Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gotochi Travel Blog: Hokkaido, Part I

There were many surprises in store for me on this leg of the tour. When I thought of Hokkaido, I always thought of volcanoes, national parks, snow, and the Ainu people. The gotochi for Hokkaido don't show any of those things. But, since I set out on this journey to discover Japan via gotochi, I tried to remain faithful to that. So, even though I thought I would visit Hokkaido in the middle of the summer, I went in May, so I could see the Lilac Festival in Sapporo.

Lilacs are actually some of my favorite flowers. At home, they bloom around the end of April, just in time for my birthday. It's a bit colder in Hokkaido so it takes them a little longer. This was the 55th year of the Lilac Festival in Oodoori Park, which spans the middle of downtown. There are at least 3 other festivals at Oodoori park that are more famous than this one. The lilac festival is actually a lot more than just blooming flowers, though. There were a bunch of musical performances, food stalls, tea ceremony, and even a flea market. Unfortunately, this event is so non-famous that even the official website doesn't have any decent pictures to showcase.

But! One of the things they sold at the food stalls was Hokkaido sweet corn. Naturally.

famous Hokkaido corn
Photo by Justin Cozart

Hokkaido sweet corn is called "toukibi." It's roasted and covered in butter and soy sauce.

There was one place in Sapporo I still needed to see: the clock tower.
The American-made clock tower is one of the oldest buildings in Sapporo and one of the few remaining western-style buildings there. Built in 1878, it was part of the drill hall of Sapporo Agricultural College. The clock still keeps the time and chimes every hour.

札幌時計台 Sapporo Clock Tower
Photo by Autan

Stay tuned for a bit more controversy (maybe) in the next Hokkaido post.


  1. The postcards from Hokkaido are lovely.
    Sweet corn... yumi!!!.

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