My accommodation: Homestay with the lovely Saori
I stayed here for: 4 days
What I loved best: The food & Saori's amazing hospitality!
Unbeknownst to me, we were one of only a few planes that landed that day. Sapporo was having a snow storm and lots of the smaller planes from Australia (I flew on a massive jumbo from Kuala Lumpur) were turned away. I wasn't to know of course and was very excited about my first non english speaking country. I know I came from Borneo however while Malaysian Borneo is officially Bahsa, english is everywhere so I didn't feel like that was too much of a stretch really.
You can get from the airport, into downtown, leave your luggage at the railway station and wander around Sapporo without having to go outside. They have these amazing underground shopping centres and food places so it was 3pm before I headed out into the snow. Far out it wasn't that cold but MAN was it slippery. The sidewalks were fine because the snow was fresh but venture out to cross a street - wow! You can do yourself a real injury in no time. The snow gets compacted so hard from the traffic that its just ice and you are trying to slip and slide across the intersection inside the green walk time frame. It's a little challenging to tell you the truth.
It was great to stay with her and learn some Japanese words, customs and of course get some training in cooking non sushi food. My Japanese cooking skills are limited to Tempura and Sushi so it was great that it was Japan day the next day and Saori not only gave me a great tour of Sapporo but she also taught me some new Japanese dishes. I still can't go past sashimi though - OMG Sashimi is like pure unadulterated 100% melt in my mouth perfect. It would be my last meal on death row for SURE!
Saori and I spent the day exploring and then headed down to the Snow Festival just in time for the ski jump comp as it turned out. A snow board and ski jump in the middle of the city - only in Japan.
It was so very cold but we stuck it out and watched a few jumpers before heading off to see the balance of the festival and then sucking down some hot chocolate with marshmallows before heading home.
The green man appeared and still chatting off we walked. We got about 5 steps I think and I slipped a little and Claudette turned to say "wow its slippery" and down we both went. Now when I say down - I mean down like a sack of potatoes. Down HARD! We both landed on our arses smack bang in the middle of the intersection. I started giggling (like I do) and then Claudette started and there we were pissing ourselves laughing in the middle of a very busy intersection. We both rolled over on our knees assuming that this would provide us with the best possible chance of getting up with some kind of dignity intact. HOW WRONG WE WERE!
Neither of us could get up. It was so slippery as soon as you got one foot under you and put your weight on that one to get up, down you went again. OMG - it must have been so funny watching us. We had about 3 goes each and then (still laughing hysterically which in hindsight may have added to our challenges in getting on to our feet) we decided that we were going to have to crawl across or we were risking getting run over by traffic when the lights changed.
You can imagine the drama we caused. There were 70 year old Japanese grandma's trying to help us up, a decent amount of people were staring at us mortified, we were trying to communicate that we would just crawl to the opposite curb, and in the midst of all this the lights changed. We finally made it to the other side and then had to haul ourselves up using a street light for leverage, only to have a twenty something girl sprint past us in what could only be red soled Louboutin heels. OMG I could have punched her in the face the sure footed freak!