Coming directly from a 19-hour flight, I thought I would not enjoy my Hokkaido trip. I was wrong. The 2-day trip in a snow covered city proved to be a worthwhile experience. That's saying a lot especially coming from someone who has a love and hate relationship with snow. While walking around the city, the sceneries reminded me of the movie I recently watched, A chorus of Angels (Kita no Kanaria Tachi). The movie was entirely shot in Hokkaido
monday morning mist
frozen handshakes, chilling bows
an ice-cold kingdom
Straight from the airport, I went to Sapporo Beer Museum. Beer lovers should not miss this place. The place showcases the history and developments of Sapporo Beer, one of the leading beers in Japan.
After a quick lunch, left my things at the hotel and went to Otaru Canal. The canal was already crowded when I arrived there. It is a popular destination to photo enthusiasts like me. The canal during blue hour is just marvelous. The opposite side of the canal was comparably empty so I positioned myself there and continued clicking my camera until my fingers fell off. Until this time, I didn’t know the reason why the photographers prefer the other side of the canal.
You are left with no choice, except to love the snow!
Hokkaido is celebrating its annual Snow Festival during my visit. I've got to witness the creativity of the artists in using snow as their media. Everyone was not minding the negative temperature at all. Yes, including me.
The Snow Festival began in 1950, when local high school students built six snow statues in Odori Park. In 1955, the Self-Defense Force joined in and built the very first massive snow sculpture, for which the Snow Festival has become famous for now. more here
The next day, I went to Chitose. It was winter wonderland indeed. It would have been better if I witnessed the light-up but as I was running out of time, I was contented already. I have to be contented so I’ll leave the city without any regrets.
Around the area, you got to see the Lake Shikotsu, one of the famous lakes in Northern Japan. The lake is hypnotic and majestic. It could invite you for a dip but just be careful or else you’ll end up like one of the ice statues.
Going back to city, the ice sculptures were about to be destroyed. It signals the end of the festival. Can't help but wonder why they have to destroy them. It took lots of time to finish one ice masterpiece. Or the space will be used for other means.
That Hokkaido experience was fast. Thought it was just a dream. I had a great time despite constantly fighting with jet lag. Maybe soon I'll return to Hokkaido. Maybe not.