This morning followed the last day of the festival. We got up early to go see them tear the sculptures down, but before they did, the entire sculpture was doused in sake, and then the artists bowed to it in thanks.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today started at 7:30am, when we got up early enough to go see the tear down of the snow sculptures. I think we really confused Hiroko-san, because we got up so much earlier today than we have any other day so far. We rushed down to Odori Square, and not a moment too soon, as they were already preparing the tractors. We decided to watch the tear down of the Japanese Self Defense Forces sculpture, as it was the most beautiful. The troops opened up several bottles of sake, and gave some to the fox, owl and temple parts of the sculpture, before they lined up in a row and bowed to it. Afterwards, the dozers set to work- it was pretty amusing to watch, as the guy in the red tractor was clearly on the war path, while the yellow driver was taking his time to make sure it was done safely.
Afterwards, we split up with Erin, who decided to go skiing for the day, and went to have breakfast at a cafe I found in the Sapporo guidebook I’d bought prior to the trip. Nicky and I had a delicious breakfast with a salad, egg, croissant and coffee (I’ve had three coffees on this trip; what is happening to me?!) before heading back to the ryokan to gather our stuff for an onsen trip. I was able to research a very interesting looking place on Google, but unfortunately, after walking for about twenty minutes to get there, we discovered it was closed for renovations today. We decided to make our way back to Sen no Yu, and spent a good couple of hours there after going into a local Seiyu to put together an onsen-basket (towels, scrubbies and body wash). It was great because there weren’t many people, and Nicky and I were able to spend some time alone together in many of the baths.
Once we were done with the onsen, we headed back to downtown Sapporo for dinner, as I had promised Nicky a pasta dinner at Pronto. The pasta wasn’t exceptionally good for the price, but it was still romantic, and we had a nice time. We went back to the ryokan afterwards, were surprised yet again with more treats from our innkeepers, who gave each of us some chocolate for Valentine’s Day, before we started packing....
Tomorrow, it is time to head home. Hokkaido has been such a dream, and I am not looking forward to it.