I only stayed in Sapporo for one night, but I got to go back to visit several times during my stay in Hokkaido. I absolutely loved it, even though I did go on one major misadventure on my way home to Yuni (the small town 40 minutes away where I stayed for most of my time in Hokkaido).
The station area is bustling with people, but the places I went as a whole never felt too crowded or too empty – a perfect balance! I ended up wandering a lot – to Oodori, the main street with a park running down it (a mini Central Park?), all around the station area, and out to Sapporo University (more on that in another post!).
Hokkaido is known for its dairy industry, so of course, I had to try all the dairy-filled concoctions I could try. The pictures in this post don’t encompass all of them.Also, as aside note, the cheese tart was amazing. AMAZING, I tell you!! The perfect combination of creamy, substantial, slightly sweet – definitely a cheese, but just as definitely a dessert. It was from Kinotoya, which was located in the station when I first got to Sapporo (there are several storefronts around Hokkaido). The shop itself was super cool. Two of the walls were glass, and you could see the mini tarts going in and out of the oven. They’re super popular so you can bet you’re going to get a fresh one. In case you need more convincing, the tart pictured was one of two – I got another one before hopping on the train to leave Hokkaido. The guidebooks certainly got this one right. My only regret was not eating more of them.
Where I stayed: Cross Hotel Sapporo (probably the bougiest hotel I stayed in – thank you fellowship $$)
I felt just a tad out of place entering this hotel. I mean, this hotel was so cool that it doesn’t even have a normal entrance. You walk into the ground floor entrance, which leads to a narrow gallery with an escalator to your left. You take the escalator up to the next floor, where the concierge is, a mostly black room lit in glowing red light.
The BEST feature is this: an outdoor bath with an open roof on the 18th floor – with an expansive view of the city!!! It was crazy. I was the only one in there when I went close to midnight, and I wish I could’ve stayed in there forever. I could see all the shining lights around me and was finally able to get a sense of the lay of the city. I could even see the radio tower – imagine a smaller version of Tokyo Tower, also lit up. The roof was open to the night sky, letting in the cool winter night air as I sat gawking at the view from the comfort of the steaming bath. 露天風呂 (rotenburo – outdoor baths) are my weakness, and this was just about one of the coolest ones I’ve been in. Who would’ve thought this country girl would put a rotenburo in the middle of a city on her list of favorites?!?
And with that, I’ll be back with more of what I did in Sapporo in another post!