It was officially our first day of adventure in Japan and we couldn't be more excited for it after a long flight and also losing our way while trying to find our airbnb apartment the previous day. We will be spending nine days in Hokkaido before flying back to Tokyo to spend the remaining 4 days of our trip. Sapporo was our first stop and we didn't plan to spend too much time here so we only had a day here before we're off to other parts of Hokkaido.
Read on to see what we did in a day in Sapporo:
1. Visit to the Curb Market
Of course, seafood will definitely come to your mind when you're planning a trip to Hokkaido (salivating thinking about the deliciously sweet crab we had in Hokkaido...). Hokkaido is known for it's fresh seafood so we couldn't miss out having it as one of our meal there. In Tokyo, there's the famous Tsukiji Market and in Hokkaido, they do have their own famous morning market as well. There's two morning market in Sapporo, the curb market and the Nijo market.
Because we only had a day here, we had to be up early so we could start our adventure even earlier and it also means fresher seafood breakfast. We took the train to Soen Station and then a few minutes walk to the curb market.
It was my first trip to Japan and everything was so fascinating to me! Just by walking on the street, I could see snow capped mountains, tulips by the side of the road (which we will never see it by the side of Singapore's road...), even the road seems quieter as compared to Singapore. It was such an exciting walk from the train station to the curb market.
I am so glad to have a walking GPS with me and after about half an hour of travel by train and a little walking, we're finally here at the curb market. Seeing the rows of shops just makes me even more excited than I was already. From crabs to sushi to melons, you can find probably everything and anything you want here! There's even a shop solely selling local food products.
While walking and deciding which shop to enter, we got to try many samples and gosh, Japanese are really generous! We ended up randomly choosing a shop to have our breakfast. It was a tough choice.
2. A walk through the park to the Hokkaido Shrine
Since we're already in Hokkaido, why not give Hokkaido Shrine a visit? Besides, it's only a few train stops away from the curb market. It's a Saturday when we went so I expected lots of people but no, you can probably see Japanese families having picnic at the park but it's not that many people actually, especially not that many tourist and I'm so glad for this.
The weather there helped a lot because we did a lot of walking that day and would have died if we did the same in Singapore even in just T-shirts
Walking through the park took about 10 minutes before we reached the entrance of the Hokkaido Shrine
You can also have some desserts here at Rokkatei. The perfect weather to have some even if it's under the sun. It's just right beside, about 5 minutes walk from/to the shrine. The only thing to note is the amount of crows in Japan. We actually got chased by crows when we were having a crepe at the park. The crows are much bigger than the ones in Singapore, I'm serious about this.
Somehow, we ended up at Tanukikoji while searching for another location. Tanukikoji is a place with rows and rows of shops you would probably need hours here to finish exploring. You can pretty much find anything and everything here from food, to souvenirs to food products to cosmetics. We spent about an hour to two here just getting lost, having our lunch and doing some mini shopping.
4. Chitosetsuru Sake Museum
It was a 20 minutes disappointing walk here from Tanukikoji to find out that there's nothing much to do except to look at the sakes that they have in store. But if you're into that, then this place is for you.
5. Mount Moiwa
The only thing that I always look forward to is seeing mountains in Japan. The feeling of finally seeing one after having lived in a city for so long. The last on our list to do in Sapporo was to visit one of the famous sightseeing spot in Sapporo, Mount Moiwa. It is really famous and plus, it's a weekend we're going on so be prepared for the overflowing tourist and locals at the same time.
To get to the top of Mount Moiwa that is 531m above sea levels, a ropeway followed by a cable car is needed to bring you up there. It is also possible to trek up Mount Moiwa which we did saw some locals doing it.
On this side, you can see the city of Sapporo.
And on the other side, you see the endless of mountains. While waiting for the sky to darken, we had to catch several breaks in between going in and out of the viewing deck to escape the cold wind. Although the mountain wasn't that high, but it can get very cold when the wind gets strong.
A little while later, you get to see the entire city light up
It was a really exciting and tiring day for us because we actually walked the streets for 12 hours. It's definitely not enough to cover the entire Sapporo in a day but we managed to cover everything we wanted to see and that's about it.