OK, so Hokkaido (the northernmost of Japan’s major islands) isn’t actually north of a wall. But it does look surprisingly similar to some of the frozen landscapes of Game of Thrones.
I actually got back to New Zealand a couple of weeks ago, so I should probably do a summing-up post sometime soon. In the meantime though, I haven’t finished writing about my adventures before leaving. I actually went to Hokkaido (with Jackie, of course) during my final week in Japan, mainly to go and see the world-famous Snow Festival. It was certainly impressive …
In the end we spent the best part of two days (half our holiday) at the festival, but we did discover some other interesting places as well.
We weren’t actually staying in Sapporo (the largest city and site of the snow festival) because by the time I booked hotel rooms were hard to come by and incredibly expensive. The town we did stay in was about an hour’s train ride away, and although it was small it did contain a rather fun science center.
We also went on a trip to a chocolate factory. “Shiroi Koibito” is a famous Hokkaido souvenir, but the company that makes this also does numerous other chocolate products and (rather like the Cadbury factory in New Zealand) allows you to wander around their factory.
All in all, another place I would highly recommend. I’d quite like to go back in summer (apparently it’s not as hot as the rest of Japan) and go to a few other places around the island (it’s also famous for hot springs and ice floes, neither of which we were able to see).
That’s all for now — as I said at the start I’ll probably do a summary post at some point, but my adventure in Japan is officially over. Time to start studying computer science again … and saving money to go back!