Sapporo Snow Festival

I have fulfilled my wish to visit Hokkaido island. I did not see any Hairy Ainu (indigenous people) but I wasn’t really expecting to. I didn’t get to shake hands with an otter but I wasn’t expecting to be able to do that either. I did see the otter. But the wee door it sticks it’s hand through to shake yours was locked. Still, the otter probably has better things to do with it’s time than shake everyone’s hand. Poor thing looked miserable running around in circles in a tiny room and a load of people staring in at it. The penguins, seals, and octopus looked fairly miserable too.

I did see the snow sculptures. They were pretty impressive, especially the really big ones. They had Helsinki Cathedral for gods’ sake. Why they had Helsinki Cathedral of all places, I have no notion but they had it.

I slid down a slide made of ice. It was probably for children but they didn’t stop us from doing it.

I watched skiers jumping off a ramp and falling on their faces. Thoroughly enjoyed that, obviously.

I ate butter ramen, soup curry (you have to say it that way, don’t know why, don’t care (it may just have been my group that insisted on that)), tried barbeque lamb to prove once again how much I do not like lamb, had a warm milky sake drink, and had far too many lattes.

I had 6 layers of clothes on at one point. I did not slip and fall on the snow and ice. I slid down a hill on a sleigh/sledge?, again probably really only for kids but that’s ageism so sod them.

I walked through a snow/ice lantern street by the coast. That was my favourite part, especially as I has mulled wine to fortify me.

We got the ferry there and back so had a wee bunk bed cabin thingy to sleep in. I was grand going but coming back was a bit rockier so was not feeling marvelous by the time I got home. Used the onsen on both boats. Interesting to rock about in a big bath of water rocking about in a boat rocking about on the sea. Got a bit worried that would be the time the boat would decide to sink and I’d die naked whilst attempting to clean myself, reminiscent of my shower on the train from Adelaide to Perth.

And was once again riveted by the fascinating social experiment that is foreigners who teach English in Japan getting together.

Prepare yourselves for many pictures of snow.

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