Sapporo is clearly a city with a night life and Friday night on the eve of Golden Week means that everyone is out and about. Here are a few quick and dirty shots from the wide angle lens as we walked out to and from Ramen Alley. Our Ramen chef said no to a photograph of him preparing the meal. After a while he relented as long as I didn’t show behind the counter, because – secret recipe.
We may have bought two tiny Hokkaido cheese tarts on our walk home.
Breakfast did not disappoint. A buffet feast from which I selected grilled salt salmon, fresh tuna, dim sum, cold egg ‘omelette’ and cherry blossom soba noodles with yoghurt juice and coffee.
With a maximum of ten degrees Centigrade predicted, we rugged up for today’s outing.
The tramway system in Sapporo runs a circuit around the city. With a flat fare it’s a good way to get your bearings.
First stop was Mt. Moiwa Ropeway where the ticket Station noted a “slightly good” view from the summit today. By the time we got to the first station up, the “slightly good” optimism had reverted to “poor”. Still it was worth the visit for the landscape alone.
Next was a tram and subway ride to Maruyama Park, the location of the Hokkaido Shrine. We had a most enjoyable lunch at a little place just outside the park gate.
The Hokkaido Shrine was a very active space in Maruyama Park today. This weekend marks the start of Golden Week in Japan, where most everybody takes advantage of a few public holidays that coincide in the one week. Himself even got to take a photograph of some of the visitors to the Shrine.
The Botanic Garden of Hokkaido University aka Sapporo Botanic Gardens was established in 1886. It is also only open from 29 April to mid-November, so our trek across town to visit came to nought.
The cherry blossoms are due any day now, although a few early starters were giving visitors to Maruyama Park and Odori Park some pleasure. I posted earlier today re cherry blossoms and their significance to the Japanese people.
We are off to Ramen Alley for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we pick up a rental car and drive!
At this time of year, a trip to Hokkaido is the only way to possibly see sakura or cherry blossoms. They are just starting to come into bloom and we are likely to miss them at their peak. Nevertheless, those early bloomers gave us some pleasure today in Sapporo.
This word is mono no aware (pronounced mono no ah-wah-reh) and its literal translation is “the pathos of things”.
More fully, it relates to the feeling of gentle wistfulness at the brief and transient nature of beautiful things and an awareness of the sadness of existence.
Hi ka raku you is another beautiful word meaning “blossoms fall and leaves scatter – the impermanence of worldly things”
the coming of spring
beautiful, fragile, short
the blossom’s lesson