Tomodachi Tour III

October 24 - November 6, 2017

This is the third tour to Japan by some members of the Combined Class of '69.

Thirty-nine alum of RHS'69, Kalani'69 and McKinley'69 are taking in Northern Japan this time.

RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim is your tour reporter...

Come back later as the journey continues...

October 27 - Day 3

Sapporo - free day. The group is turned loose to get in trouble on their own so pictures may be somewhat scarce.  So many shopping areas, so little time. A large group is planning to take a Dashi preparation class. Dashi is something inseparable from the day-to-day eating habits in Japan. For example the broth portion of saimin or ramen.

Pictures and reports from Vincent at anytime, so check back often.

Vincent is out strolling with some of the group and sent this of the autumn leaves this morning.

And some of the other ladies headed off to Odori Park.

Yes, this was breakfast at the hotel this morning.

After breakfast everyone gathers to see what everyone else is doing on this "free day" and either join a group or go off on their own.

For some it's off to the train station and the famous Ramen Alley. This is not the bullet train so one hangs on the straps, just like a subway.

It is Fall in Japan and the Autumn leaves are everywhere. By the way, these are leaves of a Maple tree.

Sapporo is home to some of Japan's best ramen restaurants. One place in particular has a long history of serving hungry customers.

At the end of their train ride, located in Sapporo's Susukino entertainment district, is the famous Ramen Alley. The 17 little alley food shops provide bowls until past midnight. Miso Ramen is the specialty - the toppings can get quite creative.

Most of the shops are small, with 6 to 8 seats or just counter space. Lines out the doors are common. Most customers are there to eat, not talk. Since RHS'69 is known to stay in places forever, they probably were thrown out.

So while one group is looking for food in the alley, another group is checking out the Mos Burger. Mos Burger is the second largest fast food chain in Japan (after McDonalds) and is spreading through Asia. It was once in Hawaii but left in 2005 for some reason. The burger to the right is made wih a rice bun.

Yes, it's more than you ever wanted to know but we have to try and explain why these folks keep eating so much.

After eating - it's more shopping.

The ladies buy, the men haul it around.

It's the way of the world.

Catching up with Vincent, who was on a walkabout with a lot of other people:

We started the day taking a short subway ride to the other side of Sapporo where Bobby Chinen gave us a walking tour of Tanuki Koji Mall, the famous ramen alley and Daiso Store - where everything are close to 100 yens.  

The rest of the day and night are on our own.  Some went to the fish market, while others went back down the mall and a few of us headed for the Daiso Store.  

Lunch was at a Tonkatsu restaurant as good as our Tonkatsu Tamafuji in Kapahulu.  Then we walk all the way back to our hotel.  We all had to walk off calories to make room for dinner.

To wrap up the day, 12 attended a Dashi preperation class. Dashi is "stock" or broth for many Japanese dishes. It's a staple and it's made from scratch. These are samples of what the chef's made. And when the class was done, they ate what the chef's made.

Finally - this is one person's haul from shopping so far. Some bought more, some less. Hawaiian Air may need to provide another plane just for the group's baggage.

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