Sunday, January 28, 2018

Japan Winter Holiday 2017 Part 12 - White Lover Park

It seems like our first day in Sapporo became a factory visit day. After our visit to Asahi Beer Factory, we went over to Shiroi Koibito (White Lover) Park on the other side of the city. We took the subway (chikatetsu) to Miyanosawa Station, and from there you will see signs for directions to the park. There is an option to take JR train to Hassamu Station, but it would be a longer walk to the park.

Directions to the park at the subway station

Child toilet in subway station

There it is on the left side!
There are two main areas in the park. One is free outdoor area, and the other one is indoor that you have to pay for. When we were there, the outdoor area was fully decorated with lights and Christmas decorations. I'm not sure what they have outside in the spring, summer, and fall.... I guess I'll have to go again :D

Oh yeah.... I forgot that you may not be familiar with what Shiroi Koibito is. When I suggested to our friend that we visit this factory, he wasn't sure what it was... However, as soon as he saw the cookies he knew exactly what they were. No other company in Japan that I know of makes better langue de chat sandwich than Shiroi Koibito. My favourite is the white chocolate but DH likes the regular chocolate better. I think that anyone familiar with Japan would have had an encounter with this beloved cookie brand.

When we got there, the factory museum was almost closing. I quickly purchased the tickets at 600 JPY per person and we all rushed to the upper floor where the museum and viewing deck were located. The paid tickets came with one cookie each. Before we reached the viewing deck, we passed the Aurora Fountain and the Chocolate Cup Museum. 

The factory tour started with history of chocolate explained in several dioramas...

After the dioramas, they had displays that shows how they get white chocolate from cacao beans.

Then, there was another display that shows the ingredients of a langue de chat cookie.

Next, was a display of their production process, followed by the viewing deck. Unlike the Asahi Factory, there were people working at this factory even on weekends. On this visit we were able to see the machines running and saw the cookies being packed and boxed. It was quite fascinating!

Can you spot the cookies?

After the viewing deck, we went higher up to see their cafe and cooking studio. At this studio, visitors can pay for cookie decorating workshops. Unfortunately, it was already closing when we arrived.

Here's another display with dates I had talked about before...

The next thing we saw on the way out of the building was old toys museum, displaying toys from Meiji, Taisho, and Showa periods. Do you recognise some of them?

Decoration on the ceiling
There were souvenir shops inside the building, but it was so packed we didn't bother getting anything there. Instead, we went outside and took a picture in the heart-hole. I've seen pictures of this heart-shaped hole with flowers around it. It must have been in the spring or summer. I think you can also take a picture here and have your picture printed on one of their Shiroi Koibito tin box!

A special thanks to our friend GC for taking these pictures for us. We don't have many of us three together!

Before we headed back to the city centre, we took some more pictures with the lights... I must mention that the air in Hokkaido was much more dry than in Indonesia, but much more humid than in Canada. So whether you think Hokkaido is dry or humid I think it highly depends on where you came from :D

So that was the end of our trip to Shiroi Koibito Park. See you in the next post!

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