Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Otaru City Of Canals - Hokkaido

I would vote Otaru as the most interesting place to visit in Hokkaido. It is a small harbour city which you could make a day trip from Sapporo by train. We only covered Sapporo, Otaru, Muroran & Chitose towns during our trip.

We walked out of our Sapporo hotel to visit a small Buddhist Shrine
which is located on the next block. Here is the nice entrance
to the shrine.

This is the Amitabha Buddha's Shrine which was closed on that day.

Our hotel is just next block to this Hosui Susukino Train
Station in Sapporo. It is very easy to reach everywhere once
you are inside the train station. We connected our way to the main
Sapporo Station and hopped to the line that took us to Otaru.


It takes slightly over 1 hour by a normal train which passed 
through many picturesque snow scenery and mountains along 
the way. Here at the Otaru Station, there is a Tourist Information
Booth where there was a friendly lady who spoke Japanese,
English, Mandarin and Cantonese!! She advised us to take the
public bus to the end of the bus route and get off.

 My postcard pose at the lovely old buildings with European
architectures during Hokkaido's colonization during the 1800s.

They have many lovely old warehouses and herring mansions that line
along the famous Otaru Canal.

 We had to stop by the world famous Hokkaido Ice Cream parlour.
They have the purest lavender and melon flavours. Too many to choose.

Here is my yummy 6 flavoured ice cream! Sluurrpss!!

There are many fresh seafood restaurants along
the many streets in Otaru.

It was my first time seeing Snow Crab alive!

The prices scared me!

We took a ropeway (cable car) up to Mount Tengu.

Mount Tengu is a very popular ski resort in Hokkaido.

This is the panoramic view of Otaru Town with its harbours
and the Shakotan Peninsula across the seas.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

68th Sapporo Snow Festival 2017

We just got home after a week long holiday in Hokkaido, Japan. It was a wonderful experience for my wife to see real snow falling from the skies for the first time. She screamed so excitedly like a happy child again. In the past, she had seen plenty of snow in China and even South Korea during our ski trip but the snow didn't fall from the skies then. 


Our overnight flight took over 8 hours from Kuala Lumpur
to Sapporo at Hokkaido, Japan. We had difficulty to sleep well
even with the front row's spacious "hot seats".

 This is the New Chitose Airport which is very huge and
made headlines recently when the China tourists had
a nasty brawl inside with the airport officers over the
unexpected delays due to snow storm.

 They have many interesting facilities inside the airport
such as retail shops, seafood markets, museums,
children's play lands and even a spa with a hot spring
onsen for the public to relax.

 They have ample sitting areas to have coffee or browse
your smartphones with free WIFI which was very powerful.

The famous ROYCE chocolate factory in Hokkaido
took up large areas to house their chocolate museum,
cafe and retail shops!

There are so many types of chocolates here!

 We saw many cute and lovely cakes, desserts and ice cream
sold in many shops. They are so creative and innovative!

This is one of the many seafood mini markets indifr the airport
that sold all kinds of seafood catch from Hokkaido's famous seas.

 They sold many frozen crabs, fishes, squids and everything
from the ocean..... Yes, inside the airport!


 We took a train from the airport and arrived at this Sapporo's
JR Station which was full of people and excitement inside.

 It is always packed with locals and the thousands of tourists 
who arrive each day to discover Hokkaido.

 My wifey outside the Sapporo's JR Station.
It was -3 degrees C.

Yours truly posing outside the Sapporo's JR Station.

The snow festival was held in 3 different park areas in Sapporo
but we only visited the main one at Odori park.
They had many stalls selling barbequed seafood, sake
and souvenirs.

There were many snow sculptures on display and we came
here because Sapporo's Snow Festival has always been rated
the BEST. It is different from Ice Carvings.

Yours truly with 2 cute Japanese cartoons.

 They even built Donald Trump.

 Everything was so white and would hurt our eyes!
So we wore shades.

You could guess who is this singer?

 The snow man and I.

We made our way walking through their mile long shopping
area underground and spotted this talking robot who was
so talkative, friendly and welcomed everyone in
any language you wished to speak.

We stayed for 2 nights at the popular red lights area in Susukino
district and my wife's eyes went wide seeing the hot
GROs wearing skimpy G-strings ogling at their
customers at the full window views of the drinking clubs!

We enjoyed so much eating the Japanese barbeque
food which was delicious and hot to keep warm
together with a bottle of sake wine.

We toasted and cheered "Kampai"

Happy Valentine's Day 
to all the readers!


Unforgettable Day

😓 Yesterday was the weakest day of my whole entire life. I had to crawl my way to stay at my sister's place. At her Mont Kiara condo...