- If you’re going to Hokkaido I highly recommend that you get a ticket as the train is all reserved seats (what happens if you don’t get a ticket? Enjoy standing for 4 hours)
- Hokkaido DOES accept Passmo and Suica (YEAH!)
Happy to announce that I DID NOT miss my train this time, what a disaster that would have been. It is about an 8.5-hour Shinkansen ride from Tokyo station to Sapporo station, but it’s ~725 miles (1165km) so…think about if you had to drive that.
This long train ride gave me an opportunity to post my Japan Day 6, work on my Japanese, and work on my novel so I won’t complain.
Since I was in for the long haul I purchased two bento boxes from Tokyo station:
Some fun things I learned about the train before I got on it, the seats rotate 180 degrees! It was really interesting watching the group of people who work at Tokyo station clean out the train. It seems fairly easy as 95% of the people who got off the train brought out their own trash.
8.5 hours is a long time…I actually fell asleep for a couple of hours, but the scenery to Sapporo was very beautiful, we went right along the ocean.
After I got off at the Sapporo station I went to the JR Ticket center to get my ticket back to Tokyo on Sunday. The place I am staying at is a Ryokan (it’s a traditional Japanese inn known to feature tatami-matted rooms)…it started off with me getting served tea by one of the hostesses and her explaining to me how things would work. Essentially, after I leave for the night, she will come in and turn down my bed (put it down and together).
I did get a room with a private bathroom and shower, but there are shared bathrooms and a public bath.
For dinner, I walked around and found a place, Kyoudoryouri-kofuji (郷土料理こふじ • キョウドリョウリコフジ, there is no romaji, so look for this title), and their specialty is seafood…GO HERE…this place was so delicious, I got hokke, don’t be fooled by my picture, this is a pretty big plate and this fish was so awesome, it didn’t need any additional flavoring. It was oily, juicy, and salty, so perfect!
I wandered around and found a yummy parfait place, Yotsuba White Cosy, that is located in Sapporo station on the west side in the basement.
So, Americans like to eat pancakes for breakfast…apparently, in Japan, they are considered a dessert…maybe it tastes different? I’ll get it next time. The parfait was very yummy, Hokkaido is known for its milk…and this ice cream did NOT disappoint. I can’t really describe how the flavor was different, but it tasted so good.
Since I was already at Sapporo station I caught one of the train lines to Susukino, Sapporo’s red light district. I wasn’t sure what to expect, was it going to be light Vegas or Amsterdam? Nope, it’s in a class of its own…it felt particularly not sleazy, it was quite lively and very interesting. Not a place I’d hang out by myself, but it’d be fun if I knew people here and we went there to hang out.
My knee was starting to hurt quite a bit…but I wanted to visit Ramen Alley…maybe I’ll stop by here tomorrow for dinner.
When I came back to my place I was happy to see my bed down.
And though I have a private bath I decided to try the public bath…totally worth it, it was so relaxing sitting in the hot water…though when I came up here I had to immediately start icing my knee…haha
Not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow, but for now, I am going to sleep for as long as I can.