Next day of our trip we had registered for Sapporo beer brewery tour in the morning, and since Sapporo city is around 3hours of train ride from Hakodate, we had to get up very early and catch first train that went in that direction. Travelling in Hokkaido reminds me a lot of Czech republic as there are vast fields of pretty much nothing at all between the cities. As we soon realised even the earliest train didn’t leave us with any spare time, and we had to catch a taxi to get to the brewery on time. We were meeting our beer-loving Japanese friend at a station near the brewery, as he was telling us we have to go by the visitor bus to the brewery entrance. The bus design was nothing special, but the grab thingys for standing passengers were beer-glass shaped, which was nice touch.
After the tour there came the obligatory tasting, which was something we were looking for the most. And we obviously weren’t disappointed as we got 3 beers to try with some nuts as well. Also as my friend told me, only well served Sapporo glass has the beer level aligned with the star of the Sapporo beer logo. If any of you ever have around half a day to spare around Sapporo area I do recommend the tour a lot. As a beer loving people the tasting wasn’t enough for us, so we headed to restaurant which was part of the brewery, as our Japanese friend told us there’s a meal we have to try. The meal was Hokkaido-styled BBQ with huge variety of meats including mainly lamb with some port for good measure. And with that lot of beers that hare hard to come by in other places than Sapporo.
When we got decently stuffed and very satisfied, we decided to head out to the city centre to leave our baggages at the hotel and go explore the city a bit. With all the meat and beer we got slight cravings for something sweet instead, and as Hokkaido is very famous for it’s dairy products as well, we ended up with incredibly tasty ice cream. Places like that are especially popular with younger girls in Japan, so seeing three well aged guys stuffing their mouths with ice cream must have been quite a view. Speaking of views, after strolling a bit around city we headed up the TV tower at the edge of Oodori park. I’ve been up there last time I was visiting the city, but the view was super nice, so I didn’t mind going there again at all. I love how it overlooks whole park with a slight hint of Ski-jump ramp in the mountains behind the cityscape.
Since our main goal was to basically have a lot of beers and have some great time, we ended up going for few beers after that again, during which I took next to no photos, as we were just chatting about random topics all the time. We killed almost whole afternoon in a pub, and not eating much at all we went to explore some of the famous Sapporo ramen places. For some reason in Japan there’s a culture of shime ramen (〆ラーメン) which basically means to stuff oneself with oily ramen after night of drinking. Most of the places run late until night, ant it’s not rare to see drunk people slurping some noodles. It’s surely not the healthiest thing available, but it sure is delicious. We strolled through alley filled with various ramen shops and ended up in one our Japanese friend got suggested by someone. I got some crab and whatnot ramen, which was properly delicious. That put an end to day two of our trip, and we went back to the hotel to prepare for next day.