Saturday, 28 October 2017

Hokkaido Travelogue: Day 5 - Sapporo

This Hokkaido travelogue is taking forever, I know. Just bear with me, yeah? And if you haven't read up about my day 4 (1st full day in Sapporo), do check it out first HERE.

Day 5 started pretty late in the morning as we didn't have that much attractions planned for the day (for they are located pretty far away from each other). 

The Historical Village of Hokkaido!
The Historic Village of Hokkaido (開拓の村, Kaitaku no Mura) is an open air museum in the suburbs of Sapporo. It exhibits about 60 typical buildings from all over Hokkaido, dating from the Meiji and Taisho Periods (1868 to 1926), the era when Hokkaido's development was carried out on a large scale. There are four different sections: a town, fishing village, farm village and a mountain village.

Take the subway to Shin Sapporo Station and locate the bus stop at the roundabout right in front of the station. Do double check the stop's name, as there are more than 1 bus service available at this stop (if i'm not wrong). 
Anyway, here's the bus schedule for your information. I doubt they'll change up the schedule frequently, so you can safely take this as a good gauge.

(click in for full view)

Entrance fee into the village is 1200 Yen per pax, and I would say it's either money well spent or washed down the drain depending on what you're looking for. If you're someone who's really interested in not only the history and culture of Japan, but also their architectures, this is your jam. Otherwise, there may be absolutely nothing here that can spike your interest. 

This will be basically how the entire "themed park" will be like. Set in the olden days of Japan, very big, spacious and... deserted. Throughout the whole of the 3 hours (plus, minus?) we were there, we only bumped into TWO families along the way, and yeah... I think we're probably the only 3 groups of visitors during that time in this pretty vast park. 

I quite liked this place, even though there's actually nothing exceptionally exciting or fun, but there's just this sense of tranquility and peacefulness that we can't seem to find back at home (anymore). 

The park also seems to be properly segregated into aisles/areas, whereby you get a whole street of residential buildings, then the next street of "marketplaces", then schools and so on. 
Most of those shops and eateries over at the marketplace are actually fake, with the exception of just ONE shop located right at the end (if my memory didn't fail me) that's manned by an elderly couple, selling old school Japanese sweet treats. 

I've read of horse-pulled carriages for rides available here at the park, but the sight that greeted me was kind of appalling (HERE). Not sure if this is really available for a ride and at what kind of fees because I really didn't want to get on that carriage.... tram? 
Poor horse. :(

 And now, just a little more of what to expect over at this park...






 And of course, some mandatory #ootd poser shots. >.<



And off we went for our next destination! 
Do note that there's no restaurants located in the vicinity of the historial village, so do plan your time properly if you do not wish to end up starving at the end of the day. 

And here's the bus schedule over at the historial village towards Shin Sapporo Station, for your information. 

The Historial Village of Hokkaido is opened daily from 9am to 5pm. 
For more information, visit www.sapporo.travel

And next up on our itinerary is something that's of a since-it's-on-the-way-then-let's-go-and-see nature, the Fushimi Inari Shrine.


To get to this shrine, get over to Soen Station (on the Hakodate Line) and take bus 11 at Soeneki Bus Stop to Keimei Terminal Bus Stop (15 stops away, if you're counting). The shrine will be about 15 minutes walk UP THE HILL.


The main attraction of the shrine has to be these bright red torii gates lined up from the entrance along the main road all the way up to the shrine itself. 
Nestled among a quiet residential area, this Fushimi Inari Shrine is not to be confused with Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto, which is much bigger and way more majestic, and definitely way more crowded. But to be fair, we reached right at closing time of 5pm, hence there was absolutely nobody around, except for a local who came in briefly to offer a quick prayer while passing by. 

In my own humble opinion, as long as you do not compare this to the one in Kyoto, the line-up of bright red torii gates will still be able to wow you. :) 


And of course, it's always a good thing for us to be be able to offer some prayers while overseas on a trip, yes? 

Fushimi Inari Shrine (Sapporo) is opened daily from 6am - 5pm.

Our next destination for the day was the last attraction to cover for the day before dinner, and by right, it should be the most highly anticipated one for the day.
But, damn the weather. T.T

First up, let me give you the expectation.

-credit to www.sapporo.travel-

Mount Moiwa (藻岩山, Moiwa-yama) is one of several small, forested mountains southwest of central Sapporo. The mountain is a popular sightseeing spot that is known for the spectacular view out over the city from an observation deck at its summit. The view is especially beautiful after sunset.

The Mt Moiwa Ropeway first climbs from the base of the mountain to 3/4 up the mountain to a transfer station, whereby we were transferred to a mini cablecar that travels the rest of the way up to the upper station at the summit. A return ticket for both rides will set you back by 1700 Yen per pax.

Later on I found out that these bunnies printed in the cable car is the mascot figure of Mt. Moiwa.

Kawaii desu!

Anyway, for us it was 1700 Yen washed down the drain because of super super bad weather while we were there. Right at the base of the mountain (ticket booth) we were told that we won't be able to see anything at the summit with the rainy weather and the surveillance camera up there just showed a full screen of white mist, no joke.
But we were thinking, since we've already walked all the way here, might as well just head up for a look. And so we did!

And before you scroll further, go back up and take another look at the expectation picture.
... ...

And then you see this.
HAHAHA!

If I'm not wrong, it's somewhat like a romantic gesture for couples to get under that pyramid-thingy and ring the bell together. But seriously, with such rainy & foggy weather with nearly 0 degree Celsius temperature strong wind blowing unforgivingly at you in every angle possible up on the mountain, you probably won't even want to step out (into the open) and go ring that bell even if someone were to tell you you will marry Song Joongki or Kim Tae Hee just by ringing it.

And apparently Sapporo is now newly listed as Japan's top 3 night view, along with Kobe (been there, but in the day!) and Nagasaki. So effectively, I've visited 2 of the 3 places on the list, but seen none of the stunning night view. T.T

There's also a restaurant with nice views out over the city, and a small food kiosk selling items like sandwiches and ice cream. 
 And we were quite amused by their labeling of the sandwiches. In case you're wondering what the Katakana means, it literally means what the English words says.
'Bread Sand Ham'.

Despite the horribly cold weather, we grabbed a strawberry ice cream. :)

There's also a planetarium and a theater, showing a show about planets and such. Everything will be in Japanese with no subtitles, and you need to pay an additional fee to watch it. So my advice to you will be, skip it. 

Mount Moiwa (Ropeway) is opened from 1030 am to 10pm (or 11pm on Dec - Mar) daily.

So after bidding the cold and foggy Mt. Moiwa goodbye, we retraced our steps down the road and headed back for Susukino Area (our hotel area).

After coming downhill, turn towards your right and walk further down to the road junction and you should be able to see two tram (they call it streetcar) stations on either side of the junction. Both stations has different service routes, so make sure to check out the map carefully before jumping onto one. Lucky enough for us, the route here brings us directly back to Susukino area.

And guess what's for dinner? By right, on the itinerary, we are supposed to be searching for Garaku's Soup Curry (and expect a long queue too) but due to poor food-planning (I didn't know there's gonna be no food for us at the historial village), the bf and I were simply starving and I suggested trying out Tokyo Sundubu, which was conveniently located at the underpass-walkway near Sapporo Station.
Yes, it's the Tokyo Sundubu that you can find here in Singapore, at Suntec City and Raffles City too.

But the SG ones doesn't do cute hand-drawn doodles on your bibs. 

Plus, I have to admit that I REALLY LOVE KOREAN FOOD.

Day 6 in Otaru is already up right HERE, do check it out!

Till then,
Mia Foo

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