Our ANA flight from New Chitose Airport to Osaka Kansai Airport was at 7.25pm. Instead of hanging around Sapporo, the group decided to spend the day at the airport.
After a quick breakfast in the room, we checked out of Hotel Monterey Sapporo and took our final walk to JR Sapporo Station. This time with all our luggage. And it’s no small feat pulling luggage through slushy snow.
We chose to take the JR Airport Express Train because it’s the fastest mode of transport especially in winter where there’s high chance of traffic jam. On hindsight, I should have bought reserved seats, at least for the seniors in my group. The train was packed and it was a bit stressful having to haul the luggage up and squeeze into the carriage and stand throughout the journey. Thankfully the ride only took about half an hour.
Check-in was a breeze and we had almost 6 hours to explore New Chitose Airport. Everyone split up to do their own last minute shopping. My family went in search of the food items we wanted – Rokkatei’s 大平原 and Marusei Butter Cookies, Amato’s Marron Coron and LeTAO’s Maalu. All were available at various shops except Marron Coron. We had to ask the information counter who directed us to the only shop that retailed it – Kita Kitchen by Marui Imai.
We took a break from shopping to have lunch. Having fallen in love with butadon, we made a beeline for Butadon Meijin.Of all the butadon we ate during this trip, this was the worst simply because the sauce wasn’t nice, at least to me. My husband thought it was alright. He would have bought the sauce if we had not checked in our luggage. Time to explore the connecting path between the domestic and international terminal. First up was Hello Kitty Japan followed by Starbucks. At the time of my visit, Starbucks was retailing this special Japan Geography Series. I kind of regretted not getting the Hokkaido set. At the connecting path was also Royce’ Chocolate World, Hello Kitty Happy Flight and Doraemon Waku Waku Sky Park. The highlight of Royce’ was the bakery. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the mood for anything chocolate so I just took pictures of the yummy pastries. If I was taking a direct flight back to Singapore, I most probably would have bought tons home because the Royce’ outlets in Singapore do not have pastries. By the time we finished exploring the connecting path, my husband and girls needed a break so they rested at the sitting area outside Starbucks. I went back to Level 2 to check out the remaining shops.
I returned to Kita Kitchen where we previously got the Amato Marron Coron and chanced upon bottles of pudding in the chiller. I gathered from the placement card that it was wine milk pudding (actually it’s made using Kushiro’s famous Fukutsukasa sake) and bought one to try. It was divine!
While writing this post, I researched further on this pudding, horo 酔プリン and found that it was made by a French restaurant in Kushiro called Iomante. I checked Google Map and saw it was so close to Crown Plaza ANA Kushiro, the hotel I stayed just 10 days ago. Too bad I didn’t know about this place earlier. Other than food, I went in search of more Japanese magazines and found Fudge in one of the bookstores. The issue came with a set of three Lisa Larson pouches which I thought would be a nice present for my niece.While we were there, New Chitose Airport was having this stamp rally in conjunction with Flyers, a shop retailing aircraft related products. There was a total of 6 stamp booths spread out across 3 levels. We started at 6 and worked our way up to 1. There was also a special stamp commemorating the airport’s 5th anniversary.Once the stamps were completed, we took the sheet to Flyers to exchange for gifts. I chose the Hello Kitty Happy Flight Puzzle, my girl took the toy plane.We decided to have an early dinner before going into the departure gates. Between Hokkaido Noodle Hall and Food Court, we chose the latter but ended up eating noodles, which wasn’t great. The udon was good but the side dishes were too fried and tasted really oily. The number of shops after immigration weren’t many so for those who want to shop, do it before entering the departure gate.
It was a 2 hr 20 min ANA flight to Osaka Kansai International Airport, followed by a 1 hr 30 min transit before boarding a SQ flight back to Singapore. I was hoping to grab some of the tidbits I bought during my visit to Osaka last year, especially Hojicha KitKat and anything matcha.
Little did I know that our Hokkaido trip will be extended . . .