A couple of pictures from my return back to Tokyo.
March 9, 2009
March 8, 2009
Here are a few more picture from the Otaru Orgel Museum. I believe the museum might be the world’s largest music box store.
March 7, 2009
The little city of Otaru in Hokkaido is famous for a few reasons: their sushi is well regarded, they sell beautiful glass works, and they sell wonderful little music boxes, which they call ‘orgels.’ (Also, a popular movie, ‘Love Letter,’ was filmed there.) They have a sprawling ‘museum’ for orgels and music boxes in general, which includes several buildings, but really, it’s not so much a museum as a giant gift shop. Almost everything is for sale.
March 6, 2009
March 5, 2009
Here are some more pictures from the Sapporo Snow Festival, these showing the snow sculptures at night rather than during the day, like my previous post.
March 4, 2009
During one of our days in Hokkaido, my friends and I rented a car and drove out to scenic Lake Shikotsu (支笏湖), an hour and a half drive south of Sapporo city. The lake is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Right next to the lake, they have a light up, where they build sculptures out of ice and light them up in bright pastels. It was amazing to visit the lake and watch the Japanese tourists get off their tour buses in droves and head straight for the artificial light up, while a much more beautiful scenic lake was right next to the little lights. But, apparently, that doesn’t interest the average Japanese tourist.
March 3, 2009
Japanese Post Boxes are usually square, red boxes. But, sometimes you can find more interesting post boxes. Several decades ago, most Japanese post boxes were round (丸型ポスト). Japanese post box enthusiasts deplore the loss of these boxes and go around taking pictures of the ones that still exist to preserve the memory. As I explored Hokkaido, these round style post boxes seemed much more common than they are in Tokyo. Here are some of the Post Boxes I saw in Hokkaido:
March 2, 2009
If there’s one thing Japanese people like, it’s limited edition products (限定商品), whether limited by region where it’s sold or time period it’s sold during. So, when Japanese people visit a certain region, they like to bring back limited edition products from that region as souvenirs. In Hokkaido, I even saw normal convenience stores providing lists of which products are limited to Hokkaido or having special limited edition products sections in their store.
Included in the limited edition Hokkaido products are Hokkaido only Kit-Kat flavors! Here they are:
These weren’t Hokkaido limited edition flavors, but I also saw the following flavors for the first time:
March 1, 2009
While in Hokkaido, I made sure to try a bunch of the local specialties. Luckily, one of my friends who I traveled with was very knowledgeable about all the famous Sapporo dishes and where to find them. Below are some short explanation of each.
Soup Curry (スープカレー):
Butter Corn Ramen (バターコーンラーメン):
Lamb Genghis Kahn (ラム成吉思汗 or ラムジンギスカン):
Otaru’s Sushi (小樽市の寿司):
February 27, 2009
The last set of pictures from the Shiroi Koibito chocolate factory.