Otaru pt 2 – Snow Light Path Festival

As much as I enjoyed our day trip to Otaru, I never thought that I’d get so many blog posts out of this humble little town. I’ve already posted an abridged summary of our daytime wanderings, and posted some of the lovely doors I found. There will be a second Thursday Doors post for Otaru coming up in the near future, whenever I find time to put it together, but, in the meanwhile, I wanted to share some photos from one of the highlights of that day: Otaru’s Snow Light Path.

I kind of don’t want to write a lot here; I have so many photos from that night to share instead. (I will try to restrict myself a little, though)  Continue reading

Asahikawa pt 1 – Asahiyama Zoo

I’ve lived my whole life in Australia, in a place that doesn’t snow. Growing up, I’d watch American movies and TV shows (and probably some British ones too), and always see those stereotypical scenes of children waking up to snow (usually on or around Christmas), and I’d think how wonderful that would be (on any day of the year). So you can probably imagine my delight, on the morning February 7th (yes, these posts are taking a lot longer than I’d originally foreseen), when I peered out the window of our Sapporo hotel, and saw flurries of glorious snow falling from the sky!

The snow continued to fall quite heavily as we left our hotel and made our way to Susukino Station. I could not take the smile from my face. (I was probably also still on a high from the Sapporo Snow Festival the day before.)

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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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off to Sapporo! (…two months ago)

I can’t believe two months have already passed since I went to Sapporo! The memory has become almost dream-like in quality, so I suppose I’d better get on with writing my snow festival posts before I’m awake for too long and can’t recall all the glittering details!

Quick geography lesson: Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, which is the northernmost of Japan’s main islands. It is possible to travel to Sapporo, from Tokyo, by shinkansen (bullet train), but this would take at least an entire day (if exclusively using JR trains, to make use of pre-bought JR passes), and wouldn’t really be worth it unless you were planning to stop for a while at some of the in-between towns. I mean, this would’ve been a great option, but we were short on time, so I made the executive decision to fly instead.

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where did my winter go?

July isn’t even over yet, and the weather’s already warmed up so much. I went for a run the other night and felt like it was summer already. I’ve spent this last week lamenting the premature end of winter. Even in the early hours of the morning, or late at night, I can comfortably walk around outside without a second layer – just a t-shirt and jeans is enough.

Time to seek colder climates further south, perhaps?

It is only July, and I’m already dreading summer. If this is what July is like, how much are we going to suffer in December? I can’t believe there are people still walking around in coats and jumpers. Maybe they’re holding on to some last shred of hope, an illusion of winter.

Well, at least the coldest part of this winter was colder than any part of last winter…