Sunday, December 30, 2012

Highlight * Hokkaido Souvenirs, Japanese Petit Piece Puzzles and Gap * Amazing Asia * Hokkaido, Japan (December 2012)

This may look like a typical outlet mall in the US, but this photo of a mini food truck was actually taken in Chitose, near the international airport in Sapporo, Japan.

Most of the shops are actually Western brands and thus the look of the US outlet malls: Lego, North Face, Columbia, Samsonite, Gap, Claire's and so on. Prices are actually quite good, considering they're imported.

There are only a handful of shops that are local, one of which is a big one-stop shop for Hokkaido souvenir and food items, great for some last minute shopping before you head out to the airport, which is just 10 minutes away, and serviced by a regular shuttle bus.

Another shop worth visiting is the puzzle shop which sells good quality unique miniature piece puzzles that are only made in Japan. Aside from them being postcard size puzzles, they also use the petit pieces that are sized like half of your fingertip. Most of the designs are Disney, but they also offer other ones like a Mona Lisa. Another unique find there are the stained art puzzles, which looks like small stained glass windows.

This winter, the outlet grounds had a small snow covered slide where kids can do some sledding. Christmas trees and igloos were also set up.

There was one amazing exhibit where a working maze was set up using empty cardboard boxes, courtesy of one of the shops called The Box Outlet. Kids can crawl in and enjoy.

If you have a few hours to spare while waiting for your flight, it's worth a visit.

Note: This highlight also appears in AFAR Website

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