People and Places...(05/21/00)

What can I say about one of the coolest places around?? Let's start with the most popular places around town:
  • Odori Koen - This place has to mentioned first, as it's probably my favourite and most fondly remembered location in Sapporo. It's basically a long row of block gardens that seperates South from North Sapporo, apparently originally designed so that if a huge inferno was to burn through the city, it would stop halfway across, thus only killing half the population. But it's also the heart of Sapporo. Kind of it's Central Park, or Hyde Park, where all sorts of people go to relax during lunch hour, or on weekends. It's also where all the major festivals are held, like the Winter Festival (Yuki Matsuri), which is a fantastic ice-sculpture festival, and the summer Soren festival, which is a bunch of dudes dancing around on the streets, and basically, just a big excuse to get pissed out of your skull on the local Sapporo beers. Odori Koen's a cool people watching place, and of course, most importantly is the best place to meet chicks on your days off. It's got some really nice fountains around for you to look at, and as long as you don't mind finding a seat inbetween the sleeping bums, it's usually pretty lively no matter what the hour. This summer, the night's were so warm and humid, it was great late at night. That's another one of the cool things about Japan you see, at night times, there's no attitude, so you don't have to be scared about getting beat up by gangs of arseholes parolling the streets after midnight, because Japanese are pretty non-aggressive, you even find groups of girls just hanging around the streets at 3 or 4 in the morning. So, many times I've accidentally chatted up some guys girlfriend by accident, and all he's done is laugh and introduce himself, presuming it was a mistake. Japanese are so cool like that. Not like football-hooligan England. Actually, though, the truth is, you live in Japan too long and you'll probably go soft. It's good and bad. Anyway, I'll try and get some piccys of Odori Koen soon.

  • Tokei Tower - The Clock Tower. I just wanted to mention this because it sucks. I mean, on the tour guide it say's - 'Come and visit the Tokei Tower, oh please, come and see our amazing architecture..' and it's like this little building that wouldn't you'd miss if you blinked. Why is this place famous? I saw it , and I was like 'What the shit?', I mean, it's not the Leaning Tower of Pisa or something, it's just a sucky little box dump. It's not worth seeing. But it's across from the -

  • Sapporo International Communication Plaza - Another example of Japan's eagerness to 'internationalize', this place, which is called the Kokusei by the local gaijin is good place to look for jobs, friends, vehicles etc. It's basically just a big building for foreigners and Japanese who want to mix with foreign society (e.g. learn English, Spanish dancing, find foreign restaurants etc). Like I said before, Japan isn't infested with foreign culture stuff yet, so they really need a place like this to seek it out. Here's the best place to meet other teachers, find an apartment, find a job, basically get information about your surroundings , AND - yeah you knew I was gonna say it - meet babes. The receptionists speak English aswell, and they'll help you do things like write your advert for English classes in Japanese and stuff.

  • Susikino - This is the heart of Sapporo, where you find all the best bars, nightclubs, video-arcades, restaurants etc. Apart from Odori Koen it's my favourite place to hang out at night time and just chill with a brew and some buddies while you watch all the people go to do their thang. Basically Susikino is just the name of the southern area of Sapporo town and consists of a few blocks of heavily concentrated associated nightlife establishments you find in any big city. Here you can go if you wanna see a strip show, or get a hooker - although it's way too expensive in Japan, and there are no designated 'Red' areas, it's all mixed in. This is the typical bright lights, big city, but on a smaller scale than places like Osaka and Nagoya. It's got the bright neon signs, the huge McDonalds in the centre and all the various joints under the sun. This means it can be kind of expensive, but my list on the Places to Go page should help you out there. Anyway, like any other country, you can go down the local 7-11 and get a cheap can of brew for about 190 Yen, so that'll get you started. Only trouble is, if you don't like beer, you're a bit stuck. I don't like beer so I just had to drink sake and chu-hi which is a kind of a pissy tasting wine which apparently the Japanese used to use to scrub floors with. Drink it and you'll know why. Ahh, it's not all that bad really, but it can't compete with good ol' English Cider. On another subject completely, you have to watch out for Yakuza, I mean, not that Yakuza are really bad boys, just businessman basically, but you don't wanna go getting rat-arsed and started a rumble with one as you'll probably wake up a finger-less idiot. I had some Yakuza buddies, a lot of Yakuza are just guys who can't get a real job, but they pretend to be hard-nuts when they aren't sometimes. Anyway, leave them alone and they'll leave you alone. I never had any trouble, they generally approach middle-aged Japanese businessman who're so drunk they might actually pay to go into one of the Yakuzas rip off joints. And no just in case you were wondering Sapporo-ites, the Yakuza are not those guys you see in Susikino with the black suits, they're just advertising agents. Actually it's the Isreali's are the arseholes of Susikino anyway. Just like in every bloody country you find them over in Japan clogging up the streets selling cheap-jewelry on the streets at extortionate prices, and the police can't do a thing to get rid of them. These days though a lot of them are getting deported. It's a good thing but I feel a bit sorry for some of those Israeli guys who were actually nice blokes that I got along with, and weren't out to rip-off the Japanese and were actually selling decent gear.
    Go into the heart of Susikino and see all the sexiest babes handing out leaflets to restaurants and bars, or check out some of the largest Sega Worlds you'll see in your life and catch all the kogyaru babes and hostess' in their social element. Either way, Susikino is the place to meet all the weird and wonderful denizens of Sapporo.

    OH MAN!!!You wanna see Susikino (and other places) in the flesh! Here it is dude, live (ish). CHECK IT OUT OR DIE!!

  • Asahi Yama - Actually this isn't the most reputable mountain in Sapporo but it is the most popular as it's not so high up, and it's within walking distance from most places. To get there follow the road alongside the Murayama Koen and take a right at the Royal Host restaurant. I just wanted to mention this because this is a cool chill out place. Whether or not you're bummed out from partying and want to chill or you wanna party some more in a beautiful location, this place is definately worth checking out for it's great views of the city. I used to love going up there in mid-summer to watch the sunset over Sapporo, with all the lights and neon switching on one by one. This is kind of a 'lover's lane' so don't expect to find many single babes hovering about, but you might find the occasional group which you and your buddies can chat to.

  • Nakajima and Murayama Koen - Two of the larger parks in Sapporo. Nakajima is based at the south of Susikino, it's got a few lakes and stuff but it's basically pretty average, same goes for Murayama. Not much to mention really, and unless there are cherry blossom parties going on you won't find many people in either one 'cept on Sundays. But their hardly hang-out joints like Odori Koen or Susikino. Mind you, you can catch some couples making-out in Nakajima at nightime somedays.... not that I'd ever stand and watch. Oh no!.


    I guess I should tell you a little about the differences between Japan game centers and the rest of the world's.

    a) Japan's are bigger and better. Full stop. You get all the latest and greatest games.

    b) Japan's games are usually 100 Yen a pop, which is 50p is English money. And this is usually for new games aswell. Pretty cheap.

    c) Girls go there, and they actually play the games instead of watching. It's so cool I could scream! And they're good aswell! They are actually really into the video game scene, just like guys. I'm gonna marry one of those babes one day!

    d) The game centers there are more popular than in other countries. People use game centers to chill out from a hard days work, or to meet girls. Often, big game centers are the main meet up points for groups going out for the night, like e.g instead of the McDonalds in the town. Some places get really packed out.

    e) Two-Four player machines are not side-by-side like in England. They actually have link-ups in Japan. For example, if you played StreetFighter, there would be an identical machine behind the one you where sitting on, so people could sit down and challenge you, and you would never know who whupped your arse with Dhalsim. Cool eh? So this makes it less hassle to challenge people to Tekken Tournament, as you don't won't to sit next to some freak who skitzes on you when you kick his arse.

    f) They're open all night sometimes.

    g) These places are the ultimate babe perving lairs - esp Sega World. All the best babes hand out there.


    • Sugai (SOUTH /, WEST /) - Biiiig mumma arcade, biggest in Sapporo, but not the best. Downstairs is shabba, just full of 'dance' machines and music stuff which is okay if you wanna look like a fool in front of everbody. But in the words or Mr.T 'I ain't no fool!' so I leave those games to the Japanese. Upstairs however is the main game center which has some good and bad stuff. Alot of my favourite fighting games and some weird old-ones I've never seen before. For example, they've got Jackie Chan - The Mortal Kombat clone from hell. It looks and plays like a Commodore 64 game. Not one of Jackie's greatest triumphs, I bet he was pissed when they showed him the preview. It's worth playing just for the cheese of kicking in little Jackie and watching him squeal with pain, hahaha. This is a good arcade to go to on a Friday night, cause it's just opposite Bar Isn't it? Does not beat Sega World though.
    • Sega World - This is the place to hang before heading out to the clubs on a week-end. It's right along the one of the main roads leading into Susikino, so outside you always see all the dudes selling stuff, yakuza, and sexy hostess's. Lovely. I used to go here on Fridsy's where a bunch of us would meet up and have massive Tekken Tournamount contests, which I could never win (those Japanese were born with a joypad in their hands I swear it). To top this they had a brilliant 4 player version of Spike Out, with twin amps by the side of your head that really made you feel every crunch and punch you made - absolutely excellent, I really England had an arcade scene like Sapporo did, but even London's pretty tame - who know's what NY's gonna be like?..By and far the best thing about this place is the amount of traffic passing through on week-ends, plus the fact that it's open 24 hours a day, so I've been known to head there at, like, 6 in the morning after finishing my night, where'd it'd still be packed out with a other video-game freakazoids like myself. And, like I may or may not have mentioned, a lot of normal people go to video-arcades in Japan just to chill, so theoretically you don't even have to leave those places to chat up some nice babes. More than once I just met a girl there, and we ended up deciding to head off to a club later and jive. Yeah, this place just rules with a capital R, my favourite place in the whole wide world.

Back to the Main page