I haven’t been to Hokkaido in over 10 years. Hawaiian Airlines flies directly to Chitose Airport in Hokkaido so we decided to take our children there for a short trip. We took the JR train from the airport to Sapporo Station and took a taxi to the Holiday Inn ANA Sapporo in Susukino.
After checking in, we walked around the corner to Ramen Yokocho (Ramen Alley) and ate ramen at Ichikura Honten. I ordered the butter corn ramen and a chive gyoza as a side dish. It was a good meal to get us to sleep on the first night in Hokkaido. I finally got to bed at 10 p.m. Japan time/3 a.m. Hawaii time. We were planning to wake up at 5:30 a.m. to head to Hakodate which is about a three-hour train ride away from Sapporo. I was so sad to set the alarm for so early but I knew from experience that I would be waking up early on the first morning in Japan. In fact, I doubted that I needed the alarm, but didn’t want to take any chances. As expected, I woke up before the alarm at 3:30 am (8:30 Hawaii time). The rest of my family took a little longer to get up. We caught the train to Hakodate. We bought an ekiben (station bento) on the train for breakfast.I just had to get the one in a shinkansen-shaped bento container. It contained crab, ikura, fishcake, and more–yum! I can’t bring myself to throw away the bento box. So I carried it with me for the day and have now brought it home to Hilo.We visited the morning market in Hakodate. So many varieties of produce and seafood. Everything looked so fresh and delicious. I wanted to buy so many things to try.At the market, we ate uni, sashimi, grilled corn, and drank Hakodate beer. We saw squid being caught and turned into sashimi (ika somen).I enjoyed grilled scallops at the market. After the market, we went to the ropeway at Hakodate mountain.What a spectacular view. Definitely worth the price of admission. My son enjoyed an Aloha Maid passion & orange juice from the vending machine at the summit.After Hakodate, we returned to Sapporo, walked around in the underground shopping arcade and bought a Starbucks coffee jelly vanilla frappuccino. So refreshing after the hot day in Hakodate. I drank it while walking around the station. You don’t see very many people walking while eating or drinking in Japan. It just isn’t done there. If you do take your drink with you, be sure to know that you won’t easily find trash cans for your trash. People in Japan are expected to bring their trash home with them. It was a good first day in Hokkaido.