chris vs. the arctic

chris: 72 // the arctic: 47

Hokkaido

Hokkaidooooooh! Yep! I went to Hokkaido this past weekend. Just two days! Nuts. ANA offers special fares for domestic flights in Japan for you and your friends around your birthday! So, Sarah, Shelly, Jamie, and I flew from Toyama to Sapporo on April 2nd, and flew out the next day!

Since we only had literally 24 hours, we had no time to waste. Once we arrived, we went straight to the hotel and had lunch. The first sight-seeing location was Sapporo's TV Tower. What a tourist trap! It wasn't even that tall! But, it did offer a good view of the city. It's one of those things you are 'supposed to do' when in town. Like the Statue of Liberty in New York or cosmetic surgery in Los Angeles.

TV TowerView from the TV Tower

After experiencing the awe and wonder of the TV Tower, we made our way out of Sapporo into a town called Otaru. This town is quite cute and European-looking. But the best part, by far, is the Otaru Beer Factory. We had some okay dinner and excellent drinks at this establishment. The highlight (besides the beer) was the live entertainment. It consisted of a jazz band showcasing a ballet dancer. Sweet.

That night, we trained it back into Sapporo and sought some local watering holes. The first place we found was a bar on the 9th floor of a building on the main street. It offered a great view of the city, along with amazing (but pricey) cocktails.

Sapporo is 'known' for its hairy crab. So after the bar, we decided to sample some. After wondering the streets for hairy crab, we eventually found an izakaiya that offered to make us a hairy crab borrowed from a restaurant next door. Nice! It wasn't that great. Needed butter. (It reminded me of my fugu experience in Shimonoseki.)

Sarah and I went on the prowl after Jamie and Shelly went to bed. We eventually found this sweet ghetto bar called Booty! It had a ton of "black" Japanese peeps, and some local gaijin (foreigners). I had a blast grinding with my playaz and hoz! :P

The next morning, we hit up Sapporo's other 'must do' sight... The Clock Tower. What a scam. Two storeys of boring! But, it's done.

The next visit more than made up for the Clock Tower... The crown jewel of any visit to Sapporo... The Sapporo Beer Museum & Garden! Okay, the museum was kind of boring, but the bar at the end was great!

Shelly, Jamie, Sarah, and I at the Sapporo Beer Museum
Shelly, Jamie, Sarah, and I at the Sapporo Beer Museum Bar.

Afterwards, we enjoyed beer and jengusu kaan (Japan's name for lamb -- it's supposed to be Genghis Khan) at the Sapporo Biergarten! You can get an 100-minute nomihodai (all you can drink) with an amazing meal. So we did! I managed to down only 4 steins though. (I've heard stories of some Toyama peeps downing 8... Amber!)

Since we had to fly back that evening, we went straight from the beer garden to the airport! Yikes! Jamie has video of our embarrassing display running to catch the plane! I may put an edited version of it on my website soon...

So that's it! Check out the photos!
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On April 06, 2005, Blogger Gillian said:

Hurray! You are back to your blog! Your trip sounds awesome - were you sober for any of it?    



On April 07, 2005, Blogger jamie said:

yeah that video needs to be shown!!
awesome photos-for once...(kidding)

Happy BIRTHDAY| CHRISTO!

jk    



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