Knowing that the girls really want to play with snow, but not too keen on being holed up in a ski resort – mostly because they only wanted to PLAY with snow, not ski. We were initially keen on going to Kokusai (which we have read some reviews of and looked very child friendly), but when we enquired at the tourist information booth at the train station (a very good resource!), they recommended Takino Ski Park. Although many reviews say that it is quite a distance from Sapporo, we found that it was rather easy to get there, the only problem being that being an isolated ski park, you need to take the last bus back by 4.30pm, as that was the last means of public transport back! The whole experience getting there was really great, and showed up the Japanese civic-mindedness and caring nature to it’s best. The bus drivers were so helpful to us, stopping the bus and making sure that we were all well seated before the bus started moving, then slowly counting out the amount we have to pay even though they spoke no english and us no japanese.
So, for the record, this is how we got to Takino Ski Park from Sapporo:
1. Take train from Sapporo to Makomanai Station
2. Take bus from Makomanai Station to Takino Ski Park – it’s written quite clearly as TAKINO on the bus maps, but if in doubt, ask the service staff at the train station, they are very helpful!
Again, there’s a discount if you purchase both train and bus ticket together.
It was a brilliant short day excursion. We spent dinner at one of the restaurants in the shopping malls in town. The good thing about most Japanese hotels is that they have hotspring baths! So that’s what we did as a way to round up the day!