Snow is what comes to mind whenever I hear the word “Sapporo”. Images of snow combined with mouth-watering seafood washed down by beer dominate my mind whenever someone talks of that famous city in Hokkaido, Japan. Sure, the country certainly has a lot of fish (sushi and sashimi, everyone?) but there’s always something different whenever they talk about Hokkaido seafood.
Of course, Sapporo isn’t just about the snow and the seafood. The city offers so much more to many tourists whose image of Japan usually alternates between Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto at different intervals. For starters, the city is expansive and full of greenery, so much unlike the other, more famous cities.
And the food. Besides seafood dishes, food connoisseurs will feel delited by the many offerings available from Sapporo. Heck, ramen junkies would want to try places like Sapporo Ramen Republic and Ramen Dojo. I’m dying to taste a Sapporo Miso Ramen myself if I can get there.
Sapporo has a lot to offer to our jet-setting young professionals. With this in mind, its city officials aim to promote tourism to the city through the critically acclaimed film “Kita Kita” via a Tourism event held last December 10, 2018, in the Movie Stars Cafe.
Sapporo City Vice-Mayor Koyu Kishi spoke about the increase in Filipino tourists especially after “Kita Kita” was released. The movie was cited as a factor in this increase which also precipitated the creation of a direct flight between Manila and Sapporo.The event talked about basic information about Sapporo. Its comfortable summers, six meter snow-falls during the winter (the city has underground walk-ways if you want a snow-free walk) as well as elaborated more on the direct flight between Sapporo and Manila which goes for 5.5 hours (Sapporo being located at the northern island of Japan).
Since Snow is everywhere during winter, and this is Japan, there’s just got to be a festival about it. The Sapporo Snow Festival especially its large and beautiful ice sculptures.
And if you want to heat up or find the cold a little too much, why not try a bowl of hot ramen. Especially with over 200 kinds to choose from.
“Kita Kita” star Empoy Marquez also related his experience while filming in Sapporo. He talked about famous locations like the Odori Park and Otaru Canal, places where he and co-star Alessandra De Rossi shot their famous scenes. Empoy also shared that when they filmed “Kita Kita”, it took them 4.5 hours flight from Manila to Tokyo. From there, they would still need to travel to Sapporo. He thinks the direct flight will save a lot of time.
Vice Mayor Kishi then talked about the 70th Anniversary of the Snow Festival in February, as well as the Hanami or flower-viewing during the spring (which comes to Sapporo a little later than the rest of the country). He relates that the Hanami isn’t exactly a festival, but something of a gathering to view the cherry blossoms.
To cap of the night’s proceedings, MNL48, sister group of Japan’s AKB48, performed “Aitakatta-Gustong Makita” and their new single “Pag-Ibig Fortune Cookie”.
Afterwards, MNL48 Abby said she wanted to try Sapporo Miso Ramen, while Faith said she wanted to meet the Ainu people.
Japan has been a prime destination for Filipino tourists for years, and Sapporo City hopes its upward trend of Filipino visitors increase every year. The film “Kita Kita” had been a good way to spark interest in the northern city, and it is hoped that through this promotion campaign, drive the numbers up even further. Hokkaido has always been one of the places in my bucket list, and I hope that in the future, when I finally drag my lazy ass to the Department of Foreign Affairs to secure a passport, I can take advantage of this new plane route and see the sights, listen to the sounds, and taste the food of Sapporo.
Leave a Reply