Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fun stuff

Just a few fun pictures...

There were instructions on how to use a "western" toilet...

...but none for the "eastern" toilets!

I'm not sure the illustration is needed, but it was entertaining!

We took their word for it...

Every restaurant had a plastic food menu outside...sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't!

Thanksgiving and the Train to Hakodate

Since the charter planes go to Sapporo every Saturday and Wednesday, we decided to extend our trip and go down to Hakodate and catch the charter plane back from there on Friday. There isn't much to do in Hakodate but shop, so we decided to go on Thursday.  When we got to the train station, there was a bunch of commotion and we saw that no trains were running to Hakodate or to the airport.  We were able to find out that our train was delayed, not canceled. As you can imagine, the crowd of people kept getting bigger and bigger.  The local news station even showed up!  That's when we started getting concerned and hoping that it wasn't anything major, like the events that were going on at the time in Bangkok and Mumbai.  We heard there was an accident, but that was all we could find out from anyone, as most people in Sapporo do not speak English.   Our train ended up being delayed about 3 hours, and we arrived in Hakodate with no problems.

We had our "Thanksgiving" lunch here...we all had Sapporo Ramen and gyoza - Yum!

Hanging out with our many bags while waiting for news on our train

The local news station showed up to report on the accident

Finally on the train!

Passing the time with Sylvester and Tweety

Having some Cheetos - we found some at the import store!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


On our way back from Mt. Moiwa, we found ourselves in the Susukino area of Sapporo.  At night, it is known for it's red-light district.  But during the day, it was a little more family friendly.  We walked around until we found a place to eat and then caught the subway to the Chocolate Factory.  

Main intersection in the Susukino area

Haven't seen these in a while...

Posing for a picture

Too funny...

A look inside a pachinko parlor (mix between slots and pinball)

Interestingly enough, this store sold winter clothes

Day 4: Mt. Moiwa (Not!) and the Chocolate Factory

We wanted to take a ropeway ride up Mt. Moiwa, but when we got to the entrance, we found out that it was closed for maintenance!  Our next choice was to go to the Chocolate Factory, which turned out to be pretty fun.  We were able to see the production line for a sandwich cookie that is famous in Sapporo - and very delicious, too!  

Shane and Adam after the icy climb up to Mt. Moiwa's ropeway ride

Apparently this sign says it is closed until December 9 for maintenance

Chocolate factory

Production floor

View of the surrounding mountains and soccer field

Checking out the view from the cafe

Shane at the cafe

Mommy and Adam at the cafe

Clock tower

Maruyama Park

To get to the zoo, we took a subway to Maruyama park, which turned out to be huge and free of any sign pointing toward the zoo!  The first path we took was wrong, so we had to go back to the entrance and try again.  As you can see from the pictures, it was cold and snowy.  To add fun to our journey was all of the icy ramps that we had to go up.  It was a long trip to the zoo, but well worth it as it was probably the best zoo we have been to in a long time.

Shane wanted a picture to remember this by!

Funny signs in the park

Stopping for a break

Posing by a creek

Yes, we went up those stairs!

Adam and Mommy in Maruyama Park

With Mommy on the subway

Subway platform

Sapporo Day 3: The Zoo!

The zoo in Sapporo was great!  They had tigers, lions, giraffes, hippos, penguins, monkeys, sea lions, and much more.  The only disappointing part was the polar bear exhibit was shut down.  I really wanted to see them...maybe next time!  

What a strong boy!

Checking out a snake skeleton

Watching the ducks and geese

Goofing around with Daddy

Lions in the snow...hmm

Adam the Hippo

Taking a snack break

Daddy and Adam

Mommy and Adam

Mr. Hear No Evil

Sapporo Days 1 and 2: Shopping!

The first couple of days we were in Sapporo were spent shopping.  Our hotel was about 4 blocks from the the JR Station, which is home to several shopping malls.  We were able to cross off many things on our list in that area alone!  My favorite place was the Sapporo Factory - it had the most "western" shops.  

"Very Xmas" signs were everywhere...I guess "Merry Christmas" got lost in translation?

Around the JR Station

This building was 7 floors of electronics - and jam-packed with people!

Another department store

Adam actually liked the shopping

The Sapporo Factory

Outside the Toys R Us