Thursday, July 28, 2016

2016 Japan Vacation, Day 6 - Sapporo

A big highlight of our Wednesday happened right at the start of the day. We went down to have breakfast at our hotel and saw that it was an all-you-can-eat buffet with the most amazing Japanese and Western food.

Here you can see Kai checking out the table that had all the fixins to make your own chirashi sushi and including salmon, shrimp, and ikura (salmon eggs), among other things.

There were many other Japanese dishes as well.

Here a chef is grilling and slicing up steak.

I had a variety of Japanese food, as did my wife.

My mother-in-law had two full trays of food, one with Japanese dishes and one Western.

After breakfast we checked out of the hotel and went to the train station. We were on our way from Hakodate to Sapporo. Here is a view from the train.

Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido and its largest city, and is the fifth largest in Japan. It is famous for ramen and so we went straight from the train station to the Ramen Republic. Located on the top floor of a department store, it has about ten different small ramen shops. We selected the one with the shortest line.

Though that might not be the best way to select a restaurant, we were happy with our choice. My ramen is the one upfront in the following photo. It had lots of char siu (pork) and was very tasty!

After lunch we went to Sapporo's Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. Sapporo was the site of the 1972 Winter Olympics, and the Japanese ski jump team brought the host country its greatest glory, sweeping gold, silver, and bronze medals in the 70 meter jump.

No, the following photo is not of the Olympic champions.

We took the chair lift to the top of the jump area. This is the view the ski jumpers see as they begin their descent.

One of the observation areas was indoors, but Kai and I climbed up to the top area to see the view from outside. With the steady rain, we took a quick photo and went back down to the indoor area.

From the top and the lift, we had a great view of the city.

Afterward we visited the sports museum. They had exhibits on the Olympics, and had some sports simulation activities like this one for ski jumping.

Mom actually did the best in the ski jumping.

We also tried one for bobsledding.

After the sports museum, we went back to the hotel. Most hotels in Japan do not have swimming pools, but this one did, and so on a rainy afternoon, we made good use of the indoor pool.

For dinner, we wanted to try another Sapporo specialty, jin gi su kan, grilled mutton (lamb). We found out that most of these restaurants do not have tables. They are very small and you sit at a counter. Our party of five took up more than a third of the 14 stools.

Charcoal grills are situated right behind the counter and you cook your own food.

Japan seems to have a lot of cook-your-own food restaurants.

We enjoyed the dinner quite a bit, and I liked the authentic atmosphere.

After dinner, we discovered that it had stopped raining so we walked around a little bit. We were in the part of town that had a lot of nightlife.

Rain aside, it was another fun day in Japan.


  1. Another great day. I am so envious of all that delicious food. Everyone must have been in heaven. I especially liked that all you can eat breakfast.

    So many places with so many sights. Kai is really getting an education in another culture. Seeing the sights and eating the food are the two best ways to experiencing another culture. They speak the most of the desires of that particular culture.

    1. Shiroi, I was thinking of you when I saw that breakfast spread. You would have loved it! :)


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