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Experiences of a Dutch Journalist




Visit to Sapporo, 11-13 November 2002

On the invitation of the Hokkaido Intellect Tank, Sakhalin Times colleague Yulia Nikishina and me went to Japan's northernmost island Hokkaido. The deal was that they would pick up the bill if we would write about tourism opportunities on Hokkaido for Sakhalin expatriates. No problem! I had to miss the first part of the 6-day trip because I missed the flight!!!! Still had a great 3-day stay in lively, prosperous Sapporo, with 1.8 million inhabitants the main population centre of Hokkaido and the administrative hub.


This clock tower is the symbol of Sapporo. Don't ask me why...


The 147-metre Television Tower used to be the highest building in the city.


Not any more.... The private company Japanese Railway constructed the 170-metre high JR Tower. This is the view from the top floor.


The JR Tower will also house a hotel. It wasn't finished yet, so unfortunately we didn't stay there.... The hotel opens in June 2003. All the rooms have a magnificent view, some even from the bathroom. Bathing with a view!


Street in the centre.


Tanuki Koji Shopping Arcade, one of Sapporo's most famous shopping malls.


Odori Park, a must see for every tourist. In February, they hold the world famous Snow Festival here.


The organizers brought us to the Art Park where we were put to work. We were to glaze pottery. The waiting list for the oven is up to one month, so I can't show the result (believe me, you don't miss anything)! They promised to send it later.


These kids at the Hokkaido Shrine were dressed up for the Festival of Seven, Five and Three years old – boys of three and five years and girls of three and seven are taken to the shrine by their parents who thank the gods for their children’s health.


He's cute and he knows it.


She's even lovelier, although she's changing teeth.


They had also arranged an official part.... Thirty Japanese cross-examined me about the recreational behavior of Sakhalin expatriates. Would they be willing to come to Hokkaido to spend a holiday was the main question. I was even interviewed by Hokkaido Television!

What Yulia and me wrote on this trip can be read on at the end of November.