White Christmas in Japan

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Sapporo is a fascinating city where various cultures exist together. Even on the buildings, you will see Western, old-fashioned Japanese, and modern styles all over the town.

People who visit the city say, “The sweets in Sapporo are delicious”. In Hokkaido, they produce high-quality dairy which is the main ingredient of cream for cakes and pastries. Hens lay good eggs. Hokkaido is the No.1 flour producing district in Japan, and produces plenty of fruits in the Fall. It is also known as the best seafood place in Japan. The cold water of the ocean around Hokkaido is the source of amazingly tasty fish, shrimp, crabs, and scallops in Winter.

In the late 19th century, European culture was adopted in Sapporo, and European cakes and ice cream were already popular there.

In this season, the confectioners spend the busiest time of the year with Christmas just around the corner.

Botan Shrimp
Scallop
Grilled Cod Fish
Hairy Crab

Sapporo White Illuminations     11/18/05 – 02/12/06

In December, it snows in Sapporo almost every day. The downtown area is illuminated with thousands of lights. “White Christmas,” which is almost certain every year, is a very appropriate description for the city in this time of year.

JR Sapporo Station

Sapporo Information Center They provide various sorts of information for the tourists’ needs. Next-door is the Visitor’s Info which is for tourists from foreign countries. The staff speaks English. Don’t worry!

Sapporo Beer Museum

The red brick building, which has high historical value and is the only beer museum in Japan, remains the vestige of the pioneering days. Various displays and information show you the history and transition of beer manufacturing since 1876 and the history of Hokkaido pioneering. After a museum tour led by a guide, you can experience draft beer tasting at the tasting hall.

Sapporo Teine Ski Course

Not far from Downtown Sapporo, is Sapporo Teine Ski Course where the flame platform from the 1972 Sapporo Olympic (XI Olympic Winter Games) remains. If you are a beginner or an experienced skier, you will enjoy sliding down the hill and the panoramic view – ocean view!

Sapporo Snow Festival

In February, you can see the gorgeous, dazzling, and magical art of snow in Sapporo. This festival started in 1950. Statues and architecture made with snow are produced by the Ground Self-Defense Force, civilian groups, and civic organizations. The theme is “Dreams Come to the Snow-White  Universal Square”. 
Its main location is Oodoori Park which is in the center of Sapporo. Those statues and architecture are lit up at night and create a romantic mood. One of the events during the festival is the Miss Sapporo Pageant. “Queen of Snow” is selected from the contestants.

Sapporo Art Park is nearly an hour from Sapporo Station by car or public transportation.  There are indoor and outdoor museums, workshops, outdoor stages, and some other facilities all through the park. The vast lawns, forests, and ponds present a peaceful natural atmosphere. Enjoy the sound of wind, water, and birdsong while appreciating artistic statues and abstract art in places outdoor.

Streetcars

Although Streetcars are not popular anymore, one route is still commuted by them. Sitting in a streetcar, you will enjoy the scenery of the town while observing the inhabitants’ real life. Don’t miss taking a break for the local gourmet in their beautiful buildings.

Sapporo Ramen

Sapporo is the birthplace of Miso Ramen. Miso flavored broth and lard make a tasty soup. The toppings should be lightly fried crispy bean sprouts and some other veggies. Medium thick, wavy, chewy Ramen noodles complete the meal! This rich and hot Miso Ramen became popular in a twinkling throughout cold Hokkaido.

Onsen – Hot Springs –

Traditional Guest Room at Onsen
Outdoor Onsen Bath
Seasonal Gourmet Meal

This is something you must not miss when you visit Japan. Onsen is a Japanese hot spring that is basically a Japanese public bath of natural hot spring water with a unique history and etiquette. Onsen plays an important role in Japanese culture, providing socially institutionalized relief from the pressures of the contemporary Japanese twelve-hour work ethic, and a chance for Japanese to break down the hierarchal nature of society through the mutual nakedness of skinship.

There are quite a few Onsen places all over Japan. In Sapporo, Jozankei Onsen is probably the best idea.

The most important features of Onsen are the water and the bathing facilities, which is why many bathers simply come for an hour or so to soak in the waters even if they do not stay. The next most important issue for Japanese guests is the food; a good Onsen inn will offer something special as an evening meal. Enjoy the seasonal gourmet food after relaxing and soothing your body in the Onsen tub!

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