Thursday Doors – Otaru (part 1!)

Otaru is one of the loveliest little towns I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It’s a coastal town on the western side Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost island), and it used to be the island’s financial centre because of its role in shipping and trade with other countries. Maybe it was just because it was winter, but it seemed like a sleepy little town when we visited (I mean that in the nicest, most affectionate way).

Since the main purpose of our trip to Otaru was to see the Snow Light Path, I hadn’t really researched much about the town, and about other things to see and do there (also I didn’t have that much time for extensive research before the trip). But I generally don’t have trouble finding interesting things, and keeping myself entertained when I’m in a new town/city, so I figured it’d be fine. Besides, one of the friends I was going with had already done some research into it. As it turned out, we were sufficiently preoccupied during the day.

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Thursday Doors – Sapporo Shiryokan

The Sapporo Shiryokan, also known as the Former Court of Appeals, sits at the western-most end of Odori Park. Amidst explorations of the Sapporo Snow Festival, I took a moment to stop and admire this regal building and its neat gardens.

From what I gather from this website, it’s now used as an art gallery and museum of sorts. (Side note: it’s so weird seeing a photo of the gardens (on the website) with so much colour, and none of that snow it was buried under when I was there!)

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Thursday Doors – soup curry

Just as I was lucky to have a friend who’s living in Tokyo (temporarily while completing studies), I was also lucky to have a friend who’s living in Sapporo (temporarily, to teach). Yeah, Japan’s a pretty popular destination for Aussies (for all sorts of things – not just holidays).

My friend in Sapporo kindly took KF and I out for dinner the first night we were there. And on a cold winter’s day, what better to have than soup curry? This is where we went:  Continue reading

Thursday Doors – Yoyogi

For all the time I spent browsing Google Maps before our trip, we ended up finding a lot of things by chance. To be fair, I browsed maps mostly out of general interest, and to give myself a broad sense of the orientation of things, not to memorise routes and landmarks. With a memory like mine, that’d never work anyway. And, as it turned out, I was usually too absorbed in my surroundings to even care which way was north.

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