September 2016
  • Day20

    Sapporo station

    September 23, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌫 16 °C

    Last day. Had lunch at Sapporo station. Soft rain outside.

    Pics from Tanuki Koji (or Racoon Path shopping arcade) area where we ate dinner last night and the view from the JR Tower (38 floors tall) we visited on the last day.Read more

    A great view from the tower! And Tanuki Koji looks cosy. I love little Japanese bars and restaurants in lanes.

    9/23/16Reply
     
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  • Day17

    Back in Sapporo

    September 20, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We came back to Sapporo today. We are staying at Mercure Hotel. Its a compact hotel but very nice. We went for a stroll down a shopping area this afternoon and rested at the hotel after that.

    Jeff helped me with interview preparation. It always feels so bad to practice. But am grateful to Jeff's contribution. Interview is tomorroe at 1:30 Japanese time. I plan to go jogging afterwards to relax.

    Tonight, on Tue night, we went to an Indian restaurant for dinner

    On the second night back in Sapporo, on Wed night, we went to sit zazen at a Rinzai temple bear where we are ataying at. Then went out to Spanish dinner. V good.
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    Indian food in Sapporo! I wonder if it's Japanese Indian, or Indian Indian. Waiting for your report :-)

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day17

    Mt Asahidake

    September 20, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 2 °C

    Jeff drove us to Mt Asahidake. It was a magical place. We went for about an hour's walk on a rocky road. It was really scenic. The leaves were already starting to tirn yellow and red. It was pretty cold up the top, 7 degrees we were told.Read more

    Juanita Kolaric

    So beautiful

    9/20/16Reply
    Juanita Kolaric

    So clear and beautiful. Looks like you are having a magical time. Xxoo

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day15

    Chubetsu River

    September 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    We cycled along Chubetsu River. The cycle parh goes for a really long distance. We stopped along the way and chatted. Saw this young father with two children. Made me think of the children in the pics from tge museum.

    Jeff had a go at jogging.
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    Juanita Kolaric

    You look so happy and relaxed Tomoko. 😊👍💕

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day15

    Asahikawa Museum

    September 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    Rented bicycles and visited Asahikawa Museum. There were some photos from old times showing lives in this place that gets v cold. Lives of children were very different then. The museum had lots of interesting information about Ainu people (indigenous people) and their culture.Read more

    I would love to visit this museum. The children look similar to those in my mother's photo album from her childhood (minus the cows and snow).

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day15

    Asahikawa

    September 18, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 17 °C

    Asahikawa feels like the Wild West of Sapporo. There are unusual looking people including an old woman with dyed pink hair with matching pink outfit.

    Found a small Nepalese restaurant near the hotel and had dinner there last night. It's much cooler here than Toyako, Sapporo or Otaru. Was 13 degrees last night.

    Going to hire bicycles and cycle along one of the rivers that run through the city. It's Sunday today and the middle day of a long weekend.

    This hotel room is very small. Took some getting used to but now my expectations are calibrated 👍
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  • Day11

    Otaru

    September 14, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    We travelled from Lake Toyako to Otaru today. We found this place called Otaru Asari Classe Hotel, which is located in the hills about 30 mins bus ride from Otaru Station on a bus. This place must be pretty busy in winter for skiing.
    Otaru is a port city and feels very different to Lake Toyako.

    Some pics from Otaru. I liked what someone did with the climber plants.

    Received an email about a job interview today.

    This place where we are staying at has an outside bath. I had a bath outside in the soft rain. So very nice. For dinner Jeff and I ate delicious sushi. I ate sea urchin for the first time ever. It was nice but I still don't understand why it's such a big deal. Jeff had nice sake.

    Day 2 in Otaru. Today we had a 'home day'. We did some laundry, went to a stretch class at the hotel (which was pretty weird), spent some time at the gym, bath and at a restaurant in the hotel. Spent a lazy but a nice day. We both read quite a bit today.
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    So you have ticked sea urchin off the list of things you have never tried. I don't mind sea urchin if good quality, but I like kani miso much more. Oh yum.

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day10

    Toyako onsen

    September 13, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Today we went up Mt Usu. It was pretty wild up on the mountain. At the museum located at the top of Mt Usu, we saw how the whole Toyako onsen town came to be, how it came out of a series of erruptions over many years. The lake is a v big crater which resulted from a massive explosion thousands of years ago. The mountain exploded again at some later point and islands in the middle emerged. There has been two more explosions in the last seventy years, the most recent one taking place in 2000.

    I sense that people in this town had collectively made a decision to live with a volcano (a living but resting one) by organising their lives around tourism and careful evacuation plans and evacuation training.

    Its very beautiful here. I like it here a lot.
    We are leaving this place this morning for Otaru, a historicsl port located north from here, on the Japan sea side.
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    Juanita Kolaric

    You look so relaxed!

    9/15/16Reply

    I'd love to visit this lake. Touring Hokkaido seems like a very good idea. The only time I went to Sapporo was December, and it had record snowfall. So it was difficult to travel (and very cold).

    9/20/16Reply
     
  • Day9

    Still at Lake Toyako

    September 12, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    This is our third day in Lake Toyayo. We had breakfast, and sat meditation, and is now about 10am. We have been eating buffet style breakfast here (and elsewhere). We managed to get some nice French stick from a Belgium bread shop while cycling and smuggled that in for breakfast! I guarded my french stick at the toaster so no one ate them.
    Now going back to the rental cycle shop to hire bicycles for a few hours again.

    First pic is of a retro looking room we have been staying in.

    Pics #2-6 are from our bike ride around the lake 43kms in two hours and a bit. We saw some trees blown dowm by the wild wind that went through here recently. My lunch was a delicious plate of vegetables and salads. One of my favorute scenary from Japan is of rice paddies. Saw many of them all with rice ready for harvesting.
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    Juanita Kolaric

    Who's that good looking guy?

    9/15/16Reply