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Thread: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

  1. #1

    Default Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Hey there.

    Anyone been to the following places in Japan?
    1) Hokkaido
    - Sapporo (Botanical Garden of Hokkaido University, Apia (Underground Shopping Mall), Sapporo Factory (Shopping Mall), Nijō Fish Market, Sapporo Beer Museum, Odori Park, Tokeidai Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Maruyama Zoo, Mt Moiwa Ropeway, Marui Imai (Department Store),STANLEY MARKET,WAN NYAN FUREAI PARK)
    - Otaru (Mainly the river side, cos small town)
    - Niseko (Niseko Annupuri trail)
    - Norboribetsu (Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath,Norboribetsu Date Jidai Murai, Jigokudani-Hell Valley)

    2) Tokyo(Omiya Bonsai Village,The Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Sunshine International Aquarium, Kite Museum, Tokyo Tower, Ameyoko Market Street, Tokyo Disneyland, Tsukiji Fish Market)

    I need advise on the transportation in Hokkaido from town to town.
    Recommendations of places to visit - Especially those places that can have real nice pictures also!

    Advise on the clothings too! If not wearing long john, how many layers of clothes must we wear? Got a winter jacket. If wearing long john, just need to wear another layer of clothes + winter jacket is enough?

    Anyone with any info of these places that you been to, can share itinerary with me?
    I going on the 22 Jan 09 - 1st Feb 09. It's F&E. So gotta plan it nicely!

  2. #2
    Member/Tangshooter g-khoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    These 2 threads may help:

    1.) Hokkaido Travels by Ryan: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=402792

    2.) Hokkaido Travels by myself: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=395094

  3. #3

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Whao! Great Thanks alot. Hehe luckily cover most of the place u guys are going. hehe. Good. Anyone got winter season pics?

    Any special advise like camera handling and stuffs to take note in winter time?

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    Member/Tangshooter g-khoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Hokkaido, Getting around...


    It is relatively easy to get around in Sapporo, even if you dont speak the language. Get the whole day train and bus pass, its 1000yen(about 15 SGD) for a day pass. You can take unlimited subways, electric trams and public buses.

    Taxis have a flag down rate of 550 yen and should be your last resort - if you get lost.

    Most places are accessible by subway. Get a copy of the Sapporo town map. It has the list of subways and where to stop for the places of interest.

    There are day tours that operate daily from the city center's bus terminal that bring you some of the tourist's attractions for about 800yen. But once again there really isnt anywhere you cant go by train/bus.

    Some places worth visiting in Hokkaido
    - Susukino Street; lots of shopping and good eats here

    - Mt Moiwa - as seen in Ryan's photography journal, best to set off early and wait for the sunset.

    - Moerenuma park - its a little bit out of town, have to take the subway, then bus, then walk. But its really beautiful. Lots of flowers. Great macro place. Really worth going - especially at sunset. They have fountain performances on the weekends.

    - Ramen Alley; there's actually 2 of these. One is the OLD Ramen alley and NEW Ramen alley. Needless to say, this is the place to go on a Ramen tasting spree. Some of the best ramen around here.

    - Sapporo beer factory: as seen in Ryan's photojournal. The beer garden and factory are interesting to go and look at.. Plus there's beer tasting that comes along with the entrance fee..

    - Odori Park, Odori TV Tower - The park is a relatively small place but quite lovely nonetheless. Weekends will see couples and small families going there. Great for shooting a couple of candids of the people plus flowers in abundance as usual.

    - Sapporo Dome; the great spaceship - home of the Sapporo Hamfighters baseball team. If you like taking architectural shots then this place should not be missed! Sometimes concerts are staged here as well.

    These are just some of the places... Ryan's one has a more detailed coverage. Imho Hokkaido is one of the most cleanest and scenic places in Japan - even more than Tokyo. Really nice place to photograph.

    For Tokyo, well its quite the usual few places i guess. Shinjuku, Tokyo Tower, Mt Fuji, Odaiba.. Disney Sea and Disney Land.. (Sea is alot better!!! Go for dinsey sea if you can only choose one)

  5. #5
    Member/Tangshooter g-khoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Whao! Great Thanks alot. Hehe luckily cover most of the place u guys are going. hehe. Good. Anyone got winter season pics?

    Any special advise like camera handling and stuffs to take note in winter time?
    You can look at this i guess:
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...light=hokkaido
    http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showt...light=hokkaido


    Or try searching the threads for more Japan winter pics.


    Anyway cold weather ur DSLR batteries will die fast. So bring some spares and bring charger. Also the spare batts when not in use keep it warm. Like in your jacket pockets.

    Avoid changing lenses outdoors as the frost might into the sensor or lens element.

    When you just touch down or if you're going outside from your hotel, remember not to take out your camera immediately. The suddenly exposure to coldness will cause the lens to fog up.. Not a big thing but just open the bag slowly and remove your cam slowly

  6. #6

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    ic... dun mind me asking. why disneysea better? the rides, the scenery or the character better? intend to go one onli.. cos a bit expensive.... =p

  7. #7
    Member/Tangshooter g-khoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    ic... dun mind me asking. why disneysea better? the rides, the scenery or the character better? intend to go one onli.. cos a bit expensive.... =p
    Disney Land is really catered more for families with kids. The rides are abit kiddish for my liking.. The only disney land you should go to is the one at Florida.. Which is Disneyland HQ - that is alot bigger.

    Sea is catered more for young couples (like yourself). The rides are generally more adult-themed compared the more kiddish ones at Land. Also the main area looks like mini-paris at night. Really beautiful.

    Not to mention the main show (starts around 7'ish i think) with fireworks and live pyrotechnics - by the sea.

    You wont regret going to disney sea. trust me

  8. #8

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    whao! I din know that. Yup yup, will go disney sea then. Do you think disney sea one day can cover finished? or should get 2 day pass?

    Do you have the maps for sapporo, otaru, niseko, noboribetsu and tokyo in softcopy to share with me?

    Sorry to trouble you.... u know so much. hahaz.

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    Member/Tangshooter g-khoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    whao! I din know that. Yup yup, will go disney sea then. Do you think disney sea one day can cover finished? or should get 2 day pass?

    Do you have the maps for sapporo, otaru, niseko, noboribetsu and tokyo in softcopy to share with me?

    Sorry to trouble you.... u know so much. hahaz.
    Google is your best friend

    http://www.japaneselifestyle.com.au/...pporo_maps.htm
    http://www.hokkaidoguide.com/city/sapporo/sapphome.php
    http://www.city.sapporo.jp/CITY/english/map.html
    http://www.bpe.agr.hokudai.ac.jp/Bio...owntownmap.pdf
    Last edited by g-khoo; 19th December 2008 at 03:39 PM.

  10. #10

  11. #11

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    whao! I din know that. Yup yup, will go Disney sea then. Do you think disney sea one day can cover finished? or should get 2 day pass?

    Do you have the maps for sapporo, otaru, niseko, noboribetsu and tokyo in softcopy to share with me?

    Sorry to trouble you.... u know so much. hahaz.
    Well that depends if you plan to see the whole of Disney sea and plan to experience the whole place. Now.. off the bat. You can see the whole Disney sea in 1 day Provided you do not line up for any rides! I did it last year. No rides because the lines are far too long. Second.... do not line up for any popcorn... another time waster. Every "port" you go to there will be some signature popcorn every Japanese just has to buy ... So unless you are a big fan of popcorn.

    I was there 1 hour before it open and swear to God I was the last one in the queue. I made it through the day but I missed all the rides... So if you have time of course 2 days.

    i was at Niseko too but I go there to ski so I can't help you much with maps unless you are skiing too.

    This year I will be in Furano (in Hokkaido) skiing during chinese new year. My friend will be bringing his brand new 5d mark 2 to film and photograph.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Advise on the clothings too! If not wearing long john, how many layers of clothes must we wear? Got a winter jacket. If wearing long john, just need to wear another layer of clothes + winter jacket is enough?

    Anyone with any info of these places that you been to, can share itinerary with me?
    I going on the 22 Jan 09 - 1st Feb 09. It's F&E. So gotta plan it nicely!
    If you are up in Hokkaido, get some thermal underwear. Get a jacket that is water resistant and wind resistant. Get gloves for walk around.. look at Northface for walk around gloves. Get a scarf, it will help to keep the neck warm. And finally a Beanie. Most of your heat will escape through your head. If no long johns, then 3 layers, tee shirt, fleece sweater, down feather jacket.... It's cold in Hokkaido. Last year was -14 at Niseko, with the wind was about -20. This year still not sure. But it's recommended that you don't wear cotton. http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/equipment/bpcold.shtml

    In tokyo, is warmer. I get around with a sweater and a jacket. But bring your gloves too.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Hey there.

    Anyone been to the following places in Japan?
    1) Hokkaido
    - Sapporo (Botanical Garden of Hokkaido University, Apia (Underground Shopping Mall), Sapporo Factory (Shopping Mall), Nijō Fish Market, Sapporo Beer Museum, Odori Park, Tokeidai Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Maruyama Zoo, Mt Moiwa Ropeway, Marui Imai (Department Store),STANLEY MARKET,WAN NYAN FUREAI PARK)
    - Otaru (Mainly the river side, cos small town)
    - Niseko (Niseko Annupuri trail)
    - Norboribetsu (Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath,Norboribetsu Date Jidai Murai, Jigokudani-Hell Valley)

    2) Tokyo(Omiya Bonsai Village,The Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Sunshine International Aquarium, Kite Museum, Tokyo Tower, Ameyoko Market Street, Tokyo Disneyland, Tsukiji Fish Market)

    I need advise on the transportation in Hokkaido from town to town.
    Recommendations of places to visit - Especially those places that can have real nice pictures also!

    Advise on the clothings too! If not wearing long john, how many layers of clothes must we wear? Got a winter jacket. If wearing long john, just need to wear another layer of clothes + winter jacket is enough?

    Anyone with any info of these places that you been to, can share itinerary with me?
    I going on the 22 Jan 09 - 1st Feb 09. It's F&E. So gotta plan it nicely!
    I have been to a few of the places listed by you in early March 2007. It was officially early spring but winter was late that year and heavy snow in fact fell towards the end of my trip when the temperature was hovering about minus 10. I find it troublesome to post photos here as they have to be downsized first before uploading. If you are keen, drop me a note and I will send you some photos.

    By the way, when you are in Otaru, don't miss out on their sumptuous king crabs. They are very expensive but our tour group dined in this seafood outlet cum restaurant where you can eat as much as you can. Check this out.



    Do try to visit Noboribetsu Bear Farm especially during winter. If you have kids, they will love it even better.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Hey there.

    Anyone been to the following places in Japan?
    1) Hokkaido
    - Sapporo (Botanical Garden of Hokkaido University, Apia (Underground Shopping Mall), Sapporo Factory (Shopping Mall), Nijō Fish Market, Sapporo Beer Museum, Odori Park, Tokeidai Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Maruyama Zoo, Mt Moiwa Ropeway, Marui Imai (Department Store),STANLEY MARKET,WAN NYAN FUREAI PARK)
    - Otaru (Mainly the river side, cos small town)
    - Niseko (Niseko Annupuri trail)
    - Norboribetsu (Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath,Norboribetsu Date Jidai Murai, Jigokudani-Hell Valley)

    2) Tokyo(Omiya Bonsai Village,The Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Sunshine International Aquarium, Kite Museum, Tokyo Tower, Ameyoko Market Street, Tokyo Disneyland, Tsukiji Fish Market)

    I need advise on the transportation in Hokkaido from town to town.
    Recommendations of places to visit - Especially those places that can have real nice pictures also!

    Advise on the clothings too! If not wearing long john, how many layers of clothes must we wear? Got a winter jacket. If wearing long john, just need to wear another layer of clothes + winter jacket is enough?

    Anyone with any info of these places that you been to, can share itinerary with me?
    I going on the 22 Jan 09 - 1st Feb 09. It's F&E. So gotta plan it nicely!
    was there last year early feb. amazingly cold.. Jan should be slightly colder. make sure you got yourself a good pair of glove. Nearly freeze my finger even with those wool glove i am wearing.
    Since i join tour so not much to recommend on how to go about. Free and easy seem to be a bit problem since there are heavy snow. Some of the place may not be able to access, maybe check before you book the next destination.
    Nothing beat a bowl of hot noodle during the snow season... shiok..
    Enjoy your trip and take lot of pictures.. Love that place.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Ok, got down feather jacket checked, thermal wear checked, scarf checked, glove checked. Lol. Got a ski glove. =P. All water and wind resistant. hehe. What is a Beanie? And is 1 spare battery enough if we keep it warm, cos i doubt so.

    Quote Originally Posted by lincolnchan View Post
    If you are up in Hokkaido, get some thermal underwear. Get a jacket that is water resistant and wind resistant. Get gloves for walk around.. look at Northface for walk around gloves. Get a scarf, it will help to keep the neck warm. And finally a Beanie. Most of your heat will escape through your head. If no long johns, then 3 layers, tee shirt, fleece sweater, down feather jacket.... It's cold in Hokkaido. Last year was -14 at Niseko, with the wind was about -20. This year still not sure. But it's recommended that you don't wear cotton. http://www.princeton.edu/~oa/equipment/bpcold.shtml

    In tokyo, is warmer. I get around with a sweater and a jacket. But bring your gloves too.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Ooo the king crab is a buffet? yummy!!! Duno how much to bring there to spend... lol.. mainly on eating i suppose!! lol. Oh ya the bear farm is expensive ma? No kids. Only us for honeymoon.

    yaya, see the photos...send me hazel_ling86@yahoo.com.sg

    Quote Originally Posted by David Chin View Post
    I have been to a few of the places listed by you in early March 2007. It was officially early spring but winter was late that year and heavy snow in fact fell towards the end of my trip when the temperature was hovering about minus 10. I find it troublesome to post photos here as they have to be downsized first before uploading. If you are keen, drop me a note and I will send you some photos.

    By the way, when you are in Otaru, don't miss out on their sumptuous king crabs. They are very expensive but our tour group dined in this seafood outlet cum restaurant where you can eat as much as you can. Check this out.



    Do try to visit Noboribetsu Bear Farm especially during winter. If you have kids, they will love it even better.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Okie Dokes! Noted. Will check out my destinations. But I tink not much of a problem cos most of my destinations is near train stations and walkable distant. Just pray hard it wun rain? Ramen or Udon nicer there? *slurps* I believe I wld love the scenery and food there. hahaz. My paradiz!
    Quote Originally Posted by soma View Post
    was there last year early feb. amazingly cold.. Jan should be slightly colder. make sure you got yourself a good pair of glove. Nearly freeze my finger even with those wool glove i am wearing.
    Since i join tour so not much to recommend on how to go about. Free and easy seem to be a bit problem since there are heavy snow. Some of the place may not be able to access, maybe check before you book the next destination.
    Nothing beat a bowl of hot noodle during the snow season... shiok..
    Enjoy your trip and take lot of pictures.. Love that place.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    What a waste. Just push your itinerary back 1 week and you can catch the Sapporo Snow & Ice Festival. Even more incentive is the Otaru Snow Light Path festival, esp for a honeymoon......
    http://blog.roving-light.com/2008/02...-hokkaido.html

    Since its F&E, just mentally prepare yourself for the unexpected etc. Train/bus schedules in winter may be slightly different. Even trains may be delayed etc due to bad weather etc, esp if you are planning to reach certain place to catch certain things at certain time

    Winter in Hokkaido is absolutely beautiful. Enjoy yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Hey there.

    Anyone been to the following places in Japan?
    1) Hokkaido
    - Sapporo (Botanical Garden of Hokkaido University, Apia (Underground Shopping Mall), Sapporo Factory (Shopping Mall), Nijō Fish Market, Sapporo Beer Museum, Odori Park, Tokeidai Clock Tower, Sapporo TV Tower, Maruyama Zoo, Mt Moiwa Ropeway, Marui Imai (Department Store),STANLEY MARKET,WAN NYAN FUREAI PARK)
    - Otaru (Mainly the river side, cos small town)
    - Niseko (Niseko Annupuri trail)
    - Norboribetsu (Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath,Norboribetsu Date Jidai Murai, Jigokudani-Hell Valley)

    2) Tokyo(Omiya Bonsai Village,The Imperial Palace, Meiji Jingu Shrine, Sunshine International Aquarium, Kite Museum, Tokyo Tower, Ameyoko Market Street, Tokyo Disneyland, Tsukiji Fish Market)

    I need advise on the transportation in Hokkaido from town to town.
    Recommendations of places to visit - Especially those places that can have real nice pictures also!

    Advise on the clothings too! If not wearing long john, how many layers of clothes must we wear? Got a winter jacket. If wearing long john, just need to wear another layer of clothes + winter jacket is enough?

    Anyone with any info of these places that you been to, can share itinerary with me?
    I going on the 22 Jan 09 - 1st Feb 09. It's F&E. So gotta plan it nicely!

  19. #19

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    was there just last week.
    amazing place. drop by the ski mountains for a ski day if your time allows it. the scenaries are pretty beautiful too!

    for the clothes, you actually dont have to bring that much. i barely wore half what i expected. haha a good inner piece (long john) and maybe a cashmere pullover,tees, jeans, and a good (at least two piece) outer wear. oh! and disposable underwears. you would last quite awhile

  20. #20

    Default Re: Japan (Hokkaido & Tokyo) in Jan 2009 Advise needed

    Quote Originally Posted by hazelng View Post
    Ok, got down feather jacket checked, thermal wear checked, scarf checked, glove checked. Lol. Got a ski glove. =P. All water and wind resistant. hehe. What is a Beanie? And is 1 spare battery enough if we keep it warm, cos i doubt so.
    Well... you are all set then... hope to run into you in Tokyo then. :-)

    Beanies:- http://oakley.com/category/489
    just make sure there is a fleece lining and remember keep those ears warm...

    Keep your spare battery warm. I would get these chemical warmers(or something equivalent) :- http://www.heatfactory.com/english/

    Get the Japanese ones sold at OG (next to centerpoint), on the top floor next to the mushroom hot pot place.. buy a bunch of it. Or head to wintertime or cold wear (Suntec or marina square or vivo). Rip 1 or 2 and keep it with your battery. Everytime I ski I have 2 in my chest pocket to keep my camera warm.

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