Friday, November 18, 2016

Hokkaido in April #2 - Things to do in Spring

 

This is part 2 of my April Hokkaido trip photo blog! For part one please go to HERE for more travel tips in Hokkaido.

Hakodate Bay Area


This area is famous for their cute red brick warehouses.They were built in early 20th century and had became a known landmark of the bay area of Hakodate. The view is great here, and there are also plenty of delicious patisseries, restaurants and souvenir shops here! Similarly, if you have time to stop by Otaru, head for the Otaru canal for the lovely scenery by the canal! The entire town have a unique look to it- it looked more industrial and Russian than normal Japanese town. The canal lines with beautiful stone buildings are now home restaurants, shops and cafes.
 
 Funny advertisement for condiment bottle.

Stay in a Onsen Ryokan

The trip won't be complete without a visit to an Onsen Ryokan (hot spring traditional inn). Some of the onsen ryokan have both indoor and outdoor bath, and I personally think the outdoor bath is a must try in cold weather! It'll be even more lovely if it is snowing while you are soaking in warm, therapeutic natural hotspring water.

I stayed in an ryokan located in Noboribetsu hot spring town. And there I get to experience my very first onsen experience! Unfortunately we are not allowed to take picture inside the bath area to protect privacy of the customers, I would love to show you how massive is the indoor bath that we went to!

Another nice thing about staying in a onsen ryokan is you get to sleep in traditional futons and wear yukata while you are inside the building. Some also will provide kaiseki ryori or traditional multi course japanese dinner in the room. The ryokan I stayed at however, provide buffet dinner to cater for their large group of tourists.



Hell Valley (Jigokudani 地獄谷) in Noboribetsu

Around onsen ryokan there are usually sulphur mountains or valleys that you can pay a visit to if the time allows. Bear in mind that the sulphur smells rather pungent, and it is unhealthy to inhale in too much of it.



Surrounding the main hot steam vents and sulfurous vent, vegetation is scarce. If time allows,do take the trail and go to Oyunuma, a sulphurous pond

If you follow them for about 20 to 30 minutes, you will get to Oyunuma, a sulfurous pond with a surface temperature of 50 degrees Celsius and a smaller, even hotter, mud pond nearby. This pond supply hot water to Oyunumagawa (Oyunuma river) and the river flows through the forest with hot steam. It is possible to enjoy a natural foot bath here while enjoying the out-of-the-world scenery here! Too bad we were short on time thus we did not walk further in to the river.

Enjoy more seafood!

Hokkaido is famous for their great variety of delicious seafood. It'll be a lost if you are here but never enjoy their seafood to your heart's content!


 
 This is the FATTIEST tuna belly cut I ever had in my life!

Enjoy local produce and dairy products

Hokkaido is famous for their high quality creamy milk! When you are here do remember to enjoy the fresh milk and also cheese cakes!
Also, try their fresh produces like melons and strawberries!


Eat Ramen

Ramen is Hokkaido's soul food due to their long, snowy winters. Since the island is also the main source of dried kelp/kombu in japan, the broth of their ramen is extremely flavourful!
One of the famous ramen street in Sapporo.

Visit Sapporo

Sapporo, compared to other Japan cities, has a modern yet laid-back vibe to it. Here you can enjoy all ranges of food from ramen to burgers, the choices are amazing! You can also visit the parks, shrine or go to the ski jump stadium from 1972 Winter Olympic!
Unfortunately this shrine is the only place I saw snow, which doesn't really count as snow anymore hahaha

Spring is Hokkaido is definitely not dull. But just a few tips for travellers to not make the same mistakes like me, check out the estimated timing for sakura viewing, or go a little later to enjoy the lovely flower view in late spring! Definitely will pay Hokkaido a visit again if I have the chance, and this time round I'll try to go in a different season, either in winter for their powder snow, summer for their lavender field scenery or autumn for their momijikari (viewing the autumn leaves).


Taken at showa-shinzan bear park. Not too much to see here so will only recommend family with kids who likes bear to pay a visit.

7 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! Will definitely refer to your post if I'm going to Hokkaido❤

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my I would love to go! Is February a good month to visit Hokkaido?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually think that's one of the best month to go! Sapporo usually have their snow festival in February and there will be heavy snowing, it'll be super pretty there!

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