Browsing Tag: japan

    Karate Nerd in China (Ep. 2) 🍵
    Articles, Blog

    Karate Nerd in China (Ep. 2) 🍵

    January 24, 2020


    Previously on Karate Nerd in China. I’m on my way to explore
    the roots of karate. But this time, I’m not going to Japan. I can’t believe I’ve already been exposed to one of the most important kung fu styles in the history of karate. (speaking Chinese) You can tell that is the
    original Bubishi right there. The old masters called
    it the Bible of karate. All I have to do is follow the Bubishi, and right now it’s telling me to visit the birthplace of White Crane. Follow along an epic adventure to rediscover the lost roots of karate, as Jesse Enkamp uncovers
    the ancient source of karate’s kung fu connection. This is what the history
    books never told you. You’re watching Karate Nerd in China. Today it’s time for a road trip. But first, coffee. My jetlag kept me awake all night, and I’ve gotta stay focused today, because, wait. What the heck? Is that a cat backpack? Anyway, as I was saying, today we’re going to Yongchun village where Alex booked a meeting with the White Crane research association. I have no idea what to expect, but I’m super excited. Before I know it, we’re there. It’s obvious that this town
    is famous for its kung fu. As we arrive, we’re greeted by the head of the association, Master Tsun. His job is to research,
    preserve, and promote the art. Nice to meet you.
    Nice to meet you, Jesse. Wow, we’re at the birthplace
    of White Crane kung fu. Surprisingly, White Crane
    actually has a lot of weapons, but they’re very different
    from what we see in karate. The coolest one is a trident, originally used to kill tigers. The secret is to squat down and wait for the tiger to pounce on you. So if you’re
    gonna defend yourself against a tiger.
    (speaks Chinese) Then as the tiger
    comes to you, you squat down, and put it straight up
    into his throat as he– Every White Crane school has a statuette of the
    woman who founded the style. Her name was Fang, and she came to Yongchun in the 16th century. Back then, southern China
    was a lawless country full of bandits and criminals. So, to defend herself, she created her own style of kung fu. And her first student
    was actually her husband. White Crane also incorporates lots of strength training tools. This heavy pole, for example. (kiai) Over a cup of green tea, I learn that the oldest White Crane dojo in town belongs to the Pan family. If we’re lucky, we might be
    able to visit later today. But first, it’s time to see the most important kata in Yongchun. And the man who knows it best
    lives up on the mountain. Hello, nice to meet you. This is Master Zheng. At first glance, he might seem
    like an unassuming farmer. But looks can be deceiving. Turns out, Master Zheng
    is an expert at Sanzhan In Japanese, we call it Sanchin. This form is considered to be the essence of White Crane in Yongchun. (kiai) (applause)
    Wow, thank you. Very impressive. Apparently, there are many
    different versions of this kata. But all versions share the same universal principle of body structure. Wow. How do you do it, this way? This way? Is that Sanzhan?
    Sanzhan. The key is to align your joints and stack your bones to connect with your center of gravity, thereby becoming virtually immovable. When the principles of
    Sanzhan are applied correctly, even a small and weak
    person can become powerful. It’s just biomechanics. He’s very strong.
    I know, right? Thank you. I hope to see you again. Now there’s only one stop left before we visit the
    oldest dojo in Yongchun. This is the White Crane Memorial Hall. Basically, it’s a museum in
    the middle of the jungle. Turns out that White Crane
    has many different styles, like Flying Crane, Sleeping Crane, Feeding Crane, and Whooping Crane, the style that I learned from Master Yu. Some people even argue that Wing Chun, the style that Bruce Lee practiced, is also a style of White Crane. (whoop) That’s why he made those whooping
    sounds, just like a crane. As the history lesson comes to an end, Alex pays his respects and
    prays to the statue of Fang before we’re finally
    dropped off at the dojo. The school we’re about to
    visit was established in 1928. So, Alex, where are we now? It’s Weng Gong Ci.
    Weng Gong Ci? Master Pan’s place, it’s a dojo. Very, very old dojo. It’s been said that every master in Yongchun started their journey here. This is the most famous dojo?
    Yes. Of the White Crane.
    Yes. (speaks Chinese) When I walk in, it feels like I’m in a kung fu movie. This is the birthplace
    of White Crane kung fu. This is Master Pan. He’s taking care of the dojo since his father passed away recently. His father was very famous, and had students all over the world. Pan Jr. literally grew up in this dojo. He’s been practicing White
    Crane for over 40 years. When I asked Master Pan what’s
    written on the whiteboard, he says it’s a list of their forms. But strangely enough, it doesn’t include any of the kata I’d seen
    previously on my trip. That’s because the Bubishi stuff isn’t practiced in Yongchun. I’d gone too far back in history. They don’t even do the forceful breathing I learned from Master Yu. The closest thing they
    have to classical karate is this old two-person exercise. [Alex] One circle,
    and then, do it again. Thank you very much. Very interesting. As we cool down with some tea, Master Pan reveals
    something very interesting. Fang Qiniang’s father
    learned Southern Shaolin, and then she added the crane movement by mimicking how the cranes move, and she added that into it. I couldn’t believe what I just heard. You see, the Shaolin Temple is mentioned everywhere in the history of karate. According to the research
    of Patrick McCarthy, the old karate masters
    had up to 13 distinct ways of referencing Shaolin in their writings. Okinawan styles like Shorinryu, Kobayashiryu, Shorinjiryu,
    Shoreiryu, and Matsubayashiryu literally translate to “Shaolin style”. And almost every dojo in Okinawa has a picture of a Bodhidharma
    hanging on the wall. He’s the spiritual grandfather
    of Shaolin kung fu. In fact, half of the
    Bubishi is said to be about monk fist boxing, the
    style practiced at Shaolin. But Master Pan is not talking about the famous temple you see on TV, because that’s in the north,
    and it’s mostly for tourists. This is a smaller,
    southern Shaolin temple, and many people don’t even know it exists. Perhaps that’s where I’ll find the missing piece of the karate puzzle. I’m so excited. As we leave the old dojo, all I wanna do is grab the first train to Shaolin. But before we leave Yongchun, Master Pan wants to introduce us to one of his father’s old friends. This is Master Su. He’s been teaching White
    Crane for 60 years, so imagine how long he’s been training. Thank you very much. I’m literally sweating tea at this point, and my jetlag is kicking in real hard. Luckily, Will is ready to take some pain. So he’s saying that karate doesn’t have this kind of coil-like grab. So you see, he can, from the middle he can strike
    easily from this position. Apparently, Master Su
    is an expert on joint locks. He calls this a softer
    form of White Crane. The goal is to be like a rod
    of steel wrapped in cotton. Strong inside, soft outside. Don’t be tense like that, be relaxed. So these three joints want to be relaxed. Your power won’t come out if you’re too tense, so you want to relax. So this is like the internal power here. It’s like I’m not even using force. Having strength is like having money. Strength is like money, that you can just lose it quite easily. Because he’s saying Crane shouldn’t be hard and tense, because it was founded by a woman. If a woman came up to
    him and said, (grunts) you’re not gonna marry her, are you, so it should be graceful and gentle. Before we leave Master Su, we’re treated to a
    demonstration by his daughter. Although her performance is lovely, this whole visit just confirms my belief that I’ve gone too far down
    the rabbit hole of White Crane. After all, I’m here to
    learn karate, not kung fu. Thank you very much. We thank the master and his daughter for the honor, then head back to the city. So Will, how does your hand feel? It’s in pain, like, seriously, I wasn’t exaggerating, I was trying to not react to it,
    because I didn’t want him to stop showing anything, right? So I was trying to hold the pain, but I was in absolute agony, I mean– Where did it hurt, like– Like here, it was just
    a very tiny movement. What he did was he basically said that you open this joint
    by like a micrometer, and that’s the key to the grab, so– Then you can’t resist. Yeah, he hardly did anything, but it just straight down like that, and you just cannot, you can’t do anything
    against it, that was amazing. It’s been a long day in Yongchun, and I’ve learned so much. But it’s time to shift gears. There are so many karate things
    I still haven’t found here, like deeper stances, more kicks, long-distance movements,
    and closed-hand techniques. But I know exactly where to look now. It’s time to visit the
    southern Shaolin temple.

    First Impressions of Osaka, Japan
    Articles, Blog

    First Impressions of Osaka, Japan

    January 24, 2020


    I flew into Osaka Airport from Kuala
    Lumpur, before that it was Manila so it was two flights and I got lucky enough
    to get this stunning view of Osaka from the air, now look at how built up it is
    Osaka is the second maybe third biggest city by population in Japan about three
    million people live here Japan’s funny because it’s a it’s
    obviously a very populated country a 130m people live in Japan
    but there are so many cities that they’re so spread amongst the the
    several islands the thousands not hundreds but thousands and the
    population is spread throughout this country very densely along the coastal
    regions because those are the only areas which are inhabitable a lot of Japan is
    mountainous it’s very difficult to build cities and build settlements there so
    lots of people live along the limited flat coastal regions now despite Japan being a very populated place with like I say
    well over 100 million people it doesn’t feel crowded when you’re
    there so you don’t feel like a sardine packed into a can you feel like every
    train station, subway, airport, building they’re all built and designed for large
    populations of people so you don’t get this kind of overcrowded feeling at
    least I didn’t do my time in Osaka it’s it’s quite unique because when you’re in
    London and some of those cities like it’s really quite common just to feel
    like you’re being packed in like it’s overcrowded like you’re queueing for
    ages to get through ticket barriers you’re waiting for I don’t know ten
    minutes to even top up your oyster card and then another ten minutes to just get
    on the platform and and you don’t really feel like that in Osaka so much now that
    might be to do with the fact that Japan’s population is actually on the
    decline we all know that Japan hasn’t exactly embraced globalisation or
    globalism like most other countries have so they haven’t had many
    new people move to the country the birth rates very low so the population is
    declining I mean maybe maybe 20 years ago it was much much much busier and
    it’s just a fact that there’s a decline in population which makes it feel less
    crowded but nonetheless I thought that was quite an interesting
    thing to observe. day one in Osaka Japan just on my bike correction on my sister’s bike
    just left her accommodation at a location undisclosed she works at
    Universal Studios Japan in Osaka I’m on the little known island of Osakako
    and I’m about to ride to the centre of town I was told that you should wait for
    the green man before you cross unlike in England where I just walk across
    whatever the colour I’m gonna abide by the rules here in Japan, respect the culture I’ve been riding along for about 20 minutes now and the first thing that
    struck me besides the general cold weather having come from a much hotter
    country the Philippines is how much or how cycle friendly how bike friendly
    these cities are everyone is on bikes lots of people cycling everyone is very
    respectful of the rules of the regulations people stop for red lights
    even if it’s totally clear and they just wait patiently for the light to change
    that’s not something you’d see in most countries that I’ve been to
    recently so yeah really friendly really clean, everybody’s Japanese you know like
    it’s very (homogenic?) I guess that’s the right word and yeah I’m loving it
    apart from the cold Japan does feel really really safe
    it feels very safe and let me just explain what I mean by that when you’re
    out and about like I was on my first day in Osaka ever I was out riding my bike I
    rode my bike about ten miles into the city and people are respectful to one
    another you can kind of sense in a city or at least I can at least I try and I
    try and keep my eyes open my ears open and I try and pick up the vibe and the
    sense that I got is that it’s very safe people respect each other and another
    thing which kind of confirmed this theory is that you see a lot of children
    out and about by themselves now I can’t speak for the whole world but certainly
    the UK like it’s very rare now to see kids out and about by themselves they’ve
    always got an adult with them they’re always supervised very rarely do you see
    like a child under the age of I don’t know 15 or something out unsupervised
    the world has changed in the last 20 years you know when I was very young
    like it was more common to see and certainly when like my parents
    generation were young back you know like the ’70s ’80s ’90s whatever you would
    see kids out and about by themself no big deal in Japan you still see kids
    just like running down the shop running errands for their parents and then
    like on a subway by themselves you’ll just see a kid on a train like
    traveling home from school by themself and I guess that to me was an
    indicator of a safe country because if you live in an unsafe country then it’s
    very unlikely that the parents would allow the children out like that and
    again just something else which I found kind of interesting so I was lucky enough to visit Osaka in
    April, Sakura season and I got to see all these beautiful cherry blossom trees
    and I’ll tell you what there’s no shortage of how many
    trees there are in Osaka in the city so can you tell me something about
    Osaka that I didn’t already know? ♪ tell me something girl ♪ um… are you a singer by any chance? ♪ how did you guess? ♪ Osaka is known for its amazing food and cuisine It’s like a foodie City, they do amazing little
    traditional Japanese Osaka dishes they’re beautifully placed along roads
    along footpaths along rivers and that brings me onto the landscaping and the
    actual kind of design and town planning city planning that seems to me to be
    quite unique to Japan, there are public parks everywhere, large open spaces I think
    they were funded when the government was spending a lot of money in the late 80s
    just before the big bubble popped and there was a huge crash in 1991 and the
    Japanese government invested so much money in these beautiful public areas
    open parks spaces for people just to hang out, spend time, ride their bikes, go
    and spend time with their families etc etc and you do see a lot of these parks
    all over the city even in the built-up areas you can be walking a couple of
    blocks and there’s a park a couple more blocks and another park Japan feels to me like a country which
    has kind of been frozen in time since maybe perhaps the mid 90s
    so when you go there it’s it’s kind of technologically advanced in in some ways
    like they have a… it’s very developed they have a great public transport
    system of course they have their famous bullet train everything runs very
    smoothly they’re pretty technologically advanced you know everyone’s got
    the latest smartphone etc that’s just an indication of a country which is
    wealthy but then you see things which are reminiscent of the 90s like the hand
    dryers in the toilets are either non-existent or they are like the really old
    kind of rubbishy ones which don’t actually dry your hands very well. When you go
    and pay for something on card the chip and pin machine is like it’s from 1996
    it looks like one of those ancient Casio calculators that you would have got back
    in the day there’s these little kind of indications and hints that Japan hasn’t
    really fully come up to speed with the Year 2019 which is funny because of
    course going back a few decades it would have been one of the most advanced
    countries if not the most advanced country in the world the Japanese people love their rules
    they’re very conformist they’re very conservative in how they behave so I
    understand from my few days in Osaka now an example of this is when crossing the
    road for the green man you will see Japanese people stood at the crossing
    waiting – waiting patiently for that green man to cross now there can be not a car
    in sight not one car not one bike not even one other person in sight but that
    person waiting to cross the road will if it’s the last thing they do they will
    wait until the man turns green they’re very very strict on their rules and they
    seem to like their rules another example when you go to a food market like this
    one you’ll see signs everywhere which request that people do not walk and eat
    so you’ll buy your food in a market in like the side street you will eat your
    food there in the designated eating area you will finish your food you’ll put
    your packaging in the bin and then you will continue to walk through the market
    we’re not talking about New York kind of grab a bagel grab a doughnut grab a
    coffee and then walk to work shoving it down your face no the the Japanese
    people like to sit in a civilized manner eat their food and they don’t like to
    walk and eat and that’s made very clear in these signs something which is I think quite uniquely Japanese is these plastic food
    dishes so if you’ve been to Japan you would have seen these everywhere it’s a
    great way of just showing the person who’s about to buy food what their food
    might look like so there’s no surprises when it comes out and it looks different.
    I think it’s great looks kind of weird and it’s quite colourful and quite kind of
    eye catching at first and I certainly found it very eye-catching which is
    why I took these videos but yeah lots of plastic food to give you an
    indication of the food that you’re going to eat that takes me onto food the
    Japanese food is is good the cuisine is excellent particularly in
    Osaka they have a very famous dish I hope I’m pronouncing it right
    takoyaki – takoyaki and it’s octopus balls they’re kind of baked or… are they baked
    or are they fried? They’re kind of like octopus dumplings so octopus meat kind
    of wrapped up in in like a wheat and dough ball with spices and all sorts of
    things and they cover them in sauce like mayonnaise or maybe green onions maybe
    cheese if you pay extra and go for the full works and they’re really really
    tasty you eat them and they go straight down in one… you don’t
    need to chew them… they’re just really nice comfort food those spring onions look great really hot It was delicious.
    At first they were a little bit hot then they cooled down and you
    basically swallow them whole they’re so delicious they go down so easy they are my favourite thing I’ve eaten yet what did you have on it? oh I had the works I had cheese, onion, mayonnaise, everything nice nice all in one, cheers now this is one for the comments and I would
    love if somebody from Japan could answer this but can somebody please explain this so I was walking down the street you
    know you’ve got a shop selling clothes a shop selling food and I could hear this
    noise and I approach these automatic doors the doors opened and the noise
    from inside just coins… now I don’t know whether Japan is particularly fond of
    gambling or slot machines but this is something I found really kind of *wow*
    like what is going on here so I just had to film it. This is something which I
    would not see in England I can tell you that for sure the Japanese people dress
    really well they dress very smartly they’re well into their fashion, very
    much into their fashion you see a lot of matching outfits matchy-matchy, couples
    dressing they’re not afraid to dress up in fancy dress there’s a whole other
    video which I’m going to make about my day in Universal Studios but just from
    these pictures here you can see that the Japanese people really like to take care
    and take pride in what they wear I have to say unlike me they really make an
    effort in in what they wear and how they dress and it yeah it’s it’s kind of nice
    to see that and it was interesting for me to see the fashion like you get four
    inch stilettos, you get platform shoes all sorts of like really funky outfits
    which I don’t maybe they’re unique to Japan maybe they’re unique to kind of
    the Far East maybe you might include Korea in that I don’t know much about
    Korea but the Japanese certainly do take pride in the way they look they
    dress very smart you got a lot of men in suits on subways and they certainly make
    me feel under dressed we have to talk about politeness the
    politeness of the Japanese people when you are served food, you’re served your
    dinner, you’re brought a cup of coffee there is no limit to how polite the server
    will be now they will smile with a big smile even in a 7-eleven you’re buying
    something and okay I know I’m judging Osaka in like my first few days
    here but this can’t be a coincidence that every single person has been
    incredibly polite and I think it is part of Japanese culture for example on the
    bus the other day I was looking out the window and I saw two not old ladies but
    maybe they were like sixties something like not really old but they were just
    kind of bowing to each other one would bow to the other and the other one bow
    to the other and I think they were basically saying their goodbyes but they
    were bowing and nodding and turning and walking and turning back and nodding and
    bowing and turning back and walking a bit further away and then turning each other
    again then bowing and nodding and they went on like this for what felt like
    minutes was probably maybe thirty seconds or something until they finally
    then like walked away from each other in the opposite directions they’re really
    polite and seemingly very warm people Japanese language I think is quite easy
    there’s no tones the pronunciation for an English speaker is very
    straightforward ‘konnichiwa’ is the traditional hello
    although you hear ‘ohayo gozaimas’ much more you can say ‘arigato’ you can say
    ‘arigatou gozaimas’ for thank you Japanese is definitely a worthwhile
    language to learn given that the English levels are relatively low you’re not
    going to start speaking Japanese to somebody in a shop and then have them
    respond back to you in fluent perfect English like you get in some countries
    so as a native English speaker Japanese is definitely a language which is worth
    your time worth your effort to learn to use and you will get ample opportunities
    to use the Japanese in Japan Dontonbori is like the center of Osaka
    it’s where the tourists go it’s the Time Square of Osaka, it’s like the Leicester
    Square, Piccadilly Circus, it’s where you get people coming who are visiting Osaka not
    just from over the world but of course from Japan as well so you got lots of
    tourists taking pictures it’s a really beautiful place exciting to be – bright
    lights, colourful shops and a cool place to hang out and get some takoyaki in this area there are also lots of second-hand shops I’ve never seen so
    many thrift shops in such a small area you can walk for 10, 15, 20 minutes around
    these shops you can go and like… we went in about 10 I think and that definitely
    wasn’t all of them – buying secondhand kind of designer fancy clothes is a big
    thing here it’s a really big thing which I think is quite cool you know recycle
    clothes – buy some, wear them and then send them on to the next person –
    makes sense right? I’ve made videos similar to this from Prague, Istanbul, Doha, Cairo and
    Manila, Philippines so if you’d like to check out any of those then you can on
    my channel ‘Arabic Mike’ this is my first time back in Japan in almost 10 years
    it’s my first time here in Osaka I really appreciate you sharing these
    first impressions with me I hope you found it interesting and I hope you’ll
    subscribe for more videos like this please do hit that like button and please
    leave a comment because I do read them hope see you again here soon
    thanks for watching!

    JR Yamanote – Tokyo – 山手線 – 4K Ultra HD
    Articles, Blog

    JR Yamanote – Tokyo – 山手線 – 4K Ultra HD

    January 23, 2020


    We believe that Tokyo’s iconic Yamanote line does not need any any introduction. Still, if you are not familiar with it, let’s just say that the Yamanote is one of Tokyo’s most important train lines, circling the city and featuring 29 stations for a total length of 34.5km. First opened in 1885, the Yamanote started humbly and slowly, but surely, added stations to reach its current number. While this video may not be the most exciting we’ve ever made, it will give you the chance to experience what a full loop on the Yamanote line feels like. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!

    Lunch Buffet in Tokyo Japan | 30-day Japan Trip Travel Vlog #8
    Articles, Blog

    Lunch Buffet in Tokyo Japan | 30-day Japan Trip Travel Vlog #8

    January 20, 2020


    In this video, We will enjoy eating lunch buffet
    at a restaurant in Odaiba and tour Aqua City Mall also in Odaiba Before heading out, we ate at Akarie It’s a restaurant in our hotel
    that serves lunch buffet Tokyo citizens dress so formally, don’t you think? They are always in business attire Their attitude is very professional as well Christian: “Can we get hot water? Hot…” Waitress: “Hot water is over there” Waitress: “So, this is poke, tomato and chicken,
    cream pasta, green curry” Christian: “What is this one?” Janelle: “これは何ですか。”
    “What is this?” Waitress: “ポケ魚”
    ”Fish” Janelle: “Fish” Waitress: “Pasta, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Omelette” Janelle: “Thank you! 🙂 Japanese are so nice The waitress translated the whole menu for us Look at the bar,
    it’s so colorful and healthy! We had to choose one main dish
    to enjoy the rest of the buffet We had some salad, soup, drinks and dessert This is the life 😌😋 Christian: “Let’s just eat here lunch?” “And eat enough so we don’t eat dinner anymore” Janelle: “No…. 😂” “I’ll still get really hungry. You know it 😂” Christian: “No!” Here’s our super yummy main dish How’s the food, Christian? Here’s a quick look around the restaurant I went back a couple of times
    to the buffet because, why not? 😛 OMG, what can I do to eat these again? We really enjoyed eating here I made a video about
    this restaurant in a previous video if you want to see more about
    this hotel and restaurant, click the card here A few moments later Later that day, we roamed around
    Aqua City Mall in Odaiba With Japan’s high labor costs, they can’t hire a receptionist So a robot is here at the reception Janelle: “Oh my god so scary! 😂” Robot: “I’m a late riser who doesn’t wake up until 9:00” “I go to bed around midnight” “I really love to sleep” “Oh my god, it’s looking at me 😂” She tilts her head to look around
    and blinks her eyes often imitating natural human gestures There’s a huge 100 yen shop in this mall
    and I roamed the whole thing It’s a popular store called Daiso A hundred yen is
    around one US dollar or fifty Philippine peso They sell a variety of items such as snacks, stationery, utensils, cutlery,
    plates, storage bins and many more Here are a few things I found here I will upload the whole shop tour in the next video You can subscribe to my channel if you want to see it Wait a minute, why are we suddenly in New York? Just kidding! We’re still here in Tokyo! and what you’re seeing is a replica of
    New York’s Statue of Liberty It’s the highlight of Aqua City mall. There’s a viewing deck in front of it
    if you want to get a photo We ate fries from this Hawaiian restaurant
    in the mall right in front of Lady Liberty The name of the restaurant is Kua`Aina Here’s how ther restaurant looks it’s pretty cozy and chill Why don’t we go and have a walk around Many Chinese tourists are here too as you can hear
    from the conversations in the background They came in buses and it got super crowded right away We took the train to get back to our hotel That’s pretty much our day By the way, if you want to see the
    locations I’ve mentioned in this video Check out the Google Maps links
    in the description below That’s it for this video!
    I hope you guys enjoyed it! Here are a few clips from the next video If you want to see the next videos of this trip Click the red button to subscribe Let me know if you enjoyed this video
    by leaving a thumbs up Do you have any questions
    that you want to ask from me? Let’s chat about it in the comment section! Thank you guys for watching!
    See you in the next video!

    ❄️ Tips for the Sapporo Snow Festival ❄️
    Articles, Blog

    ❄️ Tips for the Sapporo Snow Festival ❄️

    January 20, 2020


    Hi there, I’m Amy from Cakes with Faces And today I’ve got some tips for you For the Sapporo Snow Festival What there is And how to have the best time at the Festival. Then after that I’ve got some practical tips Like where to stay And how to get there If you’re planning a trip for next time There’s new videos about Japan on my channel every Thursday There’s travel vlogs With lots of ideas for things to do And my Japlanning series With tips to help you plan your trip to Japan If you need hoodies or sweatshirts to keep you warm Either at the snow festival or just at home Have a look at cakeswithfaces.co.uk Everything is my design I also designed these warm, knitted winter scarves Which kept me warm throughout the snow festival There’s my hedgehog scarf And my new space scarf Now let’s get started Firstly: what is there at the snow festival? There’s 3 sites to the snow festival The main one’s in Odori Park Which is a long, thin park In the centre of Sapporo That’s where you find the really big snow sculptures The second one is Susukino Which is just a short walk away Also in the centre of Sapporo That’s where the smaller ice sculptures are They look like they’re made of glass The third one is Tsudome Which has snow slides & activities Some of them are just for kids But there’s lots for adults as well The snow slides are actually pretty big I didn’t actually go to that one myself It’s more towards the edge of town You need to take a train or bus to get there The great thing about the festival is it’s all free You don’t even need a ticket It’s all open, so you just turn up & walk in There’s a couple of the activities at Tsudome That you need to pay for But apart from that, everything’s free It’s really good Here’s a tip for getting between the two main sites Pole Town is a long, underground shopping street That runs between Odori Park & Susukino So it’s perfect for getting between the two sites And it gives you a break from the cold Which you’re going to need I found that after being outside in the cold for a while My feet started going numb So I needed to go inside for a bit just to warm up There’s also Tanuki Koji Which is a covered shopping street That runs East-West That’s really good for a break from the cold as well Next: Daytime & night-time You can visit the festival in the daytime or the night-time But don’t miss the night-time That’s the best bit! They light the sculptures up The ice sculptures look really beautiful And with the big snow sculptures They have shows every 15 minutes or so With lights, music & projection mapping That really bring them to life It really is spectacular The illuminations start at about 4 or 5pm when it starts to get dark They carry on until about 10 or 11 at night Next: How busy is it? Sapporo is the main, famous snow festival in Japan It’s a major event So it is busy I went on the last weekend Which is supposed ot be the busiest time I actually didn’t find it that bad on a weekday But then I went back on a Saturday night And it was a lot busier There was a time when we were crossing the road And we were caught up in a big crowd of people All going along together So go on a weekday if you can They operate a kind of one-way system to keep everyone moving Odori Park is long & thin So you go one way along one side Then back down the other And stop off at anything you want to see And it kind of works It keeps everything organised In the evening, the crowds do start to thin out If you stay towards the end As people start to go home Next, a bit about other snow festivals Before I started planning my trip to Hokkaido I never realised there was more than 1 snow festival in Japan! I thought it was the Sapporo Snow Festival, and that’s it But there’s actuallylots of other smaller festivals too From what I can see They tend to be a bit less commercial At the Sapporo festival Everything is sponsored by companies Which I guess is how they can afford it And how they can make the sculptures so big And even put the event on at all But at the smaller festivals It’s more about the art And the community getting together And creating a winter wonderland And just having a good time So if you have time Or if you’re going in winter but not at the start of February See what other snow festivals are on Around Hokkaido or north Tohoku where it’s snowy Here’s a couple of them There’s the Sounkyo Ice Waterfall Festival Which looks really magical lit up at night The Ouchijuku Snow Festival Which is really picturesque with all the old buildings covered in snow And the Zao Snow Monster Festival Where the snow turns trees at a ski resort into snow monsters! And there’s loads of others too Like the Otaru Snow Light Path Festival If you’ve already seen my Hokkaido videos You’ll know I went to the festival at Otaru The two festivals overlap So if you time it right You can go to both Otaru is a town on the coast It’s only half an hour from Sapporo by train So it’s not far at all It’s a really picturesque old town The festival’s centred around the canal Where they make lanterns out of snow and ice And float lights on the water It’s really beautiful There’s some really creative displays Although it’s not as big & impressive as the Sapporo Snow Festival You can tell a lot of love’s gone into it It’s really enchanting and just magical It was actually the highlight of my time in Hokkaido Now back to the Sapporo Snow Festival And Snow Miku! Snow Miku is a special version of Hatsune Miku from Vocaloid She embodies the spirit of the snow festival Every year they have a new design for Snow Miku With a new outfit and style And she has a pet rabbit called Yukine Yuki means snow They always have a Snow Miku sculpture at the festival The show at night was one of my favourites It was like a mini concert Last year she did a duet with the singer from Bang Dream There’s a shop with special merch There’s also a shop at New Chitose Airport if you’re flying into Sapporo There’s also a Snow Miku AR stage With a special show you could watch on your phone With Snow Miku flying around Now I don’t know if they’re going to have that again this year But Snow Miku will definitely be there So keep an eye out There’s also a streetcar decorated with Snow Miku graphics I didn’t actually come across it as I was going around But if you’re a vocaloid fan, that’s definitely something to look out for Food stalls There’s food stalls all the way along in Odori Park They’re a bit more commercial than smaller food stalls I’ve seen at festivals elsewhere But there are a lot of them And there’s a pretty big choice I had this oshiruko Which is sweet red bean soup with mochi It’s a traditional winter food We also had these extra long french fries They got cold really quickly in the snow Most of the stalls are more like proper Japanese food Next: Demolishing the festival If you’re there the day after hte festival finishes You can watch them demolishing the snow sculptures Which would be something unique to see The sculptures are just so big And take so long to make And then – you can watch them being destroyed! What’s the weather like? It’s very cold & snowy I’d never been anywhere that cold Before we went, I was actually a bit scared about what it’d be like And how I was going to cope with it Because I do feel the cold I think you can see how cold we were At night it went down to about -12 degrees C In the daytime, it didn’t really get any warmer than about -2 degrees C Although that did feel warm in comparison But it was totally worth it And I think it adds to the experience If I can cope with it, you definitely can I’ll tell you a bit more in next week’s video Which is going to be about how cold it is in winter in Japan It’s going to be about Tokyo & Hokkaido With some tips for how to deal with the cold And what to wear Also, bear in mind that your phone & camera batteries Won’t last as long as normal in the cold And you’re going to want to take a lot of pictures Next: Booking your trip Obviously it’s too late for this year But if seeing all this makes you want to go next time I booked my trip in August It was actually during a heatwave in the UK And at the time, going somewhere cold just seemed really appealing You need to book your hotel as early as possible Because everywhere will be booked up I booked mine in August Then I checked again nearer the time And the only places left Were like thousands of pounds For just a couple of nights stay As it is, the hotel we booked was the cheapest one in the area And it was still double or three times it’s normal price Obviously, hotels ramp up their prices Because they know lots of people want to come for the festival So if you want to go That’s just how it is You have to accpet, your hotel’s going to be a bit pricier than normal Where to stay The festival’s mainly around the Odori Park area in central Sapporo I stayed near Nakajima Park Which seemed like a good place to stay There wasn’t a whole lot in the area But there was this shrine which looked stunning in the snow And it was close to a station To get around Sapporo You can use the subway trains There’s only about 3 lines So it’s a lot more simple than the Tokyo Metro As long as you’re near a station You’ll be able to get to the festival really easily So you don’t need to stay near Odori Park In fact, that’d probably be even more expensive If you can, pick a hotel as close to a station as possible Even a short walk seems twice as long when it’s so cold Especially when you’re dragging your suitcases in the snow My local station was Horo hira bashi It took hardly any time to get into the centre The subway’s really easy to use All the signs are in English The trains aren’t quite as frequent as they are in Tokyo But it’s nowhere near as busy So it’s a lot more chilled If you have a Suica or Pasmo card Or one of the other IC cards For paying for your trains You can use that in Sapporo as well It’s really easy So you don’t have to worry about what sort of ticket to get Although I was tempted to get the local IC card for Hokkaido Because it has a really cute flying squirrel on it! Instead of Suica, this one’s called Kitaca Kita means north Finally: How to get to Sapporo You can get there on the train or an internal flight I took the bullet train from Tokyo The whole trip is 8 hours long But we broke it up & stayed overnight along the way Which was really good because we got to see some new places I really enjoyed the places we stopped at Which was Hakodate on the way there And Matsushima on the way back There’s videos about both on my channel Going on such a long journey does take up quite a lot of time on your trip But I like the bullet train So I enjoyed the experience Just watching the landscape change And get all snowy And you get to go on the fastest bullet train there is The Hayabusa Which means peregrine falcon It’s faster than the Nozomi Which goes to Kyoto The whole trip’s covered by your Japan Rail Pass You do have to make seat reservations for the Hayabusa before you go You can do it online when you’re at home There’s more about that in another video on my channel An internal flight is probably a quicker option Even when you take into account getting to the airport And waiting around at check-in It might be cheaper as well Especially if you’re not getting a Japan Rail Pass You could actually book it with your international flight So as soon as you arrive in Japan You change planes in Tokyo And fly straight to Sapporo So I hope you found that useful If you’ve got any questions Put them in the comments I really enjoyed the Sapporo Snow Festival It really was amazing And even just being somewhere so snowy Was just really an experience Keep the Japanuary pictures coming I’ve really enoyed looking at them And I’ll see you next week on Thursday Bye bye!