Monday, 23 April 2012


北海道神宮 . 홋카이도 신궁

(A sightseeing stop in the Hong Thai Travel 7D Hokkaido Package Tour, my first packaged tour experience.)

Leaving Sounkyo, we moved back to Sapporo, with a short stop at Sunagawa 砂川 Service Area, which was along the highway. Mom said Singapore does not have these because our highways are short so there is no need for drivers to take a rest before continuing their journey.
Singapore is a small country!

We reached the Hokkaido Shrine 北海道神宮 in the late morning.

At temple entrance.
Tired after the long journey ...

Mr. Tour Guide said we need to follow the temple etiquette.
First, we had to rinse our hand and mouth at the small shelter before we enter the temple. Mom told me not to swallow the water!

After we entered the temple, Mr. Tour Guide said we should keep as quiet as possible and not run around the temple grounds.

Mom's Notes: We witnessed the temple priest performing
the prayers for a safe drive 交通安全

At the main shrine hall, Mom gave me a coin to drop into the offerings box at the front, and after that, I followed Mom in the prayers where I first bowed twice, clapped my hands twice, and then bowed one more time.

I spotted something fun - Omikuji 御神籤.
There is the English or Japanese version to choose from, and I put ¥100 into the English box and chose one lot.

The lot that I chose was a negative one, so Mom tied it to the Omikuji stand (Mom's note: the symbolic meaning is to leave the bad luck behind, whilst we can bring away the divination lot bearing good luck). Mom also bought the Hello Kitty amulet for ¥500.

On our way out, Mom spotted 2 brothers on their way into the temple for prayers. And Mom made me stand next to them for a photo ...

     Address: 〒064-8505 北海道札幌市中央区宮ケ丘 474
     Tel:         011-611-0261
     Direction: 15mins by car/taxi from JR Sapporo Station 札幌駅
      Entrance Fees:  Free
     Opening Hours:

Lunch (Mom's Notes)

I could not recall where we had our lunch, although it was near the temple.

What was interesting was the "abalone dance" which took place when some of our tour group mates ordered grilled abalone for lunch.

When the fresh abalone was placed onto the hot plate, the abalone flesh started to flex and move, jerking about in response to the heat, hence the "dance".

It was an interesting experience for Marcus since he's not seen such a big and fresh abalone before, and now he knows what happens when abalone is cooked. Previously, he only recognised those in a can!

Read about our next stop - Shiroi Koibito Park.
Read about our previous stop - Ginga & Ryusei no Taki.


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