Two flights took me from Naha up to Haneda, Tokyo’s domestic airport, then on to Sapporo, and it was late afternoon by the time I arrived. A train into the city itself, and then another out to where my hotel was situated meant that it was early evening by the time I got settled in.
I think I had been lucky to find a hotel room, as I had left it a bit late, not really being sure of my Sapporo dates until I worked out the Okinawa trip. But Mark’s Inn was reasonably inexpensive, and pretty comfortable, and best of all, only a five minute walk to the Yuki Matsuri, the famous Sapporo Ice Sculptures Festival.
I hadn’t eaten since breakfast, and went out to find something to eat, and considered walking up to see some of the sculptures, which line Odari Park, just to the north of my hotel, but it was snowing pretty hard when I went outside, and I decided to leave it until morning.
I was glad I did, as it dawned a beautiful sunny morning. After a late breakfast I walked up through Susukino, where there are some smaller ice sculptures. Eventually I arrived at Odari Park, and was very impressed by the size of some of the sculptures there. There are so many, and these are just some of my favourites:-
In the afternoon I took a bus out to a third festival site, and returned to the city in time to go up the big tower at the end of the park, and take some pictures in daylight, before waiting for darkness to fall to see the whole place lit up like a winter wonderland.
Sadly, that’s now the end of my visit to Japan, which has been so interesting. Time to move onwards again, to Australia next….