31 March 2014

Hokkaido : Snowy Stories in Otaru // Day 1

Finally my friends and I managed to visit Hokkaido, the northernmost part of Japan's archipelago. It was all began from little talks and we really made it happen. We booked flight tickets and room about 5 months before our departure or exactly when JetStar Airline opened their promo season. I know, we were sooo lucky ! I'll tell you more about this later, kay? ;)

So basically, I just don't know from where I should start because I'm way too excited to share my first ever snow experience in life ! Yes people, I was born and raised in a country of 30 degrees something all year long, hence to experience the temperature of -8 degrees centigrade really meant a huge achievement for me somehow. I even miss stepping on snow as I'm writing this post  now >,<

Arrival: New Chitose Airport (February 4, 2013)

It was a sunny 9 a.m when we arrived, with the temperature of -5 degrees. I kept on convincing myself that I would not get distressed by those piles of snow just as soon as I saw the situation outside. lol. Such a weird anxiety which I didn't even anticipate before I flew here.  

Not long after our arrival at the airport, we took train heading to Sapporo where our youth hostel is located. Luckily, our hostel was quite near from Sapporo station. We rented one room for 11 persons ! So much fun. Kinda slumber party every night.

If this happens in Tokyo, it contributes nothing but a nightmare since everybody will not be able to leave their houses. Yet, Hokkaido is really different. All of its infrastructures are indeed prepared for severe winter, so that people will never get stuck no matter how hard the snow will fall.

Otaru strolls

After checking-in and storing our luggage in our room we headed to Otaru for lunch. It is a port city and 30 minutes by  train from Sapporo station.

Me along with my 3 other friends decided to eat at an Izakaya which we found near Otaru station. We were surprised by the prices of the foods here. We then realized that everything (mainly food) in Hokkaido is much much cheaper than in Yokohama and of course, not to mention Tokyo. Can't be happier ! haha

a set of yakitori-don for 600 Yen.  

Now, let's walk down Otaru :) Anyway, the snow was falling down heavily here, even more intense compared to Sapporo. Brrrr ! >,<

Ah, I miss them ! They're my parents when I was in Japan haha. Dominica mama and Lin papa ><

I miss those vending machines. We can find them freakishly everywhere in Japan ! Moreover, they serve warm beverages too starting from autumn :) I guess vending machines are just anyone's best friends while they're having trip in Japan.

Otaru canal. This spot is regarded as Otaru's most notable sightseeing. The Victorian-style lamps that stand lined on the edge of the canal make the atmosphere turns more romantic at night. Gonna show the picture later ;)

We really enjoyed walking in this city. Moreover when we found Otaru Port and we saw nobody as long as our journey, it felt like we owned Otaru. We could only find snow and crows all along the way. Believe me it was so thrilling to walk in this city !

We kept waking... walking... and walking until we found a playground that we assumed it was long long abandoned, making the creepiness of this city complete. I couldn't even stop yelling "See, nobody's here !"for hundreds time until my other 3 companions yelled back and asked me to stop saying that words haha. But I just couldn't stop saying it until I finally got tired.


We didn't spend a long time in this abandoned playground. I was so scared with the dogs. They came to this place with their masters. Oh how they really frightened me for being too energetic and excited every time they saw us. Naughty boys.. haha! 

Now, let's back to Otaru canal for dinner quest :>

Otaru Canal at Night and Genghis Khan Dinner


Strolling Otaru all day long was so much fun. Otaru was completely ours that day ! haha. Anyway, as the day got darker, we found Otaru becoming more alive with the twinkling street lamps. We walked till the end of the canal and started our dinner quest. 

Yippeeyy ! an unplanned dinner journey led us to this cute, small food stall that sells Genghis Khan (read: Jingisukan) or barbecued mutton or lamb. You may be wondering why this dish is alled Genghis Khan, the man that established the Mongol empire in the early 13th century. It is said because mutton and lamb was the main food during the Mongolian conquer and the Emperor was so fond of them.
The Genghis Khan in this stall was quite cheap. We even spent not more than 1,300 Yen each person. By the way, from small stalls like this until big restaurants, you can easily find places that serve Genghis Khan as their specialties in Hokkaido. I'm sure you don't want to miss this yummy Hokkaido's signature dish ! ;)

Well, sorry for the long delayed post everybody. Hope you guys enjoy my Hokkaido day 1 !
 Gonna be back soon, with the other snowy stories.


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