This post is long-delayed, I admit, but it’s finally here! Yey!
The reason it took so long was the photos! I have a LOT of photos to share, so I’ll be splitting this blog post into two! 🙂
A few months ago, I went to Hokkaido with my family for a few days (August 31 – September 5, 2017). While I’ve been to Hokkaido in the past (Kushiro, to be specific), this would be my first time in Sapporo. I was in charge of the itinerary again and this is what we did:
Day 1: August 31, 2017
Our flight to Sapporo took a grand total of nine travel hours (including the layover)! We departed from Manila at 9 in the morning –
landing at Narita Airport by 3:00PM –
then flew off for Sapporo by 6PM and finally arriving at 8PM!
Phew! We rode the train to Sapporo Station and walked to our hotel, Hotel MyStays Sapporo Aspen, from there. We had takeaway dinner from the nearby Coco Ichibanya and headed to bed for another early start the next day.
Day 2: September 1
Waking up bright and early, we headed for Otaru.Otaru Station! It was such a beautiful day.
Otaru is so gorgeous and we were lucky to go on such a good day!
Just look at these flowers!
We arrived a little too early (I guess I was just too excited, woops) and most of the shops were still closed, so we walked around and took our time enjoying all the sights!
I love all the architecture and history of all the buildings here.
Coming to Otaru, I had a few things I knew I wanted to see and do (not to mention, eat hehe) – which I’ll get to in a bit. Walking around, we encountered a small market that sold souvenirs, fresh Hokkaido sweet corn and melon, and dried seafood.
Sweet Hokkaido melons selling at ¥500 per slice! Expensive, but worth a taste. It’s so good.
Since all the stores were still closed, we headed for the Otaru Canal next.
There was an elderly man painting the canal and there were various artists selling postcards and their paintings of the canal on the side. I couldn’t resist and bought a postcard for myself.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ride the boat on this visit – but it also means I have to come back in the future!
My mom and I hehe
After going around, we decided to have an early lunch and searched for a good seafood place. I didn’t get the name of the place we found, but it was near the canal if I remembered correctly. My favorite fish is salmon, so it was a MUST that I have it there.
And I did. (So good.)
These were the other food we had.
After a hearty lunch, I craved for dessert. It’s just a good thing that the sweets I wanted to eat were a little further from where we were, so I was able to “walk-off” my lunch by the time I reached each place.
Famous for glass works and musical boxes, Otaru is a quaint place to be.
We ended up on a shopping street and my relatives bought souvenirs. We also stopped by a place that sold seaweed tea!
It tasted quite salty, but not to the point where it’s unpleasantly salty – an intriguing flavor.
One of the shops sold ice cream and I had to get one. I mean, HOKKAIDO MILK ICE CREAM? YES.
Tasted as good as I expected.
I bought glass (yes, glass) flowers here for my grandmother. There were so much cute glass figurines I wanted to buy!
Sugi Bee Garden, where I bought Yuzumitsu extract for juice – super good.
Two particular desserts I knew I wanted to try were Kitakaro Cream Puffs and LeTao’s Double Fromage Cheesecake. Luckily, there were several LeTao branches around Otaru and Kitakaro nearby – so, yes, I ran to both and bought them quickly.
First stop was LeTao. I sampled a lot of chocolate inside (really rich and delectable) and headed for the cake area.
They have other different things for sale. The strawberry one is a limited edition item. Looking back, I wish I ordered it as well.
The verdict? Delicious! It’s like you’re eating a cloud (cartoon clouds, not real-life clouds) – fluffy and flavorful. I would definitely eat this again (and again and again.)
I was really full already, but I told myself “one last thing, I swear” and ran to Kitakaro.
I heard that the cream puffs usually run out late in the afternoon, so I was relieved to see there were still a LOT of cream puffs waiting for me to buy!
They had different kinds of cream puffs and several other sweets around the store, but I kept my eyes on the prize.
The verdict? It’s heavenly. Probably one of the best cream puffs I’ve ever had. The cream is light and sweet, and the pastry is fluffy. Definitely would recommend trying!
The last thing we wanted to do was visit the famous Otaru Music Box Museum.
I’m in love with the building and everything in it.
As soon as I entered the building, I was overwhelmed. With several floors, pleasant musical tunes filled my ears and as I looked around, I found myself silent. Everything felt like a whimsical dream.
Snoopy music box! (It was too expensive huhu)
Sushi music boxes!
The best part? You could make your own music box. I went to the top floor and chose the music and the box.
I picked this plain dark box with a glass figurine of a Shih Tzu (like my own dog) and a tiny mushroom. The song I picked was from Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle. One of my all-time favorite Ghibli movies!
We stayed in Otaru until late afternoon before heading back to the hotel. My grandparents headed back to the hotel while my mom, my cousin, and I headed for the nearby mall for dinner.
We decided to go to Ippin (いっぴん) for delicious pork rice bowls (butadon).
The pork was so tender and the sauce is amazing (we even bought a bottle of the sauce!)
After dinner, we shopped around the area for a bit and headed back to the hotel for – yet – another early start.
That’s part one of my Hokkaido blog! Click here to read part 2! 🙂