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Japan Hour

BINGO Theme: Local Bus Trip In Hokkaido - Part 1

Places highlighted during this week's bingo race journey in Hokkaido between Team Tagawa and Team Takashima include "Sapporo residents' kitchen" and "the sacred place of the Winter Olympic Games".

Team Tagawa and Team Takashima embark on another two-day bingo race journey, this time in Hokkaido. Written on each of the squares on the bingo card are catchphrases related to tourist attractions and speciality foods that are popular in Hokkaido. The teams must use the clues to find the places and complete missions there in order to mark the squares. They can also use a special card to “steal” one of the opponent team’s squares; however, it can only be used once on the second day. There is also a “taxi card” which can be used once over the two days.

The race begins at Odori Park in Sapporo. There are several tourist attractions and gourmet foods in Sapporo. So both teams will first try to mark squares in Sapporo. They go to the information centre at the Sapporo TV Tower to gather information. 

Team Takashima finds out that the clue “Sapporo residents’ kitchen” refers to Nijo Market, which is five minutes away on foot. So the team heads there first. Team Tagawa, on the other hand, tackles the clue about “the sacred place of the Winter Olympic Games” and goes to the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium. They are told to take the Tozai Line and alight at Maruyama-Koen Station and then go to the bus terminal. Another clue is about a "theme park full of lovers", which is the Shiroi Koibito Park. It can also be reached via the Tozai Line and the team must get off at Miyaoka Station. 

Team Takashima reaches Nijo Market, where the mission is to eat seafood from three Hokkaido cities - Ishikari, Hakodate and Tomakomai. Team Tagawa arrives at the nearest station to the Winter Olympics site at 10.50am and takes the 11.15am bus to Okurayama. Team Takashima completes the mission at Nijo Market, after eating surf clams from Tomakomai, Hakodate abalone and mantis shrimp from Ishikari. 

Team Tagawa is informed of the opponent team capturing their first square after completing the mission at Nijo Market. The team arrives at the Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, one of the sites of the Sapporo Winter Olympic Games in 1972. All the previous host cities of the Games are displayed in the museum next to the ski jump stadium. Team Tagawa members must memorise the host cities in order, from the oldest to the newest. The mission is complete once they successfully name all the cities in the correct order. 

Team Takashima, meanwhile, gathers information about the other clues on the bingo card. They are told about Shiroi Koibito Park in Miyanosawa - the “theme park full of lovers” - which the other team has already found out about. They go to the “Q” ramen shop, linked to the clue on the "ultimate soy sauce-based ramen". It is near the market but is closed on this particular day. However, they are informed it will open the next day at 11am and numbered tickets will be distributed at 8am, 9am and 10am. 

Team Tagawa clears the mission at the ski jump station after 45 minutes and heads to the Shiroi Koibito Park. Team Takashima is told about Team Tagawa getting their first square and also decides to go to the park. Team Takashima reaches the place first. It is a confectionery theme park, which is operated by Ishiya Seika, the manufacturer of Shiroi Koibito cookies. In the castle-like building, visitors can see the production line of Shiroi Koibito. The team’s mission is to use a chocolate pen to write down a message to someone they love on a Shiroi Koibito cookie. 

Team Tagawa has no idea the other team is already at the park. They see Team Takashima there and are then informed they have cleared the mission. So Team Tagawa will now go to Hassamu Station, which is about 2km away, and then head in the direction of Otaru City. Team Takashima is also going to Otaru, but they manage to find an Otaru-bound express bus from a highway bus stop near Shiroi Koibito Park. The bus leaves at 1.35pm. On the bus, they ask about Otaru’s “most ordered sweet” and are told it is found at a cheesecake shop called LeTAO. It is located near the Music Box Museum, which is related to a clue on a “20-million-yen music box”. The team also finds out about a “place to see a night view”, which is Tenguyama. 

Team Tagawa arrives at Hassamu Station and takes the 1.40pm train to Otaru. Team Takashima reaches Otaru Station at 2.10pm and makes their way to LeTAO, 2km away. It is a well-known sweet shop and the team’s mission is to guess its third-most popular product.

Team Tagawa arrives at Otaru Station and walks to Sushiya Dori, one of the more than 120 sushi shops in Otaru. The three team members must eat the same sushi and guess the fish at the same time. They have to get three correct answers.

On the other hand, Team Takashima is still struggling with their mission. They try Chocolat Double, which turns out to be the second-most popular, Petit Chocolat Strawberry, which is the fifth-most popular one, and Venetian Rendezvous, which is eighth-most popular. 

Team Tagawa initially has a hard time with their mission at Sushiya Dori too. They finally correctly guess, prawn, mackerel and octopus. After completing the challenge, Team Tagawa goes to a shop nearby called Yoichiya, which specialises in fresh sea urchin from Hokkaido. Their mission is to eat a sea urchin bowl, featuring sea urchin from five major sources.

It has been more than an hour since Team Takashima started the cheesecake mission at LeTAO. They finally complete it after correctly guessing Niagara Chocolat Blanc Frais as the third-most popular product. They can now mark another square on the bingo card. Team Takashima next goes to the Otaru Music Box Museum, which is a minute away on foot from LeTAO. It is one of the largest music box shops in Japan, selling more than 80,000 music boxes of various shapes and sizes. Among them is a lacquered music box, which took five years to make by Kyoto's leading lacquer artist Shiho Okada. It is priced at 22 million yen. As part of their mission, the team members have to each correctly identify the song being played on a music box. After completing the mission, the team catches the 4.45pm bus to Tenguyama Ropeway. It is 5km away from the Music Box Museum.

Team Tagawa is at Otaru Station and enquires about a "seafood tower bowl that tourists don't know about". They are told it is found at Shihachi Sengyoten, a fish shop.

Team Takashima reaches Tenguyama at around 5pm and the return bus to Otaru Station leaves at 5.35pm. So they do not have much time to take the ropeway to the summit, complete the mission and come down. The mission at Tenguyama is to take a picture at all the five observation decks here. 


1)    Chocolate lovers should visit the Shiroi Koibito Park in Sapporo
2)    Otaru City is said to be the best place in Hokkaido to eat sushi

Source: CNA


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