Our time in Sapporo had come to an end and we were both a little sad about having to leave. Sapporo and the surrounding area have a lot to offer and I feel we barely made a scratch let alone a dent. Because of it’s relative young status among other Japanese cities it offers an interesting juxtaposition between East and West as many influences from the West were incorporated during it’s development. Some will likely be visible forever, such as the well laid out grid street system, others relics left behind for prosperity’s sake. We made our way out to visit a few of these relics before our train pulled out of Sapporo Station.
Episode 6: https://youtu.be/7VjIv7qyID8
We had time to visit two historic buildings heralding back to the early days of Sapporo.
First up was the Sapporo Clock Tower, the oldest building left in Sapporo. It was built back in 1878 and was originally part of the Sapporo Agricultural College, now known as Hokkaido University.
The next stop was the former Hokkaido Government Office. This building has gone through a few iterations over the years, we found and showed a picture of the original structure when it was built back in 1873. That building was lost to fire, but a new building was constructed in 1888, letting the clock tower beat it out for oldest building. It was originally constructed to house the Sapporo Main Office of the Kaitakushi.
The American influence on the architecture of both these buildings is rather apparent and they were neat relics to go and visit.
After our sightseeing we hurried back to Sapporo Station in search of food for our train trip. We came across an amazing food hall and managed to stock up for the trip.
You’ll find these food halls in the basement of pretty much every department store or shopping complex. They are an amazing way to get high quality food for a reasonable price, in many cases already packaged to go. We’ve even come across end of day sales making it that much more affordable.
After checking out from the hotel we made our way over to the train station and found our platform. We way overestimated how much time we needed to walk from our hotel into the station, but it gave me a chance to explore the station a little while we waited for the train. Nicole found a seating area set up with heaters where she camped out for a bit.
It was a relatively short train trip, compared to the long trip up from Tokyo. The trip was about 70 minutes, just enough time to devour the food we picked up earlier in the day.
Once at Noboribetsu Station we had to hustle out to catch the next bus which would take us out of Noboribetsu proper and into Noboribetsu Onsen, a spa resort town. At the bus terminal we were met by our ride from Takinoya, the resort hotel we had booked for the next 2 nights. It ended up not being a very far walk, but the pick up was appreciated given the luggage we were travelling with.
This stop on our trip was one of several “relaxation” stops. Cities interspersed with relaxing resort or ryokan visits. Once we checked in and were treated to our welcome matcha and sweet any sadness about leaving Sapporo was forgotten. We had a beautiful place to relax in, and an interesting sight to see the next day.
And still battling jet lag we could use the change of pace and a little R&R. We headed straight to the onsen for a soak after our welcome refreshment, and then it was a kaiseki dinner to end the night. By this point we were both exhausted and fighting off impending slumber.
A kaiseki meal is nothing to rush, it is always an very enjoyable experience, but on this night I will have to admit I was glad to see dessert. We literally stumbled up to our room and immediately passed out.
There were several locations featured in this episode
- JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo – Our home for 5 nights as we explored Sapporo and a couple of close by towns. Our room was very comfortable and spacious (we had a corner room), and the view South over Sapporo was amazing. I think our favourite part of this hotel was the ridiculously good breakfast buffet.
- Sapporo Clock Tower – Our first visit for the day was the oldest building still standing in Sapporo.
- Hokkaido Prefectural Government Office – The Sapporo Main Office of the Kaitakushi was our next visit for the day.
- Sapporo Station – The main train station of Sapporo where we caught our train to our next destination.
- Noboribetsu Station – You only got a very quick glimpse of the platform when we arrived at this train station. We were in a rush to catch a bus as our train was late.
- Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya – A beautiful onsen resort hotel where we would get some R&R for the next 2 nights. We introduced you to our tatami room, one of their onsen public baths and our kaiseki meal that night.
Thanks for watching/reading!