Typhoon TalimSeptember 18, 2017 in Japan
The weather starts to deteriorate on Sep 17, so I restrict myself to short local hikes around the hotel. On the web I find that typhoon Talim has hit the southern parts of Japan with a lot of rain, and even Hokkaido can expect much rain on the 18th. Oh joy!
I am staying in Asahikawa on the 18th and I'd hoped to pass through the towns of Furano and Biei on the way there. Unfortunately the weather is bleak most of the day so those plans are scuppered. I am wearing board shorts and thongs for the drive, which with my rain jacket makes me sort of weather proof.
The wind really picks up in the central plain of Hokkaido between Takikawa and Asahikawa. Probably influenced by the mountains to the east.
Asahikawa has a population of around 350,000 people, making it the 2nd largest city in Hokkaido after Sapporo. I'm staying at the JR Inn, which is right next to the train station. In fact, the hotel is part of the Aeon Mall complex, which comprises speciality stores (including a supermarket) and food court on the first floor, restaurants on 4F and the hotel on 5F. Note that in Japan there is no ground floor, so you normally walk in to 1F.
All this is very handy as I can buy food without venturing outside. However, after driving all day I need some exercise so I run the weather gauntlet by walking in a local park. The city looks well set up as far as parks and tourism are concerned. It's surprising that the city is considered to be a gateway to other attractions rather than an attraction in its own right (like Brisbane I suppose).
For dinner I select Lavi Soup Curry on level 4F (see 2nd photo). I have a braised pork soup curry with rice and drink a mango lassi. It is probably the most filling meal I've enjoyed in Japan. For less than 25 AUD.
I also stock up on supplies at the supermarket, including a bottle of Furano wine (reasonably local to the area). Nothing better than donning hotel pyjamas and sipping on a cheeky red (3rd and 4th photos, taken BEFORE drinking).Read more