#GeraTravels: Mark Goes To Hokkaido For His Virgin Winter Experience

20th March 2016

Winter is a wonderful season!

Probably because I live on tropical island Singapore where it’s perpetually Summer and the humidity really gets to everyone… but one of the reasons I love to travel is to experience winter!

So I was super stoked when I got to bring Mark to his virgin winter experience! 😀

But first we had to say goodbye to our cosy Tokyo apartment!

A run to the airport and a 2-hour flight away – we landed in Hokkaido!

Personally found it so amazing how we can fly for 2 hours over land, and still be in the same country. While I can fly for an hour, and I will already leave Singapore and land in Kuala Lumpur.

Must travel more often to digest that this world is actually quite huge.

Mark feels his attire was super fashionable because he sees Running Man’s Yoo Jae-suk in a similar outfit…



Because taxi rides cost me a leg, both arms and occasionally a liver… I always exhaust a list of alternative transports. We found this awesome airport bus service that goes to just about anywhere you want to for prices ranging from approximately S$10-S$25.

Everyone is allowed to put 1 luggage piece in the bus’ storage compartment! So it’s really a lot more convenient than having to hold onto it on the train rides.

Plus you get to see heaps more on bus rides!

Mark was super high when he got to see winter in real life!

I always told him that Singapore’s Snow City just doesn’t count! Sorry if I sound rude or whatever – but it’s true! The experience is entirely different.

Hokkaido is known to be significantly colder than the other prefectures of Japan. As soon as we alighted from the bus, I felt like I walked into the fridge where I keep ice-cream.

And that fridge also had a strong fan installed.
The winds were blowing like nobody’s business!

But Mark really enjoyed walking along the snow-white streets to our next apartment!

And our next apartment was lovely as well!

Houses in Hokkaido are typically bigger than Tokyo’s; with the simple reason that the population isn’t so concentrated and naturally properties are more affordable.

However it’s said that Hokkaido is also not as ‘advanced’ as Tokyo – so it was the only house that didn’t give a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for us to carry around.

I was pretty worried at first… How to find proper directions or get quick translations!

But somehow I actually preferred it without getting any Internet connection. It makes enjoying the trip a lot easier. 😉

Right next to our apartment is a whole market area of SUPER FRESH seafood. I never saw anything like it!

And we decided to stop by this little restaurant for lunch.

I ordered a bowl with fish roe, crabmeat and sea urchin.

One bite into it and I knew I could never eat Japanese seafood in Singapore again. I’d just be upset and demand for a refund from the restaurant.

Mark’s creepy “ooh-baby” eyes when he bit into his food.

I wasn’t only ruined for other seafood in the world… I was ruined for beer as well.

Honestly never fancied beer much in Singapore; always just tasted like bitter, gassy and foamy stuff. But the draft Sapporo beer was… Oooh. I had an alcoho-gasm.

So what do you after lunch?

We walk the winter streets!

It snowed here and there; and Mark was so intrigued and amazed at how beautiful winter is.

Sapporo Factory!

However despite all his crazy happiness, my man still acted cool in front of the camera.

While I went waddling away glamorously in the snow…

Short legs problem. 😦
At least my hair looks nice. Hehehehe!

We walked around for about 30 minutes in the cold and walked to the other Sapporo Factory! 😀

And while I was at that tourist-y place… I got mistaken for being Japanese, Filipino or Chinese-Indonesian. It was amusing how people came up to me rambling in their Mother Tongue and I just went :?:.

Now because the walk back was going to be murderous, Mark and I decided that we had to get our bellies ready!

Remember… We walked 30 whole minutes! And we bought lots of souvenirs and other random stuff. Plus the night was only getting colder and windier.

Sooooo, we went to this super awesome restaurant located at the basement of the Sapporo Factory!


We saw the advertisement at the souvenir shop and I wanted to make sure it was a buffet.

Now, my Japanese is super limited… And I didn’t really know how to ask if it was a buffet in Japanese.

So here’s how it went down –

Me: Do you speak English?
Clerk: Little.
Me: Alright. This restaurant, is it a buffet?
Clerk: Sorry?
Me: Erm… This restaurant… Eat little, one price. Eat many many, one price. Yes?
Clerk: Ah, so-desu! (Yes)

So Mark and I went nuts in there.

Ordering like he’s never eaten before

Endless supply of fresh lamb meat, crab and other ala carte dishes! It was amazing.

But the really awesome thing that had was this special dipping sauce!

The damage.

T’was a fantastic night.

Even though I wanted to cry while walking home… The walk was taking a long time, the night was quite merciless and roads were slippery with ice. Carrying huge bags didn’t help either. 😦

But then I took another look at the winter scene and realised deep down, I was enjoying myself thoroughly. And so was Mark. 🙂


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