This was the first time in my travels that I had to throw more than 50% of my itinerary away during the trip. Was quite disappointed that some item on the bucket list were not struck off but am still pleasantly surprised by some finds. Before we even returned, I had already received a few PMs to share my itinerary because it seemed like we were having lotsa fun during the trip. Indeed we were having lotsa fun. But it was not because of the itinerary, it was because we threw the itinerary out of the window. So here I am sharing the supposedly final draft of the itinerary (which I hope is still useful to friends) and at the same time what actually happened, on a table format.
|Hokkaido / OSAKA 2016|
|Plan||Summary of What Actually happened? Detail day to day programme to be provided on later entry.|
|Day 1||Wed||30-Nov||SQ 616 Depart Singapore at 1405
Arrival at Osaka 21.20
Check in Hotel Nikko by 10.15 and sleep by 11pm
|We were held up at the customs and by the time we got out of it, it was almost 10-ish. All plans to tuck the girls in by 11pm because we had to wake up super early to catch the 8.30am flight to Hokkaido. Ended up we had a very late supperof gyudon at our favourite 24-hour sukiya. The hub did his snacks stock up at the convenience store. By the time we were in bed at the airport hotel, it was way past midnight. So, the girls had the least amount of sleep ever at 6 plus hours.|
|Day 2||Thu||1-Dec||> Flight to Chitose Airport (Sapporo) NH1711 0800
> Arrival 0950
> Book Asahiyama Train tickets
> Buy Kitaca (trains)
> Play at Doraemon Waku Waku Park
> Lunch @ Doraemon or Hello Kitty Cafe
> Hello Kitty Happy Flight**
> Train to Otaru around 1500 (90 mins approx)
> Check into Airbnb
> Dinner at Otaru
|Detailed post here
Everything went according to plan except:
|Day 3||Fri||2-Dec||>Sankaku Market?
> Mt Tengu Ropeway
> Lunch at Mt Tengu (Combo set)
> Otaru Music Box Museum
> Ice-cream at Venetian Cafetaria
> Glass House or Otaru Museum
> Tea time at LeTao
|A super dramatic day! Decided to put Mt Tengu towards the end of the day. Ended up we got lost in snow storm and all plans got pushed back by at least 2 hours. Mt Tengu was closed by the time we wanted to go due to bad weather. Almost had no ice-cream and almost had to leave Otaru in regret the next day. Made a mad dash to eat the rainbow ice-cream before the shop closed. Then walk in the crazy snow again along the canal.|
|Day 4||Sat||3-Dec||> Breakfast
> Train back to Sapporo
> Check in Hotel or drop luggage
> Ask Hotel staff to help make reservation at Sapporo Kani Honke for 6/12 and dinner/lunch plus ticket to Mt Moiwa for 4/12
> Daimaru Pokemon Center
> Shop around the Sapporo Station
> JR Obsertory deck
|Plan completely trashed.
Tried our luck to get up to Mt Tengu. Sacrificed the night view thinking, well we still had Mt Moiwa. Spent half a day there and had BK for lunch.
Went to Sapporo, checked in and went Xmas market for a short while, thinking that we could visit again since it was so near. But WRONG! We never stepped foot in it ever again. Had quick snack and went to the only thing we followed on the itinerary, the Pokemon Center which was a complete disappointment.And nope, we did not go up the JR observatory deck. Just shopped around the area and discovered the rows of ‘turn turn turn’. And nope, we did not make any reservation for Kani Honke (HUGE REGRET) and nope we did not make any reservation for Mt Moiwa restaurant.
|Day 5||Sun||4-Dec||>Sapporo Central Wholesale Market / Curb Market or Nijo Fish Market
> Rera Outlet / Mitsui Outlet / Shop around susukino areaORSapporo Beer factory> Mt Moiwa Ropeway (Consider lunch or dinner at Mt Moiwa)
|Followed nothing on the list.
Went to Maruyama Zoo which means bye bye Asahiyama Zoo. Good call by daddy…more on that in later post.Went for a buffet that is popular among the locals. Their buffet style is just too different from ours but we just whacked the crab to compensate for not going to Kani Honke.Briefly saw the famous clock tower.
|Day 6||Mon||5-Dec||> Asahiyama Zoo
> Shop around Sapporo station
> Sapporo Winter Illumination
> Walk around Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park
|Nope we did not go Asahiyama Zoo. We went back to Otaru instead. But totally love OTARU! found a good place to shop and I got to ARCADE! No complaint. I can’t even remember what we had for dinner.
And we did not step foot into susukino AT ALL! Another ‘amazing thing we did’ LOL! Figured we can forget about shopping and eating with the troop.
|Day 7||Tue||6-Dec||> Shiroi Koibito Park (Tozai Line Miyanosawa station) opens at 9am
> Central Wholesale market (Jyogaiichiba- 幌市中央卸売市場) (tozai line Nijuyonken station)
> Aeon Shopping Centre (14 mins walk)
> Odori Park
> Sapporo TV Tower
>Dinner at Kani Honke http://www.kani-honke.co.jp/
|Heavy heavy snow day again. Had to cab from the station to Shiroi Koibito Park.
Thought we would stay for a short while, we stayed half a day. Bye bye Central market, bye bye Aeon and whatever is there on the itinerary. Snow was bad and there was no cab for us to return to the station. Walked in our 3rd heavy snow but it was simply memorable. Thankfully there was a Seiyu in the area to grab some shopping.
Had our first and last ramen in Sapporo…ya I know…
ARCADE! HAPPY ME!
|Day 8||Wed||7-Dec||> Return Flight to Osaka NH774 at 1100
> Arrival at 1300 at Itami
> Airport Shuttle @ 1330 or 1415
> Arrival at USJ @ 1415 or 1500
>Check in Universal Port Hotel
> Train to Hep Five
> Dinner @ Gudetama Café
|Bye bye Hokkaido. Super cold morning. Long bus ride to the airport due to traffic. Almost late for flight actually. Couldn’t do much shopping again. Oh well…I already gave up by then.
Touched down Itami and almost missed the bus because they took so long to put baggage on the belt. Thank goodness the lady at the ticket counter told the bus to wait for us!!
Checked in and went downtown Osaka. Did not go HEP FIVE for the ferris wheel, just shopped around really. We did have dinner at Gudetama cafe.
|Day 9||Thu||8-Dec||>USJ||Decided to go LEGOLAND before heading to USJ as our pass was a 1.5 day plan. LEGOLAND was great. We also went Tempozan Ferris Wheel since we skipped HEP FIVE. It was awesome!|
> Airport shuttle 7.10pm
SQ 615 Depart Kansai 11.30pm
Arrive Singapore 5.40am
|Probably the only day that went as plan…but also thanks to the good call by the daddy to buy the express pass.|
Actually this final itinerary is a very watered down version of my initial itinerary which was so packed that we even had to cover Hakodate and Niseko. But I am glad that we did not go ahead because I think what ever we have done for this trip really stretched us and the kids a lot, given the weather and conditions. I definitely will be finding another chance to visit to tick off the places that we did not go but probably not during winter. Summer maybe…for the flowers as well.