We took a 3-day trip to Hokkaido, stopping over in Sapporo overnight, then continuing on to Jozankei Onsen. It was October, so the weather was crisp, and the leaves were turning!

We arrived Friday night in Sapporo; our bags came quickly and we jumped onto the JR train from the airport to the city. IC cards are accepted here, so I used my PASMO without worrying about separate train tickets. The ride was not so short, maybe about 45 minutes.

We made it to our cheap hotel just south of Susukino area, checked in, and got ready to see the nightlife. We decided to walk from our hotel up towards Sapporo station area, even though it was a bit chilly. Most of the tourist sites were closed at this time, but we could at least enjoy the views. We walked by Odori park, Sapporo TV tower, Sapporo clock tower, the Sapporo Beer Hall… and stopped for some famous Sapporo miso ramen topped with corn and butter for dinner! We passed by the touristy “Ramen Alley,” but continued on to a smaller place out of the way, which happened to be quite popular with the local crowd.

The next morning, we got up early and ate hotel breakfast which came with the room; this is very popular in Japan unlike the US, so consider trying the hotel breakfasts.. it is nothing like the stale pastry and cereal that make up the typical “continental breakfast” at many budget US hotels. Afterwards, we walked to the Nijo seafood market and back to Odori park for some day time photos. The leaves in Sapporo were only just starting to turn, but it was lovely anyway.

At this time, we needed to check out and pick up the rental car… time to drive to Jozankei!

Our time in the city of Sapporo was wayyy too short! We have already decided we need to go back another weekend. Maybe when the weather warms up…

continued in Part II, Jozankei Onsen.

For more trip photos, go to the imgur album here.


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