Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Walk On Sapporo's Wild(ish) Side

21st May, 2008 - Not every day is going out to somewhere exotic or romantic... sometimes in a family, you just want to go for a nice walk, and spend some time together. This was just such a day. We decided to walk around a little with L-kun...and here are a couple of shots of some typical Sapporo houses and gardens in Spring. Note he distinctive sloped roof... that's a pretty common design here in Sapporo to prevent the build up of snow. Not that we need worry about that at this time of the year!

Sapporo is a fairly wild location... it's not that far before you end up against the untamed mountains. Ok.. that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but these are wild mountains. Have to be a little careful with bears, and rusty bikes... and very big voracious weeds.

The mountains of Sapporo are not the typical snow-capped craggy mountains, but they have a much more "warm" feel about them. It's strange, but I am always reminded of the hills back home in Adelaide when I see them (and vice versa). They're like Sapporo's security blanket.

But the one thing that is certain about Sapporo (indeed - likely all of Japan)... come Spring, it's very green and fertile looking. It's like it's always sporting a 3-day growth.

And at the end of a nice long walk, what better way of finishing up than having a yummy lunch at Bikkuri Donkey (which I've posted about many times before... here, and here and even here). These restaurants are pretty common in Sapporo, and whilst they may not win any awards for culinary delights, they are a good meaty easy meal out.
Biccuri Donkey - Care of Google StreetView
And meaty was the word of the day... today I tried the curry version... L-kun wasn't quite into the whole hamburger steak. All the more for us.

And I also made one very BIG mistake. Somehow, I managed to order the zero alcohol beer. Yes... that's right. Zero alcohol beer. That's not really my idea of a beer at all...and indeed, it tasted rather like a not-so-tasty soft-drink. Now in Japan, there's a zero tolerance of alcohol and driving. In theory this means that if you've got any alcohol in your blood, you can be fined heavily if pulled over. Indeed, not only you, but everyone in the car with you. Seems fair?.... or not. Still, as a result, there's been a fairly big market in zero alcohol beers. Today however, I ordered another REAL beer.

Interestingly enough, once when we went to a Sento (public hot baths), we discovered that the zero alcohol beer that Otousan was drinking was actually made here in Adelaide... but that you could not buy that beer here in Australia. Very strange. The other thing I was going to say is that I can't vouch for this 100%, but anecdotally I've heard that it's unusual to have your blood checked for alcohol. Clearly, they operate on a completely different set of rules (and budgetary measures) here in Japan.


  1. I've never made it into a Bikkuri Donkey, but that hamburger you've got there is HUGE!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Ahh... you've never had the Bikkuri Donkey?!? I wonder, do they have them at Shiga prefecture? Hmmm - I just discovered where Shiga-ken is... quite a loooong way away from Sapporo.

    Also - I should correct edit my blog to call it properly as hambaagu rather than hamburger. And yes - they're huge... They do either a 150 or 300gm version. Always hard for me to knock back the 300gm one.