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October 8, 2013
Day 5 - Sapporo

Sapporo (Dy) is the capital of Hokkaido and Japan's fifth largest city. The city was built based on a North American style rectangular street system, and thus it has a layout unique from other major Japanese cities.

Sapporo has a nice mix of urban structures and green space, and offers multiple places of interest. It is well known for its ramen, beer and Shiroi Koibito biscuits. Also famous is the annual Sapporo Snow Festival held in February.

Today's Report
 
Sapporo

Best beer in Japan - or maybe I only think that because I got to taste some during half way through my walk!

After a great yakitori dinner in Sapporo and a very restful night in Tokeidai Hotel, I took a taxi this morning to Moerenuma park, on the outskirts of Sapporo, where I was to walk from, to the entertainment district of Susukino, in downtown Sapporo. This walk was about 12km long.

I arrived at the park and headed to the glass pyramid, where a little welcome committee was waiting for me, including my gbody guardsh for the day, one of which was kind enough to walk the distance with me and feed me at the end, and the other who took over for the afternoon, taking me to Sapporo shrine and to visit Olympic relics.

My Sapporo welcome committee/body guards!

The park was impressive not only by its size, but also because it had been built a couple of years back on what was once a garbage treatment plant. What a great recycling effort!
From there we walked along more and more densely populated road until we reached the center. It was amazing to see how many fields were still being cultivated between houses, and also how many houses had really good veggie patches - an inspiration.

Moerenuma park

One of the awsome veggie patches in Sapporo's suburbs

After almost 3/4 of the way, we stopped at the Sapporo for a guided tour followed by a very deserved beer. We then continued walking, through central Sapporo, until we reached our goal in Susukino, the entertainment quarter of the city, always bustling and full of lights. What really amazed me about this city is the number of parks and green areas. Even the center has a few, including a great park avenue.

Sapporo beer museum

Lunch time beer sampling - straight from its source!

In the afternoon, another body guard volunteered to take me to a couple more places, so we headed to the Sapporo shrine, and to the ski jump that was built for the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympic Games. Having lived nearly all my life in Switzerland, I must admit I never had seen a ski jump before - except on television - and it really was impressive. The views from the top were great as well - you can see all of Sapporo, the surrounding mountains and the sea. Next to the base of the ski jump is a museum dedicated to winter sports, where a lot of fun games give you the change to try out the different olympic disciplines, including ice hockey - which was very exciting - and ski jump, without breaking a leg!

The scary ski jump

I finished my day with a Ferris wheel ride back in Susukino. The night views of Sapporo were really beautiful - eventhough I'm scared of hights!

View of downtown Sapporo from the Ferris wheel

Susukino from the sky

Today's Program
 
Today's Walk: Through the streets of Sapporo

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Today's walk traverses the lightly populated urban landscapes of Sapporo, starting at the large, unique and beautiful Moerenuma Park. The journey continues past paddy fields, residential districts, various city parks, and increasingly built-up areas upon nearing the city center. Stops are made at a couple of attractions such as the Sapporo Beer Museum and the Tokeidai Clock Tower, before the tour ends at the Susukino entertainment district.

Date October 8, 2013
Start Time 9:00
Start Moerenuma Park (at the glass pyramid)
Goal Susukino
Distance 12 kilometers (about 5-6 hours)
Terrain Most of today's walk is on level ground with paved pedestrian paths. On some sections through residential neighborhoods, the walker shares the road with occasional cars on the side street.
Weather Average daytime high: 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit)
Average nighttime low: 9 degrees Celsius (48 degrees Fahrenheit)
Weather Forecast for Sapporo
Access To get to Moerenuma Park, take the Toho Subway Line from Sapporo Station to Kanjodori-higashi Station and then a local bus to the park (25 minutes, usually 2 buses per hour).
More details on how to get to and around Sapporo
Lodgings Sapporo offers many options for accommodation.
Search hotels in Sapporo through Agoda, Booking.com or Japanican

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Daily Quiz
The deadline for answering the quiz question for day 5 has passed.

Which of the following cities has a larger population than Sapporo?

98%   Yokohama
0%   Kyoto
0%   Kobe
0%   Fukuoka
2%   None of the above

The correct answer is: Yokohama

Yokohama's population is 3.6 million, compared to Sapporo's 1.9 million. The other three cities each have a population of about 1.5 million.

Current Standings: (after 30 days)

28 Points: Csabba, AlexanderStankov
27 Points: gladhiola, almoehi, ZoomX2, mikaelus
26 Points: Rabbityama, Proxy707

More about the quiz
 

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