58th Sapporo Snow Festival

February 7, 2007 - Sapporo, Japan

Our stay in Tokyo was only one day. The next day we had a flight out of Haneda airport North to Hokkaido, Japan to attend the 58th Sapporo Snow Festival. Our hotel booking, booked by my Japanese friend Miki, was a snow festival plan and we received free beer and ‘shiroi koibito’ (‘white lover’) cookies. Did I memntion that fee beer tastes better? It snowed all day everyday. Those awesome big, fluffy snow flakes. Hokkaido is well known for its ramen noodles, so our first night we walked around the city and went to Ramen Yokocho alley, a small alleyway packed with small ramen shops. We picked a shop and had some awesome ramen and gyoza (chinese fried dumplins). We got back to the hotel around 2am. The next day we went to see the festival only 2 blocks from our hotel. One section of the festival was small sculptures by teams from different countries. We stopped at the sculpture being finished by the Hawaii team. ‘Aloha’, Terry starts the conversation, ‘which island are you from...’ The sculptures are amazing, some small, some huge, all incredibly detailed. We took tons of pictures so I will let the photos tell the rest of the story...

[Terry] Haneda airport was so cool! It has these cool gift shops and food courts and Starbucks. We didn’t have breakfast and we haven’t had our coffees yet and our backs were killing us from the heavy back packs (35 lb). Decided to bypass the Starbucks for a local coffee...a bad mistake. A large coffee was smaller than a tall size at Starbucks, but everything here in Japan is tiny and that is part of the charm. I spend more money on coffee than food, so I am thinking maybe I will give up coffee for 6 months. I haven’t had Starbucks in 2 days so I am not thinking straight right now...going through a caffeine withdrawal and am very traumatized at the moment :).

Mark always got mad at the airport securities in the US and going through the airport security in Japan made me understand why. The Japanese airport security agents were so polite and when you take your shoes off, there is a lady whose job is to get down on her knees, pick up your shoes and give you slippers to wear just to walk 10 feet where you pick up your shoes and the lady, again, down on her knees retrieves the slippers and thanks you.

Mark and I had two Japanese sandwiches that we had and loved from the time before and made a vow that we will make these more often once we get home. Mark has made it for me once before moving to Hawaii and he said it was pretty easy to make... We just completely forgot about these yummy sandwiches. Also ate ramen yesterday night and again today for lunch. Mark says that Sapporo is known for the fresh uni (sea urchin that look like diarrhea on rice). I love them, but Mark only tolerates them. I was surprised when Mark suggested we should go for sushi for dinner. He has tried uni twice before and didn’t like it much. But he was right, the uni was fresh and the best we both have had. Mark even said he liked it. I don’t believe him, I think it was peer pressure and effects of Sapporo beer.


Shiroi Koibito
Terry eating snow flakes
Sapporo TV Tower
Snow sculpture
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