, their reputable automated production line. Really efficient and effective to produce cans and bottles of beers within minutes compared to the traditional manufacturing I witnessed in Carlsberg Brewery Copenhagen (Nederburg Wines Cape Town). 

However rest assured. Tasting beer is included. In Asahi, aha, beer sipped while nibbling the complimentary tidbits too. Okay, I drank. Just one glass because anything more would have been a disaster. After drinking, we were politely told to wash up our glasses. Believe me! Speak about Japanese culture. Imagine if it was in Malaysia? You think it will work? You tell me? I'm not sure.

Now, as we walked out of the building, we popped by the shops to browse through the sensational spoken about Japanese skin care and Asahi products. Subsequently, stepping foot outside, at the spur of the moment, everyone literally just let loose and freak out in the snow. I especially simultaneously jumped, hopped, posed and burst in happiness. Hail to show or perhaps the one glass of beer was the reason. Whatever, bottom line, we all have fun. 

Almost 20 minutes clowning in the snow, we then arrived at “Sapporo Sakaeya” for lunch. Steamboat again, but this lunch was trilling. It came with “DIY” tempura. Absolutely trilling to fry the dipped in batter fresh seafood and veggies prior to crunching and munching. Pleasurable.

Once lunch was over, it was shopping for the rest of the day until dinner time at the approximately 1 km long Tanukikoji roofed arcade. Indeed, Tanjukikoji with around 200 shops that runs east to west in downtown Sapporo is a shopping paradise visited by many tourists (Spice Bazaar Turkey). Featuring both old and new shops, souvenir shops and karaoke bars, must I speak on shopping madness? Of course not.

Obviously, it is digging your pockets or credit cards for impulsive purchasing or buy what you really need. Of course, of course. Even if shopping is not your cup of tea, you should still check out the outlets (Pretoria South Africa & Colombo Sri Lanka). At least you know for yourself instead of blindly believing those who always over-exaggerate you must shop in Sapporo. No, you don't have to. These Japanese things are available in Malaysia. Maybe not all. Maybe slightly pricey but let me tell you that I bought nothing. Well, logically, once you start travelling often, what's with shopping? (Damnoen Market BangkokBen Thanh Market Vietnam, Fremantle Market, Phuket Premium Outlet). Unless of course you really find something really tempting. 

For us, the best discovery while casually walking around was when we spotted Jyoti Indian Restaurant. Oh-god, Indian food in Sapporo? Bingo! Overwhelmed with happiness, we immediately went up to the first floor, sat and we couldn't help but chat with the owner. Imagine? Can imagine how it would have been?. Being the only two Indians so far in Hokkaido neither did we bump into another, meeting the Indian owner was truly a joy. Excitement lingered on as we sipped the Chai/Indian tea and nibbled the Masala Papadam.

Supposedly heaven actually came knocking in Sapporo, after that, we didn't want to walk anymore. So, we sat at the bench in the arcade for the next hour and soon, the others joined us. Some obviously shopped whereas the rest were undecided. Next was dinner at Genghis Khan not Kublai Khan barbecue. Back again to cooking your own meal, I guess no pampering in Japan when it comes to food, we joined hands to cook, we ate and we rested for a while.
Finally our day ended at Keio Plaza Hotel. Upon checking into clean room equipped with everything we needed, I was gone. Too exhausted for anything except shower, night-night and see you tomorrow Sapporo!!


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  1. Nice hotel and the food perfect to warm you up.

  2. Wow what beautiful pictures of you in snow! Seems like you've had a fun trip! How lucky to have Indian food in a corner of Japan!

  3. Wow...!! Beautiful Nava....esp the first pic....!!! Nice hotel and write up...!!

  4. Nice food...those breakfast eggs are really cool. You had a great time in Japan.

  5. I love the first photo very much, Nava! You look stunning & the ambience reminds me of X'mas, dear! xoxo

  6. One glass of beer is more than enough that too on empty stomach or else one wud be tipsy.. Lol
    The food and the places u visited seem fun..

  7. You are looking pretty and the food looks yummy.

  8. to visit. You look grt in the snow clad look. Food pics are a must to explore in detail. Yumm


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