Hokkaido Trip 14th June 2010: Okurayama(大倉山)- Otaru(小樽市) – Sapporo(札幌)
Our itinerary today was changed as we should be going to Mt Moiwa at night but was replaced by Okurayama(大倉山) Viewing Point.
This was informed before the trip but we thought, well, since it would be a night view anyway, it doesn’t really matter that much which mountain that we were heading to. But after breakfast, we were informed by the tour guide that we were going to Okurayama Viewing Point first, in the morning(Not at night), the reason was because the tour guide thought that we would not make it in time to visit this place as it closes at 5pm.
There were a couple of changes to the scheduled itinerary by this Japan tour guide(formally a Malaysian married to a Japanese and based in Osaka, if I heard her correctly). I will write down all changes according to the date of the trip.
Ok, Okurayama Viewing Point is in fact a Ski Jump Stadium but when the stadium is not being used for any sport event, Okurayama Observatory at the top of the hill can be accessed via a chair lift for views of Sapporo city.
Sapporo City view from the top of Okurayama Viewing Point, under a foggy condition, not so spectacular after all.
Next we headed for Otaru Canal(小樽運河). The temperature was 23°C but it was warm with bright sunny day here.
Both sides of the canal are lined with century old stone warehouses where some are transformed into shops, cafes, museums and restaurants.
Along the canal we could see some artists promoting and selling their artworks and hand-crafted stuffs.
Time for our seafood Steamboat lunch around 12pm at one of the Otaru Seafood market. The restaurant is located on the second floor, customers can pick and buy the fresh optional seafood at the ground floor.
We ordered the king crab(Tarabagani) which was an optional dish. It was quite expensive for 1 piece as shown below which cost ¥10,000, about $160 Singapore dollars. Well, I didn’t try it raw as I am not a fan of raw food, I know it is kind of waste but really, can’t brave myself to eat anything raw. 🙄
Next we proceeded to Otaru Music Box Museum. On the way we saw these Hokkaido ice cream displayed outside of an ice cream shop.
The main building of Otaru Music Box Museum.
This board states that Otaru Music Box Museum is a designated Historic Landmarks of Otaru City. “.. While many of the buildings in Otaru are made of stone, this building utilizing brick construction tied to an internal wooden frame. Characteristic features of the building include its brown brick walls, the arched window keystone and cornerstones with openings and corners. Although the building was at one time a home furnishings store, it has presently been reborn as a specialty music box retailer.”
Colorful music boxes are everywhere in the Museum.
Up to second floor..
The draw-string musical cat are so cute! Regret that I didn’t buy any of them, they are indeed not cheap, from ¥7000.
The Otaru Music Box Museum Hall Number 2, namely the Antique Museum, holds exhibitions of many antique music boxes and numerous musical instruments.
Further up another floor is selling Japanese styled goods with many of the kawaii cats.
Took too many pictures till my camera batery ran flat, had to use my handphone to take the following pictures. Hmm.. yummy sushi, look carefully, they are all musical boxes!
Next we went for the afternoon tea session at one of the cafe where we can keep the porcelain cup as a memento. I bought the hellokitty cup and saucer set which cost ¥800(if I remember correctly), with 1 extra free top up drink included.
Not much interesting stuff to blog about till our dinner time at around 6pm. Ah, eat again. This time we were having barbeque at Miyanomori.
First time savored the Kobe beef, it costs ¥8000 per 200g, expensive. Well, some people said that it melted in the mouth but to me, just another kind of beef(by name), juicier than the normal one though.
Going back to Apa Hotel & Resort Sapporo for a 2nd night stay. It was about 8pm and the night was still young but we had no place to go, there is nothing much outside the hotel, not even a convenient store, sigh. So we went for the onsen bath, lol. Since this onsen is located in city area, it is not a true onsen with little mineral in the hotspring. We were looking forward to those mineral-rich onsen in the next few days.