We left Hana Momiji early next morning, so that we could be the first visitors to Sapporo Beer Museum. Unfortunately, we were too early, so we did some shopping in the supermarket beside the museum instead.
The Japs are amazing! Their supermarket is stocked with ready-to-eat food (not just bentos and sushi) that puts Singapore’s NTUC/Giant to shame. In fact, in our subsequent supermarket sprees, we really conclude that Singapore’s super or hyper marts are really boring as compared to the Japanese!
We also had coffee and bread (because we were reeeeaally early) at a café nearby. The coffee was meh~, because the Japanese really don’t appreciate coffee, but the bread (or should we call cake?) was really nice. Infused with Hokkaido milk and smeared with butter, we had the bread while it was hot and it brought a feeling of warmth in our mouths.
The Beer Museum was a typical run-of-the-mill museum, introducing the origin of Sapporo Beer. The only thing worth trying was their beer icer-cream! While seated at the cafe to gulp the ice cream down, one could also take a picture with the giant beer glass for the sake of it!
Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura)
Next stop was Pioneer Village. It was such a big place! However, it showcased the houses of Hokkaido through the ages and detailed the history of Hokkaido in a theme park (less the rides) that was entertaining enough. We intended to spend about 1.5hrs, but I guess we spent more time than that.
Do remember to wear a pair of comfortable shoes. And because it’s mainly outdoor walking, dress appropriately (according to season). Though, because we are required to take off our shoes every time we entered one of the buildings, wearing boots is not a very good idea. Wearing socks, though, is important for the indoor walking.
Hokuryu, the Land of Sunflowers
We dropped by the sunflower fields at Hokuryu enroute to Asahikawa. Well, it was summer, and it was the flower season, so we could not miss any flower that was blooming!
A pair of shades and adequate sun block is a must because of the crazy sunshine in summer! Comfortable shoes is recommended, and because it gets muddy at certain places, don’t wear white shoes! There are plenty of photo-op, so prepare selfie sticks. The best places for photos are within the paid zones. But the fee is a nominal, so don’t be stingy.
Asahikawa is famous for its ramen, so famous is it, there is a ramen village! What better way to solve our hunger pangs than to go ramen hopping?!
We then went to take a walk in the city centre (the city of Asahikawa, can I say, is a town in Singapore’s perspective). The city centre was really a main street leading from Asahikawa train station all the way to… a few streets later (sorry, I was just wandering about aimlessly then).
The main street contained all the shopping, restaurants and shops one could find, including a 5-storey AV store *blush*. Luckily, it was just a few blocks from our hotel, Hotel Mates Asahikawa.
The train station was huge, considering that it was supposed to be an inter-city rail station. However, that station was rather empty, but perhaps it was night time, or perhaps it was not tourist season yet. The famous Lavender Train, destined for the lavender farms in Furano, spiritedly decorated with the colours of summer, leaves from this station.
The station sat beside a river, and in between them was a linear park that was unlike any found in Singapore. Although landscaped, it was raw. Raw, in the sense that there was no concrete banks like that in Singapore. A few feet off the paved path was the river, with the bank dropping off unevenly into the black ink of water. Lighting was limited, with the main source coming from the concourse of the train station. Couples settled themselves on the landscaped slopes, with the trains coming and going behind them.
Accomodation of the Night:
Hotel Mates Asahikawa
10 Hidari 5 Miyashitadori, Asahikawa 070-0030, Hokkaido
Click here for my TripAdvisor Review
What We Did in Sapporo:
- Sapporo Beer Museum
- Kita 7-Jo Higashi 9-chome , Higashi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
- Supermarket shopping
- Historical Village of Hokkaido (Kaitaku-no Mura)
- 50-1 Atsubetsucho Konopporo, Atsubetsu Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture 004-0006
What We Did on the Way to Asahikawa:
Sunflower farm in Hokuryu (Picnic lunch)
ひまわり観光センター, Japan, 〒078-2511, 北海道雨竜郡北竜町板谷１４３－２
What We Did in Asahikawa:
Ramen Village for dinner
〒079-8421 Hokkaidō, Asahikawa-shi, Nagayama 11 Jō, 4 Chome−119−48
Click here for my TripAdvisor Review
- Train Station and Park
- Main Street
p/s: Breakfast was included in the room plan offered by Hana Momiji
Click on the links to find out more about the rest of the roadtrip!