Sapporo Snow Festival Day 5

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 17, 2013

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Flag of Japan  , Hokkaido,
Saturday, February 9, 2013

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I discovered this morning that there is a third venue for the Sapporo Snow Festival.  My plan was to go take some pictures ofthe snow sculptures in Odori Park with the morning sunlight and then to head to the third venue at the Sapporo Community Dome, commonly called the Tsudome.

It seemed like a good plan until it got cloudy and started snowing just before I planned to leave.  I hung around the hotel for a while waiting for the weather to change.  It eventually did so I headed out to Odori Park,  Since it was Saturday the festival was quite crowded today.

It was late enough when I reached the train station at the eastern end of Odori Park that I changed my plans.  I decided to go to the Sapporo-shi Tokei-dai aka the Sapporo Clock Tower instead, which was only a couple blocks away.  The building is from the early days of Sapporo.  It was built as part of the Sapporo Agricultural College (now Hokkaido University).  At that time at least the school taught in English and had a number of American teachers and administrators.  The building was built in an American style.  The clock in the Clock Tower is also American from E. Howard & Company in Boston, MA and is now the oldest operating pendulum clock in Japan.

While the Sapporo Clock Tower is one of the major tourist sites in Sapporo it wasn't particularly interesting to me and probably wouldn't be to most people who don't speak Japanese.

Next I went to the Sapporo Terebi-to aka the Sapporo TV Tower back at the eastern end of Odori Park.  The tower has been built to look like the Eiffel Tower but at only 147 meters it's a bit shy of half the height of the original.  I got a ticket, waited in line for an elevator to the third floor and then waited in another line for the elevator to the observation deck at 90 meters.  I got there well before sunset.

The observation deck is small.  It was crowded when I got there and as sunset approached it kept getting more and more packed.  I met a couple American guys who were living in Japan and chatted with them for a while.  It turned out, they weren't together but had just met in the tower.  I kept walking around taking pictures until the sky was dark. We all eventually decided to leave around the same time and headed for the elevator. Surprisingly, there was no line for the elevator going down to the third floor but there was a big line to go from the third floor to the first floor.  We walked the last two floors.

I said goodby to the Americans and wandered over to the Susukino Ice Festival. I found a place for dinner.  I wound up sitting next to  two more Americans from Chicago who both worked in Japan and who, surprisingly, also didn't know each other.  I chatted with them for a while and then after dinner I headed back to my hotel.

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