Hokkaido, Japan 2016 Day 2: Exploring Otaru & Sapporo

Otaru Music Box Museum

Day 2 of travels in Hokkaido included the Otaru Music Box Museum

October 3, 2016 ~ Day 2 in Hokkadio, Japan.

Breakfast was at 7 a.m. on the 3rd floor where the reception area was.  I woke up at 6 a.m. to get ready.  I was impressed with the continental breakfast.

I’ve had Japanese continental breakfasts before and this one sure didn’t disappoint.  There were typical Western choices like eggs, toast, and cereal, and also some Japanese style congee, vegetables, meats, and more.  They also had natto and seaweed in convenient packs — I’ve tried this before and absolutely love that stuff! ^_^

Mercure Hotel view

View outside Mercure Hotel

breakfast buffet selection at Mercure Hotel

Wide range of breakfast buffet selection at Mercure Hotel

Japanese breakfasts

Delicious! I love Japanese breakfasts!

Our tour began at 8 a.m. and the first stop of the day was at the Otaru Canal.  It was a clear day and not too hot; just right for a t-shirt and a light jacket if the cool breeze bothered you.

Otaru Canal

Otaru Canal

To be honest, the Otaru Canal wasn’t that impressive but it was pretty and picturesque.

Next up, we went to a street in Otaru which had a Music Box Museum, Glass Shop, souvenir shops, and soft serve ice cream.

We were given two hours until 11:15 a.m. to explore here.

Otaru Music Box Museum

Otaru Music Box Museum

The Otaru Music Box Museum was as the name suggests; full of music boxes and there was music box music playing throughout.  It was a bit annoying, especially to someone like me who wasn’t a huge fan of music boxes.  They all sound the same after a while.  However, due to the nature of the building, there were tons of music boxes of every type, shape, design, and colour.  My favourite was the one resembling sushi, naturally :p.

 Sushi music box

There were so many types of music boxes, one of which included these sushi ones!

 Cute frogs

This cute little frog display was so cute!

Halloween in Otaru

Otaru celebrating an early Halloween

cakes and rice crackers at souvenir shops

Sampling rice crackers and snacks

After that, we look a quick look-see at the glass shop, ate copious amounts of sample cakes and rice crackers at the souvenir shops, and then enjoyed some local ice cream at a popular spot.  This ice cream place boasted 8 flavours all stacked on top of one another but I tried a single flavour, lavender, instead since I’ve never been there before.  It was really smooth and quite unique.  It smelled good too.

rice crackers at souvenir shop

Many different flavours of rice crackers

Baumkuchen Fairy's Forest cake

Baumkuchen Fairy’s Forest cake!!

 Glass shop Hokkaido

Glass shop

 Glass frogs

Glass frogs!

 Hokkaido milk ice cream

Hokkaido milk ice cream!

lavender ice cream

Out of the eight flavours, we chose the lavender ice cream

Straight to lunch we went after this.  We had a shabu-shabu except with seafood this time of salmon and shrimp at the Seaport Market.

Shabu-shabu at Seaport Market

Shabu-shabu at Seaport Market

Seafood shabu-shabu

Seafood shabu-shabu

 Seaport Market

Browsing the Seaport Market

 Seaport Market

Lots of sealife ready to be sold..

After lunch, we went to the Sapporo Citizen Disaster Prevention Center.  Wow this was so fun!  Japan is “famous” for having tragic and serious earthquakes, thus this place was meant to be a fun yet very educational place to learn and experience certain tragedies like earthquakes, fires, wind storms.

Sapporo Citizen Disaster Prevention Center

Map of the center

Sapporo Citizen Disaster Prevention Center activities

Each activity was so unique and “fun”!

We experienced a stimulated 6.5 earthquake in a pretend living room.  It started off slow and then was quite dramatic.  I can’t imagine what a real one truly feels like..  May my loved ones and I never get to experience a real serious one.

The fire extinguishing one was fun and funny too.  My mom and I were the only ones not unable to extinguish the stimulated 3D fire since I didn’t aim at the X properly. 😂

The 30 m/s wind storm chamber was interesting and definitely windy inside.

We got to try on a firefighter outfit too and take photos with a fire truck.

Next stop was the Hokkaido Shrine.  Historic, a shrine where you wash your hands in a traditional way before entering.

Hokkaido Shrine Chōzuya

Chōzuya at Hokkaido Shrine

Hokkaido Shrine

Approaching the Hokkaido Shrine

Hokkaido Shrine

You can receive a fortune at the shrine too

We had an hour to rest up at the hotel or walk around. We went to Daiso! That 100 yen store (think dollar stores) is amazing and has so many cheap knick knacks. I could have spent a full hour in here.

 Sapporo city centre

Sapporo city centre

Daiso 100 yen store

Daiso 100 yen store

Dinner was at the Zen on the 3rd floor.  I tried the hot food (amazing selection) and two shrimps and a scallop on the grill.  The shrimps were very fresh and tasted so good.

 Seafood BBQ at Zen

Seafood BBQ at Zen

 Seafood BBQ at Zen

A ton of hot cooked food available for the buffet and lots of raw food available for the BBQ

After dinner, we returned back to the hotel.  It was around 7 and I was in search of more food before we left Sapporo.

 Ramen house in Sapporo

Ramen house in Sapporo

We went to have ramen and dumplings and unagi rice at two restaurants near the hotel.

The server at the ramen house was rude as heck.  After we placed our order with him in the empty ramen shop, he dramatically rolled his eyes at us.  (We ordered one ramen set to share between the two of us.)  Thus, while the food was decent — I loved the rich and soupy broth and the half-boiled egg — I wouldn’t recommend this place because I despised how the server treated us.  It was so rude.

 Ramen in Sapporo

Ramen in Sapporo

The unagi rice at the second restaurant was good but the unagi eel had so many bones in it!  Is this how real authentic unagi is supposed to taste like?!  We also ordered a tuna sashimi that was soft but also too chewy.

 Tuna sashimi

Tuna sashimi at the unagi restaurant (since we had to order two sets of food for two people)

 Unagi rice set

Unagi rice set


Unagi in Hokkaido!

I’m grateful still to have been able to try these authentic eats in Hokkaido though!

 Unagi restaurant in Hokkaido

Unagi restaurant in Hokkaido

I’m ready for Day 3 tomorrow.

View the blog posts for Day 1, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, and Day 7 of my Hokkaido 2016 trip!

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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7 Responses to Hokkaido, Japan 2016 Day 2: Exploring Otaru & Sapporo

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