Hokkaido Day 11 (Sapporo) (24 Feb 17) – Our Last Stop in Hokkaido: Sapporo

Night Shot of Sapporo TV Station

Goodbye Toyako Onsen, Hello Sapporo

Today we headed out to the final stop of our Hokkaido trip – Sapporo. To get to Sapporo, we too the complimentary bus shuttle provided by the hotel, which took us 4 hours to travel to Sapporo. This option saved us ¥6,250 per pax compared to taking the JR (¥330 for a local bus to Toya JR Station and ¥5,920 for JR tickets to Sapporo). Always check out if the hotel does provide transfers to your next destination, chances are they do provide at a much cheaper rate. We checked out of our hotel in time for the complimentary bus ride from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo JR Station. It was snowing rather heavily as the bus was making its way towards Sapporo. We stopped halfway for a toilet break and the snow seem heavier. The 3-hour bus ride zipped us through the highways and passing some towns along the way. As we got nearer to Sapporo, the snow seems to subside a little. We arrived at Sapporo JR Station a little afternoon. As we were too early to meet our host for our Airbnb accommodation, my friend and I left our luggage in the lockers found in the JR Station and made our way to our first destination in Sapporo – Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park.
Making our way from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo
I love the snow scene along the way to Sapporo
Making our way from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo
The snow makes even the most ordinary looks beautiful
The snow got heavier as we were heading towards Sapporo
Making our way from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo
Making our way from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo
Making our way from Toyako Onsen to Sapporo


We arrived in Sapporo JR Station some 3 hours later
Outside Sapporo JR Station
Taking a wefie in Sapporo JR Station

Viewing Sapporo from the Sapporo TV Tower 

We walked a few blocks from Sapporo JR Station towards Odori Park. Walking along the streets of Sapporo, I noticed there aren’t many people around, unlike my impression of Japan over the television. It is not too difficult to realise we have reached Odori Park. Odori Park is a stretch of park that cuts through a few blocks in the centre of Sapporo. In winter, Odori Park is a vacant space amid tall buildings that are covered with snow. Odori Park looked bare at the time of our visit, due to the demolition of the ice sculptures and snowmen when the Sapporo Winter Festive ended a few weeks ago, the entire park looks like a place where the locals dump their snow. Standing at its eastern end is Sapporo TV Tower.

Stepping out of Sapporo JS Station, we started to explore the city
Outside Sapporo JR Station
My friend on the streets of Sapporo
Sapporo TV Tower is sitting on the eastern end of Odori Park
My friend standing in the middle of Odori Park with Sapporo TV Tower behind
Taking a wefie with Sapporo TV Tower

One cannot miss Sapporo TV Tower when in Odori Park. The red lattice nearly 150m tall tower that resembles Eiffel Tower in Paris, is standing at the end of Odori Park. At the base of the tower, there is an information counter. To visit the tower, we took a lift to the Sky lounge on the 3rd floor. Exiting the lift, we saw a shop selling souvenirs. Round the corner is the ticketing counter where we got our tickets to go up to the observation deck. Riding the glass lift to the observation is not for those who have height phobia. As the lift rises up 90m above the ground, the lift attendant seems to be introducing the TV Tower in Japanese. Since my friend and I do not understand Japanese, we looked out the lift and enjoy the view.

Sapporo TV Tower up close
Souvenir shop on 2nd level of Sapporo TV Tower
View from 2nd level of Sapporo TV Tower
As soon as the lift door opened at the observation deck level, panels and panels of large windows allowed us to see Sapporo City. The city seems to stretch into the horizon with numerous buildings, tall and short lining up in an orderly manner. As we moved around the observation deck, Odori Park, which looked like a place for dumped snow, became obverse. This is a stretch of white snowy unspoiled land that stretches as far as the eye can see. Along the sides of the park are some sparsely planted trees. We can see as far as Mt Hyakumatsuzawa over the horizon. Some pictures points out where is what along with the windows. Viewing Sapporo from the TV Tower, watching life in the city going about doing their business is rather relaxing. There is some shrine in the observation deck for visitors to make wishes. We left the observation deck after walking around a few times.
Taking a lift to the observation deck in Sapporo TV Tower
View of Sapporo from the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower
Me on the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower
From the observation deck, we got a great view of Sapporo
View of Sapporo City from the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower
View of Sapporo City from the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower
The strip of white is where Odori Park is. It started snowing when we were in Sapporo TV Tower
View of Odori Park from Sapporo TV Tower
There are such maps around the observation deck telling visitors what is where when seen from the observation deck
A small shrine in the observation deck of Sapporo TV Tower

Glancing the Sapporo Clock Tower

I saw on the map that the Sapporo Clock Tower is nearby Sapporo TV Tower, and it is on the way back to Sapporo JR Station. My friend and I headed for the century-old clock tower. Sapporo Clock Tower is a 2-storey wooden building sitting in one corner of Sapporo. Despite being dwarfed by the buildings around it, Sapporo Clock Tower still commands the area with its unique structure, which seems at odds with the rest of the concrete buildings surrounding it. The clock tower was built in 1878 and the clock still functions after more than 100 years of service. The clock tower is currently a museum with displays about the building’s history. We did not enter the clock tower but took pictures of it. The best photo spot of Sapporo Clock Tower is the corner of the street opposite facing the clock tower. After some shots, we headed back to Sapporo JR Station to meet up with our host for Airbnb accommodation and settled into our apartment.
The iconic Sapporo Clock Tower is a 2-storey wooden building
Entrance to Sapporo Clock Tower. The clock is still functioning after working for more than 100 years
Taking a wefie in front of Sapporo Clock Tower
Sapporo Clock Tower was taken from opposite the road
I had the fried pork cutlet with special sauce
My friend had the curry pork cutlet

Making Our Own Cookies in Shiroi Kobito Park

Visiting the Shiroi Kobito Park was originally not in our list when in Sapporo, as I thought it is just another big complex selling the famed Shiroi Kobito (白い恋人) cookie with white chocolate fillings, which is available practically everywhere in Hokkaido. In a spur of the moment after we have settled into our apartment, my friend suggested visiting the Shiroi Kobito Park. Well since we are already in Sapporo, I thought why not. To get to Shiroi Kobito Park, we took the subway from Sapporo JR Station and changed to the Tozai line and alighted at the terminal station Miyanosawa. There are signs all over the station that guided us to Shiroi Kobito Park. The buildings in Shiroi Kobito Park have a European flair to it. The moment we reached Shiroi Kobito Park, the courtyard immediately attracted our attention. Covered with snow and decorated with small huts, snowmen, pine trees the courtyard, which has tons of photo spots, there is Christmas in the air.
We got a store value Sapporo Subway ticket from one of these machines
Waiting for the subway in Sapporo Station
Map of Sapporo Subway System
The subway is clean and efficient
Signs pointing how to get to Shiroi Kibito Park are all over the place from the Subway Station
Shiroi Kibito Park external facade
Entrance to Shiroi Kibito Park
Me in the front courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
One of the statues in the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
View of the main courtyard in Shiroi Kibito Park
Taking a wefie in the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
Me in one of the small houses in the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
The displays and the snow gave Shiroi Kibito Park a Christmas mood
Shiroi Kibito building has a European architecture
My friend in the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
Riding on a sledge in Shiroi Kibito Park
There are plenty of photo spots in the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park
Main courtyard in Shiroi Kibito Park

We headed inside the factory for the Shiroi Kobit Production line that can be observed through glass windows. The factory has a few floors, which is well marked out on the route to be taken. Following the route, the first thing we saw is the Aurora Fountain. A European style fountain, produced in 1870, the fountain looked colourful and lively, thanks to the colourful tiles and lightings in the fountain. European styled tins, cups and teapots are exhibited throughout the building. We were not particularly interested in these displays and followed the signs straight to the factory floor viewing gallery. 2 large window panels are overlooking 2 factory floor operations. From here we can see how freshly baked cookies are made from the baking to the packing. Meticulous the staffs sieving out imperfections ensuring customers receive quality Shiroi Kobito cookie. From here we can also see how each cookie is individually packed. Exiting the factory floor observation area, we entered a cafe looking place. There are a counter and a large floor to the ceiling window panel. This is where my friend and I experienced decorating our own extra-large Shiroi Kobito Cookie in a kitchen. We were both given a small tube of white chocolate to draw whatever we want on the big heart shaped cookie. After we were done, the staff took our cookie and chilled it for another 10 mins before we were given back our cookies and seal them off. It is a fun experience doing our one-in-the-world Shiroi Kobito cookie. As Shiroi Kobito Park was closing, we left the place after getting some products that are only sold here.

The first display we saw inside the Shiroi Kibito factory
Posing with a gigantic Shiroi Kibito biscuit
This fountain was made in 1870 and is still functioning
View of Shiroi Kibito from inside the factory
Exhibits in the Shiroi Kibito factory
The European decor inside the Shiroi Kibito factory exhibition area
Exhibit inside Shiroi Kibito factory
Exhibit inside Shiroi Kibito factory
Factory operations in Shiroi Kibito factory viewing gallery
Factory operations in Shiroi Kibito factory viewing gallery
Factory operations in Shiroi Kibito factory viewing gallery
Waiting for our turn to decorate our Shiroi Kibito cookie
Each of us is provided with a big piece of heart-shaped Shiroi Kibito cookie
My friend decorating his Shiroi Kibito cookie
Me thinking what to write on my Shiroi Kibito cookie
My (ugly) looking Shiroi Kibito cookie
My friend’s Shiroi Kibito cookie
Taking a picture with our masterpieces of Shiroi Kibito cookie
Souvenir shop in Shiroi Kibito factory, visitors can still visit here without going into the factory
Shiroi Kibito cookies on sale in the souvenir shop
Night view of the main courtyard of Shiroi Kibito Park

Shopping in Tanuki Koji

As the night was relatively young, we headed over to the Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade. The 900m covered shopping arcade has over 200 shops, mostly selling souvenirs and pharmacies. There are some restaurants and pubs nearer to the end of the street. We took the subway to Odori Station and walked about 5 mins to reach Tanuki Koji. There are more tourists buying souvenirs here than locals shopping for their daily needs. I read that there is a shrine in Tanuki Koji. We walked along the shopping arcade and found the shrine in Tanuki Koji Chrome 5. The small shrine worships a racoon, which once was popular in this area. Praying to the racoon with a sack of money bag is believed to bring good luck.
On our way to Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade from Odori JR Station
Street in Sapporo near Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
My friend in Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade has 7 sections to it
A shrine found in Tanuki Koji Chrome 5
Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade
We passed by Sapporo TV Tower on our way back to our apartment. The TV Tower looks as charming at night as it is in the day
Random shots in the streets of Sapporo
Sapporo JR Station night view
Night view of Sapporo JR Station and Sapporo JR Tower

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