My friends invited me to go to the zoo with them. These photos were taken in Maruyama Zoo, Sapporo. Although Asahiyama is the more famous of the two zoos, Maruyama is really close to the city and so very easy to access. I do feel a bit uneasy about zoos and the ethics of keeping animals in captivity but I won't get into that here :\ It was still an amazing experience getting to see these magnificent animals.

I have never seen this animal before in my life! "Baku" in Japanese, it is a tapir

The wolves were very active during play time
Hokkaido is well known for its production of high quality milk products. This naturally lends itself to high quality dessert products too! You'll notice in Sapporo that it seems like parfaits are pretty popular, a common dessert item. A local guide book recommended this place called "Cherry Merry" so we decided to check it out after school. It is literally right across the street from 18jyo subway station, so there is no reason not to check it out!

The lighting happened to be perfect at that time of the day so I think I got some pretty tasty looking shots of the parfaits. I have never seen parfaits more beautiful than this and even my friends who live in Sapporo said this was the best parfait they've ever had. Leave it to the Japanese to refine the parfait into something beautifully decadent! There's something about the milkiness and richness of the cream they use in Sapporo that I've never had anywhere else.


There was a small summer festival last week in Odori area. There was free shaved ice, wrestling, kid's games, yakitori (chicken skewers),  and a mikoshi (pictured above).  Mikoshi is a portable shinto shrine that people carry on their shoulders.  I really like the pamphlets they were giving out, which was a illustrated guide to the festival. Cute!!!
To tell the truth my friend Yui and I didn't even know there was a matsuri going on that weekend (neither did quite I few people, I heard later). We were in 4pla doing some shopping during the crazy summer sale when we saw the festival outside.. Needless to say we forgot about 20 dollar shoes and didn't come back until much later.
I had the rare chance to see a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. Nowadays, most couples usually get the Western style chapel wedding. The bride wears many layers of white kimono, as well as the traditional wig. Actually, I didn't know it was a wig until she told me later that it's extremely heavy!
The rarity of a traditional wedding is emphasized by the fact that total strangers visiting the shrine were taking pictures on their cell phones just because it is a rare sight.

Beautiful couple!!

Hokkaido Shrine

Picture with the bride and groom!