Sapporo best city visited for quality of life

Clear and clean buildings, not a paper in the streets, daily exhibitions in the subway between Odori station and Sapporo station like Bonsai, chrysanthemum, paintings. Well-behaved people and shops that offer products of impressive quality. Of course, it takes a little money, however it is accessible when we do it well.

If you are looking for a place to live with a huge quality of life in Asia, I advise you to go to Sapporo. Japan, in general, is renowned for its quality of life. However Sapporo is really the city that impressed me the most in terms of quality of life. Perhaps because the climate is colder than elsewhere. In any case of all the cities that I saw from Asia but also from Asia, Sapporo is the city with by far the best city quality.

I went to Sapporo by chance even though I wanted to go to Hokkaido. Although Japan often surprises in terms of quality, I was even more surprised when I arrived in the city. Let’s start already at Chitose airport. Sapporo is the 5th largest city in Japan and the airport is beautiful, big, wide, upscale shopping, one level of a capital. You can even visit a chocolate factory and go to the fish shop.

It’s the cleanest city I’ve seen in my life. It’s nickel, the aisles are wide, there are no bins in the streets and there are no papers either. It’s a pleasure to walk there. There is no less serviced neighborhood, each neighborhood is of excellent quality.

The river that runs through the center of the city has an exceptional layout, it’s wide with pleasant alleys, impressive views and even tennis courts that can be improvised. To this we can add many beautiful gardens. If you want to rest and contemplate, it is easy to find green spaces. What impresses me in this city is the feeling of breathing and feeling calm. Unlike Osaka and Tokyo, the streets are never really crowded, but much more airy.

For the rest, lots of shops, regular exhibitions, high quality amenities, respect and a good place to walk and cycle. Japan is obviously expensive, but the quality of life proposed here is largely justified. And do not forget that food is cheap too.

Sapporo Toyohira river

Toyohira is the river that runs through the city of Sapporo. For me Sapporo offers an exceptional quality of life in every way. All sidewalks are extremely wide and it is great to walk in Sapporo. This river is beautiful because you have an impressive green space that runs through the city.

The impressive point is the width of the layout of this river, you are in town and when you walk in this place you breathe, you see the mountains, you hear the sound of the water. It’s all inspired by Sapporo, a city in the North where life is good and a quality of life hard to find in the world. Every day I crossed the river by the bridge and I had this magnificent vision with this green woof, this river and these mountains. only problem is that at this time, it is early night and Sapporo has a cold climate. For the rest Sapporo is the city of Asia that I saw that offers by far the best quality of life.

Toyohira River runs from Jozankei in the Minami-ku area of Sapporo, runs through the downtown Sapporo area, and flows into Ishikari River. It is a first class river, where you can see salmon swimming upstream in the fall. In the Minami 30jo area of the river is a 390-meters-long water park with lots of things for children to play with. In the summers, many families visit the Water Garden to cool off and the children play in the water. There is a variety of playthings including slides, boats, and climbing frames. The water is also shallow enough for children to play safely. There is parking nearby. We recommend bringing a lunchbox and drinks to this free water park.

Sapporo Odori Tower

Excursion on the TV Tower located in the center of Sapporo. This tower gives the possibility of having a view of the whole city of Sapporo and in particular the famous Odori Park. The tower is not very high and the observatory is about 90 meters high. But the view is very nice and you can see the mountains and the whole city. The Odori Park is impressive because the alignment of roads and park is perfect, it is an oasis of greenery in the center of Sapporo, as can be found a lot.

Sapporo TV Tower, which has an observation deck with nice views of the park and the surrounding city. The tower is just under 150 meters tall, and the observation deck is at an elevation of 90 meters. During the evening the tower is illuminated, making it an attractive landmark.

Odori Park is the broad median of Odori in the center of Sapporo, separating the city into north and south. The park stretches about a kilometer and a half over twelve city blocks and offers pleasant green space during the warmer months. In early February, the park serves as the main site of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

Arrived in Sapporo Japan

I arrived in Sapporo. After two weeks in Malaysia, I decided to go to Japan to Sapporo. I was not sure about going to Japan because the cost of accommodation is high. But I really keep that in mind and it was hard to travel in asia without going to Japan. So I look for the right opportunity that I found. A nice accommodation in Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. An individual studio on AirBnb for a great price.

In the same day I booked my flight to Sapporo with my accommodation. Know that Japan from Southeast Asia like for example Malaysia is almost 8 hours of flight so it’s not nothing. Fortunately it is possible to have interesting flights on the Asian continent but for a very basic confort.

Sapporo was for me a long-time goal. In Japan it was synonymous with tranquility and cool climate. I went from the tropical climate of Malaysia to Sapporo with a fresh continental climate. But what happiness to be in this climate and this environment. If you think you have to go to Europe to have a cool climate with coniferous vegetation, amazing foliage of autumns or still coniferous forests you are wrong, you simply have to go to Japan which proposes all this. The colors are so beautiful at this moment. I think Hokkaido is amazing in every season, winter for the snow and frozen lake, spring for cherry blossom, summer for good climate and nice hikking, and automn for tree colors.

The airport is almost new and there are now many connection from many countries in Asia. To reach Sapporo Station just need to take the Rapid Line around 30 minutes. The airport is located 50 km from Sapporo. Sapporo station is amazing, modern, clean, convenient, many stores. Like many big cities in Japan the main station is like a city, shopping mall, food, connections and more. There is a full underground here on more than 600 meters plenty of shops to link Sapporo main station and Odori station, the connection of all subway line.

Osaka Dontonburi Area

Dotonbori is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Osaka. It’s so popular that almost everyone in Japan has heard of it. But unless they are from the Kansai region, most might not know what exactly there is to do in Dotonbori.

It is just amazing to see the number of tourists in this area and in this main area. It’s simple, from morning to night, it’s full. The crossing at the intersection of the bridge with all the screens is probably one of the busiest intersections of all the planet.
I go through this place almost every day and I regularly ask the starbuck coffee located upstairs where we have a fast impressive on the crossroads. Yes it’s just impressive the number of people and tourists crossing the area every minute, it never stops. It becomes really tiring. If you ever come from the countryside I advise you to hang on if you do not want to feel invaded.

What is Dotonbori?

Dotonbori is the name of the downtown area of Osaka. It is also the name of Dotonbori River, which flows just north of the downtown area. There are so many restaurants and entertainment spots in this area that you couldn’t get bored even if you spent all day in Dotonbori.

The name Dotonbori comes from the merchant Doton Yasui, who begun construction of the river in 1612. ‘Bori’ from the name of this place refers to the canal that was created by digging.

Dotonbori is famous for its eye-catching signage and billboards with a giant pufferfish, an octopus, a clown, the Kani Douraku crab all vying for your attention and creating an amusement park-like atmosphere. Of all these signs however, the most famous is that of the Glico running man above Ebisubashi Bridge.

Here you can see the famois Glico Man. An advertisement for Glico candy, the 20 meter tall and 10 meter wide sign shows a man running on a blue track with his arms raised in victory. This is actually the 6th version of the sign which was last renewed with LED lighting in 2014. However, the first Glico sign was installed here in 1935 and over the years it has become a much loved landmark of Osaka’s Minami area. In fact the Glico running man and Ebisubashi Bridge below it is the focal point of Dotonbori. It is a popular meeting spot, an essential photo stop for tourists, and the site of wild celebrations when local sports teams are victorious.

Travel in Japan for no more than 1000€

Live in Japan as a tourist for no more than 1000€

It’s my goal for this full month in Japan. Objective that I will achieve. It is not easy as a tourist to travel to Japan for less than 1000 € per month, but this is possible. And this is possible without sleeping in dormitory. As I like to be quiet I need to have an individual room, as small and uncomfortable as it may be, as long as I have a personal room. I will give you my advice to stay a month in Japan budget. Of course if your goal is to see a lot of things, it will not fit your project. But if, like me, you are traveling long term and you really have to be careful, it will work.

– First choose osaka as a destination, if you want a budget accommodation, osaka is the only city that offers several budget accommodation for travelers. Maybe in other cities you will have some dormitory housing, but if you want budget accommodation, Osaka is the best city. Osaka is also the only city that offers some accommodation in a small single room of 5-7m2 for the same price as dormitory accommodation. All these accommodations are located in the same area, within a radius of 500 m2 near shin-imamiya station. The neighborhood is a little run down and it’s a marginal neighborhood with strange people. But it is just Japan so despite everything you have no really risks.

I spend my first two weeks in Hotel Toyo backpacker, where i paid for a small individual room 200 €. The hotel is great it is very clean with a nice common room. The great point is that you have perfect share bathroom with great western shower. I can advice this place almost the best price for small individual room in Japan.

I spend two other week in an classical Ryokan. It is really old with few conveniences. Shared bathroom are really average, not many maintenance. But outside of this i have my own room of 8m2 in the 4 floors in the angle where i’m quiet. And for the price i have my own room with a bed, a small table with a chair for my laptop, and even airconditionner and a small fridge. And even a small TV even if i don’t use this. For this i paid 180€. 180€ for two wekeks in Japan

– Second is the budget per day: I spend about € 15 a day, it’s the budget I set myself. Of course with this budget, we do not eat at the restaurant, we do not pay visits and we do not spend time using public transport. But with this budget it allows me to eat in Osaka, to move easily, and to sit in the cafes. Sometimes I get to be a little below, sometimes I’m a little above, but it’s a good average. With this budhet it makes me a total of about 450 € at the end of the month. I spend a little money in cafes to work in particular. But finally I spend almost nothing on a visit or in expensive food, or in transport. I think 15 € a day is the average low for traveling in Japan budget. The goal is not to stay limited either.

– Extra, yes there is. Already charges from time to time with the credit card. Even if we try to limit them as much as possible, there is always a little. Some visits or outings that make extra expenses daily. Yes I can think I easily add to this sum 100 or 150 €.
Here is the total I will be able to turn without spending more than 1000 € for a month of Japan, having a small single room. I did not think I could do that. For comparison I spent so much on housing in Thailand. But I had also chosen a more qualitative housing where I had an apartment. I could have made the choice to spend less on housing. In Thailand I lived daily for 10 € per day.

 

 

 

Osaka Umeda area

Osaka Umeda area is a the heart of the city of Osaka. It is the business center and both the upscale neighborhood of Osaka. Here, one has the impression of being in a capital by the importance of the centers of factories, the network of transport and the magazines. The number of shopping mall is impressive, as well as the modernity of places. Overall the space is just impressive.

Given the number of people who come through the station everyday, it’s incredible that the trains manage to stay on time, the streets manage to preserve their clean appearance and pedestrians maintain a generally calm composure despite all the workers on the streets.

Many very large buildings with a modern transport network that cross over multiple lines, it seems to be at the heart of a financial center. There are gardens on the roof of some building where you can have a wonderful view of the city.

One of the biggest building is Umeda Sky Building. Accessible by an underground walkway, the Umeda Sky Building is one of the tallest and most impressive buildings in Osaka. It’s more like two buildings connected by a bridge at the top. There’s a great observation deck at the top called the Kuchu Teien  Observatory. The views from here are great, especially in the evening, although they’ve now been overshadowed by those at the Abeno Harukas Building in the Tennoji Area.

 

Osaka namba park

Namba park is the place where i go the most part of my time. Because it is the center of Osaka with many cafe and place to stay. Moreover i don’t need to take the transportation to go there, 20 minutes walking is great to reach this center.

The entire development includes a 30-story office tower and adjacent mall, but what really makes Namba Parks stand out is its rooftop park that gradually ascends eight levels and gives passers-through the feeling that they are actually standing high on a mountaintop in nature when they’re actually right in the middle of the city. Right below the park, there is like a carves, a path through the mall, as they stroll past shops, entertainment spots and dining area.

 

Different flavors of restaurants  can be found on the 6th floor, and shops are located on the 2nd through 5th floors. There are also terraces located both on the rooftop and amidst the canyons, an amphitheater for live shows, and space for small personal vegetable gardens and wagon shops. The best is to finish on the roof where you will have the best view on all the surroundings and on many floors.

Shitennoji temple Osaka

An other attraction near my accomodation. Osaka is not the best place to see numerous historical places, temples or Shrines. It is more for the modern side of the city.  However there are few nice historicals attractions. Shitennoji temple is the temple to see in Osaka. The temple is very easy to find and there is few other historical building around this.

Shitennoji Temple is Japan’s oldest official temple. It was founded in 593 by the prince Shotoku Taishi; a major figure in Japanese history who played a leading role in introducing Buddhism to Japan. He named the temple after the shitenno: four heavenly kings of Buddhist tradition who guard the world from evil. The prince had prayed to these kings during a time of war, and when the war was over he had the temple built in order to give thanks.

Though this temple complex has a long history, most of the buildings have been destroyed by fire and rebuilt several times, and several of the current buildings actually date from the 1960s and 1970s. Few meters after there are two ponds full with many turtles.

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Keitakuen Garden in Osaka

I have the chance to be totally in the center of Osaka. I go an afternoon in Tennoji park. Tennoji park is a big park where you can have differents areas like gardens, zoo and other activities in the nature in the middle of the city.I spend one hour in Keitakuen Garden. The garden is small but it is exactly how a japanese garden is.

At Keitakuen, you can delve into the beauty of modern Japanese gardens. And i was not disappointed. Peacefull and beautiful place.
Keitakuen was first designed by Ogawa Jihei 7th, who is said to be the father of modern Japanese gardening. The combination of the three elements, lake, rock, and plants, to create a beautiful atmosphere.

Japanese gardens can roughly be categorized into 3 types, and Keitakuen is the type where visitors can take a circular stroll. You can enjoy a different scene with every angle and season.

 

Rocks of different shapes and sizes are placed around the lake in the center of the garden. It is pleasant walking around the garden.

Keitakuen Garden is home to nearly 200 types of trees. From the cherry blossoms in the spring, to the falling leaves in autumn, every season comes with its own beauty.