Our Location:

Sapporo, Japan

Airport Information:

Name: New Chitose Airport (RJCC)

Elevation: 82 ft.

Runways: 1R/19L, 1L/19R

Yearly Ops: 18,082,925 Passengers

METAR: No METAR info available

Click for Sapporo Air Base, Japan Forecast

PIREP (Pilot Report):

June 6 0500Z, Internet cafe in Sapporo

     Finished our stay in the country and taxiied back to hotel in Chitose. On the way received email from Skyplan that Russians have not yet issued landing permits so no departure tomorrow. Seems that our fuel stop on second day of flying in Russia has never had our type plane on the field and has not yet issued an ok to Civil Aero Ministry in Moscow. That Ministry issues the landing permits. Have discussed every conceivable Plan B (going through the Aleutian Islands, skipping the fuel stop and taking a longer leg) but nothing seems within Q's range. Added to that is possible problematic weather, lack of precision approaches into these airports, and few alternates. Means that we have to stay with Plan A and wait. Suspect our Russian navigator has already left Moscow for Petro so hope he waits. Now looks like we will not get back into the air before Wed at best. Will obviously get know Sapporo much better. Plan to see all of the gardens. Will start with Sapporo beer garden and then move on to Kirin beer garden. - Mike

June 5 1130Z, Sapporo Country Inn

     Sitting in my room at the country inn drinking whiskey with John after a very interesting day. But first, yesterday.
     As noted in last report, arrived Sapporo without major issues. But in leaving Osaka had interesting security experience. When we go to the plane each morning, must pass security as with any commercial flight. In going through metal detector they noted that I was carrying scissors (for the beard). They confiscated them even though I explained I was flying my own plane. Apparently thought I was going to storm my own cabin and self destruct. But in Japan have learned that they follow the rules.
     In the afternoon we took bullet train into down town Sapporo. Started by looking for an internet cafe listed on the tourist map. Once again found that no one in the world knows how to read a map. Asked a taxi starter for assistance and by the time that exercise was over had the entire city government on the case Finally found the place and filed our last report. Then toured some very nice parks and got somewhat of a feel for the city. Very clean, quiet, organized and modern. People well dressed and business like. After walking tour decided to have dinner. Went into traditional restaurant. John quickly ordered. I, on the otherhand was torn between the chicken gristle and the grilled beef inards. Asked how these dishes are prepared and was given a long, painstakingly detailed explanation, all in perfect Japanese..Must have mistaken me for a local. Ended up ordering pickled vegetables (a condition I can relate to),and two rice balls (reportedly better than the local Mountain Oysters). Food was delicious. Unfortunately learned that after we left the chef committed hari kari and the wait staff stormed out in mass. Rumor has it they went to local Buddhist temple to pray for my immediate reincarnation.
     This morning we were driven up in the mountains to the inn we are now occupying. Very nice and quiet. Next to a mountain stream. Mountains are roughly the size of the Appalachians. Very verdant, apparently lots of rain. In fact raining today and cool. We walked for about an hour up a logging trail for some exercise but found many beautiful scenes along the stream. When we returned had a traditional Japanese bath. Many rules to follow. Our FBO handler had been kind enough to give us a manual on the protocol. About ten pages long. Also had a dinner consisting of no less than ten courses of every type sea food imaginable. Finally had to signal we were unable to eat more. Two ladies about my age (i.e. young women) run the place. Taught us how to dress in our Japanese garb. Feel like Samurai. A very polite people. Not entirely sure they want great numbers of Westerners to visit. Another day back in Sapporo and then to Russia - Mike

June 4 0600Z, Sapporo, Japan

     In our hotel in Sapporo. Technically, Chitose. Has the same feel as being in lovely downtown Rosemont. Will take train into downtown Sapporo to find internet cafe and zap off our reports. Tomorrow have made reservations at traditional country inn to get a taste of country life.
     Stay in Osaka uneventful. By the time we got Q refueled and tucked away, was early evening and we were too tired to go into town. Osaka airport built on an island connected to downtown by impressively long bridge. Airport very new and big. When we got to tarmac this morning Q sitting next to huge Russian built transport. She could probably fit inside this thing. Made me think of the Russian dolls nested in one another; first the transport, then Q, then Q's litter of Piper Warriors.
     Had long discussion whether we should fly this morning. Predicted weather for Sapporo was 400 foot ceilings with mist and rain. Decided to come because had fuel to get to an alternate where weather predicted better. Also between Otto, the Garmins and our own skills felt we could mosey on down the ILS glide slope and not bend metal. Worked just fine and we followed a French airliner in without problem. Met by a group of eight people who gave us a great reception. Wanted pictures of us with Q. Seems they do not see many people doing what we are attempting.
     Have two days without flying' longest rest since starting the journey. Expect next legs to be challenging. Russian airports may not have same amenities and many miles to cover, mostly over the ocean. Trip from here to Anadyr is as long as from here to Hanoi. We are at least about to finish the cultural tour. Only Russian culture to yet absorb. Feel like I have been subjected to cultural waterboarding.
     Will file next report after stay at the inn - Mike

Local Info:


Population: 1,890,561, Japan: 127,433,494

Landmarks: New Chitose Airport

Currency: Yen

Links: Sapporo Travel Info