While in Sapporo recently we took the opportunity to visit Shiroi Koibito Park which is a chocolate factory with an England-themed attraction attached.
The factory production line itself was under renovation but there was still a lot to see. Shiroi Koibito by the way means white sweetheart or white lover.
The mock tudor architecture was reminiscent of Chester Rows and Liberty of London. A colourful display of seasonal flowers filled the courtyard area.
Playful touches such as this leaning tower of biscuits (my name for it) added to the fun for kids.
Also outside was a miniature railway, treehouses, a London double decker bus, a mechanical clock tower with singing and dancing dolls and a soft ice cream house.
Inside, the decor was as lavish and ornate as the exterior.
Indoor exhibits included the Aurora Fountain produced by England’s Royal Doulton Company in 1870 and a chocolate cup collection.
Examples of chocolate packaging and advertising from years gone by were displayed along with information on how chocolate is produced.
A misspelling here perhaps? Fly’s Milk Chocolate might not have been so successful as Fry’s.
There was also a rare collection of vintage Japanese toys dating from 1868 onwards.
Needless to say there was a shop selling the full range of chocolate and confectionary products as well as an elegant cafe to enjoy those decadent chocolate drinks in bone china cups and their trademark Shiroi Koibito parfait.
The Japanese are masters at making authentic-looking copies of European architecture. If Britain ever wants to regenerate some of their drab town centres maybe they should ask the Japanese to build some replica tudor buildings for them!