A lot of calories were burnt with all the skiing and walking that took place today. The day started off by going to the Kokusai Ski Resort where we took a crash course in learning how to ski. It wasn’t much help because the Japanese instructor only kept telling us to keep the “A” shape, which was the basic formation for slowing down while skiing down a slope. My cousins and I eventually decided to go up the ski lifts to try out the beginner trail instead (the green line in picture). One and half hours later, we managed to reach the bottom of the slope. It should’ve taken only fifteen minutes or so, but one of my cousins became somewhat stranded when we got up there… Still, any experience is good right?
After a satisfying Japanese bento style lunch, it was time to visit one of the main attractions for this trip. Any tourist travelling to Sapporo should include Shiroi Koibito Park in their schedule. The name can be literally translated to mean ‘white lover’ and this is where the iconic European-style cookies with a white chocolate centre are manufactured. There is a small park outside the factory where mechanical singing dolls will pop out and sing in unison at the start of every hour. Inside the factory, you can get a glimpse of how the cookies are made and take a tour of the building which includes displays of various things such as vintage toys, a gramophone gallery and confectionery stores.
More shopping awaited us at Tanukikoji shopping street, which is a shopping arcade that is lined with rows of shops that span across six or seven blocks. It is good for any sort of day as the arcade has a covered pedestrian only walkway. Souvenirs, cosmetics, restaurants, casinos, gaming arcades and more can be found here. We spent close to three hours walking around and it still wasn’t really enough to cover everything that we wanted to see as there are more stores underground as well.
Our accommodation tonight was the same as yesterday, staying at the Gateaux Kingdom Sapporo Hotel. It’s a very Western style hotel which is indicated by the buffet dining area and the lack of yakutas. Hotel staff were friendly but could only speak very limited English. Sleep quality was excellent once again.
Instead of the usual 6:30am morning call, the tour guide gave us the luxury of sleeping in an extra hour before we headed off to the final destination of the tour, which is the Chitose Outlet Mall.
Its close proximity to the Chitose airport made it an ideal stop-by for doing some last minute shopping before leaving Japan. Similar to other outlet malls in Japan, it has an open-air design with open plazas and covered walkways. A variety of imported and designer brands can be found here such as Gucci, Armani, Fossil, Gap, Hush Puppies, Polo Ralph Lauren etc. It was here that I bought some Timberland shoes for myself which were $40-$50 cheaper than online (first time I’ve found an item in store that is cheaper than online) and also a GAP sweater.
Sayonara Japan! Until next time!