After watching all of the Japanese hotel guests eating yummy and healthy breakfasts, Ryan was inspired and came back to the table with this.
Well, my plate looked like this, which contained a good mix of foods, and some healthy choices, but I noticed one thing was missing after I saw Ryan's try.
Yep, I was missing salmon. So I went back and grabbed some!
Then we bundled up and headed to the covered shopping area. It was a little too early for too much to be going on, but we still took a look around before heading over to the snow sculpture area.
Loved this cute display outside of a restaurant.
While under the covered area, we were free from the snow, but once we got back out to the street and headed to the park, we were once again subjected to the snow. But it wasn't enough to stop me from stopping at a vending machine for a drink.
Hey, a girl gets thirsty walking around all morning.
So, what did I get? Hot lemonade! Yes! Hot lemonade! It is so yummy! Plus, it warmed me up walking around outside.
We got over to Odori Park, where the sculptures were, and started to look around since it was lighter out than the day before. I loved that they sold corn on the cob.
We had to stop at a booth and give this green stuff a try. Ordinarily I would pass, but we just saw a commercial on this on TV that morning, so we really couldn't pass up trying it. It's like a green tea with added nutrients I think. Yeah, the commercial was in Japanese so I really couldn't tell what they were saying. I have to admit, it was pretty tasty. Plus, it was hot, so it provided more warmth!
Check it out, there is a special section just for food. This was perfect because it was approaching lunch time.
After scoping out the food options, we walked a little more and looked at few more of the sculptures, some of which we didn't get to see the night before.
Here is Ryan giving you an idea of just how large some of these sculptures are.
Can you spot the funny little yellow guy on stage? Too cute!
We decided to try Indian food for lunch. Since India and the Taj Mahal was a focus of the festival, we had good luck finding really good Indian food. They even had a booth promoting tourism to India.
I was so happy to have some tasty samosas.
Another cute item for souvenirs here were these cokes cans. They were selling them in 2 packs- one regular and one diet.
We went to see the snow board area again, but only managed to watch the awards ceremony.
It was still cool to see.
After standing around watching the awards, we needed to go get some coffee to warm up and regroup.
Then we had a brilliant plan. We discovered that all that time we were walking around in the cold looking at sculptures there was a nice and warm mall below us. That's right, there is an underground mall there. It connects some big building underground too and even connects to the subway station. Neat!
There was enough a fun character we could pose with down there. Cute!
Even cooler was the fact that there were grocery stores down there, and one was like a little gourmet, speciality store, featuring local Hokkaido products. Yum!
Like I said in earlier posts about the festival, Hokkaido is known for it's milk production. So there is lots and lots of milk and dairy products here.
I am not a huge fan of drinking milk, but Ryan is, so we bought a small bottle to try. He said it was really creamy (definitely whole milk!).
Then we walked around more looking at foods in the grocery areas. They had so many good things to look at, especially the bakery area.
Yum! Nope, I didn't buy anything here. I was able to restrain myself.
Then we got another craving for coffee, so we went to this cafe, which makes siphon coffee. Have you ever heard of this? I only know about this because I read this post by the fabulous Sophia of Burp and Slurp.
They have these crazy little set ups, which look like chemistry class, and these are where they make the coffee, brewer each time it is ordered, so there are no pots sitting around.
After the water is heated, this is placed on top, with the coffee grounds, and then the water boils up, and it is stirred around.
Then it drains down into the bubble on the bottom.
Voila! Delicious coffee!
Very, very cool. We actually sat at the bar for a bit watching them brew batch after batch of coffee. Oh yeah, and we ordered a waffle with ice cream to go along with the coffee. So good!
Refueled, we headed back into the grocery store, and worked our way through the foods, as we made it to the elevators and headed upstairs to another mall, above ground and in a nearby building (the basement of the building was attached to the underground mall part).
These are bento boxes, and popular in Japan. These are convenience foods, and I have seen some that are healthier than others.
More bento boxes.
Here we are upstairs. We found the special event floor, which at this time was geared up and decked out for Valentine's Day. It was packed full of vendors selling Valentine's Day goods, and filled with women buying their chocolate boxes for the men, as is the custom in Japan.
After the mall, we headed home. Here are some of my purchases for the day. This is cereal with dried melon and kabocha in it.
This was so amazing. It is melon Kit Kat. Japan is home to many awesome varieties, but this one is unique to this region, so I made sure to buy some to take home with us.
After a little rest, a nice foot massage, and getting warmed up, we headed back to the festival.
This is the TV tower at night.
We even got lucky and got to watch some snowboarding jumps.
Check it out...there are 2 guys jumping at the same time!
Then, I got what I had been waiting for all day. King Crab legs. These are a speciality in Sapporo, and I couldn't leave there without trying them. They were AMAZING! Seriously so good.
Then, on the way back, we decided we needed to warm up once again. We stopped at the ice bar, where Ryan got some hot coffee, but I got a little crazy and tried the hot wine. It was really good, made from the haskap berry. This is just starting to make it's way to North America, but it is a popular berry here, and it is used to make wine (and things like jam).
Yum! Here I am enjoying my wine and having a great time at the festival.
But wait! No night is complete without some cheesecake, using locally made cheese, as this is the right place to be for all things dairy in Japan. We had the chocolate kind the other night, but this was the one Ryan really wanted to try. They had been out every other time we checked, but we got lucky and on our last night, just before they closed, we noticed they were stocked again, and so we tried one. So good!
Well, that pretty much wraps it up for the Sapporo Snow Festival 2012. It was awesome and I am so glad we went. I definitely plan to go again while we still live in Japan. If you like the cold, consider planning a winter trip to Japan to catch this amazing festival.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever visited an underground mall? Have you ever heard of siphon coffee? Have you ever heard of the haskap berry? Do you snowboard?