11th May 2009 – Buffet breakfast at the hotel where you are allowed to eat till you are full. This is also the breakfast that that we had over the past 2 days (9th & 10th May 2009). Consists of different varieties of Onigiri, sausages, salad, eggs, miso soup, croissant, etc.
We took the subway from Susukino Station to Sapporo Station as we need to take JR to the historic and romantic city of Otaru using the Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass. For more information, you may want to read “A Day in Sapporo 1“.
While waiting for the train to Otaru, a JR train that serves another route stops at the platform.
Alighted at Minami Otaru Station instead of the popular Otaru Station so that I can walk down towards the touristy Otaru area while exploring the quieter side of Otaru.
The entrance of Minami Otaru Station.
Following instructions from signboard, we walk to Kikkogura Sake Museum. I believe it’s also known as Tanaka Sake Factory Kikkogura.
After requesting for an English pamphlet (which contains the process of sake brewing), we went to tour around the sake factory. Rice used for making sake is slightly bigger then the regular rice that we eat and they are polished down 30% to 60% (according to the brewing standard) until it’s left with the middle white part. Also as 80% of sake is water, Kikkogura uses cold and pure underground water.
The rice goes through a delicate process of brewing before it’s stored.
One of the many displays that show what was worn during the olden days when brewing sake.
Displays of sake barrels. After which, we went on to the sake shop which offers a varieties of sake. You can try 10 different kinds of sake for free here! Find the one you like based on the colour, smell and taste. We managed to find something we like – 300ml at ¥1020.
The Otaru Steam Clock in front of Otaru-Orugel-Doh (Otaru Music Box Museum).
Entrance to the Otaru Music Box Museum is free. We went in to check out what Otaru is famous for – Music Boxes! There are displays of hundreds of different kinds of music boxes, both large and small.
Such delicate workmanship! It’s definitely a piece of art!
Some other designs. You can also try to build your own music box here under the guidance of their staff from the price of ¥1800 onwards. We didn’t go for this as it requires 1 hour for the adhesive to dry.
Found myself being captivated by the table lamp design.
Other souvenirs and crafts can be found here as well. We bought a small pink colour carousel-styled music box at ¥2100, which will turn round-and-round while playing music titled “One Love”.
Passed by this shop but didn’t explore further. Might be a souvenir shop?
We had a melon ice-cream here at ¥300.
Otaru Post Office.
Fantasy World Otaru.
A life-like statue of a bear and dog. Notice the “Hello Kitty” face nearby? Hehe.
Looks like a place for you to experience snow and ice?
Another speciality of Otaru – glass products. Here you can try your hands at glassware making. Prices start from ¥2000 onwards and take about 10mins each.
There are assortments of glassware for you to choose to make.
Bakudan Yaki at ¥380. A giant version of Takoyaki and top up with mayonnaise and bonito flakes. The contents of the wheat flour batter are cabbage, quail eggs, shrimp, octopus, squid, sausage, etc.
Otaru Pier – such a beautiful scene.
A carpark inside a warehouse? 🙂
At the entrance of Otaru Beer. Re-filling in progress!
Otaru Beer is medieval and German styled restaurant that serves both food and beverages. There is also a tour of the process of beer making in accordance to German traditions. Admission is free.
The highlight of visiting Otaru Beer. Sampling of the freshly brewed beer!
Otaru Weiss (small) on the left at ¥490. The other is Otaru Pilsner (small) also at ¥490.
The famous canal of Otaru – with the old warehouses along it’s bank. I can imagine the nostalgic and romantic feeling that it offers during night time as well as winter season.
A musician playing music along the banks. If you like what you have heard, you can even buy his music ablum CD.
Another seller of drawings and crafts.
The other view of Otaru Canal (Otaru Unga).
Lunch time – walk around and decided to have ramen. Total for 2 ramen below is ¥1590.
Shoyu (“soy sauce”) Ramen.
A historical looking shophouse. Below are some other buildings captured along the way.
Kitakaro Cafe for some snacks and coffee. Hmm….did we eat a lot for the day already?
Purchased our snacks and went outside of the cafe to sit at the outdoor section. Kitakaro is famous for their Baumkuchen and we wanted to buy it but the expiry is only 4 days from date of purchase. It won’t make it back to Singapore and will only end up in our stomach. Haha!
¥500 for the set – Coffee, Cream Puff & Ice Cream.
The cream texture is just right as it not too sweet or oily. The outer crust is crispy yet soft and shatters at every bite.
This shop sells “Hello Kitty” stuffs.
An interesting looking shop. I wander what they sell? CDs? 😛
Former Temiya Line – opened in 1880 and was defunct in 1985. It is Hokkaido’s first and Japan’s third railway line.
Parts of it have made way for the road.
At the entrance of JR Otaru Station to board train back to JR Sapporo Station (still using the Sapporo-Otaru Welcome Pass).
As we still have some spare time and also nearby JR Sapporo Station, we decided to head north to visit Hokkaido University Botanic Garden (10 mins walk).
In this 13.3 hectare garden, there are around 4,000 taxa of plants that are native to Hokkaido to be found.
A snapshot of the greenery.
Signs for Poplar Avenue, Flowering Shrub Garden and Bust of Dr. Inazo Nitobe.
The magnificent view of the poplar trees.
A row of pink flowers. I wonder what are they called? It will be good if there is a small sign near the trees to tell me. 🙁
Dinner time is drawing near. We headed to F-45 building (opposite Sapporo Tokyu Inn, 3 mins walk from Susukino Station) in search of Ebi Kani Gassen (12th Floor) for our craving for crab buffet.
Eat all you can in 90 min. The set we chose is priced at ¥3675 per person and it comes with king crab legs, snow crab legs, shrimp tempura, shrimp sushi, crab sushi, tempura shrimp sushi and egg custard (chawanmushi). You can also add in another ¥1050 for all you can drink beer too!
A close-up view of the fresh and tasty king crab and snow crab legs. Did I hear your stomach rumbling? 😛
From the 12th floor lift lobby, you can see a clear view of Norubesa (a building with a huge Ferris wheel). After which, took a short stroll back to hotel with our huge stomach bulge.
Back at the hotel, we decided to do our laundry. Instructions in English are available.
The washing detergent vending machine which dispense one small pack good for 1 full load wash at ¥30.
There are actually 4 sets of washing machines and dryer available – 2 set on each side. At that point of time, all 4 sets are not in use. The washing machine usage costs ¥200 and the dryer costs ¥100 for 30 mins usage. From our recent experience, you will need a minimum of 1.5 hours run (¥300) for your clothes to dry.
Fruits platter bought at ¥530 from Daimaru (Sapporo Station) for dessert.
酒桶展示后。我们到了商店，店里排列许多总类的清酒。您可以免费尝试10种不同类型的清酒。以颜色，味道选者自己喜欢的。大吟醸酒宝川 300ml 1020 日元.
小樽的另一转藏 – 玻璃制品。在此，你可以尝试玻璃器制作。从2000日元起。每一个需要10分钟。
午餐时间 – 到处走走，后来决定吃拉面。两碗拉面共计1590日元。
在Kitakaro 咖啡坐吃些小吃和喝咖啡。嗯 … 今天吃得有点多？
一套500日元 – 咖啡，奶油 Puff 及冰淇淋。
晚餐时间临近。我们前往F–45大楼（札幌东急饭店对面，大通站步行3分钟）寻找Ebi Kani Gassen(12楼)的螃蟹自助餐。