Buie Gakuen

I really, really liked staying at Buie Gakuen in Sapporo during my trip there in July/August 2013 and so I thought I would help the nice owner Mr Kenji (健治) with a guide on how to get there. It really isn't hard, but as I myself almost failed, I would not like anyone else to miss out on this super great place to stay in just because of a similar fate. I would describe it as it has got all the good thing that you get from a student dorm without most of the bad ones - great company with tenants being people mostly between 20 - 40, mostly working single people but also one or two students, who share a common kitchen/living room, while it on the other hand never gets too noisy or anything. Yes, the rooms are basic and you have to bring your own soap and such, but Mr Kenji and everyone else is super helpful, so that really doesn't matter. It is a great chance to experience actual Japanese people in hospitable and relaxed company.

My explanation do expect you to be able to have basic Google Maps knowledge, I am mostly concerned with the last part where you have to walk, but I will do my best to guide you all the way. It really isn't hard if you know the ending point. Should you fail in the end, and want an address for a cab driver, it is:
Sapporo-shi, Toyohira-ku, Toyohira 3-8-1-28

Basically, his place is called BUIE GAKUEN and is at this Google Map position. I you are comfortable with that all you really may need is a picture of the place to be sure you got to the right spot:
There is a "Coworkers Cafe" at the ground level thats usually open between roughly 11am - 11 pm.

So, here comes my more detailed guide to the place. Remember, usually most names are in latin (western) letters, but I had the Japanese ones to be sure. For example, some of the trains has quite less non-japanese signs.

ALTERNATIVE 1: You arrive by airplane to New Chitose airport

First you take the train towards Sapporo until you reach the Shin Sapporo Station (新 札幌 駅). There you change to the orange colored subway line called the Tōzai Line (東西線). As Shin Sapporo is the end station of this line it shouldn't be hard going the right way, but I will still mention it goes towards Miyanosawa station (宮の沢駅).

How then to buy a ticket? Well it is quite simple:

a) Find the machines (close to the "gates" were you have to use the tickets) that looks like this:

b) Press the "english" button if you want.

 c) Actually, first of all, check out how much your trip will cost on the large board above the machines. There is some kind of extra square around the station were you are. Find the station called Higashi Sapporo (東札幌駅, which literally mean "East Sapporo").
Back at the machine, choose the green colored button called Subway and press the correct amount.

d) Then enter the right amount of money, either change to the upper right, or more probable, bank notes in the middle upper opening. Then your ticket will appear down to the left and an eventual change down middle,

e) go to the entrance gates and put your ticket in one of them that has these kind of slot openings (there are also those for plastic cards only, but no worries, you cant use one of them by mistake). REMEMBER TO GET YOUR TICKET AT THE OTHER END OF THE MACHINE!
f) When you get to your station you put your ticket into the same machines and if the amount is correct then you just pass thorugh AND GET NO TICKET because the machine keeps the used ticket. If you anytime pay too little you will get a protest from the machine and the ticket is returned to you. You then retreat inside the gates and find one of these Fare Adjustment machines:

g) Just enter the ticket into the correct slot and pay the extra fare displayed on the screen and you get a new, working ticket.

So, getting of at Higashi Sapporo, there is really only one way to go, to Exit 1. Just follow the other people up the stairs and you find yourself on a sidewalk that looks like this to your right (with a supermarket around the corner with good opening hours):

Walking to BUIE GAKUEN from the station is rather uncomplicated, Google Maps gives an overview:
First you cross the street some 50 meters to the right of Exit 1, that crossing has this unmissable restaurant front on the side you come from:
After that you walk till you reach the 4th crossings with a light, were you should see this orange store across the road:

Turn to the right as shown, and then you have to walk past two more street lights until you reach yellow walkway that goes across the road. Just before that is BUIE GAKUEN:

ALTERNATIVE 2: You arrive by bus or train to Sapporo Station.

JR Sapporo station is quite a big place with lots of walkways above and especially below surface. The saving grace is that Sapporo only have three subway lines, and the one you should look for is the blue colored Tōhō Line, and get a ticket for that. See instructions above for how to do it. The station you want to pay for is the Gakuen mae station (学園前).

When you reach it, you take exit 2 and come out at a white sidewalk:

Go around the corner 50 meter away and then you come to a simple zigzag section and after that it is a basically straight stretch until you reach the main road close to BUIE.

After turning the first corner

The zigzag part. After this you walk a short stretch till the next road to the left. Then its straight on pass one street light crossing and then at the next you have:

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