Sapporo, the largest city on Hokkaido and also its capital. The uniqueness and convenience of its underground shopping center connected with its rail system are both clean and bright. People rarely need to go out doors unless the weather is good. We stayed at the Sapporo Park Hotel next to the Nakajima Park 中島.
Jozankei Onsen (定山溪溫泉) known for its hot spring. It is located about an hour from Sapporo by bus, in the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. There are many hotels with variations of indoor and outdoor baths. The hotels can charge admission or rooms for overnight stay. They are mostly located between the high cliffs of Toyohira River. The Park has many hiking trails and a lot of free foot baths. In autumn, the foliage sets the pace.
About 30 minutes away from Sapporo is Otaru(小樽市). It is a port city of Ishikari Bay. Its characteristic canal lined with Victorian style street lamps mystify the night. The town is well-known for fresh sushi as well as the different style of fish balls and other seafood products. It is also known for its music box museum. Besides a music box store, it also has a beautiful glass art-work store and other arts and crafts stores. There is plenty to look and purchase as the time flies by.
The neighboring town of Otaru is Yoichi. It is the home of Nikka Whiskey. The distillery was founded by Taketsuru Masataka who was the first Japanese to bring Scottish whiskey distillery technique to Japan. It is open for visitors and free tasting is available.
The new Chitose Airport is the most fun airport I have been. It has a movie theater, a place for a hot spring bath, a fun place for children and a restaurant cater only to children and best of all a chocolate making factory. Parents, be careful, your children might not want to leave when it is time to board the plane.