Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Otaru (Sapporo - Hokkaido) - Winter Time

Day 5. Our day in Otaru which is about 45 minutes drive from Sapporo. Waking up feeling really well rested, we, yes, we totally crashed on bed early the previous night due to tiredness already catching up on us (Noboribetsu, Hokkaido & Chitose/Hokkaido). I definitely woke up looking forward to exploring Otaru. Said as must be included in your Hokkaido tour, it will be trust me and like the rest of the tour groups, I knew we will be exploring the same tourist spots. Nevertheless, I couldn't help but slide into my deep thoughts. One one side, I was sort of glad I will returning home in another two days time, on the other, I dreaded the daily grind awaiting me the moment I am home bound. Quite a dwelling matter actually, given a choice, honestly, I would love to travel 365 days, yet, the reality is that unless money fall from the sky, I need to work and I need to save before travel venturing again. Tell me about it. The reality bullet to middle income people like us. Sure. Anyway, instead of wasting more time getting worked up emotionally, I got ready and came down to the dining area for breakfast. Walla! Satisfying favourable Japanese breakfast. Bacon, eggs, Japanese porridge, soups and a cuppa of piping hot coffee for body warming me before we embarked on our journey along the Pacific Ocean to arrive in Otaru.   

Absolutely a mind blowing port town, winter as well adding extra white falling from sky attractiveness, Otaru gained its nickname “Wall Street of the North” due to obviously the rows of old stone buildings built in the past. For me personally especially, I was like star struck over the 200m long Otaru Canal blanketed by snow. A lo and behold sight ultimately, however, you shouldn't expect nothing more nor nothing less except spending maybe half an hour most to most for leisurely walking around. Of course, those restaurants and shops are at your Instagram pleasure. On the contrary what won me over was my moment in time of standing on the bridge for going with flow of the water views. Oh-my, Otaru winter bountifulness.   

Thereafter before hopping into our awaiting coach, we stopped by at the roadside small shop for smooth and luscious Japanese soft curl ice-cream slurping. At first I was in two minds. Should I or should I not, but after being told that ice-cream actually is body warming winter food, I gave a go. Green tea ice-cream indeed was my choice. Did ice-cream slurping put a stop to winter trembling me, myself and I? Honestly,  rubbish. I still had to winter battle wrestle.   

Journey began again prior to us getting down at the junction across Otaru Music Box Museum. Another must sightseeing I bet you won't regret, we visited the museum at the end of Sakaimachi Street where a steam clock presented by Vancouver city greeted us at the entrance. Showcasing an eye popping, fascinating huge collection of music boxes from the first floor right to third floor, we took at least one hour for seeing and admiring the various shapes, sizes and types of carefully crafted dolls, ornaments and so on and so forth, at the top floor, we bought a copper wall deco for our Otaru Music Box Museum memory keeping.    

From Otaru museum, we adjourned to the walking distance “Sailors”. Another seafood steamboat meal. Oh god! I went like what the hack. Enough please. Enough of steamboat. Then again, this is how it is when you are in tour. You can't choose neither decide where and what should be your next meal. I guess the choice is between eating or go get your own food if you feel you should. I ate. Basically. Sparingly though for energy filling my legs for walking later. Other than that, honestly, steamboat almost got me sea sickening.  

After lunching, we headed to Shiroi Koibito Park. The ownership of Ishiya, a local chocolate company and known as “one concept few attractions" theme park, Shiroi Koibito Park is a totality to outdoor and indoor sightseeing. “Chocolate Carnival,” a parade of mechanical dolls, which begins at the top every hour, “Shiroi Koibito Railway” trolley modeled after the Benkei steam locomotive, and “Gulliver House,” for kids pleasure are the profoundness outside. Whereas the central attraction inside is ”Ishiya Chocolate Factory” for seeing how Hokkaido’s leading confectionery “Shiroi Koibito” is made and confectionery making workshop whereby you can make a 14cm heart-shaped “Shiroi Koibito”,  additionally for antique cups exhibits.  

Furthermore, there's a cafe for visitors to savor Ishiya’s original sweets and you might as well make your way into the toy exhibition room, souvenir store and "Candy Labo" candy art specialty shop.   

Almost a whole afternoon in Shiroi Koibito Park, by the time we existed out,  sky had turned dark, gloomy and rain and snow became quite an unbearable condition. Quickly and carefully dashing into the awaiting coach, next was dinner in Aburiya. Pretty much an appreciated meal, quite a lavish one too, coupled with gulps of sake by the guys which I obediently declined because sake by far can heat me up until I know I will be all fired up inside.  

Finally, landing back to the hotel, thank god the same hotel, that's about it for the day while hoping tomorrow will be another favorable continuity to Otaru and Sapporo before packing our bags before flight flying us back to Malaysia.      

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