Sapporo, a city in the northern island of Japan called Hokkaido, is a city I’ve come to love as something akin to a second home. I’ve gone to Sapporo for summer school three years in a row, and I was able to experience the many beautiful things that the city offers. In my first year, my friend and I stayed with a host in Misono, a quiet, calm place both in the evenings and during the day. The reason for its peace is because the most of the people who reside there are the elderly. Often, on the sidewalks, we see old people walking their dog, or the occasional housewife on the way to the supermarket to shop for her children. Misono is like a place straight out of a movie, and whether it be a soft, romantic movie, or a horror film featuring a silent serial killer on the eerily quiet streets during the nights, that is up to the person. The serenity often stables my restless mind, but occasionally, it frightens me.

In the second year, I was with two friends, and we stayed in a homestay near the Toyohira river. It was a beautiful river, but unfortunately, we hadn’t realized its beauty until it was too late.

In the third year, the same two friends and I stayed in a whole new place, and it was not as calm as the last two. We felt drawn to the place we stayed at during our second year, so we biked all the way from Sapporo city to Toyohira river, and we had a small picnic there. It may sound like I am exaggerating, but it was honestly the happiest time that I have ever had in my life, and I had wished that it would have lasted forever. Just me and two of my friends, sitting on rocky, cool stairs as we gazed at the flowing river, the setting sun sparkling on the waters. Altocumulus clouds overhead were painted with the softening sunlight, and reeds of grass reflected a fascinating gold. My mind was at peace and everything was simple. (Below is a picture that I myself took at that time. )IMG_1339

What I found interesting is that in this quiet, peaceful city of Sapporo, is that there exists a red light district called the Susukino district. It contrasts so greatly with what I’ve seen, and I was really curious about everything that we walked past. We were heading towards a crab buffet, but the sights that greeted my eyes drew my attention.x I don’t think I should go into details of what I saw, but it was mostly teenagers smoking and having fun. The way that the people in this district dressed was completely different from the way people dressed in Misono or the Toyohira river too, and it is probably mainly because of the age differences. The people in Susukino were young, and those in Misono were the elderly.


3 thoughts on “Sapporo

  1. I think I’ve been to Sapporo once. Was it known for it’s beer or something? Not sure but yeah it seems like such a peaceful place that I have never thought that it would have a red light district there!


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