The overnight trip was fine but long, and as soon as I arrived I felt something I haven’t felt in a month: COOL! The weather here is SO nice compared with the hot, muggy Japan I’ve come to know and love.
My first order of business after getting my bearings was to walk to my hotel and drop off my luggage. The Sapporo Garden Palace is where I booked from the internet and it’s pretty nice. It’s also conveniently located right across the street from the old Hokkaido capitol building. That was my first sightseeing destination, followed by the Botanical Gardens a block away. They were really beautiful and it was an absolute pleasure to be able to walk around without instantly sweating like a pig from the heat and the humidity. I guess the rest of Japan feels like this at times other than the middle of summer.
The next sight suggested to me was the old Sapporo Beer brewery museum, which was a short bus ride away. I wandered through the museum which was kind of interesting, even for a guy who doesn’t drink. I really liked the old-time advertising posters (I bought a set of postcards showing some of them). I also ate at a fantastic restaurant there, the Garden Grill. The grilled lamb in my lunch was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten in my life! I wandered around the grounds a while and into the insanely huge adjoining shopping mall before ending up at the nearby Book Off store where I picked up a couple more volumes of used manga and a CD (just what I need, more stuff to have to pack…sigh).
I went and checked into my room, relaxed a bit then went back down to the main station where I found a pretty nice internet cafe. Sadly, I couldn’t connect my own computer there, so I won’t be uploading this until I get to Tokyo.
After such a full couple of days, I was pretty beat and turned in fairly early, watching some local TV and a couple shows on my computer.