I developed a love for trips to Japan! My first trip to Hokkaido! Chapter 2

otaruotaru

It took about 2 and half hours to get to Otaru. When Otaru canal came into view, I realized I was truly in Hokkaido now.

If you use a JR Rapid train, it takes about one hour and 15 minutes from New Chitose airport to Otaru station. There are many restaurants and shops across the canal. The most popular spots are Otaru Music Box Museum and Kitaichi Glass. The music boxes and glass cups were very beautiful. I couldn’t resist buying a music box for my friend in Shanghai and a glass for myself.

I was tired of walking around, and wanted to drink some coffee. Milk products in Hokkaido are very famous. Please try some. My favorite Japanese sweet shop is called “Rokkatei” where there are various kinds of chocolate and cookies. The taste is not too sweet and very delicious. Rokkatei gives free coffee and Japanese tea, and the soft serve ice cream I ordered was wonderful.Their gift wrapping paper is also beautiful and modest. I ended up buying all my souvenirs at this shop.

shrimpshrimp

I stayed at a Holiday Inn in Sapporo on my first night. Because I’m a member of IHG, I could upgrade my room. The buffet style breakfast at the hotel was good and had a variety of foods. The yubari melon was sweet. I went out for dinner at a locally famous Izakaya where the grilled asparagus was delicious and the taste of the jumbo fresh shrimp was different from the ones in Shanghai – they are fresh! The oysters were great, so I ate a lot.

There are a few drug stores in the underground in Sapporo. The prices are not so different from each other, so you should buy as much as you want.
I also climbed the Sapporo TV tower. The view from the observation deck was very beautiful at night. If it was winter, it would have been even more beautiful.

aoikeaoike

I went to Furano Farm Tomita next.
It was my first visit to a lavender field, and it looked like a whole purple carpet was spread out. I couldn’t get bored of taking pictures. I recommend the lavender white soft service cream!
Here, there were many Chinese visitors. They were so loud…
Hokkaido brings surely full colors. The blue colored lake was quiet. It was beyond description. “That’s so blue!” It’s incredible.
I dropped by Ikeda Wine Castle. There is a winery tour at the castle, so please try it if you have time. It was interesting.
At their wine tasting section, you can enjoy seasonal recommended Tokachi wines for free. Unfortunately, my friend couldn’t get some wine because he needed to drive. I enjoyed the wine alone 

shikotsushikotsu

When you visit Hokkaido, you should try some Onsen!
Shikotsu-Tōya Onsen at Shikotsu-Tōya National Park is a famous onsen which was built in 1915 (Taisho 4).
It feels good to drive the lakeside on Shikotsu-Tōya lake. The clean and pure Shikotsu-Tōya lake is an unfrozen lake which is located on the northern tip in Japan.
Crossing over the red mountain bridge, looking at Mount Eniwa from a lake filled with a mysterious atmosphere, it looks like an enchanted land with haze over the lake.
Thanks to Marukoma Onsen’s delicious food and good service, I could feel refreshed.
Sleeping on a futon with the smell of tatami mats was a great feeling. I could sleep well.

crabcrab

If you are not comfortable taking a bath with strangers, why not making a reservation for a chartered bath? The first time is free.
When I got in the chartered bath after getting the key, it was quite spacious inside and there was a round bathtub made out of ceramic. Shampoo and conditioner were also available. You can also drink cold water. Please enjoy your bath time with the door locked. You don’t need to worry about the time because the temperature of the water is hot, and you would not be able to take a bath for a long time.

It takes about an hour from Shikotsu-Tōya lake to Sapporo airport, so Shikotsu-Tōya would be a good sport for the last day of your travel. Pack your luggage and head to the airport. I recommend you use ANA to go back to your country via Tokyo, because you can go shopping as much as you want in Tokyo.
The price for an airline ticket to Tokyo is 10,800 yen including tax! It’s a good deal.
It’s better to go to Sapporo airport first. It’s worth seeing there.
There are so many shops in the domestic airport terminal, and many goods are lined up. You can obtain practically anything for souvenirs at the terminal. I love this spot.
There are truly a lot of fresh seafood, but it is unfortunate that we couldn’t get the fresh foods back home to Shanghai, Well, you can still enjoy the time before your boarding.

It was a short trip, but a lot of surprising things happened.
I often saw signs saying “Watch out for deer.” When I drove a leafy avenue by car, one deer hopped out into the street! Then, when I went through the mountains, one hawk with a snake in his beak flew overhead! At a parking lot at the Aoike Blue Pond, I encountered a small fox. If I could meet a bear, all the animals would be lined up.
In fact, I went to Otaru alone two years later. On a day trip from Otaru to Tokyo, I developed a love for Hokkaido.

My trip report in Hokkaido will be continued.
I want to ride Saihyo-sen to see ice-cold water in early spring.
Next year, I also want to go to Sakura matsuri in Hiromae, Aomori, so I’m planning to go to Hokkaido then Aomori.
Three years ago when I travelled for the first time, I leaned how important it is to have an advance preparation. Therefore, I search for everything by myself before my trip, compare things I need, and make a personal travel document.
I may get addicted to it. Once you prepare for something, your trip has already started. Where should I go next? I will tell you soon. Please look forward to it.

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