Visit Hokkaido – Day 1

Hi Everyone. I just got back from Hokkaido, Japan. A place, where I’ve been aiming to go since last time. I traveled together with my friend, Ashley on free & easy basis. Not too difficult as I thought. Most importantly to book a hotel as early as you could and have plans on where to go when you are there. Most of the time we rely on Google Maps as we navigate. Having a portable pocket wifi on hand made our life much easier. We booked one from Travel Recommends, which offers you an affordable rate.

On July 2015, we booked our air ticket via Air Asia  which costed about RM1200 for to & fro inclusive luggage weight of 20kg.

We took the night flight at 11.15PM and arrived New Chitose Airport at local time 8.20AM (Japan’s time is 1  hour ahead of Malaysia time). The flight duration was nearly 9 hours. Very long hours hoh.

As we reach, I’m already seeing a wet day. I got the feeling, I brought the rain over 😀 😀 During the entire trip, it rain almost every day. *sigh*

After done with custom clearance and all, as soon as you step out of the arrival hall you’ll be able to see a doraemon sculpture.

airportUpon arrival, if you decided to go to Sapporo via Airport Bus, please follow the above arrow(direction) and go one floor down at 1F to purchase the bus ticket and wait for the bus there.

Click HERE for Airport Map

In this case, since it was still early, we decided to have our first meal at the airport. Heard people shared about some good ramen at the airport. So, we wanna check it out.

Hokkaido Ramen Dojo is located on the 3rd of New Chitose Airport’s domestic terminal building.

The Ramen Dojo houses 10 of the best ramen establishments from all over Hokkaido, each with their own signature style.

Due to the long hours flight and lack of sleep, Ashley & I were like a blur sotong. We thought Ramen Dojo is the ramen restaurant. So we joined the queue without knowing that there are several ramen choices until we were in the front of the queue. The long queue that we joined in was Ebisoba Ichigen, at the entrance of Ramen Dojo.

Ebisoba Ichigen has the most crowd. Be it local or tourist.

the menu has English translation in it.

2 big bowls of ramen for both of us. Cost: ¥890 (with extra egg)

The portion was big and the noodle was crunchy. Loving the egg and pork slices. Ebisoba Ichigen is popular for its rich shrimp soup base. No doubt the shrimp soup base was so rich in flavor. However I find it abit tad salty for my liking.

Cheese Tart after meal is considered as dessert. HAHA! We locate Kinotoya at Domestic Terminal Building 2F.

One could easily got hooked by the aroma of these freshly baked tarts. Priced at ¥183 each, these tarts are undeniable good! From its pastry to its overflowing creamy & cheesy filling.

The airport itself has so many things to shop. We’re not gonna explore on Day 1. Will leave it for Day 6. (stay tune)

Done with ramen and cheese tart, so now we are on our way to our hotel at Tmark City Hotel Sapporo. One could reach there by train (JR Rail) or bus.

We decided to travel by bus. The journey took around 1 hour.

Via Hokkaido Chuo Bus to Sapporo. Cost: ¥1,030

CHUO BUS Timetable

Since it was our 1st day here, we weren’t quite familiar with the place + the rain & big luggage, We have no idea where the bus stop us. So, we decided to hail a cab to bring us directly to our hotel

Cost: ¥780

The check-in process was quite fast. Hotel staffs were quite friendly and helpful too. However the so-called “Double Room” doesn’t look so double with a small queen size bed. Room size of 16 m², movements are quite constraint. But that doesn’t hold back our stay here. Because the room was clean and amenities were quite complete. We are gonna stay here for 5 nights. Cost: ¥51,120

This room is fitted with a flat-screen TV and a fridge. One channel in Chinese while the rest were in Japanese.

The en suite bathroom comes with a bathtub.

Vending machines for your convenience. Of hot and cold drinks, chocolates, noodles, bread, cigarettes even ice cream!

After getting some rest, we walked to the Sapporo TV Tower which took us around 19 minutes by foot. In between, we stopped over at MOS Burger for our super late lunch. Cost: ¥390 (ala-carte burger)

TV Tower rateAdult Cost: ¥720

It is 60 seconds by elevator from the third floor to the observation deck, 90.38 metres above ground.
The entirety of Sapporo city unfolds beneath your eyes, set to a background of the magnificent Ishikari countryside,
the far afield Japan Sea, and Odori Park, where flowers bloom in the four seasons.
Command a panoramic view of the YOSAKOI Soran Festival, Sapporo Snow Festival, and White Illumination.

Below are some photos taken from the observation deck.

view of Odori Park. We skipped Odori Park as it was raining.

What I observed here, roads and buildings look so organized. Viewing from such high height, made me feels like looking at mini 3D model structure. 😀

Verdict: Feel abit not worth to visit during the day. For night view would be better I suppose.

From Sapporo TV Tower, we walked to Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade about 11 minutes by foot.

The Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade, close to the Susukino train station, is amongst the largest and most historic malls in Sapporo, with more than 200 individual stores and a great and varied choice of eateries (think conveyer belt sushi). The unique take of this mall is that you will find old and traditional merchants selling kimonos, tea or incense side by side with modern stores specializing in computers and software or state-of -the-art electronics and digital cameras – all of which lends it a bazaar-like quality. Many items for sale here are even cheaper than in the 100 yen shops. Check out the Donki’s Store for strange merchandise. Plenty of games centres and coffee shops.

We did not spend much time here because we were getting tired of walking. LOL!! So tired till we decided to pack our dinner back to our hotel.

garaku curryWe packed our dinner from Garaku Curry. Feeling lucky that one of the staff actually understand ‘take-away’ in English. 😀 The restaurant is located at 1st floor. You may not miss out due to the big font of its name. The restaurant is quite small but can be crowded during dinner time. A nutritious soup made by adding 21 spices to a slow-stewed base of pork stock, chicken and vegetables is served with choice rice. Both the large-cut vegetables and the tender meat are delicious. Choose your level of spiciness upon ordering. I took up the challenge and ordered ‘hot’. It was very spicy but ‘shiok’ too! Waiting time around 20 minutes. Cost: around ¥1100

As we walk back to our hotel, I spotted Hello Kitty construction barrier! So cute and nice! Throughout the trip, I spotted 3 different designs at different locations. So much effort in just construction barriers. I guess the Japanese takes everything seriously.

Everyday, we’ll walk pass Susukino be it morning or night. Because Susukino is the nearest subway station from our hotel. Susukino is the heart of Sapporo’s night life. Bars, Nightclubs, Restaurants, Cafes, and live houses mingle with a variety of Hostess clubs, Cabaret clubs, Go-go bars, and other red-light establishments.

We notices the big difference between day and night. Susukino comes to life at about 6pm and carries on well into the wee hours of the morning.

Our packed dinner from Garaku Curry.  This place was recommended by a blogger I read. I would suggest you to do a reservation. We packed our dinner at around 6+pm, and the restaurant was already filled up with diners. And some waiting to be seated. Nevertheless, It was very delicious. The soup was so flavorful and spicy. So yum to go with rice. You will be ask to choose your spiciness level for the soup/gravy. Don’t under estimate the spiciness. I was greedy and chose the higher level….I end up having sore throat the following day. HAHAHA!

There goes the Day 1. We knocked out pretty early that night. So tired la…No more night owls. 😀

Total spending on day 1 ≅ Cost: ¥4703

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12 responses

  1. We loved the cheese tarts too! It’s sooo good and addictive eh? My better half saw it when it just came out of the oven and it was still hot when we ate it. Lovely stuff. The ice cream there is great too.

    I heard a lot about Hokkaido style curry soup and my dear wanted to eat it on the last day but I decided to go for ramen instead. We’ll eat it for sure when we go back.

    Hokkaido is so awesome, I want to go back to Japan!

  2. that looks like a lot of food for two people from garuku curry – but certainly looks delicious! 🙂 i’ve heard good things about travel recommends’ pocket wi-fi – i do plan to try it too! 🙂

  3. Hi Melissa,

    Your Hokkaido itinerary looks interesting. But I didn’t see day 2 and other days itinerary on your blog.

    I’m visiting Hokksido in December 2017.

    May I request you to email the full itinerary to me? Thanks.

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