I have to blog about this trip in parts because it will be too long if I do it in one post. So bear with me.
My trip to Japan was not a planned trip at all. Considering the fact that I have never been to Japan, I wouldn’t say it was a properly planned one. I knew I wanted to go somewhere on the first week of May so my first choice was Hanoi, Vietnam but then via AirAsiaGO, I saw that the price to Sapporo, Hokkaido was almost the same.
Hokkaido immediately became my first choice because the hottest it could get was 16°C and I just wanted to get away from the scorching weather of Singapore and Malaysia!
Since I have never been to Hokkaido or Japan itself, I NEED to know what to expect. That’s just me, sometimes I can’t be spontaneous. So I read blogs to find out about transportation, food, places to visit etc. Most of them are just too vague and I wish they could be more specific so I am going to try and be detailed in case you are like me.
My trip was only for 4 days and 3 nights (too short!). AirAsia X had the cheapest deal obviously. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), they have a direct flight to Sapporo. It’s about 8 hours journey there, it’s best you take the Flatbed but it’s very limited so you have to book early.
My flight from KUL was an overnight flight so I left at 2335hr on 3rd May and arrived at around 0815hr on 4th May.
DAY 1 (4 May 16, 11°C): Moerenuma Park, Sapporo
It was raining slightly when we arrived at New Chitose Airport and I was not used to raining and windy in that temperature so I was struggling a bit.
When I was reading people’s blogs about their Hokkaido trip, I found out that renting a car is the most convenient was to get around Hokkaido. I am not sure if it’s cheaper than travelling by public transport but I agree it was easier to drive there mostly because you don’t have to walk so much in the cold weather. (hot cannot, cold also cannot just what do I want?)
There are plenty of car-rental companies but the cheapest one with English website and GPS was OTS Rent-A-Car. I would highly recommend renting from them. They were easy to deal with and were very helpful. The car we rented was Toyota Aqua but in Malaysia it’s known as Toyota Prius and it was a Hybrid car so you really saved a lot!
There’s a free shuttle bus provided by OTS to pick you up from the airport to their office.
The total cost was ¥12,000 for 3 days but I rented it together with a portable wi-fi that costs an extra ¥2,000 so the total was ¥14,000. You may want to get the Expressway Pass too, it works like Smart-Tag in Malaysia but they have a 2-day price (at least) for tourists. If you pay cash at the toll it can be very expensive so it’s best you get the pass especially if you plan to travel outside Sapporo – which you should!
(Important: If you have a Malaysian driving license, you need to get the International Driving Permit at JPJ to be able to drive in Japan. It costs RM150 for a year)
We didn’t have a plan on our first day there, as I said, I didn’t properly plan for this trip. It didn’t help that it was raining.
Besides reading blogs, I also searched ‘Sapporo’, ‘Hokkaido’ tags or places on Instagram to see where people go to and discovered Moerenuma Park. Since we didn’t plan to go out of Sapporo on our first day, so we decided to just explore Sapporo – in the rain.
Sapporo has some beautiful parks but Moerenuma was my favourite.
From the top of the hill, you can see tennis courts, baseball field, a river and mountains. It was not too high to climb so you’ll be fine.
It was also the day I discovered the best part of Japan. Their toilets!
They are clean, dry and warm! The build-in bidets are the best. Maybe it’s weird that I’m excited about toilets but it’s the one thing I missed when I returned to Malaysia. The ‘music’ button is for making flush sound. I am not sure why but Azlani said it’s for when you make a lot of sound when you shit. LOL maybe.
That’s all for now. I will continue Part 2 of my trip next time! :)