Monday, November 30, 2015

Trip to Japan - Sapporo Part II

The following  day, Kumiko came over to invite us for a breakfast buffet menu  in the Art Hotels.

This was our organic buffet breakfast courtesy of Kumiko.  Exquisite.  They served us an exotic juice, which when we asked what kind of fruit it was, nobody could explain it to us so the waitress came with a picture of it.  A strange fruit, I can' t remember.  But it was delicious.


Art Hotels Sapporo is situated in the city centre close to Nakajima Park, with easy access to famous view points by car or subway. After breakfast, we went to Nakajima Park, just across the hotel.

Then Rumi came...  She reserved two nights in the same hotel where we stayed.

We had lunch after a while in the JR Sapporo Station.  We went ahead of Kumiko while she looked for a parking space.  When Kumiko came back, she brought us good news.  Somebody lost 10,000 yens and the guy who found it thought that it came from Kumiko so he gave it to her.  Kumiko told us that she was going to give us a treat the whole day.  She said that what comes in a lucky way must all be spent to keep luck coming in.

 It was a very generous treat and much appreciated.


Next stop the Hokkaido University, a peaceful and lovely walk around.  It was too bad that the botanic garden was under maintenance.

While by the pond, Kumiko stayed on the bench to smoke.  But it was not too long before a Japanese guy accompanied by a lady, came to approach her reprimanding her for smoking, saying that the park was a no-smoking area.  Wow, that was new knowledge for us.  Anyway, after reprimanding Kumiko, surprisingly he turned to Mel and me to ask us where we were from and in a milder tone and a smiling face unlike before.  He made a little conversation with us in English before he decided to leave, probably just enough to let her companion know that he could speak in English, like a peacock showing its colors.

We proceeded with our walk around the campus.

After the quiet stroll,  we went around the tv tower and took a picture at the clock tower.

Then we had coffee in a coffee shop similar to Starbucks but more expensive.  Its name is Miyakoshiya.

In the evening, we ordered for take out some buns, octopus balls, and I cannot remember what Mel had.  We had dinner in our hotel room.

And  that ended our day.

The next day, Kumiko came with her car to pick us up by the hotel,  although she was  not quite ready to drive for a long ride being used to taking taxis and subways.  At first, the plan was to go shopping, due to weather predicted to have rain that day, but then in the course of the ride, I suggested we go instead to the Historic Village  that I read about, after I saw the sun peeped through the window.  Everybody was pleased with the suggestion.

But the funny thing was that, we were already in the middle of the road and nobody knew the way. Kumiko tried to connect us with her wifi modem, but we could not figure out the GPS, because it was in Japanese.  Kumiko  kept on driving because there was really no place to stop.    I gave my phone to Rumi, but after more than 10 minutes of waiting for her to say something, we were still at a loss.

Somehow, Mel figured out the way and needed only the translation from Rumi who sat at the back seat with me.  Luckily, we were on the right track and in a matter of minutes we already saw the sign to the Historic Village.

We were invited to ride the train driven by a horse, but we preferred to explore the more than 50 houses by foot.


There were huge houses and the guests are allowed to visit  the interior rooms

Kumiko loves  futons.

The traditional toilets.

The well.

The clothes line.

There was time to play

We had lunch in the cafeteria inside.  Orders were made though choices made from a vending machine and then paid in the desk and number is called when order is ready.

That was some fun in the Historic village.  It is a massive complex divided to a few areas- the town, the fishing village, the farmhouse, the highlands...  It takes a while for you to finish exploring the complex,  approximately 2.5 hours.  It took us more since we went into the individual buildings to take pictures.  Some of the buildings are replicas, but a good number of them are the original buildings which were donated by the descendents.

Later on, we took Rumi to meet her sister who works in a Karaoke bar.  In the meantime, Kumiko took us to the shopping arcade, called Tanukikuji.. It was good timing because it was raining a little bit.

Tanukikuji is a series of inter-connected shopping streets in Sapporo.  It is not far away from Susukino subway station.  I did not find any good stuff for me but interesting figures.

There is a ferris wheel on top of a shopping building where one can get a good view of the city.

Fruits are very expensive in Japan.

We had dinner in a Teppanyaki near the Karaoke where Rumi was to come from to join us for dinner.

We had a couple of mongra dishes made of finely chopped cabbage on the grill with sauce and favorite topping of meat or cheese.  I had lamb chops on the grill.  Wonderful.

After dinner, Kumiko invited us to go to a Karaoke bar where the sister of Rumi is working.  It was just next door.  Rumi was with a friend and their custom it seems is that when you accompany a guy, the guy must assume all of the expenses.  And the Karaoke unlike in other places it is only a room like where we were seated.  It is supposedly insonorized.  But you have the room for your group only. The sound projects a better quality of your voice.  Rumi's sister was very attentive and kept serving us various snacks.

Mel enjoyed singing and we had two glasses at least of drinks.  I preferred a warm juice for a drink and I did not have problem having it.  There were several snacks served.  That was a new discovery, thanks to Kumiko and Rumi.