(This post is part of an ongoing travelogue. To start at the very beginning, click here.)
On our final day, it’s a very early alarm, followed-up by coffee and breakfast in our room. Our hotel provided free shuttle bus to the airport (full marks for our hotel!). After that, it was the usual for any flight. Check in luggage, get through immigration (not as bad as I thought), wait, wait, wait, board the plane, then home sweet home.
So, our week long vacation in beautiful Hokkaido has finally come to an end, after a year of waiting, and months upon months of planning. It was thoroughly enjoyable family holiday, one we will definitely remember for many, many years.
Before and after my trip, many friends have asked, why Sapporo? Well, Sapporo is world famous for its snowscape during the winter months, but it is also a great destination year round. Spring and autumn is beautiful for the colours, and is a good option for those who prefer milder weather. Summer in Hokkaido is synonymous for the lavender season. Most of Japanholic-friends have been to Hokkaido at least once, a testament to its allure and popularity. My ex-boss, who has been to Japan seven times, counts twice to Hokkaido, once each in autumn and winter.
In the non-winter months, you can do a self-drive tour of the island. Rent a car that comes with a GPS, it is very convenient (using a number code that does not require you to read or understand Japanese). My aforementioned ex-boss spent a week driving around the island, stopping each day at small villages and living out the rural life and sampling the local food. Paradise on earth. Driving in winter is extremely dangerous if you are not used to it.
Food in Hokkaido, when compared to the southern cities, is rather different and primarily centered around its fresh dairy produce. I did not enjoy their cuisine as much as my Kansai trip.
After all that, another family holiday done and dusted, with memories to last a lifetime. Next week we’re going for another major holiday again, the last for the next few years. I really don’t know when we will be returning to Japan again, or if we ever will. But the Land of the Rising Sun is always calling me.
Until the next time, Sayonara.