Blogs from Hokkaido, Japan, Asia - page 5

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Asia » Japan » Hokkaido July 5th 2013

Shintoku Onsen to Nokubira Onsen Friday Day 5 66k 40 miles Today I left the hotel with two indentations in the bedroom floor, where my shoulder and hip bones lived. The two mattresses were no more than 40mm thick each – paltry. Additionally, the human traffic passing by our door to the toilet in the early hours was like the M25 at 8am coupled with the constant flow of high speed water through ancient pipework making a noise like Niagara Falls. Breakfasted on the traditional rice, noodles and fish we were off on the road again, following last night’s light rain which left the roads damp and the hills covered in low cloud. Let’s hope that we can survive the day without punctures, having two yesterday on the hire bikes, which are actually quite good Trek ... read more
Mist over the lake
Japanese bedroom
Lake view

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Furano July 4th 2013

Japan Experience Furano to Shintoku Here we are in Sapporro, on Hokkaido, 28 hours after leaving home. 11.30 pm and straight to our room and a shower and bed in this warm, windy, humid climate after getting lost on the way from the railway station. Am I glad I had wheels on my luggage. Our Japanese guide, Ken, was waiting for us at the airport and it took us an hour to get our bikes to his van having to go up and down lifts, across bridges and then pass our bagged bikes over an iron railing to him. Eventually we were off and onto the express train into the city. Japan, so far, has been a busy place and full of quiet, respectful people who are almost all quite short in stature compared to the ... read more
Scarecrows
Lady workers
Lake Kanayama

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Niseko March 29th 2013

The snow here is amazing; especially for this bloke from Oz where snow is measured in centimetres (if we're lucky) as opposed to here where it's measured in metres. Some of the drifts are still 2-3m deep in the village and up to 5m on the upper slopes of Mt Niseko. To everyones delight it snowed heavily overnight, giving rise to eager anticipation of powder skiing. The only reason that I'm sharing this enthusiam for the sticky powdery stuff is to soften the steeper icy runs, which were the cause of me landing heavily on my bum several times yesterday - at least that's my excuse. The excitement of powder however wasn't welcomed when we walked to the village for dinner last night while trying to restrain two lively boys from tossing sticky snow balls at ... read more
The mob on the mountain - 1300m Niseko in background

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Niseko February 28th 2013

This isn't something that I imagined I would be doing only two years ago but my partner, Jenny, and some of her family were going to Japan for a skiing holiday so I thought ... why not. Actually, visiting Japan for any reason had never been on my horizon. Having learnt to ski only two years ago I have to admit that I was a little hesitant, particularly given that I had only ever skied the relatively comfortable slopes of Mount Buller (in the Victorian Alps). The thought of the potential for powder snow (aparently a rarity at Buller) seemed to excite the rest of the Devenish family; especially 11yo Georgia, 8yo Lauchlan and 6yo Benny. The two older kids delight in out-skiing me on any slope, which is only to be expected given that grandmar ... read more
View from the apartment
Contributing author
Half way up the mountain

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido December 21st 2012

Leaving the peace and quiet in the farm behind and with sadness in my heart, I took the train to Noboribetsu Hell Valley. The strangest thing is that I run into the first WWOOFer I met in the farm in a train station that is out of nowhere. She is also done with another WWOOFing host and on her way to her next host. It is such a coincidence, what is the chance I would see someone I knew in Japan. The national park I am heading to is called the Valley of Hell. It is a result of the specific geology in the area. There are smoking coming out of the valley, it looks like "Hell". It kind of remind me of Yellowstone National Park. Too hard to put it in words, look at the ... read more
Photo 3
Free Foot Onsen
Noboribetsu

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido December 19th 2012

The two weeks I spent in the farm was one of the best time I have in my lift so far. First, the scenary of the farm is amazing, with snowy Yotai Mountain at the backdrop, ending green all around, dogs barking, chicken running, and quiet. Second, the work is so different from what I used to do in the office. Pure manual labor, not too much brain work. Third, great people, cute cats, delicious food and great conversations. Everyday is hard labor, but you will so satisfied and rewarded with great home cooked food. Here are few of the things I really missed and memorable moments: 1) Food made by Hiroko-san is amazing: Hiroko-san used to be a cooking teacher in Osaka. With the limited ingridients grew in the farm, she was able to come ... read more
Food 2
Photo 8
Photo 7

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Sapporo September 27th 2012

Encore une fois, bien le bonjour à tous. vous trouverez aujourd'hui quelques photos de notre visite au nord du Japon, sur l'ile d'Hokkaido. j'espère que vous apprécierez Phil... read more
Mont Asahidake
reflets et cheminées volcaniques
en montant vers le sommet...

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Asahikawa September 26th 2012

25 septembre 2012, Hokkaido Konichiwa! Après 10 jours à Tokyo (nous devions attendre notre passeport qui était à l’ambassade chinoise), nous sommes enfin partis en train pour l’Île d’Hokkaido, au nord du Japon. Pour parcourir les 800km qui nous séparaient d’Asahikawa, nous devions prendre 4 trains totalisant environ 11 heures de transport. C’était long, mais très efficace (les Shinkansen roulent jusqu’à 300km/h) et confortable comme voyage. La petite dame au comptoir a bouqué tous nos billets de train, de sorte que nous avions seulement 10 minutes d’attente (ou devrais-je dire de course!) entre chaque train. Notre voyage a cependant pris 14 heures, comme un des trains a dû interrompre deux fois sa route pendant plusieurs heures. Un des agents de bord a pris en note toutes les destinations des pass... read more
Parc national Daisetsuzan
Mt Asahidake, Daisetsuzan
Mt Asahidake, soufre

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido » Sapporo April 2nd 2012

I am actually partway though writing a proper, chronological blog entry, but I felt the need to interrupt my regular (if sporadic) musings to share one of my New Favourite Things. If you have lived with me, or known me in certain contexts, you will probably know that I like baths. Imagine my joy at learning that there was a traditional Japanese bath in the hostel I was staying! Imagine my disappointment and disgust when I learned that it was for MEN ONLY. I could shower if I wanted, but would have to pay. That was my third worst accomodation experience since leaving New Zealand, fourth if you count the plane trip over. Osaka redeemed itself by providing me with a bath at my next hostel. It was a bit scary the first time; there are ... read more

Asia » Japan » Hokkaido May 16th 2011

So the journey continues northwards towards Hokkaido and to temperatures 10 degrees lower than the main island via a rather long train journey which takes us through the Japanese equivalent of the channel tunnel. First stop on the itinerary is Sapporo, the prefectural capital and japan's fifth largest city. We were both pleasantly surprised at how cosmopolitan and lively the city was as I think we were expecting something a lot smaller given its location and pleased that it was easy to navigate around as it used a more western grid system. We had plenty of time to explore around the sights around Shapiro centre ,take a pleasant but bracing stroll through Odori Koen and sample some of Sapporo's famed beer. Given my slight obsession with visiting zoos in other countries (yes it happens every ... read more
Sapporo at Night
Cute Red Panda
Otaru Canal




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