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Japan Hokkaido Trip 北海道 – Day 2

July 10, 2011 18 comments

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Black Bear of Hakkaido

The flight arrived in Tokyo on time, after immigration clearance and luggage claimed, we looked for Mr. Gan, who helped on re-check in luggage and lead us to take free shuttle bus from Haneda International Airport 东京羽田机场 to Domestic Airport Terminal.

Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport)

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Mr. Gan our local check-in guide

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Shuttle Bus to Domestic Terminal

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Waiting for Flight to Chitose, Sapporo

From there, we took domestic flight to Chitose Airport 千歳市机场, the biggest airport in Hokkaido and nearest airport to Sapporo.   Our Local Tour Guide was waiting there.

Chitose Airport, Sapporo

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Tour Group Briefing by Mdm. Eli

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Tour Route Planning

Our Guide is Mdm. Elizabeth, she has live in Japan for 30+ years, she is Singaporean and still can get “ang-pow” from Singapore Government oh.  She went to Japan as a student and stayed back after her studies.   She shared a lot of very funny  story with us, those things she has experienced when she first came to Japan, culture shock and etc.   She is very nice and humorous.

We will have chance to see 3 major sea around Hokkaido – Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.

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TAKEURA 竹浦

Lunch Stop

We proceed to Takeura for early lunch (11.30am).   Our first meal in Japan was Seafood Steamboat Lunch, yummy.   The restaurant is located on the second floor, we can pick and buy the fresh optional seafood at the ground floor, e.g. Fresh Hanasaki Crab & Salmon Belly sashimi, Salmon sashimi & etc.

Seafood Restaurant cum Fresh Seafood Market

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Our bus for the tour

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Salmon Steamboat Lunch

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Fresh Seafood Market

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Fresh Salmon Belly Sashimi

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Preparing Fresh Salmon Belly Sashimi

Japanese love seafood.  A large amount of crabs are landed in Hokkaido, drawing many tourist from outside of Hokkaido.  Crabs are fresh, delicious and relatively cheap in Hokkaido compared to others place in Japan.  There are mainly 4 kinds of crabs in Hokkaido:

Hanasaki Crab

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Crab Price

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More Crabs... Expensive!!

Hanasaki Crab is valuable, as it can be landed only in the Nemuro region in a specific period of time.  

Hairy Crab has strong sweetness and steady texture.  It’s usually boiled with some salt or broiled.  

King Crab is characterized by its large size.  It is called the kind of winter dishes because of its elegant and sweet flesh.  

Snow Crab is elegant sweetness and sophisticated taste.

The snow crab is widely found off the Alaskan coast, the west coast off Greenland, Atlantic coast off North America, the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk (north of Hokkaido), the Sea of Japan and off the upper-middle coast of Honshu.

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PACIFIC OCEAN

The 1st sea we saw in Hokkaido.

Pacific Ocean, very Foggy

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 NOBORIBETSU 登别

Welcome to Noboribetsu Hells Valley

Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley“, is a large crater that was formed by Kuttara volcano about 200,000 years ago.  It is 450 meters in diameter and is surrounded by red stone cliffs.  Hot steam vents and sulfurous streams pour out from the sides of this red valley area giving it a very hell like appearance.

Hell's Valley at Noboribetsu

This area is one of the major sources for the Noboribetsu hot springs.   There are 11 types of minerals and water temperatures can reach more than 100°C.

Steam from the Hotspring

From the valley, there are attractive walking trails through wooden bridges, you will see boiling ponds and steaming streams.

Hot Spring when the Water is Boilling to 80ºC

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Warning Sign about the Hot Water

The city has a  population of only about 55K and the total area is 212.11 km².

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SOBETSU 壮瞥町

After that we stopped by at Hamada Garden, Sobetsu, to enjoy picking and eating fresh Strawberry fresh from the farm.

Hamada Garden, the First Farm in Sobetsu

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Strawberry Farm. Fresh and Ready to Eating

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Fresh Strawberries from the Farm

Originally apples trees were grown in Sobetsu, and by 1876 there was no more space for cultivation.  Until 1965 there were no more than four or five families only farming here, though nowadays there are about forty, and the area is known as a leading producer of fruits in Hokkaido.

The Last of the 100 years old Apple Tree in Hamada Garden.

The oldest apple tree in Sobetsu is said to have been planted around 1890 at “Hamada Garden”, over 100 years old and still around 还开花结果呢.  

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SHOWA SHINZAN 昭和新山

Showa Shinzen 昭和新山, an Active Volcano

Showa Shinzan is one of Japan’s youngest mountains which arose in the middle of farm land in 1943-45.   The mountain was named “Showa New Mountain” according to the contemporary reign of Emperor Showa (1926-1989).

You can see it’s still venting sulfurous fumes, Showa Shinzan stands directly next to Mount Usu, which bears responsibility for the new mountain’s birth.

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MOUNT USU 大有珠山

Mount Usu is a volcanic mountain located south of Toyako and towers 737 meters high.  On the top of the mountain is Sobetsu-cho, and the mountain straddles Toyako-cho and Date-shi. Lava dome on Mt. Usu.  This volcano has erupted four times in the 20th century: 1910, 1943-45, 1977-78, and 2000.  It is one of the few active volcanoes in Japan.

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LAKE TOYA 洞爷湖

Lake Toya (Toyako) is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park.  In addition to the lake itself, the Toyako region features hot springs and an active volcano, Mount Usu.   The area also offers many fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities.

Lake Toya is the 3rd BIGGESTS Caldera Lake in Japan, and has 4 Islands

The picturesque lake was chosen as the location of the G8 summit which Japan hosted from July 7 to 9, 2008.  The leaders of the world’s eight major industrialized democracies met at the Windsor Hotel Toya Resort & Spa.

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SAPPORO 札幌

Sapporo is Japan’s fifth largest city.  With a population of 1.85 million.  It is Hokkaido’s political, economic, cultural and transportation center.  The result was a beautiful town with streets crossing at 90º that less than 130 years later finds itself a major Japanese metropolis.

Sapporo City

Sapporo is the jewel of Northern Japan with tourists particularly interested in landmark buildings from the pioneering age; the Clock Tower, the old red brick buildings as well as the charm of nature found lining the streets in the shape of famous poplar, elm and acacia trees.

Combined with the region’s pure air, abundant greenery and culinary treasures, Sapporo is a truly unique city.

Sapporo became world famous in 1972 when the Olympic Winter Games were held there.  Today, the city is well known for its ramen, beer, and the annual snow festival held in February.

Sapporo Night Scene

There are 3 Famous Main Streets that  you must see in Sapporo:

a. Tanuki Koji 狸小路

b. Susukino

c. Odori Park

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TANUKI KOJI 狸小路

Tanuki Koji, one of the Famous Shopping Street in Sapporo

Stretching east-west, Tanuki Koji flourished as a bar district in Sapporo’s early days.  There are more than 200 stores offering a variety of choice including local delicacy restaurants, eateries and folk handicraft shops stand side-by-side.   Shopping here was fun.

Goodies Store, Selling all Kinds of Local Delicacies

初听狸小路这个名字是不是觉得很怪呢,炸听起来像个漂亮女孩的名字, 它可是很出名的步行街哦,是札幌这个海滨城市1条漂亮的商业街. 这条街上店铺林立, 虽然东西都很贵, 但是却车水马龙非常繁华. 这里是北海道札幌市的商业中心,到了日本北海道札幌是绝对不能错过的1条街.

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SUSUKINO

Susukino

Susukino is well known in Japan as Sapporo’s entertainment center that never sleeps.  It’s packed with stores, bars, restaurants, karaoke shops, pachinko parlors and red light establishments.

Of special interest to noodle lovers is the Ramen Yokocho, a narrow lane lined with shops serving Sapporo’s famous ramen.

In February, Susukino serves as a site of the Snow Festival, hosting an ice sculpture competition.

Susukino Ramen Alley

Ramen Restaurent

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Ramen Chef busy preparing our Dinner. A lots of people waiting outside the shop oh.

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Famous Pork Ramen, yummy. (*_*)

Tonight, our dinner is at Susukino Ramen Alley to try Hokkaido famous Ramen oh, yummy. (*_*)

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Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 1

Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 3

Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 4

Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 5

Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 6

Link: Hokkaido Trip Day 7

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