My first stop in Japan this summer was Sapporo. I’d never been to Hokkaido before and felt lured by photos of lush lavender fields and ice cream and the promise of cooler temperatures. I was also exploring this part of Japan solo, which I haven’t done before, I’m usually visiting someone somewhere in Japan or traveling with people.
I arrived in the pouring rain at night and headed towards the trains, feeling pretty confident because for the first time I had my own little travel wifi egg. (Misleading, definitely not an egg but instead a little box.) I could check out where I was going and needed to go fairly easily on my phone. I can’t believe I’ve never bought a wifi egg before. Usually I just suffer with trying to find pockets of wifi.
I did however, double check that everything was correct at the airport information and my Icoca pass would in fact work with the trains. Got a yes on all the accounts, so I hopped on the train and made my way to Sapporo station…where I promptly got turned around inside the station trying to follow signs for the right exit. Eventually I got it right and popped out into the rain and dragging my suitcase through puddles in the direction of my hotel. I was so glad I was wearing waterproof sandals because any other pair of shoes would’ve left me with miserable and soggy socks. Which is not the best way to start a trip.
My hotel was only a couple blocks away which made getting there fairly easy. I checked in and took the old fashioned elevators up to my room.
It was a decent room and in an elegant British style. Or at least that’s the vibe they’re going for. However it gave off the feel of an old place with a slight haunted vibe. Which may or may not have been because of the creaky sounds my room had mixed with all the dark old looking furniture and the wooden window shutters. They did however nicely provide two water bottles every day as well as offer some services, like in room massage for a certain fee that I did not take advantage of, despite being tempted after a day of running around in the sun. There was also plenty of space for myself and several guests. (There was another bed and a couch) My only negative to the room was probably user error. I couldn’t figure out how to get the room cooler, despite playing with the thermostat.
My room wasn’t booked with breakfast included but after walking past their British inspired winter garden several times I knew I’d have to check out breakfast. So after being out and exploring late into the day I went to the front desk and purchased a meal ticket. It cost 1,900 yen price which is approximately $19. A bit pricey for breakfast. But curiosity got the better of me. (Note: They don’t take any money near the winter garden only at the front desk so you have to purchase ahead of time and get a voucher.) Breakfast itself was set up in two rooms. You could put your reserved card down at either the winter garden and in the room with the buffet. There was a lot of food which I’m sure was perfect for people who love adventurous breakfasts. I, however, am somewhat stubborn and am not really good at eating things I don’t consider breakfast foods…at breakfast. They had a ton of local specialties, soups, noodles, rice dishes and so much more even an omelet bar with a chef waiting to make it in front of you at a little table. I decided to go for the local milk, a local melon which turned out to be encased in jelly, some sausage and “bacon” (which looked like samgyeopsal) both of which were too oily for me, some local fruit, local yogurt with some cereal and fruit preserve, a waffle with red beans on top, and pumpkin bread. It wasn’t bad. Not the most adventurous breakfast but for my second breakfast in Sapporo, but decent. (Though I don’t think my non-adventurous breakfast self ate enough for the 1,900 yen price.) Breakfast is from 7am until 10pm.
Hotel Monterey is a chain in Japan. All the different one have their own design influence. There’s two within walking distance of each other in Sapporo alone. The other is called Hotel Monterey Edelhof which is done in a 19th century Vienna.