travels

Hokkaido: Day 2

I know this is long overdue but better late than never lah. Heh.

The next morning, we left Hotel Taisetsu and headed to our first stop:

Attraction: Ryusei & Ginga Falls

Check out the lovely view from the carpark! Gorgeous blue skies, lovely greenery,…..

The Ginga Waterfall and Ryusei Waterfall are a set of Japanese waterfall twin towers. Well, according to the guide book, anyway.

Looking at our photos, it looks like we only saw Ginga Waterfall. Heh.

Ok, enough of waterfalls. We headed northwards towards our main attraction of the day, Takinoue Park.

I did the drive to Takinoue! This is one of the many underpasses we erm, passed.

According to our itinerary,Β Takinoue is a beautiful town with many waterfalls and valleys. However, what we were really looking forward to is to check out the moss pink that dots the hills in the area.

Moss pink was first planted in Takinoue Park in 1957 and it flourished. Since then, its flowers cover all of the surrounding hills in an approximate 100,000 m2 area. (wow!)

As we approached the hills, we spotted bits of moss pink and got trigger-happy. Woohoo! There were loads of staff on standby to direct cars to an empty parking lot. Did I mention that I do love the Japanese for their efficiency?

How gorgeous are the pink hills? We stood there in awe for a good 10-minutes, just admiring the beautiful view in front of us.

There are little roads leading up the hills so we chose one that was the least steep. Heh. Here’s a picture of the moss pink upclose:

They’re actually made up of LOADS of tiny little flowers so you can imagine how many little flowers dotted the hills! It was just amazing.

As we were leaving, I spotted a Hokkaido police car and couldn’t help snapping a picture. Heh.

“Were they there to view the flowers too?”, I wondered.

After all that flower viewing, it was time for lunch. Enroute, we spotted a GIANT crab claw and couldn’t resist running towards it for a picture. It was near the coast and the winds were insanely cold!

Notice how foggy the background is?

Lunch was at a little Japanese place that was recommended by the guides. The cute thing is, no footwear is allowed so you’d have to place your shoes in these lockers with a wooden key. Cute!

You’d have to remember the character for your locker or your shoes will be gone forever! Heh.

They had a set lunch thingy going and thankfully, there were pictures accompanying the Japanese text.

The boy got the sushi set (bottom right) while I had the ramen + fried rice set (top right).

Check out the fresh sushi! The boy was a very happy boy πŸ™‚

My bowl of ramen had scallops in them! How decadent. Pity I don’t eat ’em!

I ordered a side of chawanmushi and was pleasantly surprised by what I found:

Looks like a typical bowl of chawanmushi eh?

There’s cheese in there! Pretty interesting and rather delicious. The cheese was light and did not overpower the overall taste of the chawanmushi. Yummy.

After lunch, we walked around for a bit and wandered into a seafood supermarket.

Those crab legs you see that costs 3980yen for 2kg? That works out to be about S$63. Pretty cheap eh?

With our tummies filled, we headed to our next destination:

Attraction: Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park

Rows upon rows of pretty tulips in every colour possible! Awwwww…

At present, there are 1,200,000 colourful tulips of 120 varieties that bloom vividly in the 7 hectare (!) garden. The Tulip Fair takes place from 1 May to early June every year so we were lucky to catch them still in full bloom!

If you didn’t want to walk, you can hop onto one of these little tram car (you’d have to pay, of course):

I started doing these star jumps throughout the trip πŸ™‚

The Tulip Park even has a mascot!

He was walking away and his escort asked him to stop so that I could snap this pic. So cute lah.

It was getting late so we decided that we had better head towards the hotel, towards the east end of Hokkaido.

Enroute, we stopped for a bit just to take in the fresh air and gorgeous ocean view. I love self-drive holidays!

Our final stop for the day:

Attraction: Cape Notoro

Cape Notoro is well-known for breath-taking views of the ocean and it protrudes into the sea of Okhotsk. Naturally, as we were right at the edge, the winds were howling and it was FREEZING COLD.

Our original intention was to catch the sunset but as you can tell from this picture, Mr Sun still had quite a distance to go.

So we decided to amuse ourself by taking photos. Lots of them.

After a good 20 minutes with no sign of the sun setting, we decided that we have had enough of the biting cold and called it a day, taking this last beautiful shot of the sun that wouldn’t set πŸ™‚

Our hotel for the second night is Hotel Abashirikoso. The hotel overlooks a pretty lake!

FYI, this photo was taken the next morning as we were leaving the hotel.

This is the view from our room:

And yes, the sun has finally set by then. Ha! The rooms weren’t exactly fashionable but they were clean and large.

Looks like a scene out of an 80s movie eh? Hehe.

We changed into the yukata and headed downstairs for our dinner. Check out our meal!

A very very large Hokkaido cold crab! Check out ’em claws! Wow.

In fact, these cold crabs are so popular with tourists that you can even buy them from the hotel lobby!

Day 2. The end πŸ™‚

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