Thursday, September 29, 2016

Sapporo - (Hokkaido - Day 4) Winter Time

So far so good. No complaints whatsoever. Hokkaido so far has been a favourable travelling gram for all of us. Well planned and executed as per our itinerary and all's well that ended well for the last 3 days (Chitose & Hokkaido, Hokkaido Japan & Noboribetsu). In fact, its been an absolute winter ball of a time sightseeing, except, believe me, as I have already told you earlier, winter in Hokkaido during this tripping of ours was really utterly crazy. One of the coldest we were told and we ourselves had also figured it out, oh-my, never have I experienced this kinda weather nor I want to in the near future. Then again, come to think of it, our Malaysian hot weather too is a killer. But because our Malaysian born and bred blood is quite accustomed to mostly sweating and perspiring, our coping mechanism is pretty much in place. Winter in Hokkaido on the other hand mind you, honestly, almost body ruined me. Anyway, was there anything I could have done? Nothing much actually. Weather definitely is beyond my control. Unless I lock myself in my room and say no to sightseeing? Logically, silliness right? Since we have paid for coming this far for supposedly, recommended by many as Hokkaido winter wonder? Inevitably. Starting off on the same note on day, all that getting ready by showering and what not, and tucking into the fab huge buffet breakfast spread for option between the Japanese and Western items I must tell you was a sincere food pleasure, prior to us departing to Sapporo. 

Surprisingly, on this particular day, wonder if winter god showered mercy on me, winter brutality had genuinely scaled down. Obviously a joy for Nava K. Tadaa! City tour shooting off upon us arriving at the heart of Sapporo, we glimpsed at Odori Park, Tokei-Dai (clock tower) and other known and unknown features before making our mark in Asahi Beer Factory. Pleasant welcoming and ushering in Japanese down to earth culture, followed by the happening interesting knowledge thirsting. Popping in front of us right from the start and all the way throughout, we passed by and digested the factual to the automated and super speed like Japanese bullet train production line. Made sense. Japanese and their critical success factors. Furthermore, why Asahi has garnered one of the spots amongst beer drinkers around the world.  

Back to the ground floor and to the dining area for beer tasting. Did I? I did. Not for getting drunk but for a few gulps while tidbits nibbling. Beer in small glasses per say. So there's no chance for anyone being crowned as drunkard. At the end of it all, we were gently reminded to wash up our own glasses. Isn't it great? Discipline learning instilling while travel venturing? Absolutely.  

Prior to stepping out of Asahi Beer Factory, we browsed through the stuffs  in the shop. Skin care and of course Asahi beer in different packaging for buying back. Didn't interest me. What actually triggered happiness thereafter was our moment to snow enjoying and playing outside. Our heart felt pride to winter in Sapporo. Literally almost everyone going ga-ga by jumping, running, kicking and camera clicking for the next twenty minutes or so.   

Lunch was next. In “Sapporo Sakaeya” and this time, “DIY” tempura, plus how can Japan be complete without steamboat togetherness as well? Indeed. Dipping the items consisting of seafood and vegetables into the batter and self crispy frying, and also slurping into steaming steamboat, we didn't dispute this meal of ours. Nice. 

An hour for lunch and for the rest of the day, time allocated for shopping at the approximately 1 km long Tanukikoji Roofed Arcade. 200 shops running east to west in downtown Sapporo. Supposedly the shopping paradise, often attracting tourists like us and featuring both old and new shops. Souvenir shops, gaming and gambling, karaoke bars, eateries, drug stores and beauty outlets whereby its your money for contributing towards the economic growth of Japan.  

Even if shopping is not your cup of hot tea or coffee, potentially, you must I reckon pop by for seeing this whole truth but nothing but the truth if Sapporo shopping is worthless or worthiness. We went from one store to the other and the luring factor primarily was beauty shop dropping in. A couple of sheet masks paid for, don't waste your time asking for suggestion from the staff who will basically stare at you due to language error, thereafter when we spotted Jyoti Indian Restaurant, we went like, what. Indian food in Sapporo? Bingo! Must try we told ourselves. Up to the first floor, we sat, we couldn't help chatting with the owner and we being the only two Indian customers amongst the Japanese who were delighting over Indian food. 
Masala Chai sipped into while nibbling over the Masala Papadam, were these mouth impressive? Well, I won't say the best but forever and ever, Masala Chai will put a smile on Indians like us no matter where and what.  

With another an hour plus in hand, instead of aimlessly walking around, we decided to rest our legs at one of the benches. Clock ticked and we got moving once the rest of the tour buddies arrived at the same spot. To Genghis Khan Restaurant for barbecue. Back again to food at your hands cooking, not bad actually. I loved the grilled lamb and fresh veggies particularly.  
Finally, we checked into Keio Plaza Hotel. Well maintained and full of service to whatever you look forward to in a room, including toileries and drinks, too exhausted for anything, we showered and slumber landed on bed. 

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