Otaru - The Music Box Paradise

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Flag of Japan  , Hokkaido,
Saturday, February 10, 2007

(back to Sapporo, The Snow Festival Entry)

(second day of the trip)
Around 9 pm, we caught a rapid train to Otaru. The travel time between Sapporo and Otaru it takes about 30 minutes (620.00 per person; for a single trip). Otaru is a port town in western Hokkaido located on the northern tip of the Shiribeshi district. The town was formerly called Otarunai (it means "River of Sands" in Ainu) and was later renamed to Otaru (it means "small barrel" in Japanese).

One of the most popular tourist site in the town is Otaru Canal, which is the symbol of this small city. The gaslights and stone warehouses along the canal producing a beautiful nightscape popular with couples. There are many cafes, museums, glass workshops, restaurants and shops as well as the brewery restaurant belonging to Otaru Beer in this area. Moreover, if you like music boxes, Otaru is a place would definitely satisfy you. If you walk along the town, you will find many music boxes workshops, where hundreds of models are on display, both large and small, including early 19th century antique examples for sale. Also, you can make your own music box according to your preferences! (You can even paint or draw images on the box as well as to choose your favorite music.) This is the funniest part of making a music box!

There were hundreds of "ice candle lights" along the canal side making the canal really beautiful.

(third day of the trip)
The next morning we walked to the central bus station and caught the Kiroro bus to the Kiroro Snow World. There are mountains for ski (beginners to professionals) and a snow park in Kiroro Snow World. The entrance fee of the Snow Park it cost 500.00 per person.
In a huge snow field, there weren't other people around, only me and Mr. K.

Inside the snow park, there are snow maze, snow boat, snowmobile, etc.

That day it seemed longer than usual. We got back to the Otaru Canal after the fun time in the Kiroro Snow World. The Otaru Canal is always beautiful. I saw many workers were busy to place the candle along the canalside and were busy to "make snow", the snow statue and the sculpture there were started to melt, so they had to put more snow back to the sculpture. The temperature that day was -1C, not so cold, and I did a stupid thing by placing my hand on the snow with hand gloves off to test how cold it was, within a second, I felt dumb and a horrible pain on my hand.

(last day of the trip)
Mount Moiwa is one of several forested, small mountains surrounding the city of Sapporo. There is an observation platform and restaurant on its summit with spectacular day and night time views of the city.
This morning, we got up very early and went to Mount Moiwa before going to the airport. From Susukino, we took Sapporo's streetcar line to "Ropeway Iriguchi" station (about 20 minutes). From there, we got to the lower station of the Mount Moiwa Ropeway within a 5 minutes walk.

The ropeway ride is followed by a short ride on a chair lift to the summit. A round trip costs 1200.00.

To view more photos taken in Hokkaido (Sapporo and Otaru), please follow the link below:

Here is a video about Hokkaido I edited with Imovie and Garage Band @v@
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