Time to dust off the ol’ blog and get back to my old posting habits! I actually have many things to put on here but things got crazy busy during October and before I realized it, it’s already almost halfway through November. Hopefully I’ll be updating this more than a couple of times a month now.
In late August I decided to head to Hokkaido for a few days. A lot of people go to Hokkaido during the winter for the Snow Festival or to go skiing and snowboarding but none of those things really appeal to me, especially since we have a similar festival back home in Minnesota. What does appeal to me though? Cool weather, especially during the hellish summer. Hokkaido seemed like it could provide that.
And boy did it! While it was in the 90s with high humidity in Osaka, Hokkaido was in the 70s nearly the entire time. It felt amazing. Of course, there is plenty of stuff to do besides enjoy the weather. The first evening I got there I decided to check out Sapporo, the main city in the prefecture.
Fortunately there was a summer festival going on when I arrived so there were lots of festivities in the nearby park. Since it was obon season, festivities were still going on in Sapporo. Right in front of the TV Tower, there were many people doing a Bon Odori, which is a kind of dance during Obon. The majority of people doing the dance are in traditional Japanese clothing but you also see some in ordinary clothes doing it. The best part was when a salaryman jumped in and started doing the dance, handbag in his hand and all. There’s something about the bon odori that is so peaceful; everyone of all ages and backgrounds are doing the dance and enjoying it, it gives you this sense of unity. I took a few pictures and videos:
After watching the bon odori for awhile, I decided to check out the TV Tower that was behind the summer event. The view from the top is nice but the windows were a bit dirty. I’d only recommend it if you are a fan of eagle-eye views:
During my night walk, I also passed by the Sapporo Clock Tower, aka the Tokeidai. Apparently this is a very popular tourist stop but is known to disappoint people as it’s pretty small compared to the bigger Western-styled buildings that surround it:
My final stop of the day was to eat a well-known local dish–miso ramen. I headed to Tokeidai Ramen and had the butter corn ramen. It is exactly what it sounds—ramen with lots of corn and a slab of butter on the top. The butter gives the broth a buttery, smooth feeling to it. It’s nice but after awhile the tastes gets a little too buttery for my tastes. Still, I recommend eating it if you happen to be in the area. If you drink, make sure to get some Sapporo beer. It could be just me but it tastes a lot better when you’re in the actual city.
After that I decided to crash for the night. A busy day awaited me tomorrow…