Snapshot Japan: Snowy Sapporo

I left Tokyo early yesterday morning to embark on what became a 12-hour journey to Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido.

Just as I was getting used to the cool climes of the Kanto region, I braced myself for even colder weather. While the southern half of Japan is already welcoming Spring, northern region seems to be still stuck on Winter.

Halfway through the 3-hour shinkansen ride to Aomori, the snow-capped mountains were replaced by snow-covered plains. The snow was blindingly white, and it thrilled me to see such a stunning view — it is the first time I’ve seen snow.

Snow, of course, mean cold weather. Very cold. I was wearing a tank top, a thermal long sleeved shirt, a hoodie and a thick coat and I was still shivering in my boots.

Luckily, I had the foresight to book a room at the Toyoko Inn that’s just down the road from the JR Sapporo train station. It’s a lot more expensive than the hostel I was eyeing, but the location proved invaluable as it can be really tough to walk outside when it’s snowing.

Then again, after reading my friend’s complaints about the sweltering heat of Manila, I suppose I shouldn’t be whining about the cold.

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Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 9 Comments
  1. TW says:

    Heard there’s a big storm on its way to Japan. Do take care!

  2. Terence says:

    Thanks for sharing your travel experience and what transpired during your trip in Japan.

  3. we pinoys have a love-hate relationship with cold weather, I think. its novelty blinds us sometimes that we forget how crappy it gets when you’re face turns numb from the cold snowy wind and your eyes gets red from the bitter dry air. i discovered that i like the cold. but not the snow so much. haha.

  4. Riz says:

    I’ve never experience snow yet. Perhaps in the future. Nice shot. looks like its freezing out there. take care. :)

  5. […] It may be spring down in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo, but in Hokkaido and the Gifu Prefecture, it’s still winter. Or at the very least, cold and snowy. It was my […]

  6. apol hapatinga says:

    I just accidentally stumbled in your blog, and guess what, I’m loving it already :)

    I have one question lang po, what month ang season ng cherry blossoms sa japan? pangarap ko kasi makakita nun kaya nag iipon ako para makapunta dun.

    and is it true na you need to have a show money of not less than 100k kapag pumunta dun?

    thanks! and more power

    • Nina says:

      Thanks Apol!

      The sakura trees starts blossoming this time of the year, and depending on the region, it will continue until mid May. You can check the forecast here:

      There’s no hard rule as to how much money you need to have in your account. The important thing to remember that you must be able to prove that you can afford to fund your stay in Japan and that you have strong reasons to come back to the Philippines.

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