Monday 06 February – Wednesday 08 February
With Zao onsen in the rear vision mirror we made our way to Sapporo via train. The trip took most of the day but we kept ourselves interested with Uno and food, the scenery outside was pretty with mountains and small towns covered in snow. That night we arrived in Sapporo, checked into the Hotel Sapporo Met’s where we would be staying for the duration of our stay then made our way downtown to find a nice ramen dinner and see the Sapporo Snow Festival 「札幌雪まつり」(Sapporo yuki matsuri).
We were lucky to find a ramen shop in the crowded streets, however, the Ramen cook at the shop certainly was a character and wasn’t too pleased with her shop being full of Australian foreigners… despite her harsh nature the ramen was great. We then wandered around and saw the really cool ice sculptures in the streets before returning to the lobby beers and chills.
The next day Jason and I planned to travel to Yoichi 「余市」 to visit the famous Nikka Whiskey Distillery 「余市蒸溜所」(Yoichi jōryū-sho).
The whiskey there is considered so good it has received various awards in 2015 and most recently the World Whiskey Award in 2016. The hour and a half train ride there was fun with the beautiful scenery outside, we even met some Australians.
Once at Yoichi we attempted to navigate to the Distillery but ended up a little lost so we decided to follow the mass of foreigners and luckily lead us to there. Inside the Distillery was not what I expected it look more like a small closed off village than a factory. We made our way to quickly to taste testing where we tried Apple Wine, Takesura and Super rare old.
However, the real stuff we found later on after leaving the shop. There was the aged single caste whiskey that we tasted. It was amazing and a shame we were out of time and had to leave.
Once we regrouped with the rest of the guys, we went to visit the Sapporo Beer Museum were we learnt about the history and how to pour the perfect Sapporo Beer.
After the Museum, we went next door to a restaurant where we drank and ate seafood, a few speeches were spoken and lots of love was shared. Our last night in Tokyo was tomorrow.