Our return flight to Narita Airport was at New Chitose Airport, the largest airport in Hokkaido. Took the morning train from Noboribetsu to reach the airport several hours (approx 4 hours) before flight departure timing. Reason being New Chitose Airport itself is an attraction of Hokkaido as well! Apart from numerous eateries and shops offering local delicacies and products/souvenirs, there are several themed areas (nominal fee required for some) all housed within this airport. Therefore, I recommend allocating ample time to tour New Chitose Airport sufficiently before bidding farewell to Hokkaido.
New Chitose Airport (CTS): http://www.new-chitose-airport.jp/en/
How to go there?
New Chitose Airport JR Station (AP15), along Chitose line.
- Take the Rapid Airport train if you are coming from Sapporo and Otaru.
- If you are coming from Noboribetsu, Lake Toya & Hakodate, you will need to alight at Minami-Chitose JR Station (H14) and transfer to Rapid Airport train to reach New Chitose Airport.
(1) Chitose Outlet Mall Rera - located just beside Minami-Chitose JR Station.
There are two large scale outlet malls in Hokkaido for shopping lovers - the other being Mitsui Outlet Sapporo Kitahiroshima which is located closer to Sapporo city. Personally have not been to any of the outlet malls in Hokkaido yet.
Free regular shuttle buses services are available from New Chitose Airport to Rera - convenient for visitors to plan this one of their last pit stops in their trip itinerary before departing Hokkaido.
- Chitose Outlet Mall Rera website: http://www.outlet-rera.com/english/
- Mitsui Outlet Sapporo Kitahiroshima website: http://www.31op.com/sapporo/foreign/index_en.html
Location of Chitose Outlet Mall Rera:
View Larger Map
(1) Calbee Plus - Calbee is a famous snacks manufacturer that originated from Japan, and potato chips (available in various flavours) being the most commonly seen product in Singapore. However, the range of products from Calbee in Japan is much more extensive than what we get in Singapore, and will definitely make one spoilt for choice. Most importantly, one do not need to visit the manufacturing plants to taste the most freshly fried potato chips/snacks now because Calbee has set up a shop in New Chitose Airport serving this popular tidbit, hot from the oil fryer!
Hokkaido is well-known for their delicious potatoes and sweetcorns which explains why Calbee is making use of these ingredients in their products. One of the most popular souvenirs from Hokkaido has got to be Jaga Pokkuru Potato Farm, a more delicious and flavourful version of Jagabee.
Other made-in-Hokkaido products include:
- Jaga Pirika Potato Farm (じゃがピリカ): fried white, purple and pink potato cubes. You can also find this snack stocked up in Meidi-ya's Come-In-Hokkaido shop in Singapore occasionally.
- Imoko Kobutaro (いも子とこぶ太郎): scallop seasoned potato chips and kelp. This snack can also be spotted in Come-In-Hokkaido shop every now and then.
- Sweet corn sticks (スイートコーン): love the strong aroma and flavour of sweet corn in this snack.
Due to its huge popularity, Calbee Plus shops have sprung up in other parts of Japan too - outlet can be found in Tokyo train station, Tokyo Sky Tree, Odaiba and Harajuku in Tokyo and Okinawa, thus providing more avenues to taste these freshly fried potato snacks!
- Calbee+ shop: http://www.calbee.co.jp/antennashop/
(2) Doraemon Waku Waku Skypark - A place definitely not to be missed by Doraemon fans! Located on the third floor, Doraemon Waku Waku Skypark is divided into several zones, whereby the main park zone requires an admission fee of 600 yen (adult). Unfortunately, we did not manage to enter the park zone because it was crowded during the day of our visit (happened to be a public holiday).
Apart from the main park zone, there is a cafe/restaurant serving food that are simply too adorable to be eaten (e.g. dorayakis featuring Doraemon & Dorami, pizzas with Doraemon stenciled on it, etc) and a gift shop offering a wide array of Doraemon products. There is a handful of Doraemon figurines located outside the main park zone for photos to be taken (to at least make up for the disappointment of not being able to visit the themepark).
- Doraemon Waku Waku Skypark (in Japanese & Mandarin): http://www.shinchitose-entame.jp/ja/doraemon/
(3) Royce' Chocolate World - For the past few years, chocolates from Royce' has been a popular choice for Christmas gifts in Singapore (can be seen from the long queues can be spotted in their shops during the Christmas season). Personally I only got to realise that Royce' actually originates from Sapporo through this trip.
In Royce' Chocolate World, you can oversee the manufacturing process of chocolates, from start to its finished product, or visit the museum displaying a collection of chocolate related products and exhibition explaining the history and development of chocolates over the years. Of course, do not forget to grab some chocolates that are exclusive to Hokkaido only as souvenirs back home!
- Royce' Chocolate World: http://www.e-royce.com/english/rcw/index.html
- No admission fee required to enter its museum and factory.
(4) Lunch in Miso Kitchen - Settled our lunch in this restaurant located in Streetcar Dining District. Have heard about this famous pork bowl (buta-don) which is a signature delicacy in Obihiro, from travel guide books and TV programmes. Spotted the picture of the rice bowl in their standing menu display and immediately decided to patronise this restaurant. I must say, we were truly awed by this simple looking pork bowl - tender and juicy pieces of pork that were cooked to perfection! Made a mental note that I must drop by Obihiro on my next trip to Hokkaido to taste this heavenly buta-don again!
- Steiff Nature World - a museum display of teddy bears, which are all created by Steiff, a German based plush toy company. Admission fee = 600 yen (adult)
- Many sweet and confectionary shops, such as LeTAO, Rokkatei, Ryugetsu and Snowbrand, can all be found in New Chitose Airport. How about another slice of Double Fromage cheese cake from LeTAO or a scoop of royal vanilla ice cream from Snowbrand before you depart from Hokkaido?