Last few days, I just came back from my second trip to Japan… This time to Tokyo and Sapporo… IT WaS AWeSomE !!!!… Ten days travel with my travel buddies Ili and Rushd seems too short, however we had a fantastic journey and experience.. Traveling during winter in Japan have its own pros and cons.. but coming from a 2 seasons country of Malaysia, experiencing winter was something that we look forward to. Personally, it’s my second winter trip, my first also to Japan, visiting Kansai region last year. Yeah.. the days is shorter, shops and visiting place open late and closed early, but with a good planning, we managed to utilize the time that we had to the max..
We save a lot with the JR Kanto pass.. We had a night stay at Lake Kawaguchi, having the whole day cycling around Lake Kawaguchi while admiring the magnificent views of Mount Fuji. We ride the shinkansen bullet train to Nikko, a World Heritage area located 2hours ride from Tokyo, although we missed the first train, thanks to our JR kanto pass, we managed to get into the second train and walk around the countryside city. We had a wonderful 2 days children fantasy in Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disneysea. We climb the highest tower in Tokyo, the Tokyo Skytree, viewing the vibrant metropolitan city from the highest 360degree viewing platform. We eat delicious sushi and fresh salmon at the Tsukiji Market, although we missed the tuna auction experience from the world largest wholesale market Tsukiji. We explored the streets of Ueno, shopping the latest trend at Harajuku and Omotesando, having coffee break while watching the busy crossing of Shibuya, walk at the electric and colourfull Akihabara, emerged into the cultural district of Asakusa, and elegant Ginza, experiencing the uniqueness of each part of the Tokyo city. Yeah… we missed few areas due to the limited time, but these places was too good to be rushed for, so we took our time at each places..
A short trip to Sapporo in Hokkaido was also a blast… I manage to get a good deal, thanks to Airasia. Our trip to Sapporo was few days early from the world famous annual event, The Sapporo Ice Festival, but we manage to sneak peak the preparation done for the festival. We manage the see the making of the Ice sculpture and snow scuplture at the Odari park. A day-trip to the romantic city of Otaru was the unforgettable one. I ate the most delicious corn I have eaten here, and also had unforgettable seafood lunch with fresh Hokkaido crab and hairy crab. I even bought a large fresh Hokkaido crab weight over 2kg from the Nishiki Market, to be brought back to Malaysia, which full with tasty meat, enough to be eaten with my 8 family members in meals. The price… very cheap compared to Malaysia, which can cost us more than 1k here..
I really love Japan.. There is something about this country that makes me fall in love with and makes me eager to come again… the place.. the buildings.. the environment.. the culture.. the people.. EVertThing !!… I know I will be visiting Japan again… maybe next time, experiencing the cherry blossom in Tokyo, or autumn leaves in Kyoto…
thank you for Alina for her travelogue..i have to agree on every single words she expressed in her blog..three of us had fun, dominating tokyo and fly over to sapporo just to play with snow..-4°c had blew our mind..for her its her second time..but for me,it was my first time playing with snow..though with little food we had during our breakfast, eaten sushi at sushizanmai was the best experienced we had ever..(minus the dissapointment feeling missed the tuna auction twice!haha..cant forget ili slept with her hijab just to make sure we will be on time for the registration..huhu) oh yeah..the king crab! And the corn…gosh..how could i tell you how melting and jumping feeling we had in our mouth by the first bite…we kinda perplexed with the delicousness which we definitely cant explain the feeling…i suggested that Japan is the MUST place to be visited..their people, their cleanliness, their architecture, behavioural..i frankly said that we are 100years behind them..i do recommend people who visited Japan should bring back and learn their civilization…i should plan with Alina and Ili again..which visiting Japan shall be a yaerly basis event from now…
What a wonderful travel report! Thank you so much for going to such an effort. You write beautifully and take wonderful photos. There’s nothing like a trip with girlfriends too – my favourite holiday memories are with my two best friends. Memories for life!
I hope you can help me with a couple of questions… I’m thinking of spending January/February 2014 in Sapporo but I’ve never experienced cold like that…I don’t even have to wear gloves in my winter, let alone walking around in snow! How did you cope with it? Did you have to wear boots with grip so you don’t slip? Are people still out and about a lot? Were you uncomfortabke? I love walking and cycling and I’m worried that it’s just too difficult to do that during winter.
My other option is the two months in Fukuoka (it’s for study) which is a lot milder. It doesn’t snow there. However, Sapporo looks so unique…
I’m going to continue reading about your wonderful adventures! Thanks again. Oh, and the corn sounds delicious 🙂
thanks for reading my travelogue.. I just love sharing my personal experience with others who love to travel too..
Yeah… Sapporo was soo beautiful… I wish I could stay longer to explore the other part of hokkaido, 3 days in sapporo definately not enough… If you planning to go to Sapporo, I will strongly advise you to visit it during the Sapporo Ice Festival.. it will be early february..
I was quite surprise that I had no issue with the cold weather in Sapporo during my visit there.. just use the hand warmer and you can be fine.. walking at the roads can be slipperry, I did buy the shoe grip but didn’t use it at all..
Gonna write about the sapporo trip soon..
oh ya.. I don’t think you can cycle there during winter.. snow and ice was everywhere on the road.. walking should be fine.. if you feel too cold, you can just go into any shop by the street..
Thank you so much! I’ve really enjoyed your other posts as well. Keep up the good work!
Hi, i am going to tokyo n sapporo in Sept. can i know when u bought the crab from the market , they will arrange it n send to airport right? did they charge for the transfer fee? And the crab is raw o cooked? If the crab had transfer to airport wil the staff in airport inform us about it when we check in ? Please feel free to reply.
Nope, when I bought it, I carried it myself from market to sapporo airport to tokyo and back to malaysia. I just check-in the crab like other luggages because it had properly package and wrapped. I can even see the crab when it passed through the xray counter, no issue at the immigration as well..
But if you want it to be delivered, you can ask from the seller. Most of them provide this delivery service with some additional charges..
The one that I bought is fresh and raw, not even frozen yet..
exciting tokyo and sapporo trips. will be heading there in dec with family. would like to get some useful tips from you about the itineraries. hope you can drop me an email. thanks.
no problem.. i’m glad to help anything that i can.. u can just ask here or drop me an email.. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was surfing n scrolling tru my tab abt place to visit while in Tokyo from 7 to 12 Dec. This will b my 1st trip. Although i will have someone to guide me there but i need some info n experience that could be meaningful for a first timer away during winter. I hope you would not besurprised if i email you in time to come. Tq Oscar Joe, Sarawak, Malaysia.
Hi Oscar, thanks for visiting my humble travelogue..
December will be end of Autumn in Japan.. hopefully you will be able to catch it there..It will be nice.. I was just came back from another Japan trip last week..
No worries, you can drop me an email anytime for any queries.. I would be happy to assist if I can..
Boleh saya tahu di mana tempat makan ketam tu? Kami akan ke sapporo pada bulan Januari 2014. Ada kah kedai tu terletak di sapporo?
Hi Nora.. Kedai ketam nih memang ada merata2 Sapporo.. Yg Kami try kat daerah Otaru.. Kalau awak nak beli ketam yg raw and fresh, bole beli kat Nijo Market, just nearby Odari Park..
Ribuan terima kasih atas pertolongan u. Best lah baca ur blog, sgt informative especially utk kita org yg hendak ke Hokkaido 🙂
Hello Alina, my daughter is traveling to Sapporo next week, I don’t know what shoes/boots to pack also, coats, she has not been to the snow or a cold country before I am worried she is unprepared, thankyou. Loved your story, thankyou.
Hi Vicki, I bet your daughter will love Sapporo… Don’t worry, she might not need to bring everything there, as the winter gear was sold everywhere and quite cheap..
Hi , going to tokyo next year February…wonder Disneyland or Disney sea…which one better…? And also what kind of transport used from hanneda airport to town and how much for JR kanto pass..?thank you and Happy New Year 2014…
May I know if we really need winter boots in hokkaido during winter? I am travelling with my family of 10 in the coming dec school holidays and don’t really feel like buying 10 pairs of winter boots for the trip and wouldn’t able to wear again in Malaysia. We have our pair of spring/winter boots (not with wool or artificial fur within the boots), so wonder if that is enough for my trip to hokkaido. Thanks in advance for ur advice. Thanks thanks
You might not required the winter boots.. but make sure you wear thicker socks as the cold weather can be very cold especially at night..
Oh ya.. make sure the shoes is waterproof ya.. there will be snowing in hokaido and you will not want to walk in wet shoes during the cold winter weather..
what a great article! Could you please tell me your detailed itinerary and budget, because I’m also planning to travel to Tokyo and Hokkaido?
Thanks and Regards.
I had posted earlier my detail itinerary for this trip in 3 part. You may refer as below :
I am visiting sapporo during snow festival time. Considering that it will be pretty cold there, I wanted to ask about the snow boots. I am planning on purchasing them but can you suggest if I should buy them beforehand (maybe from Tokyo) or it will be better to buy them from sapporo? Also, suggest if you know of any shop to buy them.
Hi Arpita.. sapporo will be very cold and slippery during the snow festival.. it’s good if you can get a suitable boots as the walkway can be very slipery. You can just buy it locally at Sapporo cause there’s a lot of shoe stores available and the price can be quite cheap as well..