Published: January 30th 2009December 27th 2008
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Another freezing day awaited us this morning as we toured the farm houses of the Hokkaido University (北海道大学). The snow-capped buildings and chimneys reminded us of those structures found in Europe. Lunch was a simple affair at a tiny ramen store near Sapporo station as recommended by M. As usual, the noodles did not disappoint in terms of quality and quantity.
After lunch, we ventured our way to the Ishiya Chocolate Factory (白色恋人) located at the western suburbs of the city. The factory building and the open spaces were attractions of their own. It was an added bonus that the factory grounds were opened to the public free of charge even though a fee must be paid to witness the chocolate making process. While the chocolates might not taste out of this world, credit must be given to their clever packaging.
With our Japan Rail Pass, we took a train to the town of Otaru (小樽), about 45 minutes from the Sapporo Station. Famed for its canals, the view was stunning at night but the weather was simply too cold for us to really take in the scenary despite decking in
layers of warm clothing. By nightfall, Otaru had become a complete dead town with the shops rolling down their shutters. While it was relatively safe to venture on the quiet streets at night, the freezing weather made the whole experience daunting. Lesson learnt: Otaru ought to be visited during the day time to avoid disappointment! 28 December 2008
~ We completed our final day in Hokkaido to take in the sights of the Maruyama Zoo. I was glad that the zoo continued to remain opened despite the snowy conditions. The minor drawback was that the bear enclosures were closed to the public today. Our Rail Pass brought us to some last minute shopping @ Shin-Sapporo and Chitose with all the brand names we were familiar with.
As night falls, our 3 nights in Sapporo came to an end as we prepared ourselves mentally for the 10 hour train journey next morning where R and Y were expecting us.
The 7 day Hokkaido experience had been memorable and we basically managed to comb the major places we had planned to visit with little difficulty.
Kombawa and Sayorana, Hokkaido.
There are more photos below