The last set of pictures from the Shiroi Koibito chocolate factory.
Snow falls on the factory
I saw this all over Sapporo: Japanese people walking in the snow with umbrellas.
The grand staircase
Hot air balloon chandelier above the grand staircase
Making some little chocolates
Yet more pictures from the Shiroi koibito Chocolate factory visit.
fancy cup 1
fancy cup 2
fancy cup 3
looking out at the snow
Delicious and overpriced cakes for sale
More pictures from the Shiroi Koibito Chocolate Factory. These are some pictures of the actual factory part of the chocolate factory.
Watching them make the chocolate
Their most popular chocolate is a white chocolate piece sandwiched between two 'langue du chat' biscuits
Making sure everything goes right
They need to check to make sure the biscuits attached the the chocolate squares properly
Overview of the factory facilities
If you’re looking for chocolate in Japan, the place to go is Hokkaido, the northern island. And while visiting Hokkaido, I took the chance to visit a chocolate factory! Specifically, the Shiroi Koibito chocolate company’s factory and museum (白い恋人パーク).
The Shiroi Koibito Park building
Another view of the same building
The balustrade prevents would be thieves from stealing delicious chocolate
Balustrade encircling the building. Cute kitty cats covered in snow.
Just inside the Shiroi Koibito Park
Inside the room of the museum that talked about the discovery of chocolate int he new world
Same room, looking up at the fountain
A look at the same room from above. They also had dioramas of the discovery of the new world and a life sized Christopher Columbus model who was speaking perfect Japanese.
I went to visit the Sapporo Snow Festival, a yearly event in Sapporo city on Hokkaido, the Northern island, where giant snow sculptures are built.
Here are some pictures from the main event:
Sculpture advertising for the 2016 Olympics in Tokyo. It's still not decided where the 2016 Olympics will be held (the other candidates are Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, and Chicago). Which city gets the Olympics will be decided in October.
Close up on the Olympic rings
TV Tower in snowy Sapporo
Disney Themed Sculpture. Sorry this picture is so bright and hard to see.
Totoro is a creature from the movie My Neighbor Totoro, by the famous Hayao Mizazaki.
Train themed sculpture, being cleaned of fresh snow. Japan likes Trains.
Sculpture of Namdaemun, a famous gate in Seoul which was burned down last year in an act of Arson
More about Namdaemun, here.
I visited Tsukiji wholesale fish market a few weeks ago as the sun was coming up. It’s one of the world’s largest wholesale fish markets and quite an experience to go visit. They had closed the famous tuna auction to visitors due to some unruly people hug the fish, licking the fish etc. But when we heard it was re-opened, we jumped at the chance to go visit.
Gate to Tsukiji Market, before the sun rise.
A view of some of the market
Squid for sale
Tuna, ready to be sold
Inside the market
First off, I just want to mention that starting tomorrow, I will be traveling for about 5 weeks. Internet access will be sporadic at best for most of that time. But I will do my best to post pictures or at least write summaries of what I’ve been up to. I’m traveling to a bunch of places within Japan. That being said, back to our regular programming.
Some friends of mine scoured the internet to find out where they filmed the karaoke scene in the movie, Lost in Translation. It was a little pricey, being in the center of the city and having a nice view, but it was a fun experience to sing karaoke in the place where they filmed Lost in Translation. The place we went to was a Karaoke-kan, a karaoke chain with locations in major cities around the country. This one was in Shibuya, one of the hubs of Tokyo nightlife.
We first went to this store, which wasn't the right place. The karaoke place is a chain store and they have several locations very close to each other in Shibuya, where the place we went to is, right off of Center street.
Karaoke room from Lost in Translation!
One of my friends belts out a tune.
The room is in a part of the karaoke place detached from the main building. It's on the 6th floor, the room with big windows and flashing lights.
Main building of the Lost in Translation Karaoke place
I ran across this scene and felt for a second that I wasn’t in Tokyo anymore. Where does this look like to you?
Last set of pictures from Yokohama Chinatown for the Chinese lunar new year.
Steamed buns. Delicious.
Night falls on a chinatown side street.
exhibit set up for the new year
Chinatown gate illuminated at night. The gate says chinatown (中華街) but it's written right to left, instead of left to right as Japanese would normally be written on a gate. Chinese also would normally be left to right I think...but I'm not sure.
delicious moon cake that I ate the next day. yummy! It says Chestnut on it because it had chestnuts inside.
More pictures from my trip to Yokohama’s Chinatown for Chinese New Year.
Lanterns at the temple. People were streaming in and out of the temple. And buying incense to light.
Bubble Tea, called Tapioca Milk Tea in Japanese. And known to me as Boba, as it's called on the West Coast in California. It's so difficult to find Bubble Tea in Japan, so I was excited to have some. It's something I've been missing.
A honey store. They only sold honey, with many different varieties.
Another elaborate gate