Hokkaido Day 1: Sapporo Tour 

This summer I was supposed to travel to Hokkaido with my grandma to celebrate her 88th birthday, but due to some health problems she was unable to come unfortunately. Instead, I am going alone but my family friend is able to join part of the tour with me. 今年の夏、北海道におばあさんと一緒に米寿 (88歳の誕生日) を祝いに行くはずでしたが、ある健康の問題のため行けなかったんです。代わりに一人で行き、ツアーの一部に家族の友達も参加して、嬉しいです。

I flew from my home to meet the rest of the group and then flew with them to Haneda and then on to Sapporo (New Chitose Airport). It was a red eye flight and the tour started immediately after we landed in Sapporo, so everyone had to get sleep on the flight to Japan. Surprisingly I was able to sleep about six or seven hours and even R.E.M. slept. I felt bad for the others who said they didn’t sleep at all. 北カリフォルニアからグループと集まりに行って、一緒に羽田空港、そして新千歳空港に行きました。夜行便に乗り、日本への便で寝なければいけないこと、6、7時間ぐらい寝られて驚くほど夢を見られました。でも、寝られなかったお客様がかわいそうだと思いました。

The first place we visited in Sapporo was the infamous clock tower. This place is supposedly the symbol of the city, although it isn’t particularly grand or anything. 最初の名所は、有名な時計台でした。それは札幌のシンボルを現れているそうですが、素晴らしいところが特にないと思います。

The second place was the Former Hokkaido Government Office that is made out of red bricks and looks like an old European building. For some reason there was a lot of commotion today and a huge event was going on outside the building; there was a band playing music and several booths selling Hokkaido food. Our tour guide bought us all a delicious strawberry mochi dessert. Just as I was about to eat it some TV producers with their camera came up and started interviewing me. It caught me off guard and I wanted to say that I was a foreigner who didn’t understand much Japanese, but they just ended up asking me basic questions and then I ate the food and looked like I really enjoyed it and said I loved Hokkaido food. I really hope that segment doesn’t show up on TV… 第二は、旧北海道庁舎という赤れんが造りのヨーロッパスタイルビルを訪問しました。今日はなんとなく外の賑やかなイベントが行われ、バンドや北海道の名物を売っている売店がありました。ガイドさんが美味しい苺餅を買ってくれ、食べるか食べないうちにテレビ番組のプロデューザーが面接を受けました。すごくびっくりして、「あまり日本語が話せない外国人だ」と言いたかったんですが、やっぱり簡単な質問をし、デザートを食べて「美味しい!北海道の食べ物が大好き!」と嬉しく言いました。その部分がテレビで放送されないといいんですけど…

          Couldn’t get a proper photo of it. 😦 

The third place was one of my favorites: the Okurayama Ski Jump. Usually we just look at it and take some pictures, but this time we were able to go up to the top via chair lift and take even better pictures with a view of the city. We also went into the Olympics museum that had some awesome simulations and photo spots on the bottom floor. Would definitely recommend that museum! 第三は、好きな小倉山スキージャンプでした。前行った時写真を撮ってすぐ次の所に行きましたが、今回はチェアリフトでピークに登り、札幌をよく見えるところで素敵な写真を撮られました。その後、オリンピックの博物館を見学して、最下階にてウィンタースポーツの体験したり、面白い写真を撮ったりしました。おすすめスポットです!

Then we headed for a quick lunch at the Sapporo Station. We originally wanted to have conveyer belt sushi but the line was so long that we just had ramen instead. 次に、札幌駅で昼食を食べ、最初に回転寿司を食べたかったんですが、待ち時間は長すぎて代わりにラーメンを食べました。

The fourth place we visited was the Sapporo Beer Factory. This time we got to go on a tour of the museum and even got to taste some beer ourselves. I’m finally old enough to try it, but unfortunately I still don’t have a taste for beer. They let us try two types: one that is the normal Sapporo Beer sold in stores, and the other one is an old recipe no longer sold. I couldn’t finish it because it started giving me a headache so I gave it to someone else. 第四はサッポロビール博物館、今回は中に入ってビールを試飲しました。やっと22歳のことで飲めますが、ビールの味がまだあまり好きではありません。下の写真のとおり、左側は古い売店終了しているビール、右側は現在普通のバージョンです。ちゃっと頭痛がして、全部飲めなかったので誰かにあげました。

How to pour a glass of beer properly 

Everyone went back to the hotel to take a nap after that, but I walked to the Daimaru and Stellar Place department stores instead. Didn’t really buy anything except this awesome foaming peach face wash that seriously smells like an actual peach. I really want to buy more peach cosmetics while I’m in Japan…ツアーの終了後、みんながホテルに昼寝をしに戻りましたが、私は一人で大丸、ステラプレイスといつデパートに行きました。本物の桃のような匂いがするモモの泡洗顔しか買わなかったんです。日本にいるうちにもっとモモの化粧品を買いたいと思っていますね。

Now dinner was the long-awaited meal. We ate at a restaurant across from the Sapporo Beer Museum and had a Genghis Khan meal (lamb and vegetables). I don’t really know the history of why it is called that, but it is really good and popular if you are a tourist in Sapporo. Instead of doing the all you can eat course, we had a set menu that was too much food. We all had food coma by the end of the night. 夜は待望の夕食でした。ビール博物館の向こうにあるレストランでジンギスカンを食べました。どうしてそういう名前と命名されていないか分からないんですが、とても美味しくて、札幌に旅行したら是非食べてご覧ください!バイキングコースではなく、大きすぎるセットメニューにして、その夜の終わりまでに眠くて大変お腹がいっぱかったです。

After I write this I will happily fall asleep knowing that I just ate a fantastic fulfilling meal. 書き終わったら、美味しい食事に満足して、眠りにつきます。

May 21-23

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