9th May 2009 – After a good night sleep from yesterday’s exhaustion, we woke up early and ate the free breakfast at hotel. Then, proceed to Susukino Subway Station (3mins away from my hotel) – still empty as it’s still early. 7.40am on a Saturday morning
Tickets counter – English available at both the table of fares as well as the machines. We didn’t buy any tickets as we were using the one-day card (for Sapporo City Subway only) that comes with the Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass. The Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass (All JR Hokkaido trains between any stations in Sapporo and Otaru Station and all subway lines in Sapporo) can be purchased from JR Information Desk (JR Sapporo Station West Exit) at ¥1,500 per passenger.
Subway platform – also empty. Took from Susukino Station to Odori Station. It’s only a station away but since we have the 1 day Subway pass, so decided to make full use of it.
From Odori Station, we took a 5min short stroll to Nijo Fish Market – a cluster of stalls selling fresh and dried seafood as well as vegetables.
Prawns, scallops, sea urchins awaits you to devour them. And It’s all live! LOL.
Crabs too! The stall that I patronize also provides the cooking of the seafood that you purchase from them so that you can eat them fresh.
The stall owner on noticing that I was snapping away on my camera, immediately hauled up a King Crab for me to shoot. Such a nice gesture! We bought a 500g packet of premium grade large size Dried Scallops at ¥5,000 from him too.
Proceeded on with the journey to Maruyama Park (link in Japanese) from Odori. The whole platform to ourselves again.
The underpass towards Maruyama Koen. Maruyama Koen is the most popular “Cherry Blossom Viewing Spot” in Sapporo and it houses over 1500 cherry trees. It is bustling with people during the “Hanami” period. Prior to reaching and to my dissapoinment, I have already knew that I have missed the full cherry blossoming by 1 day and it’s already withering (updates from Tenki – Japanese only). Nevertheless, the planned trip still went on.
Notice the animals emblems on the floor – believe suppose to build anticipation to the nearby Sapporo Maruyama Zoo which houses more then 200 speices of living things. Other nearby attractions inlcude Okurayama Ski Jump, Sapporo Winter Sports Museum, Asahiyama Memorial Park, Rose Garden Chizaki, etc.
A very beautiful and grand building just right in front of Maruyama Koen (5 mins walk from Maruyama Koen Subway Station). Also a lot of cars are unloading their wares here.
Upon closure inspection, it’s actually hosting a wedding reception.
The location signboard that shows your whereabouts and the nearby facilities. From it, I can see that there is a baseball stadium, track and field, theme park, etc.
The sun shining on the flowers makes it look so vibrant.
Tall trees that seems to reach out for the sky!
Walk in deeper to Maruyama Park and saw this sight everywhere. Folks lay out their floor mats and wares (table, chairs, food, charcoal, drinks, beer, etc). What amaze me is that it’s 9.00am in the morning and many people are already there to choose the best location and mark their terriorty. Maybe it’s a planned weekend hanami (still continue even the hanami period is over) and boozing session with family and friends.
After strolling down the park, the feeling that I got is both tranquil and relaxing (with cool and fresh breezes intermittently blowing). Ah, there is a lingering smell of barbecue food in the air as well. That makes my stomach rumble. :=D
A row of stalls selling various drinks, food, toys and souvenirs.
A close up view on one of the drink and food stall.
Another stall selling blown-up toys for children. It’s hung on to a stick at one end and held by children on the other end, much like Chinese Lantern style. I wonder whether they can be lighted up?
The walkway towards Hokkaido Shrine.
Another view of the walkway towards Hokkaido Shrine. It’s a cooling pleasant walk despite that the sun is shining bright.
Near the entrance of Hokkaido Shrine, there is a Chōzuya (stone wash basin) whereby worshipers and visitors performed cleansing (purification) by washing their hands and mouths prior to praying. Using the dipper, first rinse the left hand then the right, after which rinse the mouth with water from the cupped left hand. The washing of hands with water is called Temizu.
The grand entrance of Hokkaido Shrine.
Here’s the procedure on how to pray at a Shinto Shrine. Facing the enshrined god, deposit some money into the offering box and then bow twice. Clap your hand twice and after that bow one more time.
Amazing and delicate architecture. Simply love the use of the gold (not sure whether it’s real gold).
A showcase of the famous and popular sake from Hokkaido. During ancient times, sake used to be produced in the Shrine’s wine hall.
Spotted a wedding ceremony on-going at Hokkaido. This draws a lot of attention and causes many tourists to snap away (including me).
Terrific scenery – with all the beautiful colors standing out.
A macro shot of the flowers.
Another macro shots of flowers.
Lunch time – Teriyaki Chicken Burger Set Meal at McDonald’s ¥590.
Ebi Filet-O Set Meal at McDonald’s ¥630.
Ishiya Chocolate Factory – A short walk from Miyanosawa Subway Station. Production tour is at ¥600 per adult and it comes with one piece of their well-known Shiroi Koibito chocolate. Before reaching the production viewing gallery, there is a short walk that takes you through the history and culture of chocolate.
The production plant for their famous flagship product Shiroi Koibito – a soft flavoured layer of white chocolate sandwiched in between two thin layers of crisp cookies. Absolutely delicious!
Spotted Astro Boy statue after the end of the tour. The stairs takes you down to the shop where it has the whole selection of products Ishiya is offering. Bought Ishiya Shiroi Koibito (24 Qty) at ¥1480 and Ishiya Shiroi Koibito (27 Qty) at ¥1785. Yeah!
Beautilful park with disneyland styled buildings. At the end of it, there is a store selling Ishiya Ice-Cream (same flavouring as their chocolate) at ¥250. More views of the park follows.
Bought our dinner from local supermarket on our way back to hotel as discounts are given usually after 7pm. Omurice Bento ¥400 (was ¥450 before discount), Rice and Noodle Chicken Katsu Bento ¥380 (was ¥480 before discount) and Fried Dumpling ¥380.
Kirin Afternoon Tea ¥150 for dessert.