Monday, August 2, 2010

American Tourister

Written August 2, 14:25 (Recap of July 31) Part 1

So I've been using the Frommer's Japan guidebook to plan my trips. Long story short, unless you're a middle aged woman from a tiny podunk town in Nowhere, USA, this book is not for you. Or me. 

For instance, the author only dedicated about 2 pages to Sapporo! Sapporo is the 4th largest city in Japan. It's fairly new relative to the other areas with it's oldest building dating back to 1878 (people started populating this part of Hokkaido in the 1870s). For comparison, the first building on UW was built in 1861. The book insisted on checking out Sapporo's Botanical Garden.

This was a bust. Not that it wasn't large...or didn't have plants. It just wasn't anything discerning from other botanical gardens. It wasn't particularly well kept, lush, or unique. Even worse, the garden boast indigenous plants of other countries (ie: Canada and US) but lacked many of their own. Not a single bonsai in the whole place. It's not worth the 800¥ and 3 very itchy bug bites...unless you're a middled aged woman from Nowhere, USA.

It was clear that we needed to change our plan to good old fashioned urban exploring. Way. More. Fun. We were lucky enough to be in Sapporo for the Summer Festival. On Friday night, the streets were bustling with Japanese tourist and cool Japanese kids in suits and huge punky bleached hair.

Street Fair underway

Some fresh made yakisoba and yakitori (his hat says "Mackdaddy")

One of the main streets with huge advertisements. Reminds me of Time Square. (This place is about 2.5 times as big as Time Square)

The allies have these huge market tunnels with shops, restaurants and pachinko

Gambling for cash illegal in Japan, so Pachinko is hugely popular. Apparently, it's like a vertical pinball machine with out the flippers, if the small ball lands in the right pockets, it releases more balls. you exchange the balls for tokens and then take the tokens outside and exchange for money by another entity not related to the pachinko parlor. 
This place was really, really loud! I'm standing next to the camera and speaking really loud but you can barely hear me.The machine up close.

Tossing the play book and playing it by ear was the best way to go. It usually is. Maybe I should write a travel guide for the 20 something post college student from Modern City, USA...nah, too lazy. There was more to see, thus there is more to come on Sapporo. 


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Powered by Blogger.

Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Blog Archive