This is going to be quite a long post with a lot of photos.
I just love travelling to Japan and I plan to visit many cities there. This time, Sapporo in Hokkaido! This trip was also a gift from me to my dad. I’ve always been overseas working in the past years, taking care of my daughter and I hardly have time to really spend with my parents. So I thought this would be a perfect gift. My mom passed this one but we will soon have our next trip.
We have been to a few cities in Japan and Sapporo is #5 biggest (and new) city. I did some research about Sapporo and I think it would be a great place for a relaxing trip for my dad, not too busy I would say. 6 and a half hours flight from Bangkok to Chitose Airport by Thai Airways this time. Chitose airport screening was really quite slow just to added. Think we were queuing for an hour. Weather was great at 1°C. I arranged a car from hotel which took us an hour from airport to town area.
I chose Sapporo Grand Hotel, just because of a good location as reviewed by many other tourists. And I agreed on that 100%. Everywhere we want to go is possible just by walking less than 15-20 minutes or less than 15 by taxis. However, taxis in Japan are not cheap but I did not have many choices because of my dad’s leg conditions. At least I already prepared for this in advance. I recommend this hotel if you care about location. Their rooms are not spacious but most hotel rooms in Japan are. Cleanliness and services are good enough. Choices of breakfast are great. There are 2 different buffets spots on 1st and 4th floor and one local menu breakfast sets by garden views on 4th floor. Nothing fancy about their bars so I didn’t like it.
And here is the lists of what I think it’s best to do in Sapporo. Please take note that I crossed out quite a number of very commercial places and only focused on my travelling style. I simply do not like boring or overrated places.
Hokkaido Jingu (北海道神宮)
A beautiful place to be and to pray. It’s the biggest shrine in Hokkaido. The outlook of shrine is so great with such weather. Also to observe the local cultures. And very peaceful I would say.
Do not mind my almost bare face. I couldn’t be bother to put so much makeup after a crazy long day before flying. Well.. at least my camera helped.
We spent probably about 45 minutes. There is a nice huge garden around their shrine to walk around and I saw a few local feeding squirrels.
Sapporo Beer Museum (サッポロビール博物館)
I like beer so I wanted to visit this place. Sapporo beer as we know is one of the oldest and most popular beer brand in Japan; brewed in Sapporo since 1877. This museum tells you about history of beer and the making process.
After touring the exhibitions, beer tastings are also available at a low cost. It was actually more of a tasting session at the end.
My favourite was Kaitakushi beer on the right which is more of a easy-to-drink and quite rich kind of taste. After tasting I was told that Kaitakushi was named under a 2-story wooden brewery building and it was the first brewery in Hokkaido. But I personally prefer Belgium or Germany beer a lot more.
However, this place is not as huge as I thought so one hour would actually be enough unless you want to sip more fresh beer.
Shiroi Koibito Park (Chocolate Factory)
It is a theme park by Ishiya, a local chocolate company. I’m sure many you know this most famous cookies for souvenirs from Hokkaido. It is wrapped in green paper and inside is a white box with light blue design.The one which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate in between.
There are quite many things to do and stroll around at this park such as cafe, restaurant, shops, chocolate related exhibitions and of course the cookie production process in the factory. Opposite this park is a huge soccer field.
I just love their park. I’m pretty sure it’d look much nicer in December to January where all the new year lightings are set up. This is your place If you like to do selfies with nice background.
Next is my favourite of all, hot-chocolate cup room.
I could spent a few hours in this room if I were by myself. Their rooms were nicely decorated and cups were displayed in such a way that is so grand and vintage. Rare kind of luxury.
Below are some of my favourites out of a hundred photo I took of these cups/boxes. If they do not fancy you, just skip them. How I wish to have some of this for my home. They are just so beautifully designed in different years and places. They reflects the cultures of where they are from as well.
Next, it’s the factory itself. From far I could smell a mixed of chocolate, butter, cookies before walking in this session. Very nice impression to start with.
And a room full of cakes, beautiful ones.
Ended with a random stuff of old collections. They are again, rare.
This is a must to visit place if you have a chance to be in Sapporo. Out of all places I mentioned above, this is my most favourite. We went back hotel with some souvenirs of course. Simply a good day out.
I will be back for more of what to do in Sapporo as well as where to have good food over there. I hope you enjoy reading.