After lunch we walked a bit around the streets of Sapporo just to see the sights. For me it was a time of quiet introspection, looking for the small treasures rather than the larger-than-life monuments. Our general target for the walk was the Botanic Garden at Hokkaido University.
As this was mid-December and Sapporo is as far north as Buffalo NY, the gardens were in their quiescent state (obvsiously), and closed to the public, even during the day. In spite of this I still found a quiet beauty in the grounds. The part of the Gardens that were open were the greenhouses. We paid ¥100 to walk through the greenhouses, where I managed to find a few personal photographic gems even in the winter.
After spending time in the greenhouse and around the outside, we slowly headed back towards the train station and the trip back to Chitose. It was getting towards sunset (4pm), the wind was picking up, and the flurries were growing heavier.
As we walked back we also walked into a number of the public buildings. This long hallway immediately caught my fancy. The architect built it with lights buried in the floor and lit in such a way that it looked like the light was coming from the slits in the wall and falling on the floor. It looked like a set from a science fiction film.
We finished our exploration of Sapporo with a stop at a local Starbucks and each had a large hot cocoa. On the way back to the train platform I happened to spot this young woman using some public art as a texting rest stop.
When we got back to Chitose we stopped off at a local 7-11 (yes, they have those all over the place, too) so that my business partner could withdraw some cash from the local ATM.
Once again I marveled at the intersection of Japanese and American pop culture.