Rhinestic's Knick Knacks

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hokkaido Tour Day 1 - 17/01/2008 (Continued)

Continued from this post.. (Perhaps I should just summarize???)

We reached Chitose Airport at Hokkaido after the 1 hour plus flight from Haneda. My, it was FREEZING COLD outside the airport!! Water vapor just condensed instantly as we breathed. Actually, this was nothing new to me... Experienced this first time when I was at Beijing 14 years ago during winter, and the second time when I was at Oowakudani (Hakone) last year... But to experience sub-zero temps during the day time was the first for me...

Had a bus ride to a restaurant to have our lunch.. Which wasn't the best in our trip... The potato siew mai and the scallop were good though. (Scallops were everywhere in our meals at Hokkaido...) The miso soup was very flavorful and sweet too. I just don't fancy the raw prawn (surprisingly, the raw squid tasted pretty good with wasabi and shoyu..) and a mysterious appetizer...

Took a look around at the shop at the ground floor.. Saw some of our tour group mates tucking into yummy-looking softo (ice-cream).. Was still sick, couldn't eat so didn't buy... =(

After lunch, we set off for Sapporo. It started to snow very heavily during the bus ride... A first for me too... I've seen light snow falling.. But not HEAVY snow! The sight's quite amazing... I've never seen snow flakes swirl before! (Apparently, this was due to some gadgets that were installed to blow the snow away from the roads..? Besides, the wind was quite strong at that time..) This reminds me of the story of the Snow Queen... Ok, out of point.. LOL..

It was snowing less heavily at Tokei Dai (Sapporo), thankfully.. It was a European style clock tower built in the Sapporo city. Guess the place would look really pretty during warmer seasons when the flowers bloom. The place looked kinda manga-ish/anime-ish in a way... haha.. We then walked for a short distance to the entrance of an underground shopping alley. (On the way, we passed by an area where the Snow/Ice carving exhibition is currently held. We happened to see the original pre-carved form of the gigantic block of snow/ice that was placed there... LOL) Across the road, there's the Sapporo TV tower sticking out from Odori garden.

We were given some free time to shop around the underground shopping alley (also called Aurora town). There were lots of boutiques selling discounted female clothings.. Mainly for winter/autumn wear though... There were also accessories shops, a small Kinokuniya and some eateries and fastfood restaurants... I bought a very unique and pretty watch (partly sponsored by XB) with lovely traditional Japanese designs (kinda looked like washi paper patterns) encased in the bangle-style strap. It's fortunate I didn't really hesitate to buy it for i din see it being sold elsewhere (apparently)! Phew!

After this short shopping trip, we took a ride to the Tanuki Koji shopping arcade at Susukino district (well.. not b4 we took some photos outside the police post at Odori garden... LOL.. Still regretted not taking photos with the high school girls who happened to ask me help them take photos.. ==.. the irony.. well, they're a fun and friendly bunch of kids!). It was only 4 plus pm, and the skies were already turning dark...

Tanuki Koji is actually a stretch of 8 shopping streets linked by covered walkways (Similar to Shisaibashi, Osaka). With hundreds of shops , it is a shopping haven indeed. Sadly, most of my time was spent at Daiso and the mini art exhibition.... Bought some omiyage and a few handphone accessories made of glass beads.

Dinner was shabu shabu. It was crazy... For every couple, there was a gigantic plate of vegetables with scallops... and another big plate of meat.... You could even refill them! ==''' I couldn't even finish a quarter the plate of the meat... Refill? No thanks.. It was good though.. Love the sesame sauce.

Due to jet lag and what not, XB and I didn't venture the Susukino district that night... After unpacking our luggage and having a nice warm bath, we had no problems drifting into dreamland... zzzz

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