FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 11- Ramen Alley

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 11- Ramen Alley
Japan is big on there “Top 3s” and “Best” places. Ask anyone where to find the best ramen and you’ll undoubtedly be told that you need to go to Sapporo. There you will find ramen alley, a narrow little passage in the Susukino district with 17 different ramen shops lining either side of the alley. 

ramen_alley2So you’ve decided you want to try some ramen at the eponymous ramen alley. What are the different shops and what are they known for? What are their hours? How can I eat all of the ramen to be had?! Check out the map below and the following descriptions to get a quick overview as to what the stores have to offer. (Vegetarians, please note that all of the shops use pork and/or chicken bones in the production of their broths.) Check out the official Ramen Alley website, too!

ramen_alley_map

Read more

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 10- Food

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 10- Food
うまいッ! おいしい !
If you have turned on the TV even once during your time in Japan, you’ve heard these phrases uttered by Japanese TV personalities as they dine upon some local delicacy or another. Japan loves their food and Japanese people especially love to brag about what their prefecture is famous for. Going to Hokkaido, one of Japan’s most geographically distinct locations, what is there to eat? Hokkaido is big and has quite a low population density. As such, it has an unparalleled agriculture culture. Hokkaido produces more wheat than any other prefecture and produces 50% of all of Japan’s milk. So, with all this milk and veggies– what is Hokkaido famous for?

Seafood

Kaisendon-- Fresh seafood bowl
Kaisendon– Fresh seafood bowl

Yeah, we’ve got milk and veggies but Hokkaido also happens to be a giant island with lots of fresh seafood to be found. Hokkaido is particularly famous for uni (sea urchin), ika (squid), ikura (salmon roe), hotate (scallops), and of course– kani (crab). Much of Hokkaido’s seafood can be best enjoyed in don(a bowl)– with the fresh seafood served on a bowl of rice. Such famous bowls include uni-ikuradon (sea urchin-salmon roe bowl), nama-uni donburi (raw sea urchin bowl), and kaisendon (seafood bowl). You can sample all of these bowls at Sapporo’s Nijo Market, where you can customise your seafood bowl– and eat it too. Nijo Market is open from 7.00 to 18.00 for the shops and 6.00 to 21.00 for the restaurants. Also, let’s not forget about the kaki(oyster)! Oysters are in season this time of year and you’ll be able to find plenty of fresh oyster restaurants and stalls. Even though we are staying in Sapporo and there will an over-abundance of seafood available, try and hold off for your kani and kaisendon until you are in Otaru, which is held in far higher regard by foodies for its quality of seafood. Read more

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 9- Skiing&Snowboarding

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 9- Skiing&Snowboarding
Snow, snow, and more snow? What else is there to do with it besides make snowmen? Well, some folks long long ago decided to strap their feet to pieces of wood and slide down it. And so, we have skiing and snowboard. With its over-abundance of snow, there are several ski resorts to meet your snow-sliding needs. Today, we will be looking at the two main ski resorts with Sapporo as a base point– Teine Ski Resort and Niseko Ski resort.

Ski & Snowboard Resort, Sapporo Teine

The closer of our two ski resort is Mt. Teine. Teine is renowned for being one of the venues of the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics. From Sapporo station, it takes 10 minutes to reach Teine station via express train or 15 minutes via local trains. Once at Teine station, you can bus or taxi to the ski resort. With a maximum incline of 38 degrees and a high point of 1,023m, Teine has a variety of slopes that will suit everyone from very beginners to slalom experts. The slopes break down to 35% beginner runs, 40% intermediate, and 25% expert. (On a side note for beginners out there, slopes are classified by colour in Japan. Green means a beginner run, red is intermediate, and black is expert.) Teine is broken up into two zones, the Olympia and the Highland zones.

Read more

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 8- Getting Around Sapporo City

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 8- Getting Around Sapporo City
So you have your list of things that you want to see and do. Good. The next step– figuring out how to get there. In this instalment, we’ll take a quick gander on how to get around Sapporo City itself. Sapporo may be the easiest of all of Japan’s cities to navigate. Unlike many of the other big Japanese cities, Sapporo is laid out in a grid-style system with city blocks and uses an understandable naming scheme when it comes to addresses. For example, our hotel’s address is Odori Nishi 15chome… We are located west of Odori Park, block 15. Pretty straightforward!
 

There are several methods of getting around Sapporo including a subway and tram line, JR trains, and local city buses.
There are a few discount tickets for transportation that are available to us during our visit to Sapporo and Hokkaido. On weekdays and non-holiday days, Subway 1-Day cards, which allow unlimited subway use for 1 day (go figure!), are available for 800 yen. However, on the weekends and public holidays, the same ticket is available for a discounted price of 500 yen! A Combination 1-day pass is also available for 1,000 yen. It grants you a day of unlimited use on Sapporo’s subway, tram, and city buses operated by the JR Hokkaido, Chuo, and Jotetsu bus companies. There are also prepaid cards available for purchase and use with local transportation.

Kkitaca's Mascot
Kitaca’s Mascot

Read more

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 7- Asano Hotel

FuJET- An Inside Look to the 2014 Hokkaido Trip, Part 7- Asano Hotel
We will be spending 4 days and 3 glorious nights in glorious Hokkaido. Those 3 nights will be spent at Asano Hotel . Located a mere 1 and a half blocks from Odori Park, you couldn’t ask for a more convenient hotel location for this price.

 

Asano Hotel
Asano Hotel

Asano Hotel is a Japanese style business and long term stay hotel. All rooms are tatami-and-futon style. As this is a long-term stay hotel, your room will more closely resemble an apartment than a swanky-4-star-hotel. Being apartment-styled, each room is equipped with its own mini-kitchen (sink, burner, mini-fridge, and kitchen accessories). Read more