Day 4—good morning Sapporo! The weather started to get cold that day. It drizzled, then it rained, and then later on we heard it was starting to snow in Asahikawa (where we were going). But it was still going to be a great day!
I had a small breakfast of sweet potato and kurumi mochi.
We wanted to get an early start, so after checking out of the hotel we went straight to the Shiroi Koibito Park! It was on the way to Asahikawa, but I knew that I definitely wanted to visit the factory first. It’s Shiroi Koibito, after all—I couldn’t leave Sapporo without having a taste of the famous cookies at the very place they’re made
There were a lot of visitors even though it was raining at that time. The park was still beautiful with all the rain, but unfortunately I couldn’t take nice pictures of the gardens because it was a lot of trouble balancing my umbrella and camera and the rest of my stuff. Speaking of the umbrellas, they were borrowed from the parkThey had a lot around for visitors to use when walking from one building to another, which I thought was nice of them.
Got our factory tickets! They came with a Shiroi Koibito cookie for each personIn the factory we got to see the production line. It was cool seeing the cookies being rolled out on long conveyor belts and being put together layer by layer. If I were working there I’d be so tempted to just eat the discarded ones
I tried Shiroi Koibito ice cream at the souvenir shopIt’s like a tastier version of vanilla. Also, soft cream is probably my favourite kind of ice cream so I loved it even more. There were a lot of other sweet souvenirs but I didn’t have time for a proper lookAlthough I think most of them (if not all) can be found at the airport anyway.
We set off again at noon
My dad had managed to rent a car, so the plan was to drive to Asahikawa. Before we started the two-hour journey we stopped for lunch at a small steak restaurant on the outskirts of Sapporo! I’m not really a meat person, so I had the salad bar meal where I could help myself to any of the a la carte dishes there. Curry and rice were included too
And then off we drove to Asahikawa
I’m so glad we got to drive, because the scenery while on the Hokkaido roads are the best. Blue skies and wide open spaces! There were mountains everywhere too. The highlight of the day was probably the drive
Compared to the other places I’d been to, Asahikawa was quieter and more residential. It was that time between seasons where many tourist spots weren’t open—the summer activities had just ended and winter hadn’t quite arrived yet. But I still enjoyed the city a lotEspecially the ramen.
This was from Santouka Ramen! The hotel staff said they were number one in town. Since it was just down the street we went down for dinner and tried both miso and shoyu ramen
Also, I was kind of full that night because I actually had a mini dinner before the ramen. I stayed in Toyoko Inn, which is a business hotel chain that’s known for its tidy, no-frills quality. They served dinner for free a few times a week (and breakfast every morning). On that day they had curry rice so I had to have a little bit
I realise that I ate curry rice a lot during this trip. I just really like it haha.
It was like eating a school meal—everyone (mostly businessmen in their suits) lined up in front of the counter and the serving lady would scoop out the rice and curry for each person. And then we’d get our own pickles for the curry, and sit down at a table in the lobby to eat. I thought that was cute of the hotel to give its guests meals, especially something as homey as curry rice.
Asahikawa gave me lots of pleasant memories ♪ I didn’t even mind the rain much. That was the day it started getting really cold.
That’s all for that day! It was near the end of our Hokkaido journeyBut I still spent time in Asahikawa, Furano and Biei on the last day, so I’m going to enjoy writing about it.