Saturday, July 30, 2016

2016 Japan Vacation, Day 8 - Stuck in Sapporo, on to Toya

We had our first real hiccups with Kai on Day 8. Like many kids with autism, Kai loves to know what the plan is. That is why before each vacation, I meticulously make a PowerPoint deck that describes our daily schedule. But, in life, things happen, and when the schedule changes... well, let's say that Kai is not good at being flexible.

It had been cloudy and occasionally rainy ever since we got to Hokkaido. But on this day the rain became a steady downpour. Through the rain, my father-in-law drove two hours from Furano back to Sapporo where we returned our rental car. We would then take a train to Lake Toya.

But when we arrived at the train station, we found out that due to the heavy rain, our train had been cancelled. It would be hours before we would depart.

Kai was furious. The change in plans was difficult, but what made it even more so was because this was the day we would stay at a hotel that had a small waterpark. With the delay, we wouldn't reach the hotel until evening.

I explained to Kai that we could still have fun - there are places to see and Sapporo would have many Pokémon. But all he could think about was how his plans were ruined. His mom tried to assure him that we could still go to the waterpark as it is open late. He finally started to calm after we assured him that we would go to the waterpark first when we arrived at the hotel, and have dinner later.

And so we tried to make the most of our extra time in Sapporo. We walked around the downtown area and saw some of Odori Park.

And then we went to the Shiroi Koibito chocolate factory.

Kai was much happier now, especially as he was able to catch more Pokémon.

Before we went on the factory tour, we had lunch at the restaurant next door. The setting was nice but you'll notice no food on the table. We had to wait nearly an hour for our meal to be served.

We were happier when we finally were able to go on the tour and see the assembly line for their famous white chocolate cookies.

Of course we had to have some chocolates, though I was so excited about eating them that I forgot to take pictures.

After that, we went back to the train station and finally made our way to Lake Toya. We arrived at our hotel near 7PM and quickly went to the water park. Kai only wanted to do the few slides a few times, and spent more time in the wave pool. But he was very happy that we made it.

He was more grumpy later when we left the hotel to find a spot for dinner. He complained about the poor wifi at the hotel, and the poor cellular reception in this small town.

We found a yakitori restaurant for a late dinner.

Kai and I were dressed in our yakuta after using the ofuro (public bath) before dinner.

It was a long day, but ultimately we made the most of it. Still, I was hoping that the clouds would soon lift, both figuratively and literally.


  1. There you go. That is eating Japanese style...after a bath and in a Yukata.

    I was surprised, I've never heard of a train in Japan being cancelled due to rain.

    I wouldn't have minded an hour wait for my food with such nice views.

    At least Kai had his time in a pool.

    That last picture made me laugh. You look tired and ready for bed...and Kai looks full of energy and like he is ready for anything. :)

  2. I, too, was surprised to learn that the train was cancelled due to the rain. I do know that there was a lot of rain where we were, and there may have been even more in other areas where the train ran.

    The view was definitely nice at the restaurant, but we were starting to stress out about getting to see the chocolate factory before having to head back to the train station. Service is usually exceedingly good in Japan, but this restaurant was an exception.

    Ha, you captured my mood in that last picture perfectly. Kai was just getting revved up while I was definitely ready to call it a night. :)


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