Saturday 9 June, 2018
Day 10 / Sapporo to Tokyo
[Missed Day 9? Read the previous post here]
It’s our final day in Hokkaido and I kick it off by going for a run to Odori Park, where the Yosakoi Festival was held the previous, rainy night. The weather has cleared up and it’s interesting to see everything being packed away, including the stages and lots of stalls. We check out at 9:20am and make our way to Sapporo station for the airport via the underground tunnel we discovered yesterday.
We have 15 minutes before our train departs so we toss up whether to buy some Royce, Hokkaido’s famous chocolate. It’s pretty pricey so we decide against it, but it’s a good thing we do as we discover a mountain of different Kit Kat varieties when we arrive back in Tokyo and stock up on that instead.
We eventually decide on Hokkaido Melon, Kyoho Grape, Sakura Matcha, Uji Matcha and Wa-Ichigo. The grape one tasted like Hubba Bubba bubble gum – not my thing!
As we make our way through Sapporo airport, I quickly check my emails and notice our hotel booking for Tokyo we made the other day hasn’t gone through properly despite our credit card being charged, so I’m frantically trying to contact the hotel and booking site before we board. As we head onto the plane we try to think of a back up plan in case the hotel isn’t available. I start thinking we may have to find a Love Motel as originally planned.
The flight is pretty smooth and upon arrival in Tokyo we spend the entire train journey scouring the net, looking for accommodation that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We eventually find a place in Shinagawa – and although it’s further out from Shibuya than we had planned, it’s only a 20 minute train ride to Haneda airport which is handy.
We decide to stop off at Shibuya anyway for some last minute sightseeing and drop our bags off at the lockers in the train station. That’s one great thing about Japanese trains stations – being able to lock your bags up so you can wander around hands free. We go up a few floors to get a nice vantage point of Shibuya Crossing and stop to watch for a while.
We then visit a few other places we’d been meaning to visit starting with the 100 yen store and Tokyu Hands, that has a cool stairway showing how many calories you burn as you walk up each level…
Where we discover a whole level of gambling games going on…
Including horse racing…
Cheye has a crack at winning a Persona 5 toy on the skill tester (and ends up dropping about 1,000 yen into the machine)…
…and the Hachiko statue.
We also buy some soy milk ice cream, soy shakes, and custard filled pancake dessert from Mr Bean.
After picking up our bags from Rory’s house in Yutenji, we then grab our bags from the lockers at Shibuya and head to Shinagawa to find our hotel.
Shinagawa station is massive and we wander around trying to find our hotel, Keikyu Ex Inn. Our room is small and has the stench of stale smoke, but we are just relieved to have found a place for the night and prepare for our flight back home in the morning.
Here’s a look at our cycling stats from the last four days!
Japan Travel Tip #10
Pre-book as much as you can in advance / Japanese people are exceptional organised, and that includes things like booking holidays and travel. Make sure you book things well in advance. We were planning to stay in a Love Motel on our final night, but couldn’t figure out the procedure for walk-ins. So we ended up trying book a hotel online, which proved difficult as it was so last minute and the only places available were either super expensive or quite far out from where we wanted to stay.
Till our next trip, じゃあまたね!