Upon checking out of Toyoko Inn, I deposited my luggage at the concierge and took the subway to reach Tanuki Koji shopping street. As it was still early, I wandered around. Shops along this street mostly open at 10am.
Still very empty and shops were closed at the time I reached.
Spotted the Sapporo TV tower round the corner.
Shops were still closed! I visited this pet shop later in the day.
But I was glad to encounter Don Quijote.This is an amazing place. It is open 24hours and consist of several floors, which sells a genre of items, ranging from toys to winter clothes to food and cosmetics. I was really excited to come across this shop as I read about it in other magazines..and so I started exploring the highest floor to the 1st floor.
winter clothes on sale!
Boy, all different designs of winter clothes started appearing in front of my eyes at real cheap prices! Moral of the story: Coming from Singapore where winter is a never-to-occur phenomenon, winter apparel are definitely sold more expensive than in Japan. You could just wear a basic jacket to Sapporo. Hop to the subway station and make your way to Tanukikoji. Get your winter clothes right here in the heart of Sapporo shopping! I bet places like Aurora Town, Pole Town also have loads of winter clothes on sales and these shops are usually tax-free if you spend above a certain amount. So there I was, awed by the choices and the prices. I basically could get everything there without lugging the load from Singapore.
Saw a few Ted merchandise and also the usual jigsaw puzzles which I hearted! Never understood why they were sold at exorbitant prices in Singapore until I bought my first jigsaw puzzle in Japan 2 years back. If I could, I would have purchased the jigsaw puzzle frame as well! But, I didnt haha..
After spending some time exploring this complex, I went out to visit other shops. There are a couple of pharmacies where you can get beauty products, interesting medical aids at real cheap prices. That also includes souvenirs, famed food products like Shiroi koibito cookies, Pocky in melon flavors.
And then, I chanced upon this following pet shop. The puppies and kittens were all so cute! I do notice most people in Sapporo have dogs, but I do not see pet owners with cats..
I have a train to catch at 220pm. So time is tight. After getting my "loot" from Tanukikoji and grabbing a quick lunch, I made my way to Muji at JR Sapporo station. There is yet another unknown reason why products are sold more expensive in Muji @ Singapore as compared to Japan. In Japan, Muji products have more varieties. So I was happily shopping around before the time was up to get ready for the 4 hour train ride to Kushiro!
So there I was.. dragging..really dragging my big fat luggage to the station from Toyoko Inn. Every effort to move my stuff really took so much energy out from me. In fact, I was perspiring in the cold winter. And I was so relieved it was a reserved seat as I did not have to face the same predicament I did on my first day with my fat luggage!
Train ride from Sapporo to Kushiro...you can see how the landscape changes outside the train window.. There aren't many buildings located at eastern Hokkaido, it is mainly occupied by huge vasts of land, which was then occupied with heavy snow when I was there. So I zzzed on and off until I reached the terminal station Kushiro! It was already pitch dark at 7pm. And it was so much colder than in Sapporo...
Once again, I dragged my luggage out of the station and I'm happy to see Comfort Hotel Kushiro signboard at a short distance away, kinda about 5min walk away. Saw some interesting sights along the way outside the station.
Looks very magical. I am not sure what this is for though? Maybe a mini celebration for snow festival in Kushiro.
Checkin was smooth and the room was very clean. I was so happy to reach safely as I was initially afraid the train may be cancelled due to heavy snow. After placing my luggage, I went out to search for dinner but could not find any shops open :( So I settled upon some food purchased from 7-11. The only shop I saw still open at 7pm...
Saw these marimos at Kushiro train station. These are famous at Lake Akan. Unfortunately, there was no time in this trip to visit the Lake Akan area. Should do it in next visit!
A satisfied stomach with some cold beer to send myself to sleep... Awaiting for the exciting wildlife adventure ahead beginning from tomorrow!