Japan Travel Diary Part 8
What is this? A sort of timely update? I know. I’m shocked too. Now that I’m on holidays I should be updating much more and will hopefully be able to finish up all these posts soon!
Unfortunately there aren’t many from this day because I don’t tend to take many photos when I’m by myself. Due to some poor organisation on my part I was also pretty stressed for a good majority of the day which meant that the photo taking was even lighter!
I had a very very very early flight to Sapporo this morning. I woke up super early while it was still dark and somehow walked to the wrong train station, thinking that it would take me to airport. Consequently I had a very very very panicked morning wherein I spent the whole time walking really quickly to where I was meant to be.
Luckily, I managed to board the flight to New Chitose airport just in time. Feeling confident (probably overconfident in fact) I took the train to Sapporo station and started to look for my hotel. I accidently walked to the wrong hotel because it has two branches in Sapporo. Once again, I spent a lot of time and energy dragging around two suitcases in a very panicked state. This time it was even harder because I was dragging luggage through the snow!
Thankfully, once again I made it! After checking in I got changed into my lolita clothes in the rather spacious hotel bathroom! I had changed my flights to Hokkaido so that I could take part in the Sapporo lolita festival held by the Kita Loli group. Unfortunately, I also had a hard time locating where they were holding the event but after another round of lost wandering I realised that it was in the underground walkway in Sapporo station! My weird combination of good and bad luck continued as I stumbled upon the event!
However, I think that this event was really more for non lolitas, as there wasn’t actually much socialising and there weren’t that many things to do apart from trying on lolita clothes and taking photos. Although the organisers were nice I had the feeling that they really didn’t know what to do with a foreigner like me. So, after taking a photo with some of the girls I left and decided to go shopping!
Now onto the main reason why we were in Sapporo: the snow festival! Every year Sapporo has a snow festival with amazing snow sculptures and activities. As this was the first night I just wandered around the main odori park a bit because it was freezing and I wanted to wait for Ryan to see everything in detail!
I think all that worrying and walking made me tired and that night I passed out with the TV still on!
Day 14 was a big deal! I was going to get my hair cut and permed! I had wanted a short wavy bob for a while now and figured that Japan was the perfect place to go for it since all my previous hair styles had also been done whilst in Japan on exchange.
But first, a quick and filling breakfast from MOS burger to get me through the long hair appointment!
The hair salon I went to was pretty centrally located and although I was super nervous before going in, everyone was so friendly and accommodating. The guy who cut my hair was an actual hair magician and incredibly friendly. I usually hate the awkward small talk that comes with getting a haircut, but even though it was in Japanese I still felt at ease consulting him about my new hair style and also just chatting. In another example of amazing Japanese service, it started snowing when I was going to leave the hairdressers. I had forgotten my umbrella, so the staff kindly gifted me one of theirs!
Incredibly satisfied with my new hair, I decided to check out some of the cute cafes in the area. Out of all the cafes that I’ve been to, I can safely say that Le Vent et Le Soleil is one of the most charming. The décor is unbelievably cute and atmospheric, transporting you into a relaxing fantasy world. What’s more, my inner tea lover was happy with the menu which had multiple pages dedicated to tea. The lunch sets are pretty reasonably priced but a touch on the smaller side. There was only one girl working on the day so it took a while for the food to come out but I was perfectly content to just sit and scribble things in my dairy while I waited.
The scones in the oven smelt delicious but somehow, I managed to resist the allure of dessert and instead chose to leave and once again go shopping.
Now, this was a pretty exciting day not only because of my hair cut but also because Ryan was going to rejoin me! I spent what felt like, and actually probably was, an eternity waiting for him in the lobby of the new swish hotel that we were staying at. I almost fell asleep because it was so warm and cozy. As night fell, Ryan finally arrived and we quickly checked in before stepping out into the cold again.
Dinner was ramen with butter and corn! Apparently this is a must have dish in Hokkaido. It was exactly what we needed, warming, hot and comforting. Luckily, the ramen alley which we had dinner in was just around the corner from the Susukino site of the Snow Festival. Suskino is a bustling downtown area of Sapporo in its own right, but during the snow festival ice sculptures are set up on the road for passer bys to admire.
Many of the sculptures seemed to have been sponsored by various companies. I particularly enjoyed this drink one. Unfortunately, it had also been a bit unseasonably warm in the first few days of the snow festival which meant that most of the sculptures had already started melting. In fact some of them were already destroyed!
Exhausted from another day I think it’s safe to say that I slept well that night.
For more information about the snow festival check out the official English site: http://www.snowfes.com/english/. The sculptures change every year so it’s always going to be interesting. However, it is also peak tourism season so I suggest booking hotels in advance as it can get full fast.
We stayed at Tokyo Dome Hotel Sapporo: https://www.tokyodome-hotels-sapporo.com/english/ This was one of the cheapest places that we could find a few months in advance. The location is pretty central and perfect for looking out onto the park. Unfortunately we didn’t have a park view but I don’t think we could really complain considering the price in peak season. The room was actually pretty roomy though a touch aged.