20 December 2013

Hokkaido (Sapporo/Otaru/Jozankei) Nov 2013 - Day 5 & 6

Continued from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

Last 2 days of our Hokkaido holiday!

Our breakfast was scheduled at 8.30am, so I woke up a little earlier for a soak at the onsen. The male and female onsen baths had switched over at 4am, and this was the "male" onsen that hubby visited previous day. The changing area is a tad smaller in size.

There was even a crib inside the changing area.

Bath area.

The indoor onsen.

Another indoor onsen, cybress bath style.

To get to the outdoor onsen, have to go down a flight of stairs. Felt so cold while walking down since we could only bring in a tiny towel.

Quickly jumped into the hot spring water. Ahh, much better.

Similar to the other onsen, there's also sauna room but I didn't go in.

The onsen mascots. These 2 represents autumn and winter. The other 2, spring and summer are located in the onsen I went previous day.

8.30am, our breakfast time!

Selection of small dishes, such as plum, pickles, wild vegetables, tamago, squid sashimi.

Tofu and fishcake hotpot.

Salt marinated salmon.

Soup and radish.
The onsen tamago and boiled potato were available free-flow, and not part of the set breakfast.

After breakfast, we went back to the room to laze some more.

Gorgeous weather.

Checked out at around 10.15am and proceeded to the bus-stop to wait for the "KappaLiner" scheduled at 10.30am.

Pity we didn't have enough time to walk around Jozankei.

The countryside is so lovely.

The bus ride took about 30 mins and soon we reached JR Sapporo Station. From there, OTOT till 2pm to check in at Hotel Gracery. Shopping time! And then it was more shopping after we checked in :p

We met up again at 8pm, at Susukino for dinner. We had eyeballed this BBQ mutton shop few nights ago.

We ordered different cuts of mutton. Cabbage, beansprouts and onions were free flow. Did I mention before, grilled veggies were quite yummy!

Lamb sausage was surprisingly yummy!

After having the grilled mutton, we decided to hop over to Ramen Alley for a bowl of ramen, went back to the same shop as we liked the ramen previously.

The next morning, we had a couple of hours to spare before heading to the airport. So we dropped by Nijo Market 二条市場 which is located near Odori Park. It's a fresh market similar to the Curb Market (Central Wholesale Market) but more conveniently located.

However, having visited the Curb Market, Nijo Market pales in comparison in terms of products, number of shops and vibrancy. But I guess it's still an attractive fresh market for tourists and visitors who didn't have time to go all the way to Curb Market.

We were there close to 8pm, some shops were closed (or maybe not open yet).

I bought 2 melons (yes I hubby hand carried the melons back to Singapore :p) and left shortly.

We walked towards Tanukikouji shopping street in search of breakfast place.

Breakfast at Cafe Doutor. Variety of sandwiches available.

 My egg and ham sandwich. Super like!

After breakfast, we went back to the hotel, did some last packing and checked out. Took the JR bound for New Chitose Airport. When we checked in our luggage at the ANA counter, was really pissed off when the ground crew told us that my luggage was overweight. My luggage was 30kg which is within the baggage limit, but the maximum weight allowed for 1 piece of luggage is 23kg. In other words, I had to split my luggage into 2 - 1 piece at 23kg and the other 7kg. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my spare duffel bag, and hubby had to sacrifice his hand carry backpack for my 7kg of stuff.

With all this time wasted, we had very limited time to explore the awesome New Chitose Airport, less than 1.5 hours to go before boarding the plane. We quickly headed to the duty free shops to get the must-buy Hokkaido snacks and then to Smile Road/Sweets Zone where there's Hello Kitty, Doraemon, Royce Chocolate shops.

Huge Royce Chocolate shop.

Can even see the chocolate making process.

Doraemon sky park.

I think dear son would like this place.

Most of the areas are free, only one area requires admission fee to access the library, workshop and commemorative photo booth.

There's even a Doraemon cafe.

We didn't have much time left and many areas and shops unexplored yet :((( Had to go into the immigrations and departure lounge after a while. Next time, we must make it a point to reach the airport at least 3-4 hours in advance!

We will be back again!

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  1. Hi. amazing write up of your experience in Hokkaido. I intent to visit Hokkaido this Nov on a Free n Easy trip like yours. Just one question to ask of you. During your check out of your hotel to go to Jozankei Onsen and then check in again after the Onsen trip, do you have to pay for your hotel room while you were in Jozankei? Appreciate your kind advice. Thanks.

  2. Hi Joe,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. You will definitely like Hokkaido! I made 2 separate bookings for my hotel at Sapporo (don't have to pay for the room while in Jozankei). We left our big luggage at the Sapporo hotel for the trip to Jozankei. Jap hotels are usually ok with the service of safekeeping guests' luggage for 1 or 2 nights, so far I've been doing such arrangements for all my Japan trips no problem.

  3. thank you for sharing your hokkaido trip experienced. do you mind to share your itinerary? I am planing of visiting in Sept. thank you. max

  4. Hi, I covered only a few places in Hokkaido, itinerary as follows:
    Day 1 - Sapporo (Odori Park, Clock Tower)
    Day 2 - Otaru
    Day 3 - Sapporo (Shiroi Koibito, Curb Market, Ramen Alley)
    Day 4 - Jozankei Onsen
    Day 5 & 6 - Jozankei Onsen, Sapporo (Nijo Market), New Chitose Airport

  5. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing your Hokkaido experience! It has given me some ideas on how to plan my itineraries as I will be visiting in December later this year.

    Just like to check with you, was your tour of Hokkaido early, mid or late November, as my kids are very eager to see snow when we visit (29th Nov to 6 Dec).

    Thanks in advance!

  6. Hi Alan,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Glad you find the info useful.
    My tour was in early Nov, there was not snow yet then. I think by end Nov, it should start snowing (base on past years' records).
    Hokkaido is really lovely, enjoy!!

  7. Enjoyed reading about your trip to Sapporo. We will be using it as our base from Nov 12 to 18 and have taken note of your helpful tips. Can't wait to try the food in your photos!

  8. Hi Lisa,
    Enjoy your Hokkaido trip! The whole area is sooooo beautiful, really hope to return one day.