Sapporo: relaxing amongst the millions

Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Sapporo, Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan
What a relief to have those stress enduring days behind us. It was so much better and easier than anticipated, but we knew that those were some of the hairiest legs of the entire trip. Now we'd made it to Japan and it was time to see what all the fuss was about.

At the hotel breakfast many people in the group congratulated us . Most were silent beforehand about saying we were both adventurous and stupid, but now they really spoke their mind ;-). It was fun being the naive, adventurous, young comic relief. Well, at least for now. I think we also gained respect amongst the rest of the group as well.

We had a few errands to run, such as getting cash, so our sightseeing revolved around that. Along the way we saw Sapporo's expansive underground shopping network, some happening bar streets, and just gained a better idea for this entirely new culture. We also went up their TV Tower to get an aerial view of the city. Indeed the city did stretch quite a ways. I that regard it met my preconceived notions, but I must say I was very impressed with how quiet it was. The traffic was dense but calm, the streets clean and orderly, and the people very courteous.

Along our mini tour I kept seeing signs for the Sapporo Fighters baseball team. Having heard that Japanese baseball games are lots of fun, I enquirer about getting tickets. Low and behold they were playing the Buffaloes (from what city I have no idea) that night in town. We decided to go and Michael BrĂ¼ning went with us. Congratulatory beers at the hotel with the BrĂ¼ning clan were in order first though so we didn't get to the game until the 5th inning. That wasn't a problem though, since the game wasn't exactly exciting. It was fun to see the differences in the crowd, such as that the fans stand when on offense and constantly cheer until the inning is over. Still, at 1-0 final score (Fighters win!) it wasn't life changing.

What a change over the last 48 hours.
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