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Published: September 12th 2006
I am in Japan!!! A long way from Adelaide, Australia, but here I am in Shizuoka for a year teaching at an English Kindergarten while seeing and experiencing as much of this crazy, mixed up, amazing country as I can!
So to make this blog a bit more exciting to write its gonna be an A-Z of what Marissa and I did in our 4 day visit to Hokkaido. Not that Hokkaido wasnt exciting, it was, its just you get sick of writing 'and then we did this and then we saw that', and come on lets admit it, most people just look at the pictures anyway!!! A is for Air!
It was fresh, clean and you could even see the stars, the mountains and blue sky- no haze!!!! B is for Beer
We were in Sapporo for their annual beer festival, and being the town that is home to the Sapporo Beer Factory, the Asahi Brewery, Kirin and I think even Suntory, they certainly know how to do it in style! If only we werent already hung over from the tours of the aforementioned factories we would have made the most of the festival! C
is for Cows So much for Hokkaido being Milk Land- we didnt see one real live cow. D is for Driving
In our own Mazda hire car!! Coolest thing ever, with GPS (thank goodness). We drove to Otaru, through Furano, Biei, and to Asahikawa before heading back to Sapporo. E is for Eating a truckload of meat
Before we had even booked our flights we had found out about the All you can eat BBQ (they call it Genghis Kahn here) in the Sapporo Beer Garden, and so this of course went straight to the top of the list of things to do in Sapporo! We didnt have time in the couple of days before we picked up the car but we made a point of dropping the car back early so we could go before coming back to Shiz. Nearly missed our flight but it was so so so worth it. Yum!!!!! F is for flowers
Never thought I would appreciate flowers so much!!! Lavender, sunflowers, poppies, marigolds, daisies. Just amazing splashes of colour everywhere around Furano and Biei. G is for Gipped!
We were shown a brochure at the hostel for a park (Moerenuma
But where are the cows?
to be exact) which boasts (and I quote) "Moere Beach... which envisions beautiful seashore, is paved with coral... water springs forth from three outlets... the delighted voices of children resonate here in Summer". As well as a glass pyramid like at the Louvre, a play mountain and other things that sound cool in the brochure. Anyway, we get to this park after a 30 minute hot, yucky bus ride, with 'envisions' of lush green fields, children playing, and a beautiful oasis of cool clear water in the middle. The first signs when we arrived were not good- Dry brown grass, not many people, a dirty river, but surely the man made beach would still be there- I was hot enough to swim in anything at this stage. We made it to the 'oasis'- and the water was truely a mirage. The bloody thing was dry. Do not go here. H is for Hokkaido
Obviously I is for Ice Festival
That we werent there for but looks awesome- might have to go back in Winter!!! J is for Just making it to the airport
in time to check in- lucky the flight was delayed!! K is for
I double dare ya!!!
On the way home from the Izakaya we ate at on our first night in Sapporo. Just cooling her feet!
K Killer Bugs and snakes in the sunflower paddock- according to Marissa!!! L is for Lavender Icecream
In Kamifurano we had lavender icecream overlooking yet another field of flowers! It was yummy! M is for Milkland
Most of the dairy products we buy in Shizuoka come from Hokkaido. The cows are invisible though. N is for Navel City
Furano is proud to be the belly button city of Hokkaido- yep its right in the middle! They even have a festival every year to celebrate, the people paint their stomachs with their mouths as the belly buttons and cover their heads up. Now thats a festival Id like to see! O is for Otaru
The Venice of Japan. Ok, so it only has one canal, but it is very pretty and easy to find with GPS! Also looks nice in Winter. P is for Posing and Photos
Come on, a field of flowers is a lovely back drop dont you think? Q is for Quicksand
Not really- couldnt think of anything. But now that Im thinking about it, does quicksand actually exist or is it just something out of the movies? R is for
The Factory- Sapporo
Near the old beer factory is this massive shopping centre. Didnt have time to explore!
Ramen The best one ever in Sapporo- served with a big crab claw. It was delicious! S is for Sleeping Naked
No not us! See Chicken Pox and Naked Roomies blog!! T is for Trick Art Museum
Also in Kamifurano was a trick art museum. It was great, very clever tricks of the eye and optical illusions- check out the photos. Bit of a bizarre place for an art gallery when you think about it though!!! U is for Unidentified White Statue
Spotted when we were driving towards Furano. Still dont really know what it was!! Looks like Mary though I think! V is for Valet Parking
We went to Asahikawa for tea one night and the car park was valet- in a muddy dirt park mind you, but still! W is for Woody Life
Another 'before wed even booked the flights'. Marissa and I had talked about how cool it would be to stay in a log cabin in the mountains. We didnt book any accomodation for the Friday night coz we figured wed just drive til we found something cool. Well we did find something cool and for me probably the highlight of the
Asahi Factory- you do the tour and then 30 minutes free drinks!!!
trip- our very own log cabin!!! We pulled up, rang the doorbell and told the man who spoke little english that we wanted to sleep. We asked the price and tho it was a bit more expensive than what we wanted we let him show us the self contained cabins that they had there. They were gorgeous, but like I said a bit expensive, so we told him that and then he took us back inside and up the stairs where there was an indoor balcony that ran all around the roof with dugouts right the way around where you could sleep maybe forty people. Then there was a little room with two smaller rooms with two single beds and then up another flight of stairs there was the attic room with two futons. And this was in our price range!!!! And the best bit- the shower was outside in a barrell! It was great- and just what I imagined!!!
The next morning as we were leaving the father and mother that built the house came out and were talking to us and gave us 100% cows milk- the mother kept asking us if our stomachs would be alright! Then
as we were putting our bags in the car father ran out and took us to the familys' museum, with shells etc collected from around the world, but even better, his own personal art collection out the back. This was amazing, with beautiful photographs from around the Furano area and Japan. It was funny, the guy didnt want us to leave and made us promise to come back in Winter!! Y is for Yet another hostel
in Tokyo before back to our home away from home- the mansion in Shiz. Z is for ZZZZzzzzz
Needed another two weeks holidays to get over the holiday!!!
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