Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from snowy Sapporo!

Many locals visit a shrine and then take the cable car up Mount Moiwa to see the first sunrise on New Year's Day. We didn't wake up early enough and our first surprise of 2016 was that we got 50% off at the hotel buffet! $10 per person was a satisfactory price and we tucked in. The breakfast had a good selection of Japanese offerings. If you weren't that way inclined, they did have a basic selection of Western style breakfast foods. Hokkaido milk was also on offer and we were rather aghast that the locals drinks it with pepper.

By the time we reached Mount Moiwa Ropeway station, it was well past 10am and the locals had obviously finished their pilgrimage as there were no lines for anything. After a few failed "views" atop our numerous mountain ascents, we got clear skies albeit only for a short time. The plentiful snow at the peak gave the children much joy. There were snow man aides provided for the children to use. We ate at the peak and it was rather serene watching the scene change and the snow fall to softly playing traditional Japanese music. We had the popular local dish of soup curry and finished off with Hokkaido milk ice-cream. Just superb!

Pay close attention to the circled word...

Going up!

View of Sapporo. You can see the clouds coming through!

Made it to the top to see a view just in time!

Yay! A picture of all 5 of us!

Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Chicken soup curry

Hokkaido milk ice-cream

After our descent from the mountain, we discovered where all the locals the shops buying Lucky Bags or making the most of the New Year sales! Lucky Bags or Fukubukuro is a Japanese New Year tradition whereby stores sell bags of goodies with a net worth more than the sale price. It would be tragic not to partake in this important tradition and thus we set about acquiring our Lucky Bags as many tourist sites and museum type places were closed over the New Year's period.

Lara delighted with her lucky bag

Dinner was at the Sapporo Beer Garden. The Sapporo Beer Museum was unfortunately closed and so the Beer Garden was the closest we were going to get. We opted for the non-smoking Hall as the popular Kessel Hall had a 2 hour waiting time! The food was a lambfest which was good if you liked lamb. It was a DIY meal over hotplates which meant we all stank after the meal...The food was alright without being brilliant. The beer, said Malcolm, was only just passable. I guess it was a tick box for us.

Sapporo Beer Garden

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