I’ve always wanted to see snow in person. It’s strange; I feel like I already have seen it but I suppose a childhood filled with Western movies and TV shows will do that to you. In the Philippines, we have lots of sand, and oceans, and palm trees which is great but I’ve just always wanted to see snow. I guess we always want what we can’t have.
Last week though, after 22 years of a winterless existence, it finally happened. As my plane descended down into Sapporo for the Snow Festival, there it was; snowcapped mountains and icy streets. It felt like an odd reunion of sorts, or meeting someone in person after years of stalking their Instagram.
Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido which is in Northern Japan. It’s a cold, snowy, and somewhat sleepy city and they host a Snow Festival every year which is pretty cool.
We explored the streets of Sapporo on our first night. During the Snow Festival, the streets are lined with ice sculptures and food stalls. I was really feeling this snow stuff, and would just randomly touch any fresh snow I’d see. I was not, however, feeling the -3 degree weather, but do I really need feeling in my fingers and toes?
Sapporo is also filled with amazing little (read: 8 seaters) restaurants. Seriously, the best ramen I’ve ever had. It doesn’t even matter which place you go, they’re all phenomenal.
Sapporo is also famous for it’s beer, apparently. We also hit up the Sapporo Beer Gardens; it had a museum of the Sapporo Beer’s history and a brewery. It was an attempt to get to know the city a little better through its history and culture. I don’t care much for beer, so this little side trip was for my dad. It was a great looking place though!
Sapporo is sort of a sleepy, winter town. It’s not as busy and electric as Tokyo, the streets are calmer. After exploring the Snow Festival, I had a lot of down time to walk by the shops and even hit the gym to prep for my snowboarding lesson.
We went up a mountain to the Bankei Ski Resort and I went snowboarding for the first time. I honestly fell in love the second my board hit the snow. It was challenging at first, but I picked it up pretty quickly. It’s a lot of core work and is hard on your thighs and even though it’s freezing, you still work up a sweat. It was really scary to go up the ski lift and down your first slope, but it really is such a rush. It was my first but it definitely won’t be my last!
Next up: Osaka!
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