Winter came and gone…
It was my first winter, in the northenmost of Japan, Hokkaido. Hokkaido is very different from Tokyo; my only other trip to the Land of the Rising Sun. Hokkaido is a big island filled with vast natures, and the experience is a little bit different from what I remember in Tokyo. One thing is for sure, things are slightly less expensive compared to the country’s capital city.
It was cold but there were nothing less than warmth and politeness from the Japanese people. It was in January, and temperature could drop until -18 degree celcius. That was the lowest temperature that I have had experienced, when I was at the Asahiyama Zoo watching the penguins parade and the playful polar bears! We spent most of the trip in Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido. From Sapporo, we make trips to nearby destinations such as Otaru, and Asahiyama Zoo by train. We also spend nights at Toyako, Kushiro and Abashiri. Toyako with the hot spring hotel facing the beautiful Lake Toya, Kushiro with its multiple lakes and red-crowned cranes, and Abashiri with the drift ice tour. The floating ice has yet to reach Abashiri when we were there, so it was just a ferry ride out into the Okhotsk Sea. I must say it was disappointing not to have the drift ice. A pity… but one can always visit Abashiri’s impressive prison museum.
I love this country for its beautiful and polite people, good food and its culture! And the winter experience is truly unforgettable…
Lake Toya. Wonderful view of the lake with amazing tranquility.
The traditional Japanese room with the magnificent lake view.
The Otaru Canal.
The Penguin Parade which is only available during the winter at the Asahiyama Zoo.
We spent two nights in Kushiro, as we travel around to visit Lake Akan, Lake Mashu & Lake Kussharo.
Lake Kussharo with the whooper swans.
Iozan ,the sulfurous mountain.
Standing on the frozen Lake Akan.
The view from the Sapporo TV Tower.
Passing through Maruyama Park, as we made our way to the Hokkaido Jingu (Shrine).
On top of Mount Moiwa.