|Photo source: http://sapporobeer.com/our-beers.html
I stayed in Sapporo, Japan for a short period of time. The word 'short' means a lot to me. It means that my stay was never enough to discover everything about Sapporo. The word also means to me to make the most of my stay as I may never be able to go back to Sapporo again. The Philippines is geographically closer to Japan but going to Japan is an expensive thing to do. Sapporo makes a difference because there are no direct flights to Sapporo from Manila. It takes two air travels to reach destination - ours, we traveled to Korea and from Korea to Sapporo.
In my sojourn, Sapporo will always be memorable to me. I am sharing my top five food adventures while I was there.
|If cannot read and write Nihongo, be sure to ask about the costs before ordering.
1. Eating Japanese foods. Literally means, entering a Japanese restaurant and ordering Japanese foods. When in Japan, be Japanese. For me eating Japanese foods encompasses doing the right things in Japan especially during meal time. I am no stranger to eating Japanese foods as there is plentiful of Japanese restaurants in the Philippines. Eating the Japanese way also include the right etiquette while eating. The hardest thing for me to do is the chopstick 101. I am raised with the spoon and fork culture. I tried my best but I felt inferior in my chopsticks skills. In our regular breakfast buffet, I had to request for spoon and fork aside from having chopsticks with me. In case I can't make it, I have my spoon and fork. As a result, I practiced a lot of chopsticks eating when I went back to the Philippines.
|Kanpai! and lots of eating to be done.
2. Sapporo beer. Where else in the world is a place as famous as beer than Sapporo? Kanpai! You will miss everything about Sapporo if you have not tasted Sapporo beer. When we arrived at the airport, we were greeted with big posters about Sapporo beer. There are lots of 7/11 stores all over Japan including Sapporo (as 7/11 is Japanese company, right?). So if you find it expensive buying Sapporo beer in your high-end hotel, go out and visit 7/11.
3. Sapporo water. I learned that Sapporo water is the best water in Japan. Why? They told me this: Sapporo is closest to Siberia, where there is plenty of ice. Presumably, Sapporo could be one of the coldest parts of Japan if that is the case. Then, the melting of ice and the cold temperature brings about the best of Sapporo's water. Hence, water inside my hotel room is potable. I tasted it and tried it indeed.
|Shiroi Koibito Cookie Production Line. Reflection means we only see through glasses.
|Inside Shiroi Koibito Chocolate Factory
4. Cookies and chocolates. When we say chocolates and cookies in Sapporo, I am referring to Shiroi Koibito. Shiroi Koibito is associated to the famed cookies and chocolates of Ishiya company. Today, Shiroi Koibito is a theme park where there is the chocolate factory. One can visit the park and be amazed by its amazing beauty and likewise enter the facility. The facility includes a real view of the production line, museum part and of course, taking home chocolates and cookies with you. For more information about Shiroi Koibito, their website is http://www.shiroikoibitopark.jp/
|Not just my ordinary corn in Odori Park.
5. Street food. We are familiar in the Philippines with plenty of street foods such as those chicken feet, peanuts, barbecue and many more. How about visiting the park and try a different taste? I did. We visited the Odori Park and tried some corn. It may look similar corn with ours. Nothing could be different but the taste will make it unique. I can't explain the taste that it is so yummy. I did not ask of what they mix with the whole corn to have a very nice taste - somewhat combination of condiments. By the way, whole corn was bigger than our regular corn in the Philippines.
There rest of what I did, I also tried saki wine (rice wine) and the different kinds of tea in the buffet area. I didn't care about my stomach's reaction to foods different from what I am used to eat or drink in my country. Nothing bad happened, I enjoyed food - lots of them. I long to be back again in Sapporo. Aside from the foods I enjoyed, modesty aside, the Japanese are indeed courteous and disciplined people.
Photo credits: Supt Ricardo Perdigon, Fr. Benjie Ventajar and sapporobeer.com