It was a great decision! Upon arrival to New Chitose Airport, I tried a bowl of the famous Ebi Soba (a type of Ramen), delicious! I had some other delicious food in Sapporo as well, including miso ramen and soup curry! Please try a place called "Yoshiyama Shouten" for miso ramen and "Suage" for some delicious soup curry!
I got to explore the city center, and enjoyed meandering through the streets near Sapporo Station and Susukino (Sapporo's entertainment district) both during the day and at night.
I took a few hours to visit a small town called Otaru and I am glad I did. It was one of the highlights of my trip and I would certainly recommend it to people going to visit Sapporo. If you are strapped for time like I was and realize you won't be traveling too far from the city while there, it's the perfect option for you. You can get there from Sapporo Station in 30 minutes and you only really need a few hours there! There are a bunch of nice, old shops there specializing in different things such as glass making. The canal is perhaps the nicest part of the visit though, with an incredible mountain backdrop supplementing your experience, (even on a cold and cloudy day!)
I spent the first night in a capsule hotel. For those foreign to the concept, it sort of reminded me of dog kennels, with a whole 2 rows of these "tubes" (bottom and top) if you will, in each floor. There are vending machines, a place to bathe and a relaxation room, along with lockers for your things and you are given a kimono and a towel. Inside the actual capsule, you have a television and radio and you can control the light (see the picture).
I also spent a few hours sleeping in a manga kissa after a long night out. This is a 24-hour internet cafe that serves an assortment of drinks (included in the price) and allows you to read manga magazines and use the internet. Many people spend the night here if they miss the last train. Sleeping a few hours in one and in the capsule hotel were certainly interesting experiences!
I was really glad to take this mini trip because I feel that I have not seen as much of Japan as I would have liked to, living here for almost a year and a half now. I am planning to do another 2-4 night stay in Fukuoka and Okinawa in the near future. Any recommendations and welcomed, thanks!