On the 5th day in Sapporo, I woke up with mixed feelings. On one side, I gladly looked forward to homebound in two days’ time. Undeniably, home will always and forever be where the heart is, home is the best comfort ground and nothing can come close to sleeping on your own clean or smelly bed. Indeed, home is incomparable. But on the other hand, enough is never enough with holidaying. Given a choice, I would love to travel 365 days. But the reality check on dollar and cents will reveal otherwise. Therefore, once the practically that money does matter for travelling set in my thoughts, I bounced back for another day of sightseeing. Heartily tucking into my choice of food between the wide spread of Japanese and Asian buffet breakfast, I was up and about on exploring Otaru during the journey along the Pacific Ocean.
Absolutely a pretty port town, Otaru gained the nickname “Wall Street of the North” due to the rows of old stone buildings built in the past. Prettier to lo and behold be the 200m long Otaru Canal surrounded by walls blanketed with snow. Even though there is nothing much to do in this place except leisurely walking around or patronising the restaurants and shops, what I loved the most was standing on the bridge and allowing my mind to wonder far and beyond against the backdrop of the water.
Absolutely soothing to evoke my senses as a picture perfect start of the day, before departing, we stopped at the ice cream shop for the smooth and luscious Japanese soft curl ice-cream.
Deliciously a fab and a must try in Sapporo, we slurped off every bit and left to the nearby Otaru Music Box Museum. Between the multiple buildings scattered within the southern end of this Sakaimachi Street, we visited the most prominent one with a steam clock at the entrance, a present by the city of Vancouver. Showcasing a fascinating huge collection of music boxes throughout the three floors, we took at least an hour plus to see and admire the dolls, ornaments and the rest of the pieces piping out with music. To cherish our visit to this museum, on the third floor, we bought the copper wall deco.
From Otaru museum, we adjourned to the walking distance “Sailors” for another seafood and steamboat meal. Tell me about what else can be new from Hokkaido’s sea and for Hokkaido’s winter? Obviously, this is food (Noboribestu). I didn’t mind the piping hot flavorful soup and the vegetables(Hilton Niseko Village), but honestly, enough of seafood. Really up to my neck by now. Nonetheless, I quite enjoyed this pleasant lunch (Chitose Food Court)
After lunching, we headed to Shiroi Koibito Park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. Opened throughout the year and known as “one concept few attractions" theme park, sightseeing can begin outdoor or indoor. Whichever is preferred, outside you will see the “Chocolate Carnival,” a parade of mechanical dolls, which begins at the top of every hour, the “Shiroi Koibito Railway” trolley modeled after the Benkei steam locomotive, and the “Gulliver House,” for mainly children to enter and play. Inside the park, the main attraction of course is ”Ishiya Chocolate Factory” to see how Hokkaido’s leading confectionery “Shiroi Koibito” is made, a confectionery making workshop in which participants make a 14cm heart-shaped “Shiroi Koibito”, exhibitions on antique cups and the history of chocolate.
Besides the café which allows visitors to savor Ishiya’s original sweets, we also visited the toy exhibition room, the souvenir store and the candy art specialty shop called “Candy Labo”.
Spending the whole afternoon in this park, we existed out in the dark, gloomy, rainy and snow falling weather. Quickly but carefully dashing into the awaiting coach, dinner was next in Aburiya. Nice meal. A couple of appetizing authentic dishes which actually were served instead of self-service, the men also warmed up with gulps of sake whereas I obediently refused.
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