Once again, almost everyone took the same flight to Sapporo. So, this time, Naomi-san rented 3 vans to fit all of us, and take us to the airport. It’s been a while since I took a domestic flight in Japan. And it was much more messy than the international flights, plus the heavy construction at the Fukuoka domestic terminal made it worse. I just realized that the check-in procedure with ANA was different than other airlines: We checked ourselves in at one counter, and the bags at a different counter. So, we had to queue twice.
And then, there was the phone drama: When we went through the security check, Aina rummaged through her backpack looking for her phone. She couldn’t find it. Once we were out of the security check, she went through all the pockets of her bag, and still couldn’t find the phone. We thought we lost it… She checked and rechecked her bag, I called the hotel and asked if anyone found a white iPhone with fishes cover (and they said they didn’t see any phones in the lobby, which was where Aina last saw it). For about 30-45 minutes, I was angry, Aina was upset and sad, and we didn’t have time to get our lunch… Then, all the sudden, she found it! It was in the very back pocket of her bag for laptops, the pocket that we rarely used. Not sure how it got there, but that was a huge relief for us.
When we arrived in Sapporo, we boarded our bus — a real big bus — that took us to the center city of Sapporo, where our hotel was: Sapporo Grand Hotel. Unlike our serviced apartment/hotel in Fukuoka, this one was a real hotel. And quite grand, too, with large lobby in marble furnishing. The room itself wasn’t so grand. It was small, like the normal twin bed hotel rooms in Japan… There was hardly any room to open our suitcase. And it felt even smaller, coming from our huge serviced apartment in Fukuoka.
However, the location was perfect, right at the center of everything: there were countless konbinis, all types of restaurants that opened ’till late, the subway station, park (very close to the Odori Park), and malls… And for us the ballet group, the Chacott store was inside the building right next to the hotel! So, of course, after checking in, we went to Chacott and did some shopping.
Oh another cute thing about the hotel room was that the window of the room faces a small park across the street. That was the park where Aina played with fluffy snow-like stuff 2 years ago, right during her birthday! It was one of her most precious memories during the Hokkaido trip… If you scroll down on the blog entry above, you can see the video of her with the fluffy stuff…
Since we still had a litle bit of sunshine left, Aina and I decided to spend the rest of the day at the Odori Park near the hotel. Two years ago, it was dark and very chilly. This time, the weather was perfect. People were having picnics in the park. Some were playing music, others watching. We wished we could stay here longer.
And, of course, some Hokkaido Ice Cream!
We had dinner at a nearby restaurant called Bikkuri Donkey (a very cute pun on the name!) to have our hambursteak fix, and tucked ourselves in bed early. Tomorrow will be another competition day!