If Tokyo is about the Happiest Place On Earth, and Osaka is home to the Wizarding School of Hogwarts, Sapporo is the best place in Japan to experience what a Winter Wonderland is all about.
But for someone who’s lived in a tropical country all his life, travelling to a place covered in snow for the first time was like going to another planet.
So to help you get ready for your trip to Sapporo (or wherever cold), I decided to create a First Timers Guide to Snow, Check out Part one HERE and this is part 2.
ALL YOUR BAGS ARE PACKED BUT ARE YOU READY TO GO?
Now that you have an idea of what to wear and where to buy it, it’s time to make a checklist of the other things you have to bring on your winter adventure.
Besides toiletries, make sure you have moisturizers, sunblock! lip balm, petroleum jelly (I apply it on my arms and legs and face to keep me warm), and some basic medicines for headaches, cough and colds, and anti-histamines since you have to taste the fresh Sapporo Seafood!
Bring a water bottle wherever you go especially if you are going to try sledding at Moerenuma Park. Believe me walking up that mountain will make your throat dry and make your thirsty! Don’t worry about having to buy several bottles though because in Japan you can drink water from the tap.
Since you are probably bringing a few gadgets with you, make sure they too are protected from the cold temperature. Just like those waterproof camera cases for DSLRs, you might also want to get an Otterbox case (a genuine one) to protect your iphone from accidental drops and the very cold temperature.
If you plan on posting and keeping your social media feeds updated, rent a Smart Travel Wifi so you can have a fast internet connection wherever you are in Sapporo.
APPS AND DOWN–LOADS
They say there’s an app for everything, and you certainly would need an app to make your Sapporo trip even better. Here are a few apps that helped me navigate through the city, find tourist information, convert prices and translate all those Japanese signs.
Perhaps the first app you have to download even before your trip is the Sapporo Info App developed by the Hokkaido Broadcasting Co.,Ltd. This is the official Sapporo tourism app that offers a wide variety of contents including discount coupons.
You can also view over 160 videos and images of the various tourist attractions in Sapporo as well as a location service, inform you of the latest events and recommended local information plus maps and brochures.
If you are in charge of preparing the itinerary, you can use this application to plan your trip before departure and add new ones while you are actually travelling in Sapporo
“Sapporo Info” is available in English, Chinese (simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese), Korean and Thai apart from Japanese.
The best part is you can access it without having to connect to the Internet (excluding the content based on location service and some streaming videos).
• Tourist map (central Sapporo map, regional map and subway map)
• Tourist information of Sapporo (transportation information, tourist information centers)
• Discount coupons and tickets
• Brochures and video contents for foreign visitors
• Recommended tourist courses and videos of tourist spots in Sapporo (25 courses and about 100 videos)
• Recommended information on enjoyable seasonal events and attractions
• Promotional videos and slideshows of Sapporo
• Content introducing events, nature, art, culture and sports
• Major foods of Sapporo
I would also suggest you download a translator app since not all Japanese could speak English. The two apps I downloaded are the Japanese English Translator by GreenLife Apps and the English Japanese Translator from BK Translate. I also got the Yomiwa translator which can translate the signs and Japanese characters you see. So if you have to ask someone in Japanese you just type in your message and the app will show you the text and speak out the translation as well.
One useful site if you are going to use the train system is to go to www.Hyperdia.com/en/. All you have to do is enter your origin and the station where you’re going. It will then display possible route options including how much the ride costs and transfers needed to get there.
Its also worth noting that there is no GRAB or UBER service in Sapporo, so if you don’t want to ride trains or buses there are a lot of taxis, which is quite fast although a bit expensive.
So that’s it, be sure to check our Sapporo 101 primer by clicking this LINK HERE and the 15 must visit places in Sapporo next week!