For the summer of 2014, I decided to head up to Hokkaido with two of my friends. Other than layovers and transfers, this was my first trip to Japan and was pretty eager to check out the country that was so close yet felt very far from Korea. Our plan was to stay in Sapporo for four days and road trip around Biei, Otaru, and Shakotan Peninsula.
We met up at the Chitose airport and took the rapid train heading towards the Sapporo station. The station was alot more crowded than I expected. It reminded me how much more populated Japan really is compared to Korea. The station wasn't too interesting other than being connected to different malls.
We took the cab towards our hostel called Enishia. It was a rather nice 15 minute drive through Susukino and Odori Park which was bustling with various beer gardens. The shot above is of my friend with his new Fuji XT1.
After a quick check in at the hostel, we headed out looking for some dinner and beer. The hostel was about a good 10 minute walk from Susukino so we headed towards that direction.
This was the Ramen restaurant that Anthony Bourdain (from the Travel Channel) had visited. Sapporo is famous for its Miso Ramen so we knew that it would have to be the first thing we eat in the city.
The ramen was good but.. turns out that there were better ones in the city. We learned a valuable lesson about not putting too much faith in Anthony Bourdain's choice of restaurants.
We headed towards our next druken adventure at Otaru Beer Leibspeise. About 3300 yen for unlimited beer... was just too good to pass on.
And.... so begins our first night adventure.
After some drunken stumbling around in Susukino, we made it back to the hostel in peace and slept soundly for the night :)
We woke up in the morning with some minor hangovers.
I sat around the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and big jug of water practicing my new phrase "Ohayo Gozaimas" to other travelers walking around the kitchen area.
We headed out in the rain. Unfortunately, it was going to rain the whole time we were in Sapporo.
We headed towards Nijo Market for brunch and coffee.
Ahh nothing like Kaisen-donburi for brunch :)
One thing about Korean vs Japanese coffee shops is that Japanese people dont seem to drink Americanos. In Korea, Americanos are pretty prevalent everywhere you go and usually the cheapest on the menu next to espresso shots.
I was surprised to find that smoking in restaurants and coffee shops are legal in Japan.
It was raining cats and dogs on that day so we decided to walk through the Sapporo station and head up to Sapporo beer museum in hopes that we could escape the rain by visiting indoor places.
But we didn't expect the beer museum would be about 20 minute walk away :(
We were drenched by the time we arrived at the museum.
The museum was rather small and most of the information were not in English which was a huge bummer. After a short quick tour, we headed to the beer hall where we could taste three different kinds of Sapporo beer.
We decided to get Genghis Khan for dinner and since Daruma seemed to be the most popular in the area. We headed back to Susukino area.
The restaurant had only one table so the wait was very very long. We waited about an hour :(
After an hour wait, we were disappointed to find the portion to be very small. The meat was tender and the sauce was good, but the portion and the price didn't make an hour wait worthwhile at all.
After dinner, we headed down to the Odori Park to visit the famous TV tower. The view of the park under the sunset was just pure magic. The rain storm had brought in some amazing clouds.
Afterward, we visited the old colonial government office for some night view.