Sapporo Yuki Matsuri
Sapporo Snow Festival
This sculpture was about 50 feet high and incredible detail. It was one of about 5 that were really super great. Most of the others were smaller and nice, but not as "wow" as the top five. Click here for more pictures of the above sculpture.
We flew up to Sapporo (Shin Chitose) from Sendai. It was about an hour and cost 17,000 yen or about $170 USD. From the airport there was a train that went directly to Sapporo station. Our hotel was actually at another station, but I screwed up. So we walked and some taxied to the other station and checked in around noon on Saturday. It was a nice hotel, a Tokyu Inn I think.
After lunch some people took a nap (which we can't do in Fukushima) and a few others went out and saw the ice sculptures which were near the hotel. There were about 100 total, but I didn't take pictures of them all since many looked the same or wouldn't have looked good in pictures.
Then we went back to the hotel and napped a bit and regrouped and decided to go to the famous Sapporo Beer Garden. We have one of these in Fukushima, but it's not as big and not Sapporo Beer. Basically it is all you can eat and all you can drink in 2 hours for about $40. They actually bring the food and beer out fast so you are constantly drinking and eating. I was so full. There were actually some other JETs from Miyagi and Yamagata there as well as some Hokkaido JETs. I knew some and we all drank up and had a good old time.
Each group of 4 has their own grill and plate of seafood, meat strips, and veggies.
The people serve us quickly and even
put it on the grill.
From top left, the waitress, Edith, David, Nicole, Sophie.
Top right, Liz, Katherine, Wendy, back of Katie's head.
They know how to serve beer. He
served the beer just like this (not tilted),
but wouldn't pause for a picture.
Then we bused back and walked around some more until we decided to continue our buzz and go to Karaoke. We were stopped by some tout and he convinced us to go to a Karaoke place. We later learned it was a scam somewhat. He said one price and then it was a tad more there. Plus the Nomihoudai (all you can drink) didn't include beer, which means they can just not put much alcohol in the cocktails. I left after a while. It was fun, but there were 13 people and that's a bit much. If one person picks a song that is really boring, but meaningful to them, then it breaks the mood for everyone.
For the record, Australians are crazy about Karaoke. Here are two of our Australian Karaoke representatives:
Jasmin on the left, Sophie on the right. Both spent much of the time on the couches bouncing around and dancing like there was no tomorrow. Then there is the back of David's head.
The next day I woke up early since there was a free breakfast and I didn't feel like sleeping until noon (which I can do in Fukushima). So I eat alone and then head out to see the sculptures. I went back to the ice ones near the hotel and took more pictures since it was clearer and not a blizzard, like the night before. Plus I wasn't frostbitten so I could walk further and see them all.
Finally I made it out to the snow sculptures on a clear day and was able to take some good shots. There were about 5 big massive "how did they do that" snow sculptures and about 100 or more smaller ones, some made by countries, others by groups.
A collection of popular Japanese Cartoon characters.
#55 Matsui, recently signed with the NY Mets.
Hanover City Hall in Hanover Germany.
The Parthenon I think 1/4 size.
After that I headed back to the station. The other group was doing their own thing and I was separated from my group since they were looking for some clothing shop (there are none in Fukushima). I walked by the "famous" clock tower in Sapporo, which wasn't really all that special. I guess it was really old and that was cool, but I only stopped since it was on the way back, it wasn't independently cool.
Inside there was a replica of the clock mechanism, which was cool, but I still don't see why it works.
Finally I walked past the other
famous landmark which was something to do with
American style architecture. I don't even know what it was, but it's famous.
I'm going to set up and entirely separate page for the ferry, which is how we got back from Sapporo to Sendai. Here is a link to the Japanese Ferry we took.
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