Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hokkaido: Part 3

Instead of hitting the mountain for another day of skiing (an extra 100 bucks for everything), I decided to join other JETs in visiting Otaru. Otaru is a fishing town about 2 hours from Niseko famous for sushi, glass blowing, and music boxes. I know, pretty eclectic eh?

After we arrived at the main station in Otaru, a Hokkaido JET took us on a quick tour of the town. She walked us down the main street, pointing out the most visible landmarks so we could find our way back. After the grand tour, we chose a time to meet up and we all separated. First on our list was food.

It is unfortunate that in a town famous for sushi, I despise sushi. There were sushi restaurants everywhere. Luckily for my wallet, they were all really expensive which priced myself and one other from eating there. The average set cost about $30. Instead, I ate soup curry. It is just like normal curry, except it is thinner, like a soup. It was good.

I toured the city with another Nara JET. Let's call her Banshee (xmen names). We stopped by a glass-blowing shop to observe the process. It was neat. They even let children come in and try some of the techniques. They let them blow into the tube. I wanted to try, but it seems that children get preference. Stupid children.

After watching the glass blowing for a while, we toured around the city more. There were cute snowmen all over the city. Shops used the snow in their storefront to make snowmen. It definitely seems like each shop was trying to outdo each other.

I bought a music box from a very large music box shop near the town's clock tower. Many of tunes are classic J-Pop or Disney. At another music box store, customers pick the base, music, and decorations. Then they build the music box by themselves. It's really cool. The store gives customers all the materials necessary. It is expensive though.

After shopping for hours, the JETs regrouped and we visited some light festival in Otaru. People has dug holes into the snow and placed candles and fisherman's bulbs inside. Some even decorated their "holes" with hearts and figures. It was pretty, but it got boring pretty fast. There were also candles floating in the canal. We finished our day out at the Otaru Brewery where I ate a steak. Yes, steak. I miss steak.

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