Sapporo Christmas Market

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The 17th annual Sapporo Munich Christmas Market. It’s has a selection of vendors from Russia, Poland, Germany, Japan, and other far flung nations. They’ve got roasted nuts, matryoshka dolls, Christmas ornaments, and novelty foods galore. Multiple varieties of hot wine, cider, and beer are available. Want a […]

Sushi Take-out

One of those Japanese experiences that doesn’t get old for me, even after a decade: going out for sushi. And for budget minded folks like us that means kaitenzushi (回転寿司, conveyor belt sushi). So today we walked to our favorite kaitenzushi spot here in Sapporo, Toriton (トリトン). It’s a medium sized chain that is very […]

Snowbugs Ain’t No Fun

Autumn has really settled in here in Sapporo. I’ve been eyeing up my snowshoes. First snows could be only a few weeks away. More likely around Christmas time, but one can always hope. In the meantime, we are stuck with consistent rain and temperatures hovering around 5 Celsius. In the early morning. If we do […]

Ukrainian Animal Crackers in Japan

March 2003, eating a hot dog from a vendor near my hotel in Kiev, Ukraine. Lots of cabbage on top, kinda like coleslaw. Not my proudest world culinary moment. I hardly remember any of the food eaten on that Trans-Siberian trip, but that hot doggy thing under a streetlight at dusk still sticks. I remember […]

Japanese Beer Can Artwork

With only four primary brewers battling it out for supremacy amongst Japanese consumers, and a micobrew scene that remains straight jacketed by anachronistic laws, Japanese marketing has to really pull out all stops to distinguish themselves on the supermarket shelf. Kirin decided to really turn on the Hokkaido charm by featuring the winding Chitose River, […]

Crampon Winter Hiking

For the past three winters I’ve felt that the mountains of Hokkaido were a no-go. Snow and ice made impassible trails that were downright dangerous to even attempt. My wife was even under the misguided belief that the mountain trails were “closed”, i.e.  it was illegal to even go there. As preposterous as that sounds, […]

The Sound of Silence

Winter is now fully here, no turning back this time. Pretty much a constant accumulation of snow, low temperatures, shoveling, and most importantly – snowshoeing, until at least mid March. This past week I’ve gotten to fully field test my Tubbs Wilderness snowshoes as well, as all my other trekking gear, in Asahiyama Park. Asahiyama, […]