Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hokkaido Autumn Vacation: Sapporo (Japan)

Japan is super easy to explore on free and easy. Don't worry if you don't speak Japanese because they have English wording at the signboards everywhere. Japanese people are also friendly and helpful. Even though they can't speak your language, they'll try their best to help.

Day 1: Fly from Tokyo Haneda Airport to New Chitose Airport Sapporo
We took domestic flight by ANA. It's good that the flight was around 1 hour 30 minutes only. Next, train journey from airport to Sapporo JR station (cost around 1,070 yen/pax) for 35-40 minutes by JR Rapid Airport Express. You can view the timetable here

Hotel: Gracery Sapporo Hotel
The hotel has very good location. It's just 1 minute walk from Sapporo JR station and surrounded by big shopping malls. The tour centre was also located nearby. Odori Park was just 15 minutes walk from the hotel.

Day 2: Otaru Bay Story Tour
We bought this day tour from JTB Singapore. It cost less than $150/pax, including lunch. The tour is in Japanese, but in the bus audio guide in English, Mandarin and other languages are available.

Here is the itinerary:
09.15 - JR Sapporo Station Bus Terminal
Meet at the Regular Sightseeing Bus window at the 2nd floor of JR Sapporo Station Bus Terminal (2 minute walk from the South Exit of JR Sapporo Station).

10.10 - 10.25 (15 min): Former Hokkaido Bank Head Office
Built in 1912, the stone building is a popular sightseeing spot in Otaru as a piece of modern architecture. Inside there is a wine shop called Otaru Bine where participants can enjoy a tour, tasting and shopping.

10.30 - 11.35 (15 min): Otaru Canal Terminal
Participants can walk freely along the Otaru Canal area, Otaru Canal was dug and built in the Taisho Era and is about 1140m long and 40m wide.

11.50 - 13.10 (80 min): Grand Park Otaru
The lunch menu is 70min all-you-can-eat buffet with Western and Chinese style selections. You can take a look at Wing Bay Otaru (huge shopping complex) freely in alloted time.

13.20 - 13.50 (30 min): Tanaka Sake Brewery Kikkogura
A well-established sake brewery where you can enjoy the local sake of Otaru. The stone building is a designated historical structure of Otaru. Get a behind the scenes tour of the sake brewing process, and enjoy the brewery's own Japanese sake in the tasting corner after the tour.

13.55 - 15.20 (85 min): Sakaimichi Street (Kitaichi Glass, Otaru Music Box Museum, Kitakaro)
This is the most lively tourist attraction in Otaru. Enjoy shopping in the area lined with seafood shops, glass workshops, sweet shops, etc. At Kitakaro, show bus ticket to get a L'Amour de Hanamasu present.

15.45 - 16.45 (60 min): Tenguyama Ropeway (round-trip), The Glass Studio in Otaru
Tenguyama, the symbolic mountain of Otaru. A 30 person capacity ropeway runs from the mountain base to the peak and takes about 4 minutes. The viewpoint from the top is fantastic;

Day 3: Half-day tour Sapporo
13.40 - 14.40: Central Wholesale Market
Walk freely through the popular market which opens each morning with vegetables, fruit annd seafood all freshly brought from various areas in Hokkaido.

14.50 - 15.15 (25 min): Hokkaido Shrine
The history of Hokkaido Shrine began in 1869 when Emperor Meiji ordered that the three deities of the Hokkaido reclamation be enshrined "so that the settlers will have something to believe in". The shrine is known for prosperity in business, traffic safety, economic fortune, luck in battle and competition, fortune for love and matchmaking among other things.

15.35 - 16.40 (55 min): Shiroi Koibito Park
See Hokkaido's famed confection, Shiroi Koibito being made on the production line. Enjoy shopping after the production line tour as well.

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido
Cafe at Shiroi Koibito Park

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido
View from Shiroi Koibito Park Cafe

Shiroi Koibito Park Hokkaido

Shiroi Koibito Hokkaido
Shiroi Koibito

No comments :

Post a Comment