Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sapporo Hairy Crab at Nijo Market

We actually went back to Nijo Market near the last week morning of our trip. Mainly because my husband wanted to eat crab before leaving Sapporo. So we found this corner shop at one end of Nijo Market, and decided to eat here. 

I wasn't very familiar with the procedure. I guess you tell them you want crab, and you get to pick the crab you want and maybe the weight it for you? My husband tried the hairy crab, and it's just steamed/boiled for you. I think it cost him around SGD50 or more for one hairy crab! 

I wasn't much of a crab person, so I probably just had another kaisendon. 

Anyway, the main subject of this post is the hairy crab, and after cooking it, it looked something like that. To me, it wasn't that appetising or delicious. Probably because I can't really smell it. I prefer bbq crab. But still, this deserved a mention. If you are in Sapporo, and you want nice seafood, head to the market for cheaper option. I've recommended you two different market in this blog. So please explore them!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sapporo Kaisendon at Curb Market

2nd morning in Sapporo and the weather begin to clear. We took a train to Nijuyonken Station in search of another seafood market. The place was called Sapporo Central Wholesale Market/Curb Market. It took around 10 mins to locate the market area, which was really just one road selling stuff.

Here's me walking towards the market. Look at all the snow around me!

When we finally locate it, it was one short road with lots of seafood, fresh or dried. At the end of it, you can see this beautiful show that is just a tourist magnet. But it looked so nice we had to just wondered inside and lose our cash there. But seriously though, it is cheaper to buy things elsewhere...

So you see what I meant when I say it is a tourist magnet, look at that giant lobster just outside their shop!

And not forgetting the giant crab! We did purchased some stuff there. I got a pack of kanimiso there, which was more expensive then anywhere else, and guess this, it tasted spoilt when I finally tried it back home! At first I thought I just didn't know how to appreciate it. But when I pass it to my Japanese friend, he told me that it wasn't suppose to taste like that. Ha! Beware!

Anyway, we did found a nice place for breakfast/lunch after walking up and down the road trying to figure out where to eat. Above is the shop we finally settled for. It was rather early, so we were kinda like the first few customer there. 

Price wise, it was gonna be another SGD30 per meal kinda place. Seriously, Japan is getting more expensive than France! But for the love of seafood, I will continue to visit this place!

So my rich husband ordered the recommended set, which was more expensive. Above is the full meal. It was actually quite filling. And his was just covered in ikura (Fish Roe), and uni (Sea Urchin). And I love the fact that although they charge you so much,  it was actually a complete meal with pickles and sides, and even dessert! 

Me, being the poorer of the two, ordered a cheaper set, which came with ikura, salmon, and scallop. The scallop was delicious! The best I ever had. You can really taste the sea in every bite! Highly recommended! You can plan your trip here as a stop-over if you are headed to Shiroi Kibitz park. 

Lastly, here's another photo illustrating the amount of snow here. Although it has stopped snowing, it was still very cold, and mountain of snow can be seen everywhere. They basically shove it aside to pile it up. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sapporo Kaisedon at Nijo Market

I remember this as the first morning in Sapporo. Our plan was to go have a nice Kaisedon at the nearest market. There are a few markets in Sapporo, and Nijo Market was the nearest one from where we stayed. We actually came back here again just before our trip end to have lunch. So what I'll do now is write three post on Kaisedon: One on Breakfast an Nijo, One on another breakfast/lunch at another market a few station away, and lastly, Lunch back at Nijo Market. But first, the sight of the first photo, isn't it beautiful? This was the road we had to cross from the famous shopping street to the market area. And it was covered in snow on our first morning there. 

In fact the market area was quite a sight! Everything was just buried in snow. We saw one scooter totally covered up in snow. And people were shoving the snow up in piles to make kinda like a snow wall path for people.

Above is what it looked like crossing the road. Even the traffic lights are half covered in snow. 

Nijo Market is actually a seafood market, and you can buy fresh or dried seafood here. But we came here mainly for Kaisendon. You can walk around the market, or venture deep inside and you may come across a few small restaurant serving this. Above is a menu of the one we visited. It was rather crowded, and the price was ok. The place wasn't as big as Tsukiji Market, but we're not people who like to frequent touristy area anyway. Small and unknown was fine for us. Besides, this was Sapporo, how non-touristy can it get.

Alcoholic drinks were also serve, morning or night, rain or shine. 

But in the end, we settle for the "Today's Special" at 2680Yen! That's like SGD30 for breakfast! Or was it lunch. But it was quite a good deal, considering how much uni that came with it!

We also ordered one serving of sake, and it was the first time we saw it serve in the sake box, overflowing and all. Very pretty. 

So here is what our full meal look like. Hot tea was served complimentary. But the rice, omg the rice. Look at the amount of ikura (fish roe), and uni (sea urchin) on that rice!!! Total worth it! 

I ordered a size of kanimiso (crab miso soup) as well, cause I felt like treating myself, and since we're in hokkaido! Above is what was served! Huge crab sitting inside! It was delicious! I think it cost around 250Yen, or around SGD5. Totally worth it!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Sapporo Winter Illumination

The photos in this post was taken across few nights in Sapporo. Sometime with crazy snow, sometimes with less crazy weather. On a good day, the weather was around -2 Degrees Celsius. Yes, on a good day. The above photo was taken on a good day where we managed to walk quite pleasantly, except for the slippery road, across a few shopping streets. 

Above shot was taken on a more snowy night. This is a 6:41pm in the evening, and everything was light-up even though there wasn't much people around. Every year around Christmas time, there is this Illumination Event in Sapporo. You can also find the same thing in Tokyo. I was there with some friends like in 2014 and saw similar kind of Illumination all over Tokyo, minus the crazy snow. We did however experience some light flurries while we were there. 

Above was taken outside JR Sapporo area, where all the malls are situated. This one kinda reminds me of Wheelock Place in Singapore. 

Near the Christmas Village they also have some artistic looking Christmas Trees like this one. 

And I really like these minty green light decorations on the streets. This is one of the shopping streets along the Sapporo underground. This was taken on a good evening where we decided to come out from the underground and take a look outside :)

So yes, it was a beautiful sight, and memorable experience. I don't plan to go in winter again cause I'm really not a winter person. Maybe once is enough. I prefer autumn, or maybe early spring.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Sapporo Christmas Village

I can't remember whether we visited the Christmas Village on our first night or second night in Sapporo. It was snowing so heavily that it was kinda hard to enjoy the village! First of all, we had to find the village, which was just on top at the open area. It sounds simple enough, but when you're underground, covered and warm, it kinda is a drag to go out into the cold cold night. Doesn't help that it was snowing non-stop! But we had to go, cause I've never been in a Christmas Village in winter before. And Christmas was fast approaching and the village would be over if I don't visit it soon. 

The village was mainly just stall selling Christmas stuff. Nothing really interesting. I guess its kinda like an "atas" pasar madam, or night market. It was hard to browse the items on sale with the snow all over your face, so we just did a quick round and that's it.

Here's a photo of me in the crazy snow.

Before we left, we did got some snacks to eat. We got a sausage platter which cost like damn expensive. And a cup of warm apple cider. There was a covered tent nearby where you can go in and eat in peace away from the howling snow. The sausage got cold really fast, and so did the ale/cider. The tent was also crowded, and water everywhere! Ugh! But Christmas Village checked! There were also illumination lights everywhere in the town of Sapporo. Yeah, maybe I'll post that next.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sapporo Beer Garden

I have actually visited the Sapporo Beer Museum before on my 2nd trip to Japan in 2004 probably. But I was on a backpacking trip then and just started working, so I didn't have money to splurge on expensive Genghis Khan BBQ dinner! But it's totally different now. So I wasn't going to miss the opportunity.  Especially on such a cold winter night! Bring on the beer! Bring on the meat!

We were kinda early, and didn't made any reservation. But since it was just the two of us, we got a table almost immediately. The outside carpet of the museum looked the same as per when I last visit, of a Hokkaido Beer with Sapporo Beer. I actually still have and uses the souvenir coaster I got from this place!

They actually give you a bib to wear while eating, so that you don't dirty your clothes. How thoughtful! We actually wear ours too! You can see me in the last photo on this page wearing it. 

We ordered some vegetable, and some meat plate. Mainly mutton. It was rather expensive, so .... What you do is, cook it yourself like a yakiniku. But you put all the onions in, and the meat in the middle. After that we use more vegetable to soak up the oil. The dipping sauce that came with it was delicious too! And now I am feeling hungry just blogging about it. And to think I am suppose to go less meat and vegan this month! Ugh!

Again, we ordered Sapporo Classic, cause you really can't get drunk on these things!

I think they serve Yebisu too. But we didn't ordered any.

Lastly, here's a happy me with my happy dinner!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Sapporo Beer Museum - Snowing in the Night

Remember a few post back I showed you photos of white winter christmas trees? Well, we did spend half a day or so at the Sapporo Beer Museum area, and there was actually a big mall just behind it. You can spend half a day just walking inside the mall. There is a Aeon there where you can browse or buy all your Japanese souvenirs, snacks and mainly food stuff. There are also bookstores inside, and cloth and handy craft shops. I actually couldn't help myself and got a  StarWars cloth there! But that is another topic..... Above is what it looked like when we finally came out of the mall and headed back to the museum to have dinner at the Beer Garden! A real Christmas Tree in real Winter Snow and decorated all so pretty too!

There are even light decoration outside the mall, and above is a decoration of a baby polar bear!

Here above we have a scene of the beer museum famous tower, and the bridge that leads back to the museum. For some reason, it looked rather classical and iconic, like from some old fashion movie or something from the war time....

And here is me, walking in the snow back to the Beer Garden for a Genghis Khan bbq dinner! Behind me on the right side of the photo is where the Aeon Mall is. As you can see, it's just a short walk away, but you legs will be buried in snow walking in these condition! I was carrying my gym bag which is water prove, and it just accumulate mountains of snow whenever I walk unsheltered outside!  But it was an awesome experience! I highly recommend visiting Hokkaido in winter at least once in your life! Maybe not just Hokkaido, but any place with super high volume of snow! It's like a whole new different world out there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sapporo Beer Museum - Beer Tasting

So after spending like, maybe 30mins in the museum, it will lead you to the beer tasting hall. And for maybe 500yen, you can get a tasting set consisting of three types of beer to try. It actually comes with some beer snacks as well. Of if you already know what type of Sapporo beer you  like, you can order the regular sized glass as well.

So above is what the beer hall look like. Just go to the casher ordering machines, drop in your money and select your option. The machine will give you a ticket. Bring the ticket to the bar counter, and they will serve the beer you ordered. Bring it to the sitting area and enjoy!

We got a set of tasting beer. It comes with : Black Label, Classic, and Kaitakushi Beer. I love the Classic the best, cause it's light, like soda. And strangely, the Sapporo Classic is only sold in Japan.... 

Besides beer snacks, you can also purchase additional munchies. I got cheese, cause well, I love cheese.

Lastly, here's my husband's totoro toy in a circle of light illusion. Cool eh? Just because....

Monday, April 9, 2018

Sapporo Beer Museum

If you love beer, you should visit the brewery in Japan. You get a learn more about how the beers are made, and see some vintage advertising which are really cool. In this post, I'll show you a little bit on what you can expect to find inside the Sapporo Beer Museum. 

The first thing you see when you enter the museum, is a dark cold room which used to be the brewery. Here you can see all the bronze/copper materials and equipment used to brew the beer. You will also see the above stained glass with the sunlight coming in. Stained glass always get a special mention in my blog cause I have a soft spot for them :)

Some of the interesting things you will see and learn from the museum is the history of Sapporo beer. Above is the timeline of the beer story dating back to the 1870s! Interestingly, Sapporo is not my favourite Japanese Beer. I personally prefer Kirin or Yebisu. And it is so difficult to get Yebisu in Singapore!

You can also see the old packaging of the Sapporo Beer, and where it was exported to and its branding.

The story of how Nippon Beer was being promoted through out the era. 

View lovely posters of Japanese ladies in beer ad. These are like vintage print, so it's worth a view if you love retro stuff like that. 

The drinking men was my favourite cause I think this look so comical. The wording says: Nippon Beer, Spring is here! And you can almost imagine the guy drinking the beer is 4 sequence in slow motion! lol. 

Any cool wording also gets special mention on this blog. 

And lastly, for whatever reason, doesn't the above photo reminds you of a scene in Omens? Or maybe some wester horror movie? Yeah, just felt like leaving it here. Just imagine that outside is a solemn graveyard in winter....