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Monday, 12 March 2018

Hokkaido 8D7N - Day 3 (Lake Toya)



Had been really busy since my last post.  I had spring cleaned my living room, then happily ordered some furniture from TaoBao through Ezbuy when I saw their Free Shipping promo.  Though the offer was too good to be true but I was still dumb enough to fell into the "sales gimmick".  As in, all the items I purchased were not eligible for their promotion.  For almost 3 weeks, email 来 email 去, they were so slow in response that I don't see the date of my stuffs coming at all -___-|||

My father went in and out of hospital..... and I lost the motivation to blog..... but I know I have to jot down cos' I'll regret if I don't.  I don't want to forget the little details of  my snowy (expensive) holiday.....


For Day 1 click HERE
Day 2 Click HERE


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Destination: Hokkaido Japan
Duration: 8D7N 14th Dec to 21 Dec 2017
Mode of Travel:  Hokkaido Passion Package Tour with Chan Brothers Travel
Flight: SQ to Tokyo, Air Do/ANA domestic to Hokkaido
Damage: S$3451/per pax (including all transportation, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners).
Tipping for tour guide and drive ¥6400/per pax (approx. S$80)
Travel Buddies:  Voo family of 4 with 2 teenage boys
Weather: 1 to -16 degrees with plenty of snow
Currency: We divide Yen with 80 to convert to S$
Time difference: 1 hour ahead of Singapore

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16.12.2017
Day 3

Outline itinerary of Day 2: (Lake Toya)
* Lake Toya (洞爷湖)
* Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch (熊牧场)
Showa-shinzan (昭和新山)
* Snow World Toya
Fukidashi Park


It was about -10 degrees in the morning when I decided to take some photos from my room's balcony.  It was cold but comfortably bearable.

The snow was soooooooo soft and slightly "sticky", very easily mould, just like snow in Harbin's Snow Village.

Perhaps the beautiful view of Lake Toya took the cold away.

It must had snowed the whole night.

Could see the hotel's buffet restaurant from my room too.

Buffet breakfast was the same, but I found something fascinating;  Cold Tofu 
I couldn't read Jap but the photo illustration was clear enough.  Poke tofu with toothpick, the cling wrap sort of burst and the soft ball of tofu was "expelled" intact.

I like it with shoyu, bonito flakes and spring onions.

Many many Hokkaido island eggs which I took one.

My breakkie with a bowl of porridge.

After breakfast we went for a short stroll outside the hotel.

So much snow, even stepping on them was fun lolxx...

Even a random tree outside the hotel was beautiful.

It's as if snow buds grown from the branches.

The road was all covered with snow.

My water resistant snow boots walked me through thick snow.... 

Car owner in trouble.

At the corner, outside the hotel was this little pool of hot-spring.

Hot spring foot dip was free!  Was too cold to stay outdoor, but I guess those few seats would be fully occupied from Spring to Autumn.

So I continued taking more photos of trees, secretly hallucinating myself as a professional photographer.

This was even prettier.

Red cherries with icing sugar coatings....

And I stood under this tree admiring the reds and white like an idiot lolxx...

Christmas lights were off.

The tour of the day began from another part of Lake Toya.
The lake is 43km in circumference, accompanied by Mt Usu, an active volcano which recently erupted in 2000.


However, the land of snow was more attractive than the lake.

The colors of nature was so beautiful and.....

........ kinda romantic.


After enough of snow play, we left for the next destination, drove pass Hakodate Airport.

Showa Shinzan Bear Ranch (熊牧场)
183 Showashinzan, Sobetsu, Usu District, Hokkaido 052-0102, Japan
One of the tour mate naively asked if could take photo with the bear.  *Face palm*, she didn't know a real bear it's not a teddy bear.  Bear same same as tiger sia, omg....

Photograph with bear not possible, but was still good with it's specimen.

Our tour guide said the bears preferred apples over cookies.  But only cookies were available that day.  ¥200 per packet, we bought 2.




The cookies looked yummy enough, should had tried a bite.

The enclosure was about 4m deep.

Some bears stood up when they saw us, some ignored us lolxx...

This cute one, was holding onto it's hind legs and rocking on it's butt to and fro, totally not interesting in the cookie treats.

The bears looked healthy and fine to me.   Though not in a natural habitat but it's well kept and not overcrowded.
Those online reviews written by animal lovers (act like or for real only they themselves know) were exaggerating, any how use the term "animal abuse" de...

We walked down the basement, cookie vending machine was there, knowing that we might not had enough cookies.

At the basement, we were closer to the bears, with only a glass panel and a gate barrier.
Their claws were like 2 inches long, big and sharp 😱😱 can rip a person apart with a slap sia.

We dropped the cookie into this hole which the bear knew exactly where to grab it from.
The bears sometimes breathe into the hole and le hubby would exclaimed in excitement when his hand felt the warm air of breath from the bear.

Unescapeable souvenir before leaving, I bought a tub of facial horse oil for hubby which worked perfectly on his dry skin.
We were all done within an hour and moved on the the next destination.

Showa-shinzan (昭和新山)
Showan-shinzan (昭和新山) is a baby volcano "born" around 1943 when Mt Usu erupted.  It's still fuming at it's height of 290m.

Didn't take too long too admire and clicking photos, we moved on to another excitement.

Our tour guide was flexible enough and our tour mates were steady enough, we opt out the caramel pupping tasting to stay in the wind:

Snow World Toya
233 Ohara, Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido 049-5821, Japan
Advance booking of the snow mobiles was made by our tour guide before visiting was possible.  

It's snowing and windy.
Le hubby beyond recognition.

My youngest kiddo King Luis and I, he took my bunny gloves.
My OOTD:
Down jacket: from Korea (my kid sis bought it for me as a birthday gift)
Summer jeans and fleece turtle neck: Uniqlo
Snow boots and camera protector: TaoBao

The safety helments didn't smell but was a bit disgusting with other people's hair in it.  I suggest you wear a disposable shower cap from whichever hotel before putting on their helmets >.<


Couldn't remember the exact charge for the snow mobile but it was roughly S$100 per vehicle, twin sharing about S$150, sibei expensive.



The ride was very safe, in fact too safe to be thrilling.  We took half an hour up and half an hour down, so total about 1 hour ride.

Le hubby drove (forever he drives me), while I sat back relax and took video lolxx...
Good experience, but tried once can already, seriously still heartache over the money. 

The journey was fun but nothing spectacular up there.

We had abundance of snow for us to throw and roll about.

This is a colored photo, haahaa....

Nobody was particularly interested in wine tasting, so we gave Nikka Whisky a missed and went for natural spring water (healthier lolxx...).   No regrets!

Fukidashi Park
Japan, 〒044-0131 Hokkaido, Abuta District, 京極町Kawanishi, 45
Fukidashi Park is located at the foot of Mt Yotei.

It was snowing heavily when we were walking towards it's rest point cum restaurant.


I wished I could go on and on in the snow....

Doing this winter post in forever summer Singapore made me miss snow so much.

All in Japanese and we had to get our tour guide to translate and she was kind enough to order for us.
This meal was at our own expense, excluded in the tour package.

It's woody and cozy in here.

We continued to watch the snow over lunch.

Beef don.

Spicy ramen.

Shoyu ramen.

I had the receipt but didn't know which was which already.  ¥4260 for a zero-wow meal was a bit expensive.

We bought an ice cream cone for about S$1 only at the cashier though.

Spring water was on sale here, but we were going up the stream with water bottles, yay..

We done lunch quick so as to have more time exploring Fukidashi park.

The suspension bridge swayed slightly as we walked, my heart swayed too, awed by this beautiful place.

Snow fairy land, omg.....

Never knew water could taste so GOOD!  My son described the spring water as Soul Cleansing Water.  We should had collected a few gallons back!

Too in love with this place, I wonder how it is in other seasons.








Snow marshmallows....


Everyday different hotel, a bit tiring.... Sheraton for this day:

Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort
650 Tokiwa Akaigawa, Yoichi-gun Hokkaido, 046-0583, Japan



The room was modern and splendid.




And there's a local phone provided!

There's always a souvenir shop selling tibits with standard prices.

It's a ski resort but we weren't interested in ski.

Those who were good at the sport looked pretty cool with the gears.

It was windy, just took a peek at part of the ski park and went back indoor.

The wind was blocked by the hotel in front.  The thick accumulation of snow was like giant cushions.

I just had to do this:
Sorry but no sorry for "vandalising" lolxx...

Dinner was hotel's buffet.


Dinning with full view of the ski park, life was too good...





Plate 1.

Plate 2.

And Plate 3, done!

I had green tea to aid digestion, continued admiring the snow outside.  I could never get tired of snow watching, ever.


The slight trouble was the onsen was located in another hotel.
There were a free shuttle bus, the ride was less than 3mins but walking wasn't possible cos we didn't seem to see any proper pavement for walking along the way.  Thinking that we wouldn't be exposed to outdoor, we hopped into the bus wearing only sweaters.

The Kiroro, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel
128-1 Aza-Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Paklok, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido 046-0593, Japan
The hotels had a arrangement of letting both hotel guests from either side to use each other's facility.


The Resort Market was actually a stretch of souvenir shops, which were..... sigh.... located in the hotel but door entrances facing outdoor.
Wearing only sweaters, we braved through outdoor without flu.  We tried to dash with our fastest speed but it was too difficult to ran in snow 😂  Now that I recalled, it was a funny experience freezing our asses off.

We didn't buy anything from here, but looking at beautifully packed tibits were pleasing enough.


After some window shopping was onsen.  Could only take a photo of the entrance of the onsen, within was ignoring naked and concentration of ultimate relaxation.

I proof read only once, there might be more spelling errors/grammar mistakes than usual, haahaahaa... forgive me.



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