Posts Tagged ‘Shopping’

Life Below Sapporo

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

At times the streets of Sapporo can appear to be deserted – where are all the people?  The official statics suggest that around 2 million people live in the city and yet many of them don’t appear on the streets in the city centre.

The reason for this becomes apparent when you leave the footpaths and descended below ground and down into the intricate network of Sapporo’s underground walkways.  This is where you find the crowds.

In summer, the temperatures here ease up into the hight 20′s (degrees C). During the winter months, Sapporo’s temperatures drop to below freezing and monthly snowfalls in excess of a meter are the norm.  Throughout the year locals descend underground to avoid Mother Nature but they also use the underground passageways because they are a great way to move about the city.

The intricate and extensive walkways are aligned with the subway system and are also home to hundreds of shops and restaurants.  You can get off the train, buy your morning coffee and pastry, enter your office building from below and start work.  A very comfortable way to live.

And if you think that being underground with thousands of people would be rather noisy – think again.  This is Japan.  The locals don’t “do noise” so the experience of being underground is quite serene. A bit like a cosy burrow.

When in Sapporo, get down and get moving – just like the locals.  You won’t be disappointed.

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Milliners Delight

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Big ones and small ones.  Tight and bright.  Loose and lairy. Practical and ridiculous or just downright puzzling.  These are just some of the descriptions for the hats that people choose to wear here in Sapporo.

The capital of Hokkaido is a milliner’s heaven.  The locals here are conformists on so many levels but when it comes to hats they are very individual.  Hats and bikes are the two ways that “Hokkaidoites” express themselves publicly and they go to great lengths to select head coverings that reflect their personalities.

It seems that every second shop sells hats and none of them are alike.  Indeed, choosing a hat here is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.  However, it is a lot of fun trying them on and parading oneself like a Milan fashion model in front of the full length mirrors!

Need to cover you head when hiking?  Want that next best thing to wear to the horse races?  After a little something to look like Peter Sellers in the Inspector Clouseau movie?  Well, you will find it all here in Sapporo.  Just be ready to be overwhelmed by the variety of options on offer.  And make sure you have a whole lot of fun in the process!

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