Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Cold Night Out in Sapporo Town

5th Jan, 2005 - The night in a Sapporo Winter can be a little on the daunting side... if there's snow about, the city lights can cast an eerie glow to the world. The air is cold at this time - and it's a good thing for double-glazing (something that's almost unheard of here in Australia).

Come the next day however, the sun is out, and there's blue (albeit cold) sky above our heads. There's something so refreshing about a cold Sapporo morning... or is that the blood rushing from my skin?

The train ride to Sapporo Station is a quick one (about  15 min for us) and it's always on time. Below you can see Teine-yama rising above the horizon.

The trains are comfortable - and whilst this isn't peak hour, even then they don't get oppressively crowded. The trains are easy in Japan... there's always a ticket machine with a handy map showing the price of the ticket required - which can always be adjusted at the destination if you put the incorrect amount on the ticket. A word of warning - using mobile phones and listening to loud music on the train is considered rude in Japan, though this is becoming more prevalent with younger people.

I'm not sure how digital camera's are considered.

One of the great things about Sapporo is the extent to which there are underground malls (such as Paseo, Stellar Place, Pole Town, Aurora Town etc). These are especially convenient come winter time. The shops are generally small - but there's great variety. Actually there are two major centres (Sapporo Station and Odori) which will soon be joined by an underground shopping mall (like the one shown below). If I remember correctly that will be completed in 2011/12... the amazing thing is that they're building underneath a road whilst the road's in use.

After an afternoon of shopping, we get ready for a night out with T-chan's best friend, T2-chan. It gets dark quick in Sapporo during winter.

We went to Tenkuu (Hidden Dining) Izakaya. This is a great little place - especially for atmosphere. People sit in their own little "earthen pod", which are spotted around an underground maze of steps and dark passageways. The food is ok (not brilliant), but you're paying for the ambience.

Lots of low-doorways and steps... have to watch your head and your step.

Afterwards we went to visit a Sapporo King Xmhu (pronounced Mu) who is like the patron deity of Suskino and the Sapporo nightlife. If you're confused, this was one of the largest icon night clubs in Suskino - but seems to have become just a venue these days. T-chan spent a bit of her crazy youth going to places like this. Ah - back when we were young.

By the way - if you're an enterprising man of good character living in Sapporo, T2-chan may be interested in meeting you. Japanese girls are struggling to find good partners these days, and T2-chan is one of those great gals just missing out on finding a good guy. I have to say that I don't understand why Japanese men are so stoopid... so many great women in Japan are single... but not necessarily in a "Sex in the City" kinda way. ?;-)

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