Monday, July 7, 2014

"When Marnie Was There" - Post 4

Sapporo - Otaru

I've always wanted to visit Hokkaido, and since the film takes place there, I finally got a chance to visit!  It is so different from anywhere I'd been in Japan.  It felt open, and vast, surrounded by layers upon layers of beautiful mountains.  Lots of green foliage and trees.

 Me and my Yamaha pal, all strapped in and ready to fly!

I had 10 minutes of free time in Sapporo to visit this old clock tower!
I'm smiling so big because it's a beautiful day outside, and I was able to enjoy the fresh air, and sport my new Steven Alan jumper.  

Sapporo Tower

After our 1st day on the campaign trail, we were treated one of the tastiest meals I've ever had!  I was told to be careful though, because Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the Director of "When Marnie Was There", gained 5 kilos on the last campaign tour for "Arrietty".  

Fresh sashimi plate included the most melt-in-your-mouth Toro sashimi I've ever experienced in my life.  It was butter;  a mound of sweet uni, sweet shrimp, abalone, octopus, and more!

We all dug into this hairy crab like it was going out of style.  Thank you Crab-san!

Later that night, my friend Lined me that "Princess Mononoke" was on TV.  I tuned in and watched it while I was getting ready for bed.  When the credits rolled, a banner popped up promoting "思い出のマーニー".  Soon after it was followed by a commercial that has a tie-in with the film, which is playing my theme song...followed by a trailer for the film, also playing my song.  At that point I just stopped in my tracks and was like, 'What is happening?'  I still feel like this is all just too amazing to be true.  

My beautiful view of Sapporo from my hotel room.

The next day I performed in Sapporo Station -- which is featured in the film.  Another crazy experience for me!

Thank you to everyone who came out and stopped to listen!
{"Jake the Freak" -- if you're reading this -- thank you for your CD!  I'm listening to it right now! :) }

After the Mini Concert, I had a sign session at Paseo Gyokkodo.  Thank you to everyone who bought and reserved CD's!  And this little girl truly brightened up my day!  

Next I had the honor of signing some promotion boards for my new album "あなたのことが大すき" {"Anata no koto ga daisuki"} at the HMV Sapporo...

And then the Tower Records...

We had a few hours left in the day of free time, so we drove out to Otaru, about 1 hour from Sapporo.  Nearing the tiny city, the ocean was on our right, and beautiful green mountains on our left.  It was a breathtaking drive.

First thing on our list in Otaru :  eat the freshest, milkiest soft cream ever!  This soft cream tasted exactly like someone milked a cow and made it into ice cream 10 minutes later.

We took a leisurely, fresh air walk along the canal.

My amaaaaaaazing team -- taking such good care of me!!!
I'm so lucky!

Le Tao cheesecake.  This was the best cheese cake I've ever had.  I realize I keep saying everything's 'the best'.  I usually don't believe people when they tout that around so casually... but I really don't tout it around casually.  These things were really some of the best tastes I've ever experienced, ok???

This place sold about 500 different kinds of music boxes -- a specialty of Otaru.

We ended the night with a super yummy sushi dinner (another specialty of Otaru).

This was a water vegetable that grows in a lake.  I loved its texture and taste!


 Hokkaido, in short.... was quite fresh.

p. a. 


  1. Thx for the roundup and pics P. Hope all keeps going well. Would love a signed Marnie poster.
    The music box shop would be awesome. You need to eat some cherries and Japanese fruits. Probably wrong season. Looking forward to the rest.

  2. What an exciting trip for you! Thanks for sharing your experience with your fans. Perhaps you can have a music box made using one (or more) of your songs...