Tuesday, March 01, 2011

the cold bitter north

I heard it's snowing again in Sapporo, and though I started to write something about spring sidling in, here we are under another bout of sleet and other shittiness.
We went to our sister city a few weeks ago in time for the beginning of the festival, and spent some quality time dallying in kissaten, and bonding with snow, ice, crampons, hokkairo, hot beverages, and, most importantly, parfaits.
Penguin was, sadly, closed, so we had to hit up another spot recommended by my friend Prince. We traipsed around in flurries for a good long while, enlisting the help of a friendly koban policeman, and passed it twice before finally finding this spot, unassuming in the middle of a quiet block. Look for the pie-cake block letters on pressed aluminum, as the shop's name, People Peape, doesn't stand out. Cozy, grotty, indie, spectacular.
We went to Otaru on Sarah's recommendation, and while it was a pretty place, I think the best part may have been the algae boner photo op.

Though the music box emporium, recommended by Ben, was pretty magical. I love that this entire place is dedicated to increasingly esoteric analog technology. It reminded me of one of my favorite places, the Museé Mecanique in San Francisco.
We also stumbled on this cool café with Sarah, Sophia, and Nomu while freezing our booties off in downtown Sapps: The Cinema Café. It's underground (B1F!), with woody booths and lots of movie posters and trailers projected onto the wall. I don't know if they ever show full length movies, but it was a chill hangout. 
Sapporo, you do not disappoint. Though your weather is frigid, your people are hip and friendly and I really enjoy visiting. I hear Hokkaido is beautiful in the summer and I promise to visit in warmer weather, someday.


  1. Looks bbbbbbloody cold as usual... then again, that's part of why I like Sapporo in the winter. So different to Australia (our winters are just drab - and cold).

    The cinema cafe sounds great... will check it out next time I'm there (in about a month and a half).

  2. Bottocks hips, algae boners.. this post has it all!

  3. have you ever seen more of a parfait face? hahahah.

    i found a GREAT parfait in my hood, man

  4. Ben - it's a cute place. Most of the places we ended up in were really cool though!

    -phx-, I know, what more could you possibly need?

  5. Beth, what? Can we go next week, please? Serious. Pick a weekday, I'm free pretty much all week.

  6. Algae-boners ahoy! Back when I could be bothered writing on my blog I wrote about these guys http://poppytatton.blogspot.com/2009/10/marimo-what-exactly-are-they.html
    What is the deal with their full packages???

  7. Yeah, I mentioned them last year. They're a play on the words marimo (algae ball) and mokkori (erection) = marimokkori.

  8. Great pics. I don't think the algae boner was there when I went to Otaru, or I unfortunately missed it if it was. And that menu is priceless. Love it.

  9. I think algae boner is a Hokkaido native! He's everywhere.