Snow Festival Trip-Otaru and the Chocolate Factory

We woke up the next morning on the early side because the trip we were on included a side trip to the nearby town of Otaru.  The hotel included breakfast, so of course we took advantage of the lovely meal they had for hotel guests.  Since this is a Japanese hotel with guests of all nationalities, the breakfast included a full American and a full Japanese breakfast.  Good thing it was served in a banquet hall so that everything could fit!

Lots of breads
DSC04143
Salad
DSC04144
This is the part I skipped of course.
DSC04145
Eggs
DSC04146
Japanese breakfast foods
DSC04147
Here is what I grabbed on my plate at first before scoping out the cereal table.  Lots of eggs, some pineapple, a roll and kabocha.
DSC04148
I also tried this rice, which was served a little like a hot breakfast cereal.
DSC04149
Then I went back and grabbed a few more foods to try out.  I know I didn't help the perception of Americans by grabbing lots of foods at the buffet and then only eating a little of each (we are often seen as wasters of food because Americans tend to grab lots of food and then not eat all of it, as explained to me by a Japanese person that I know).
DSC04150
I knew that I didn't need to eat anything else, but I was fascinated by the buffet offerings.  Here is some tofu.  This is very popular with the Japanese.
DSC04151
Then they brought out some more eggs.  They had so many varieties of eggs.  It was nice to see this because usually it is just hard boiled or scrambled.
DSC04152
I loved watching what the Japanese were eating for breakfast.  I can see why they have one of the longest life expectancy (I believe they are still ranked at the top, but I haven't checked in a few months).  One elderly Japanese man near us had the healthiest breakfast I have ever seen someone eat.  He had miso soup, a salad, salmon, rice, some fruit, an egg and I believe some kabocha.

Then we boarded the bus for the 30 or so minute ride to Otaru.  Otaru is known for its' glass work (some very nice etched glass pieces) and they have a music box museum there, as well as canals, which Ryan and I did not get a chance to look at.
DSC04153
As I mentioned before Hokkaido is known for its' dairy, so there was lots of ice cream around here.  Check out all these crazy flavors.
DSC04154
We walked around and looked at the fresh seafood.  Otaru is on the water.
DSC04155
The sun was out but it was just starting to snow.  It was really pretty in Otaru, and the city itself was really cute.
DSC04156
They even had some snow sculptures here too.  Can you spot Ryan trying to hide behind those penguins?
DSC04157
This was taken in the main area of the town.
DSC04158
The bell was actually ringing and it took us a second to figure out where it was coming from.
DSC04159

DSC04160
Lots of funny snowmen around here.
DSC04161

DSC04162
Scary bear!
DSC04163
This was inside the music box museum.
DSC04165

DSC04166

DSC04167
Then we headed back to give the ice cream a try.  We thought about the 6 layer cone, but instead went with 3 layers.
DSC04168
I had chocolate, banana and strawberry.  Ryan got the same.  I liked the strawberry and banana, but the chocolate was too bitter for me.
DSC04169
Then we walked along the back side of the street, looking in the shops, as we made our way back to the bus.
DSC04170
Once back to the bus, the tour guide (from the base) surprised us and told us they were taking us to Shiroi Koibito Park, which is the chocolate factory in Sapporo.  This was on the list of things we wanted to see, and I don't think we really would have found it (or wanted to take a cab there) if they didn't take us there, so we were really happy they added this in to our trip.
DSC04172
They outside was really cute.  It was like walking up to Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
DSC04173
How funny is this display?!?
DSC04174
There were so many fun displays outside.
DSC04175

DSC04176

DSC04177

DSC04178

DSC04179

DSC04180

DSC04181

DSC04182
Once inside we started out tour of the factory, complete with a sample of their speciality cookie.  Right inside was a room with a fountain and painted ceiling.
DSC04183

DSC04184

DSC04185
This was talking about the process of making chocolate.
DSC04186
Here is the factory.  Yes, those are real workers assembling the cookies.  These cookies are made from 2 cookie pieces with a chocolate piece layered in the middle.
DSC04188

DSC04189

DSC04190
This was in the cafe.  Lots of yummy desserts.
DSC04191
They even had some fondue.
DSC04192
This reminded me of It's a Small World.
DSC04193
The last part of the museum before the gift shop was this display of gramophones.
DSC04194

DSC04196
Oh, and there were some other weird looking displays too.
DSC04198
This is decorated like a traditional Japanese home.
DSC04199
Cool chandeliers. 
DSC04200
The beautiful scenery right outside the museum.
DSC04201
After the museum the bus took us back to downtown Sapporo and the area with the snow sculptures.  This post is already long enough with many great pictures, so I will save the rest of this day for my next post.  Hope my outside snow pictures aren't making you too cold.

QUESTIONS:  Have you ever visited a chocolate factory?  What is your favorite kind of chocolate?  Is it snowing where you live?

5 comments:

Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian said...

Wow, how neat!
I have been to Ethel M's here in Vegas. Did you ever go??

Biz said...

Wow, love all the pictures Melinda! That open market looks amazing, and all that fresh seafood!

It actually rained last night, so all our snow is gone - today should be sunny and 40! :D

Rebecca Subbiah said...

the food always looks so good and they have the funniest snow people

EA-The Spicy RD said...

That's quite a breakfast buffet, and I love the snowman pictures! Sounds like a great trip, especially visiting the chocolate factory. Believe it or not, we had some snow yesterday in San Diego (the mountains of course). The cool thing is I can see a little snow on the mountain tops from the deck at my house. My family and I are headed to Mammoth next week to go skiing-can't wait!

Jade Graham said...

We drove to Kik Platea, and then to Imil Valley. In Imil Valley we stopped, Best travel deals

Post a Comment