There are total of 47 prefectures in Japan. There are some unique and interesting thing in each prefecture which is unbelievable for other prefecture residents. Some of them will make the resident proud of it, while some of them are special cuisine which you must try! You can know the residents’ characteristic by reading this article. It might help you to understand the prefecture more to make your trip smoother. We will introduce you either the event or festival, culture or the prefecture residents’ characteristic from around Japan, starting from this article. Introduction of events, customs and prefecture citizens that are held only in the land. This series of articles are different with any other articles. We try to bring you the real local things in Japan. We are going to introduce from the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido in this very first episode.
The area of this prefecture is so wide! One cannot survive here without car
There are subway, train and bus in the center of Sapporo. This is very convenient, and you might not feel that car is necessary here. However, it is actually very inconvenient, if you are going to travel to outskirt area in Hokkaido without using a car. You might need to travel at least 60 km just to go to a shopping mall for shopping. By the way, do you know that there is a river in Hokkaido University Sapporo campus, and also a huge ground which is even wide enough for picnic in the campus. A garden as wide as the park in Canada.
Travel distance is so long
Do you want to drive comfortably and freely on a road without a traffic light? Yeah, you can only find such kind of long straight road it in Hokkaido. Even in daily life it is very common to travel 30 kilometers or 60 kilometers to reach your destination. It is a common thing that car navigator will remind you that you have to drive another 80 kilometers to get you to the destination. In addition, even though we have highway in Hokkaido, due to the undeveloped road structure there are many big curves on highway, therefore you might take longer time to reach your destination even though it looks near in the map. For example, trip from Sapporo to Hakodate is about 310 kilometers but it will take you approximately 6 hours to reach by car.
Never see any Cockroach?
Basically, Hokkaido is very cold that even cockroach cannot survive here. Compared to other areas, the numbers of cockroach in Hokkaido is very low. Cockroach is very rare, that many residents who grew up in Hokkaido have never seen any real cockroach. Some of them do not know how does cockroach looks like, as then never see one before.
Can you walk smoothly on the snowy land, with a high-heeled shoe
All the shoes in Hokkaido come with anti-slip feature. And it is surprisingly easy to walk the high-heeled shoe, as it can pierce on the icy land. However, even though you can always see a lady walking with a high-heeled shoe, you better do not try it, because that action needs skills
To wear a short sleeve in winter? Indoor is actually warm?
The indoor is hot even during winter in Hokkaido. You will feel hot no matter when you are in convenience store, shopping mall or any other building during winter. Hokkaido residents just wear a shirt and short pant at home during winter, and the consumption of the beer and ice are actually higher in this season. Since it is quite hot when you enter a building, it is very common that the residents in Hokkaido wear short sleeve with coat. However, those are just some daily life sample. If you really wear the coat with short sleeve shirt to join the Sapporo Snow Festival, you might get a frostbite.
The method to cope with cold winter
In Hokkaido the temperature gap between the outdoor and indoor is very huge. The heater in the shop or public transportation is keeping you warm perfectly. Therefore, if you are wearing too thick at those places then you are going to sweat a lot, and will get cold when you come out from the shop or public transport. Hence, the most important item is to get an adjustable clothes combination. When you are walking at outdoor, it is recommended to wear a scarf to prevent the cold wind to your neck. It is recommended also to wear a boot which made from anti-slip material.
Eat the Grilled lamb while having the Spring Cherry Blossom viewing during spring season?
Only in Hokkaido, Cheery Blossom viewing always comes with grilled lamb. In Hokkaido, the residents like to grill and eat the lamb outdoor, while enjoying the Spring season feeling at outdoor. As Hokkaido style, Residents here like to BBQ at the BBQ-allowed park, and having the Cherry blossom viewing there in order to feel the approaching of Spring season. Of course, even in the popular park, Goryokaku Park, you could see a lot people grilling lamb under the cherry blossom tree! If you manage to reserve the "Ohanami Package", then you can just go there to enjoy your grilled lamb package without preparing anything in advance.
How was it? Please tell us how you feel by reading the above article in the comment field on the right comment box. Also, please look forward to the next coming volume of this series! In the next article we are going to introduce Okinawa Prefecture which located in the south of Japan! If there is any prefecture you wish to understand further, kindly drop a comment to us as well!