25.-27. apríl – Sapporo

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EN: The visit of Hokkaido island was one of the first planned destinations which I had set up before my arrival to Japan, considering the recommendations from Japan Guide and other forums I concluded that the best place to visit the island was Sapporo, the fourth largest Japanese city. Sapporo is relatively young city, it didn’t exist until 1866 and today it has more than two million inhabitants. The interesting thing is that the city itself was designed by foreign architects and with its long and straight streets it follows the American style of city growth. Maybe that’s why it looked a bit sterile, its monotonous design with no surprises of getting into the small, narrow streets like in Tokyo or Osaka and the lack of greenery (once again, when compared with Tokyo) didn’t impress me. The journey from Tokyo to Sapporo took around 10 hours on train, I used the Hayabusa Shinkansen to get to Shin-Aomori and from over there I had to take the normal express train. There will be a new Shinkansen track up in the north, but it will take some time to finish it. I recorded a short video in Hayabusa, so you can see how the fastest Shinkansen feels like (the link is at the end of Slovak text above).

SK: Keďže som mal v pláne navštíviť aspoň jedenkrát Hokkaido, vzhľadom na turistické príručky a odporúčania som si za svoj cieľ vybral Sapporo – štvrté najväčšie mesto v Japonsku, čo sa populácie týka. Sapporo je relatívne mladé mesto (teda aspoň na naše pomery), v roku 1866 ešte neexistovalo, dnes má skoro 2 milióny obyvateľov. Zaujímavosťou je, že o dizajn samotného mesta sa pri jeho raste postarali zahraniční architekti, napokon bolo rozširované v štýle severoamerických miest – rovné a dlhé ulice. A možno práve to pridalo na jeho sterilite, v porovnaní s Tokiom je Sapporo nudné a jednotvárne, chýbali mi tam parky, zelené plochy, zeleň na uliciach, ihličnany a podobne. Zatiaľ najväčšie sklamanie v Japonsku, pričom je potrebné vziať do úvahy fakt, že cesta tam a späť zabrala prakticky dva dni – 10 hodín z Tokia do Sappora a ďalších 10 späť. Jediným pozitívom bola cesta najrýchlejším Shinkansenom v Japonsku, Hayabusou. Krátke video, ako to vyzerá, keď si to švihá 320 km/h, nájdete tu.

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EN: The park Moerenuma was another disappointment. It is considered to be one of the must-see tourist spots in Sapporo, but it’s located on the outskirts of the town and the bus service towards the park is not very frequent. There is virtually nothing of interest around the park, it’s an industrial area. It was the time of early spring in Sapporo in the time of my visit, so maybe because of that the park missed a lot of colors and greenery. But anyway, I didn’t like the park at all, even if there is an artificial hill with partially nice views of Sapporo and some kind of a weird glass pyramid building. I would say that this place is not a tourist spot, but mostly a meeting point for sports-loving locals, who can enjoy various activities in the park, including tennis, baseball, etc. I decided to go back to the hotel, then I went to JR Tower, the tallest building on Hokkaido island, with much better view of Sapporo. I visited the TV Tower in the evening with optimistic expectations of nice night shots of the town, but there were too many lights in the observation terrace which reflected in the glass and therefore messed up the options to take proper pics. Since once again the usage of tripods was not allowed, well, you know the story. My visit of Sapporo is recorded in my diary in a way ‘right, I can say I visited Hokkaido and Sapporo’ and that’s about it. I believe there was a better destination to choose from in the north, but it was too late to think about it – I had to go on with using my JR Pass and there was no place and time for speculations. I didn’t even meet many foreign tourists, even though Sapporo is famous for the 1972 Winter Olympics.

SK: Na sterilite a jednotvárnosti Sappora nepridal ani značne ospevovaný park Moerenuma. Ten je označovaný za must-see miesto v Sappore, nachádza sa v okrajovej časti mesta, kde sa dá dostať iba autobusom, ktorý jazdí približne raz za pol hodinu. To samozrejme nie je nič skvelé, okrem parku v tejto oblasti nie je absolútne nič, okrem tovární a iných neatraktívnych prvkov. Samotný park je hlavne teraz na jar absolútne bezfarebný, listnaté stromy ešte nie sú zelené a možno práve tie by mu pridali na jeho kráse, no ja osobne som ohúrený nebol ani umelým kopcom, z ktorého bol výhľad na mesto a ani sklenenou pyramídou. Tento park by som skôr definoval ako miesto na socializáciu a kolektívne či individuálne športy, územie, kde si môžu lokálni spraviť piknik mimo mestského ruchu. Okrem parku som ešte navštívil JR Tower, z ktorej bol pekný výhľad na mesto, je to najvyššia budova na ostrove Hokkaido. Večer som sa vybral do TV Tower, teda veže, ktorá opäť pripomína Eiffelovku (podobne ako Tokyo Tower), očakával som pekné večerné fotky – žiaľ, tripody zakázané a na dôvažok vnútri vo vyhliadkovej časti kopa svetiel, ktoré sa odrážali od okien, čo vôbec nepridalo na kvalite fotiek. Sapporo mám zapísané v štýle “bol som tam a navštívil som Hokkaido”, možno je na severe sympatickejšia destinácia, no tento ostrov je pomerne uzavretý, turistov som nestretával často a to aj napriek tomu, že sa tam v roku 1972 konala zimná olympiáda.

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