A 20-day adventure by Shingen
  • Day2

    Shin Chitose Airport

    September 5, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Jeff and I arrived at Shin Chitose Airport this morning. Very tired from our long trip from Canberra. We nearly didnt make the JAL flight from Tokyo to Shin Chitose as Qantas flight to Tokyo was delayed. We went to the big public bath house in the airport complex while we waited for our hotel room to become ready. Also had some nice Balinese massage at the bath house.Read more

  • Day3

    Susukino Area Sapporo

    September 6, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Susukino Area in Sapporo. Jeff and I are staying here for three nights. Jeff is still unwell but feels better than the first day in Hokkaido. I ate katsudon for dinner. Haven't done this for a long time. 

    We went to Odori Park this morning. Only managed one picture from the park, which was being prepared for a big Autumn Festival starting on Friday.
    Another pic from the train station. The pic shows some of the ways in which you could get injured while being on an elevator.
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  • Day5

    Upstream Toyohira River

    September 8, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    I have been noticing at breakfast buffet that everyone serve rice into the rice bowl the same way; an empty rice bowl in one hand, rice scoop thing on the other hand, serve rice in two (or three) scoops. This made me think that someone in their early lives showed them how to do this.I imagine that some of these fellow breakfast eaters might have had less than happy childhood. Rice serving memes are like a symbol on their body. Not an exotic one like the ones in primitive societies that are shown on documentaries, but nevertheless sort of symbols are passed down the generation. Someone told me when I was a child that we service rice in two scoops for the living, serve rice in one scoop for the dead. Just one instance of a young person becoming embodied by the group, and the group embodying the person.Read more

  • Day6

    Another night in Sapporo

    September 9, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    No trains to Wakanai because of heavy rain. Typhoon approaching from the Southern side of Japan, it's about Sendai now. We cancelled our hotels in Wakkanai and Rishiri Island. Booked Toyako onset (in the south) instead. Today, we are staying in Sapporo one more night. We are not doing much. Just enjoying hanging around the hotel room. We have a nice big hotel room on the top floor. This room is about twice as big as a standard hotel room with a separate sitting area.

    The first pic shows a drain from the near by zen temple. Our new house will have a deck almost at level with the ground. I want to implement a drain/ditch that looks like this in the picture with a metal grid as cover to ensure that the house won't get flooded when it rains heavily.

    The second pic is from Starbucks. Our snack.
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  • Day7

    Lake Toyako, Hokkaido

    September 10, 2016 in Japan ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Arrived at Lake Toyako today on a bus from Sapporo. It's very nice here. Our room looks over the lake. Some pics later. This is an old style Japanese hotel. A little bit shabby but I would say this is shabby chic.

    1st pic is from the hotel room, 2nd pic just outside the hotel, the third one is from the hotel foyer. The fourth one is our lunch before we left Sapporo Station. I have been eating lots of slimy food e.g. natto, okra, seaweed etc. I love them.
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  • 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?

  • 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!


    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).

  • Day11


    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.