A brief tale of my travels through Japan (in particular Sapporo, my second home). I started travelling to Japan in 2003, and have made 9 trips since then... I've been married (to T-chan), bought my first house, and had one child (our son, L-kun) and now a second one (our daughter, C-chan).
I'm writing this in 2012, so it's sort of like going back in a time machine. Eventually I will get back to current day!...
7th August, 2010 - Well, after all that shopping earlier in the day, we were well primed for a quick dinner before heading out for the night. Okaasan had made a fairly typical meal for us - simple but delicious. We had a chicken meatball soup... (above).
Some tempura beans from T-chan's auntie's garden... very fresh and delicious way of eating them.
And we also had some baked Hokke, a fish (related to mackerel) that you'll find up to the north of Japan... and especially Hokkaido. This is often written as Hoke in english, and shouldn't be confused with Hoki which is a more common fish (especially around Australia and New Zealand). The fish itself is quite nice, a firm white fish meat that is very nice no matter how you cook it.
After having eaten dinner, T-chan and I went out... and I have to admit, we don't get much of a chance to do that enough these days. The outing of choice? To go see a movie ("Inception" - don't forget this was last year) down at the Sapporo Cinema Frontier at the JR Tower, Sapporo Station. Going to the cinema isn't cheap in Japan... the normal price is 1800yen per adult (about 22.50AUD) - or down to 1000yen for children. It used to be that going to the cinema was cheap in Australia, but those days are gone. We often pay about 18AUD these days here...no wonder the cinema is struggling these days.
Now in Australia we tend to have one cheap day per week (here it's "tight-arse tuesday")... but things are a little more complicated in Japan:
First day of the month
Menzudei (wednesday special for males only)
Ladies Day (thursday special - you guessed it, for femails only)
Late screenings (after 8pm)
Mornings during the week
Over 50s - 1000yen
Very complicated indeed... and whilst we caught the 8:30 session (ok, we're tight), and even though it was a Saturday night there really weren't that many people there. Still, we enjoyed our date out, and we enjoyed Inception. Not quite as cerebral as I was lead to believe, but still a good movie with plenty of action with the Kubrik-esque style. As for the movie-going experience, it was quite enjoyable, and JR Tower's a convenient place to watch a movie. Strange to go to Japan to watch a Hollywood movie.
On the way home the weather took a turn for the worse. Summer time in Japan is synonymous with rain, and whilst less so in Hokkaido it was still pretty bad. We thought we could out-walk it from the subway line... alas with only one umbrella (which T-chan had except for this photo when we got back home), we were always going to struggle. I can't remember the last time I got this wet.... actually, this is most probably why I don't (as a habit) enter wet t-shirt competitions. Good taste and possibly local laws prevent it. Or at least should.