Sapporo Beer Museum

After what was a long afternoon of getting lost in Sapporo, my wife, her two classmates, and I finally arrived at the Sapporo Beer Museum. When we arrived, the first thing I noticed is what a huge parking lot was near the museum. I’m still not used to seeing large swaths of parking in Japan. It blows my mind that there’s actually space in Japan for large surface parking.

The next thing that caught my eye was the beautiful red brick warehouse and it’s tall smoke stack bearing the iconic red star and name of Sapporo Beer. The museum building was built 1890 and was a sugar factory in its first incarnation. Sapporo Beer took over the facility in 1905. Then in 1987, it became the Sapporo Beer Museum. Admission is free to the museum. And we all know that free is affordable!

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A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Beer Museum

Ah yes. The day that we went to the Sapporo Beer Museum. This day will live in my memory for all the wrong reasons.

After our Japanese language classes had ended for the week, my wife and I had decided to hit up the Sapporo Beer Museum. This is the beer that bears the city’s name after all. Two of my wife’s classmates had decided to join us for our little outing too.

The museum is about a 25 minute walk from our school, but we didn’t feel like walking under the scorching midday summer sun. So we decided to take the bus. We checked in at an info desk in the Tokyu department store. The lady working there told us to take the #88 bus from bus stop #3 just outside the south entrance of the department store. Sounds easy enough.

Oh oh. This isn’t the way to the beer museum, is it?

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Shiroi Koibito Park – The Ishiya Chocolate Factory

If Japan had a company like Willy Wonka, then Ishiya Chocolate would come really close. Ishiya is a famous Japanese chocolate, candy and biscuit brand in Japan. I’ve had the joy and privilege of eating some of their very fine goods. When my wife and I were planning to come to Sapporo, a visit to the Shiroi Koibito Park, home of the Ishiya Chocolate Factory, was right at the top of our list.

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Hokkaido Jingu Shrine

Here’s another trip that was a part of my school program at Hokkaido Japan Language School (JaLS). This afternoon, we headed off to the Hokkaido Jingu Shrine in the middle of Maruyama Park (円山公園 – maruyama kōen). We had to walk over to Ōdori Station again this time, but we boarded the orange Tōzai Line subway train.

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Kendo Experience

Lazy me. I’ve been back from Japan for about 3 weeks now. I’ve been working mostly on my photos and haven’t been blogging at all since the first few days I was in Sapporo. So without further delay, here are my posts on recent trip to Japan.


 

Even before I arrived in Japan, I had gotten an email a few days before flying out. It outlined that we’d be going for an outing the very first day of class. It asked us to wear shorts and sportswear for the first day because we’d be doing Kendo. The email even came with a handy PDF poster for the event.

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Vancouver to Tokyo to Chitose

ANA flight NH115

Having just finished my Hong Kong photos, I am already onto my next trip. My wife and I had been planning something big in celebration of her finishing grad school. So here we are back in Asia. This time, we have decided to do something different. We are learning Japanese in Sapporo, Japan. That’s where we could get beer, ramen, and desserts.

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Hong Kong’s Stanley

If there ever was a nice tourist trap, I think Stanley in Hong Kong would count. This tiny little area on the hilly south side of Hong Kong Island is a magnet for tourists and locals alike. The famed Stanley Market attracts travellers looking for the quintessential Hong Kong souvenir. The waterfront attracts locals looking to enjoy some southern exposure on a sunny January afternoon. Expats love to travel here for a feel of something back home they might miss. This is Stanley.

stanley market on google maps

 

Over a half dozen trips to Hong Kong and I hadn’t been back to Stanley since 1988 when I was just wee pre-teen lad. My only memory of Stanley was getting this cheap little fuzzy caterpillar toy that would move around almost magically via strings attached to my hands. It was a long windy bus ride on the upper deck. Riding along all the tight turns along the rocky edge of Hong Kong Island is an experience on its own.

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Mayor’s Council Updated Regional Transportation Vision

Here’s the highlights of the Metro Vancouver Mayor’s Council vision of regional transportation. This updated vision was prompted by Premier Christy Clark’s insistence on sending transit funding issues to a referendum in the Fall 2014.

mayorscouncil_vision_map

 

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Hong Kong’s Yuen Long

Chinese calligraphy in Ching Shu Hin house in Yuen Long

Yuen Long is a large district in the northwest section of the territory. It was one of the largest town centres in the New Territories outside of the urban core of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I had been meaning to visit this part of Hong Kong on many occasions. I actually got there this time with my sister, parents, and mother-in-law in tow.

First off, you should know about the special day pass for the Yuen Long and Tuen Mun areas of Hong Kong. This pass is not very well advertised on the MTR website. There are only two stations from which you can buy such passes – Nam Cheong and Mei Foo. The pass allows for unlimited travel on the West Rail, the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun LRT, and MTR-run buses in the area.

Tuen Mun – Nam Cheong Day Pass

This was also the first time I ever rode the West Rail. This line was the last of all the Hong Kong rail lines for me to travel upon. I could finally check it off my list.

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