The drive from Rusutsu to Sapporo took many hours because it was snowing very heavily with limited visibility. We finally made it back to our hotel, ANA Holiday Inn Susukino, only to find that there was no sheltered drop-off point to unload our luggage and the kids! So we just parked our car along the road and unloaded all our luggage and the kids via a few mad dashes to the lobby in the snow. Subsequently, hubby checked in with the kids while I went to return the rental car.
Since it was snowing heavily, we decided to have dinner at the restaurant located at the hotel lobby, All Day Dining Verde. I highly recommend this restaurant! For dinner, every dish in the menu cost 500yen. And we had further discount as hotel guests (10% iirc). [Update: Verde now serves shabu shabu for dinner instead of this 500 yen per item menu.]
We were super satisfied with the meal! During lunch / tea time, Verde operated buffet style so it would be even cheaper – around 1000 yen to eat all your can!
The next day, we took a day trip to Otaru. Our initial plan was to go in the afternoon and stay until evening time for the Otaru Snow Story. However, the news report said that it would be sunny in the morning and snowing in the afternoon at Otaru, so we changed our plan and went first thing in the morning.
We took the JR train from Sapporo station to Minami Otaru station (which was nearer to Marchen Intersection than Otaru station). There was no escalator nor elevator from the platform to the exit at Minami Otaru station, so hubby had to carry the stroller with MY sleeping inside up a long flight of stairs! Not a good start at all… After that, we had to push the stroller through the snow (which was seriously hard work) to get to Marchen Intersection. Once we reached, we immediately went to Le Tao Main store for a break.
After we were well-rested, we continued our stroll along Sakaimachi. You can read about Sakaimachi on this post from my previous visit in June, shall not repeat myself.
We finally reached Otaru canal. After visiting Otaru in Autumn, Summer and Winter, I still think Otaru canal is most beautiful in winter.
We had lunch at Masazushi, the sushi restaurant facing Otaru canal.
After lunch, we went to my favourite ice-cream shop, Kita No Ice, only to discovered that it was closed during winter! *cry*
It was snowing by the time we finished lunch, so we decided to head back to Sapporo. The walk back to Otaru station was very long and made worse by the difficulty of pushing a stroller through the snow. I really cannot decide which is worse: Bringing the 2 kids (who were a few kg heavier than usual due to winter clothing) around without a stroller, or pushing the stroller through the snow.
Back at Sapporo, we shopped around the underground shopping arcade (it was nice to be able to push the stroller around smoothly on snowless ground) and had dinner at the Kushidori before going back to the hotel.
The next morning, we had a quick breakfast at Yoshinoya before checking out of the hotel and taking the airport limousine to New Chitose Airport. Once at the airport, the kids went to play at the free playground in Doraemon Waku Waku Skypark while I sipped on a Doraemon latte. (Read more about this free playground on this post.)
For lunch, we went to Hanamaru, a popular sushi chain in Hokkaido which has a store at New Chitose Airport.
With our receipt from lunch, we were entitled to one hour of free play at Airport Kids Atheltic.
The kids had so much fun at Airport Kids Athletic!
After their play session ended, we went to the arcade next to the playground for more fun. I tried out one of those UFO catcher game machine and caught a tin of Frozen biscuits!
After this, we checked in to our room at Air Terminal Hotel for the kids to take their nap. In the evening, we went around shopping for souvenir, had dinner, slept and the next morning it was home sweet home.
Click on the links below for other posts from this trip:
Summarized itinerary for 17-day trip
Part 1: Sapporo
Part 2: Asahikawa, Akan National Park
Part 3: Kushiro, Obihiro, Tomamu
Part 4: Niseko, Noboribetsu, Lake Toya, Rusutsu
Part 5: Otaru, New Chitose Airport
More posts of my trips to Hokkaido with the kids:
Hokkaido in Autumn (October 2013)
Part 1: Flight, Hotel Mercure Sapporo, Toyota Rent-A-Car Sapporo
Part 2: Itinerary (with telephone numbers and GPS Map Codes)
Hokkaido in Summer (June 2014)
Part 1: Chitose, Lake Toya, Hakodate, Niseko, Otaru
Part 2: Sapporo
Part 3: Furano, Biei, Tomamu, Obihiro, New Chitose Airport