hokkaido day 2: sapporo

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Buffet breakfast at the hotel. We saw the offer yesterday when we checked in, of ¥1030 per person and thought we should try it. Great Japanese breakfast of rice, fish, noodles, salad. Went back to our room to call around for car rental and got a good offer at Nissan, we’ll pick the car up tomorrow.

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Lots of walking today. First to the red brick former government building, clock tower, odori park and nijo market. It was a little cold and because it’s low season, not so packed with tourists everywhere. Nice. We even found a large ¥100 shop where we bought some chocolate, bargain chapstick, coke and folders.

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At nijo market, we stopped at one of the shops and had the most exquisite oyster and clam, freshly shucked in front of our eyes. Less than ¥2000. One thing great about Japan, even the public loos at a market are clean and have heated toilet seats.

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We continued walking to tanukikoji shopping arcade. By that time my knee was started to be a little painful so we took things slowly. Not too much to see or shop, although we walked almost the length of the arcade. Next stop was susukino, the entertainment district. A kindly traffic policeman directed us to the ramen alley, we picked one place that served miso ramen and watched as the chef made the dish in front of our eyes. I had crab leg ramen and mm had pork ramen. Delicious late lunch.

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It started snowing a bit as we walked back towards the station. Stopped at mitsukoshi to scout out their whisky selection — not extension although we tried this great ¥5400 sake that was tempting. A little further along we spotted a sort of dessert food court, just in time for tea and to rest my knee. Out of the large selection, we both picked strawberry cake. One was a feathery chiffon cake and the other had an outer wrapping of pancake, interesting and gave a different taste and texture.

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Back to hotel and rested for a bit. Dinner was at a restaurant on 6/F Stellar Place, one of the station shopping complex. It was a pre-birthday treat for me, we had deep fried asparagus, live squid sashimi, uni & ikura rice and umeshu. Lovely peaceful setting, with a window seat looking out at the city lights.

Walked around the shops after dinner and got some coffee, dessert and a beer from the convenience store.

Lots of walking today, from 10am to 4pm, with rest stops. My knee survived the day, the discomfort wasn’t as much the actual walking, it was more to do with wearing the brace all day.