Thursday, December 6, 2012

Birthday Celebration in Sapporo

If you were reading this blog in June, the month of Ted’s birthday, you might remember that we celebrate the entire month, not just the day we were born.  June is Ted’s month and December is mine, which is quite nice, being six months apart.
Yesterday we took a birthday/month trip to Sapporo.  We took the bus for a couple of reasons.  It is cheaper than the train and Ted couldn’t drive if he had a beer while in Sapporo. 

In the pocket of the bus seat is a safety card, just like on the plane, but a lot simpler.

We headed to the art museum first, but stopped for a photo opportunity at the Former Hokkaido Government Office Building.  This building was constructed in 1888 as a base of administration for Hokkaido.  This American neo-baroque style building was built entirely from local materials.  It was unique to Japan, being one the of the largest and tallest buildings of the time.  The structure, rebuilt in 1911 after being devastated by fire, was designated as an important cultural property in March 1969.

There isn’t as much snow in Sapporo as where we live. There is a river between our town and Sapporo that seems to be the dividing line for heavy snow.

The art museum has outside art and inside art.

We had a window table at the museum restaurant for lunch and had a nice view.

We opted to see both the special exhibit and the permanent collection exhibit.  The special exhibit was in four sections and was about the circle of life. There were several parts that were particularly interesting for us – a 1982 “photograph” of the Grand Canyon made up of hundreds of 4x6 photos pieced together; glass marbles with sea creatures inside that you looked at with a magnifying glass; paper forest creatures, with intricate designs cut out and hung from the ceiling with light shining through creating shadows on the wall; a large circle of what looked like broken tiles on the floor that you could hit with padded hammers to create musical sounds; to name a few.  Sadly for this blog’s readers the taking of photographs was not allowed.  The last section was a hands on area with several different stations, including a spirograph table.  Did you have one of those when you were a child?  I made a hanging cut out thing at another table. Ted was allowed to take my photo with the museum worker, then the museum worker took our photo. Her job must be so fun – getting to play with all the hands on stuff.

It was only around four o’clock when we left the museum but already getting dark.  Next we went to the Munich Festival, a German Christmas eating and shopping area in Odori Park. 


Ted was easy to keep track of in his Santa San hat and bright yellow camera bag.

Our favorite restaurant, Bombay Blue, had a booth, so Ted bought a beer for him and nan for me. 

Later, Ted had a plate of what might have been German food, with rotisserie chicken.

An old world German Santa was walking around the festival. He’ll probably go blind by the end of the festival from all the camera flashes.

Next to the Christmas festival was the Sapporo Illumination Show.

After seeing the lights we headed back to the bus station and home.  We enjoyed our day in the big city.

1 comment:

Margaret said...

And I have enjoyed your day in the big city too! Much has changed since 1979, but the Hokkaido Government Building remains the same and still delights me as much as ever. I first saw it with a dusting of snow, just like your photo.
I do like the idea of a birthday month!