I am now staying City of Sapporo, the seat of Hokkaido to enjoy beautiful Autumn season. I visited the city about 35 years ago around that time of year. As it was just overnight stay for business, I do not remember now. During the Covid-19 travel restrictions, I stayed my town for over two years except Hiruzen, Okayama this summer. (It was a travel I had to make. ) I was feeling almost suffocated. I wanted to get out far from the town and do something refreshing.
Sapporo is the perfect place. I can travel in an airplane, visit a beer museum, walk the place, and enjoy delicious food, this time Sushi.
I flew to Sapporo from Haneda by a JAL flight at 09:00. There were a few changes I found at the airport. You can go straight to the security check. I can check in and go through the check using my smartphone. No need to wait in the long line before the counter. This is good. A fewer drink and snacks at the airport lounge. Many lounge users bring their own snacks like a box of sandwitch, onigiri rice ball, etc. ( I just drank a couple of beer from the server.) I think they have changed these to combat and survive the pandemic.
I headed to Sapporo Beer Museum in the Sapporo Beer Garden in the city. I made a reservation for a guided tour of the museum two weeks before. They show us a short history of the company in a video at the small theather. There are two different versions. I and other watched a story of Seibei Nakagawa, the master craftman who built and ran the factory. The guide take us inside the museum to show some sections and told some interesting stories. The tour ends at the tap room where they serve two different types of beer with a pack of snack for each of us. While we taste the beers, the guide show us how to serve beer from a can into a glass in a way it tastes better.
It was about a hour of tour. I believe attendance fee of 500 yen I paid is worthwile. In the garden, they have beer restaurants. They offer Jingiskan Mongolian Mutton barbecue, a speciality of Hokkaido, on all you can eat. I ate it at the restaurant “Lilac”. You can choose Lamb and mutton in different seasonings. I like the fresh lamb which is moist and soft in texture.
I returned to Sapporo station and took Subway “Toho Line” and got off at Hosui Susukino station near the Sapporo tower, where I am staying. I am staying at “Fairfield Sapporo”. The hotel looks newly built. The room is very clean and simple. They have a restaurant. They have a buffet breakfast with Japanese, western, local dishes like ” Soup curry” in the morning for 2,000 yen. I had breakfast every morning. The hotel rate is reasonable and the stuff are nice and friendly. I would like to stay next time again.
On the second day, I started early in the morning. I decided to walk to University Hokkaido at the north side of Sapporo station. I stopped by the Sapporo Clock Tower in cream color, a former theather of the Hokkaido Agrecultural school, now Hokkaido University on my way. It is the landmark of the city. There were a lot of tourists in the morning.
I leanred the University was located at the site of the clock tower before moving to the vast area on the north side of the Sapporo station. The University is known for Popla promenade and Gingko avenue. Many people, residents and tourists alike, come to enjoy the beautiful season. The Popla promenade has been closed after the trees were destroyed by the strong winds. I wanted to see it in my eyes. I came across the statue of Dr. Inazo Nitobe, vice president of United league of nations. Many of you may know him as the face of the 5,000 yen notes.
I spent most of the morning and I decided to leave after seeing the Gingko promenade and walked to Botanic Garden of the university on the south side of the station.
After the garden, I walked to the hotel by the way of Tanuki Koji shopping street and Nijojo fish market. It got around 3 o’clock. After taking some rest, I felt hungry and walked near to the clock tower. There is a Kaiten Sushi restaurant “Nemuro Hanamaru” on the basement of a large building. I had to wait nearly an hour. I got a counter seat finally. I drank two glasses of beer, a fried oyster, a miso soup of “buri”yellowtail and several dishes of sushi. The cooks inside the conveyer are all in high spirites. I had a good time. I understand why they can wait for such a long time. It is worthwhile. I want to come back again.
Tomorrow I will leave the city. I met a lot of nice people, kind people, friendly people, saw beautiful places, and had delicious food and beer. I’ve enjoyed this trip immensely so far. I want to return again.