We flew to Sapporo via ANA because they have a special fare promotion called “Experience Japan” – basically, as long as you are flying on an international ticket (any airline) to Japan, you can purchase domestic flights by ANA within Japan for just 10,000 yen per sector. It works out to around S$120 to S$125 per ticket. We bought tickets for Osaka to Sapporo, and also Sapporo to Tokyo, and the two one-way flights cost us less than S$250/pax in total. It’s a full-service airline, not a budget flight, so complimentary drinks are served, and you also get a baggage allowance (20kg, one bag). Faster and cheaper than taking the shinkansen (bullet train)!
When we arrived in Sapporo, the first thing I did was to purchase discount train tickets to Furano because we were heading to Furano the next day. It’s lavender season now and there is a special direct express train that takes you from Sapporo station to Furano station in about 2 hours, for more than 4,000yen per ticket (one-way). It’s called the Lavender Express and has very limited timings – two in the morning and two in the afternoon. I did some research and found that you could buy a set of four tickets for just 8,720 yen (making it 2,180 yen per ticket, which is half price!). It’s very flexible and you just need to use all the tickets within 3 months. So, four was just nice for the two of us for a return trip to Furano and back!
We were staying in Susukino, and our hotel Holiday Inn ANA Sapporo Susukino was quite near the subway station, and was also just a few steps away from the famous Ramen Yokocho, or Ramen Alley. For our first meal in Sappoo, though, we hunted down a famous soup curry restaurant (apparently ranked #2 out of all Sapporo restaurants on TripAdvisor) called Soup Curry and Dining Suage+. It’s also in Susukino and we could walk there easily.
Ordered a yuzu lassi! It was very refreshing!
It was our first time trying soup curry (a Hokkaido specialty) and we were floored by how good it was! It was truly comfort food – flavourful, warm, full of ingredients, and paired with excellent rice. Suage+ had an option of cheese on top of the rice… how could I resist?
I opted for “lavender pork” which is SUPER FATTY and yummy.
Super yummy! Mario chose a soup curry with fried chicken and he said it was excellent too! You can customise your soup curry (ingredients, size, level of spice etc). We paid 2620 yen in total for our meal (two mains and one drink), and it was worth every yen!
Decided to sleep early as we had to catch the 7.55am Lavender Express train from Sapporo station and our tickets were for the non-reserved seats (NOT gonna pay extra for reserved seats!) so we wanted to arrive early and queue to make sure we could get seats. 😛