日本 (Japan)

Hokkaido: Furano + Sapporo + Otaru


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Furano

I remember being completely ignorant and grossly underestimated the size of Hokkaido, the first time I came to this island. On hindsight, coming from a small city that is also a country where everywhere is conveniently an affordable taxi ride away must have caused that ignorance. We took a taxi from Furano station to the Furano Cheese Factory, only to realise that it was difficult to get a taxi back to the JR station, although you can always approach the factory staff for help if you know a little Japanese. What was more disappointing was that the cheese factory doesn’t offer any factory experience that justifies the time and the amount we had spent on the taxi rides. It should really just be called a cheese shop. But it was a good lesson learned—that you shouldn’t always trust travel guides, be it on paper or online. Furano is known for its lavender farms in the summer and its ski resorts in winter; factories and whatnots, I think it’s safe to give it a miss.

Sapporo

It’s not hard to imagine that the tallest building in Sapporo is the Sapporo Jr Tower which is only 38-storey high, given that Japan is a tectonically active region. Compared to the view from the JR Tower, the view from the TV Tower was definitely less interesting. But I love how the tower looks great in photographs.

Freelance Travel Photographer | Sapporo Snow Festival 2015

Sapporo Snow Festival 2015

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual event and it certainly didn’t disappoint. If you’re planning for a ski trip in Hokkaido, it’d be good to keep the event dates in mind and plan accordingly.

Hokkaido University

This university is situated just near the Sapporo main station, and the campus is rather huge which provides plenty of photo opportunities.

Otaru

My first trip to Otaru remains fresh in my memory. It was autumn, and coming from a country without four seasons, I was inappropriately dressed for the weather. My fingers were frozen and I was trying to get back indoors as soon as I went outdoor. This time, I was well-prepared even though it was blowing snow. Otaru definitely looks a lot more ethereal when covered in snow.

On the Road

Hokkaido is definitely not for the city dweller who’s not into appreciating the nothingness of suburban and rural life. So you might want to consider Tokyo instead of you like to follow the latest fashion trends and visit themed cafes.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

When in Hokkaido, just have ramen, ramen, and more ramen. And also anything with Hokkaido milk.

Sapporo, Hokkaido.

楽しかった