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7 Days Autumn Hokkaido

#21 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 01:45 PM

An Ice Cream Vending Machine selling premium ice creams. I am not sure of the market rate for these ice creams but ¥290 seems reasonable for Häagen-Dazs.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1558-NaritaAirport.jpg

Our Japan Airlines connecting flight to New Chitose Airport awaiting in the wings. This time round, no more walking on the tarmac to board the plane like my Spring Trip. While waiting login to the free Wifi network to update your social media websites via the SSID - FreeWiFi-NARITA.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1559-JALPlane.jpg

Welcome to Hokkaido - An hour and the half later, our feet were firmly planted on the ground of Hokkaido. Whilst waiting to collect the luggage, we noticed a lot of American soldiers, some in full uniforms carrying camouflage backpack/bag which I had observed earlier on the plane. Doesn’t look like they were on vacation or maybe they were reporting back to base.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1560-WelcomeToHokkaido.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1561-NewChitoseAirport.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 15 November 2014 - 08:52 AM

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#22 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 02:45 PM

The next thing that caught my eyes were the many advertisements for the New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival to be held from 31st October to 3rd November 2014. No chance to explore this event as I will be back home by then.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1562-AnimationFestival.jpg

We were introduced to our tour guide – Aki-san who hailed from Hong Kong. He can speak fluent Japanese but that was because he studied here in Japan. Being a Chinese speaking tour, his Mandarin was passable but with a strong Cantonese accent. Well, as for English, there was no hope of getting him to understand, if you know what I meant.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1563-AkiandVee.jpg

Hokkaido (北海道) is the second largest, northernmost and least developed of Japan's four main islands. It was formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso in the olden days but later renamed to Hokkaido in 1869. The island spanned an area of 83,456.58km2 (116 times the size of Singapore) and accounts for 22% of Japan's total land area. Yet the number of residents stands at 5,506,419 (according to the 2010 National Census), and accounts for only 4.3% of Japan’s total population. Of these, 1.91 million are concentrated in Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido and Japan's fifth largest city.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1564-MapOfHokkaido.png

Hokkaido comprises a total of 509 islands including the main island of Hokkaido itself, and has a total of 860,000 hectares of national and quasi-national natural parks, which account for over 10% of Hokkaido's total area. This vast, natural land is blessed with an abundance of ever-changing scenery, from natural forests full of wild animals to mysterious marshlands, rock-ribbed mountains and the like. Hokkaido Seafood Seasons - In case you are interested, I did a chart to show the best time of the year to enjoy different seafood. Even if you go at a different time, it doesn’t means that the particular seafood is not available, just that it might not be freshly caught. That is what refrigeration is for so you can enjoy seasonal ingredients throughout the year.


http://forums.vr-zone.com/photopost/data/1613/1565-HokkaidoSeafoodSeason.PNG

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 14 November 2014 - 02:47 PM

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#23 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 08:35 AM

Hokkaido is vast in size, so it is sometimes divided into four areas and the downtown Sapporo for convenience. Each area has a variety of attractions including spectacular scenery, beautiful flowers and activities. Attending local events and festivals is a great opportunity for you to enjoy tasting seasonal food harvested in each area, or to get to know traditions. Those events and festivals have been enhancing the attractiveness of Hokkaido.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1566-MapOfHokkaido.png

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1567-CentralHokkaido.jpg

Central Hokkaido is the political and economic hub of this prefecture. The capital of Hokkaido, Sapporo, is located here as well as the port cities of Otaru and Muroran. The major airport of this prefecture is located in Chitose approximately 50 minutes by train from Sapporo. The area has beautiful parks, wildlife areas, skiing & snowboarding mountains and large hot spring areas. The port town of Otaru is just an hour drive from Sapporo.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1568-NorthernHokkaido.jpg

Northern Hokkaido - Bordered by both the Sea of Japan and the Okhotsk Sea, this area is home to the northern most point in Japan as well as large open pastoral leases. It is a favourite area for trekking and bird watching and home to the two islands of Rishiri and Rebun, which are known for their spectacular natural beauty and large variety of wildlife. Also well-known is the road running along the coast from Sapporo to Wakkanai which delivers some of the best sunsets in Japan. Hot spring areas in this region include the Toyotomi Hot Spring and Wakkanai Hot Spring.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1569-SouthernHokkaido.jpg

Southern Hokkaido - Historically speaking, Hakodate, Hokkaido’s third largest city was the commercial and also for a limited time, political centre of the island and offers a look into the past of this region. During the cold winter months this area also offers slightly more mild weather than the rest of the prefectures. Besides history, there is also still plenty of natural beauty and Noboribetsu, one of the oldest hot spring areas in Hokkaido.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1570-EasternHokkaido.jpg

Eastern Hokkaido is home to one of Japan’s largest fishing fleets, the huge Kushiro Marshland, the World Heritage listed Shiretoko National Park and the beautiful Akan National Park area. This area is not only known for its incredible scenery and well preserved forests, but is also home to two of Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring areas called Akan and Kawayu. The area is also characterized by huge 2000 plus meter mountains and wide open plains for farming. This area produces huge amounts of farmed goods including vegetables, dairy products, flowers and flower related products. It is home to Hokkaido’s second largest city of Asahikawa as well as the famous Sounkyo Hot Spring area.

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#24 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 11:40 AM

On the way to our hotel, Aki-san explained the hotel is located in 荒山野岭 or barren land and from the town so there isn’t any shopping to be had. To tell you the truth, we are expected to reach the hotel at 10pm and by then there won’t be any shops still open either. He also stressed that tonight hotel stay is courtesy of Hong Thai (they can’t expect us to camp overnight in the airport, can they?).

True enough, the road leading to the hotel was cloaked in darkness saved for the headlight of the bus. The ride lasted about 40 minutes as we pulled up a slope and stopped in front of Sapporo Kitahiroshima Classe Hotel (札幌北広島クラッセホテル). The first thing that hit us was the chilling cold wind as we alighted from the bus but that was understandable since it’s about 6°C outside.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1575-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

Sapporo Kitahiroshima Classe Hotel (札幌北広島クラッセホテル)
316-1, Nakanosawa
Kitahiroshima-shi
Hokkaido, 061-1101, Japan
Tel: 011-373-3800

My Room - I was allocated a 4th floor unit that was pretty spacious with two single beds considering I am the only person staying in it. But then I paid an extra S$600 for the single surcharge so this was a nice touch.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1576-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1577-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

Bathroom was a little small but the hotel comes with an onsen so the likely explanation is you that you will be washing up there after soaking. Remember my first trip to Hokkaido last year? I told you that I was dazzled by the numerous buttons on the control panel of the toilet basin? At least this one had only three and a dial to adjust the strength of the water spray and the instructions in English. Did I tell you I am a still a very traditional person? Toilet paper for me, please. :D/>/>


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1578-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1579-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 11 March 2015 - 03:31 PM

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#25 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 06:30 PM

Out the window, it was too dark to make out anything beyond the parking lots except for the front porch and the annex building where the onsen is in.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1580-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

Although tired from the long journey, I came down to the lobby area to explore a little bit as I don’t want to be caught without any pictures to show later. The lone Souvenir Shop Elfin was still open but deserted. I am amazed by how many guests the hotel has as they were busily walking to and fro the onsen which is in the annex linked by an enclosed passageway.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1581-SouvenirShopElfin.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1582-SouvenirShopElfin.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1583-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg
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#26 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 09:55 PM

Wondering aimlessly, I stumbled upon this Snack Bar Akane (軽食茜) which was still open at a quarter to eleven and members of my tour mate eating supper. A garland of red and yellow leaves hangs on the wall lending to the atmosphere of autumn.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1584-Akane.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1585-Akane.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1586-Akane.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1587-Akane.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 11 March 2015 - 03:34 PM

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#27 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 11:10 AM

Having no habit of eating a meal this late, I had decided to walk away but my tour mates convinced me that the noodle was very Q and the soup tasty. I succumbed to the temptation and bought a coupon from the Ticketing Machine.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1588-Akane.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1589-Akane.jpg

The soupy Sichuan Sesame Noodle (¥700) had a rather mild spicy flavour maybe due to the fact that Japanese cannot take very spicy foods. The noodle resembled those Korean instant noodles which is firmer or Q depending on who you asked. I managed to finish the noodle and half the bowl of soup which is more than I normally does (for the soup).

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1590-SichuanSesameNoodle.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1591-SichuanSesameNoodle.jpg

Before I hit the bed, I took a little walk outside minus the jacket but it was freezing cold so I had to abort the plan less than 5 minutes into it. Unfortunately even after midnight, there were still quite a few onsen soakers so I could not sneak in a few pictures to show you how the interior of the hot spring look like. Time to call it a night.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1592-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

End of Day 1
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#28 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 01:00 PM

Day 2 (19th October 2014): Sapporo > Chitose > Shiraoi > Hakodate

Woke up at dawn and headed straight in the direction of the onsen. No, I am not going for a soak this early but trying my luck at obtaining some pictures again. This is the Enclosed Passageway linking the main building to the onsen so guests don’t have to brave the elements. Non hotel guests can also access the hot spring via the main entrance for a fee.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1593-Onsen.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1594-Onsen.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1595-Linkway.jpg

Here is a one page pictorial guide on the rules of Onsen Etiquette. Click here for the full guide.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1596-LetGoToTheOnsen.PNG

楓楓 (Onsen) - But alas, there were already people inside so I had none to show of the bath area, just the entrance. You’ll just have to click on the hotel’s website above and settle for those provided by the hotel.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1597-Onsen.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 02 December 2014 - 08:46 AM

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#29 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 03:10 PM

Not many activities happening around except for the few early risers and those going to the onsen. Akane was still closed but now with the rising sun, one can see the garden beyond through the floor to ceiling window.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1598-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1599-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1600-Akane.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1601-Akane.jpg
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#30 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 05:05 PM

I made a solo trip outside; the early Morning Chill was even more pronounced than last night so I doubled back to the lobby for warmth after spending only a few minutes outdoor but not before stopping to help another guest to take his photo.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1602-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1603-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1604-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

Lockable Umbrella Stand protects your brolly from getting taken without your permission. I don’t see our hotels here providing such useful amenity. Aki-san was jokingly telling us that in rural areas of China, you need to bring an umbrella along to use the toilet since there are no doors to sheath your privacy. So if you need to get off the highway when nature’s call, the umbrella trick will not work since in Japan, all the umbrellas are transparent.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1605-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg
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#31 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 17 November 2014 - 09:02 PM

Free Wifi is available at the lobby area so I doubt many people are going to use the Internet Kiosk which cost ¥100 for 10 minutes.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1606-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1607-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

Armed with the Breakfast Coupon, I rode the lift up to the Sky Lounge South Elfin at level 12. The row of windows offered a spectacular view of the golf course and mountain range beyond, almost surreal like looking at a series of backlit pictures. Not sure why the lawn looks greyish green but I suspected could be the dew or even spider web.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1608-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1609-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1610-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1611-SapporoKitahiroshimaClasseHotel.jpg
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#32 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:20 PM

The doors to the Sky Lounge South Elfin (サウスエルフィン) swung open and the group of loud chatty Taiwanese tourists started streaming into the dining hall. The hall featured high ceiling and top to bottom windows on both sides, letting in the natural light, maybe a little too much that blinds had to be drawn.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1612-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1613-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Japanese Breakfast Buffet - I don’t have many photographs of the breakfast as there were just too many hungry diners waiting to fill their plates. They do have many Japanese pickled, preserved, sautéed and boiled side dishes that goes well with the plain rice or porridge.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1614-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

First station next to the entrance was serving waffle, pancake and a few selections of pastry. It would have been a nice touch if they had a toaster to warm up the Sweet Breads.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1615-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Next door at the Omelette Station, the chef was dishing out both plain and cheese omelettes. Ohayou gozaimasu, can I have a cheese omelette please.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1615a-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Broiled Salmon with Salt was dry and contained bones, not nice at all. Salmon is still best eaten in its raw state as sashimi.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1616-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 11 March 2015 - 03:34 PM

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#33 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 06:20 PM

Curry Croquette was a unique find on the breakfast table, came with nice flavours of the spices. Eat it while it’s still warm.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1617-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Chicken Nugget was decent enough but it did not occurred to me at that time to dip them into the curry meant for the rice.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1618-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Cod Roe was not as salty as I had thought; but still, eat it with the rice or porridge please.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1619-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

Cherry Tomato was very sweet, not unlike those sold back home locally. It’s almost strange eating a tomato that doesn’t taste like a tomato. Even if you don’t like tomato, try it once and you might just fall in love with it.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1620-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

My Breakfast Tray - Instead of a normal plate, the restaurant provides this partitioned dish where you can deposit small portions of the food in each of the 9 hollowed out depressions. The usual suspects are here like the three different styles of egg (love that cheese omelette), bacon (more like ham to me), broiled salmon, hijiki, chopped dry radish, sautéed burdock and curry to go with the rice. Mr Ho was commenting that the breakfast was quite sumptuous.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1621-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg
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#34 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 11:45 AM

A last look at My Room before I handed the key over to the reception. Stuck to the window ledge was a small piece of information detailing the various mountain peaks but they neglected to show the orientation so I do not know if that was the supposed view from straight out of my room’s window (not that I could see anything far from the 4th floor) or the other side of the hotel facing the golf course.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1622-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1623-SkyLoungeSouthElfin.jpg

And there it is the bus that will accompany us for the rest of the tour. Yesterday’s bus and driver was a temporary arrangement to bring us to this hotel. We were introduced to our driver Nakamura-san whose full name is Kenichiro Nakamura (中村 憲一郎). From his name, some might have guessed that he is the first son of the family and his parent wants him to be a man of principles. How do I know? Read on.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1624-WingBus.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1625-KenichiroNakamura.jpg

KEN'ICHI (健一, 研一 or 憲一) - From Japanese 健 (ken) "healthy, strong" or 研 (ken) "study" or 憲 (ken) "constitution" combined with 一 (ichi) "one".

Male names often end in -rō (郎 "son", but also 朗 "clear, bright"; e.g. "Ichirō") or -ta (太 "great, thick"; e.g. "Kenta"), or contain ichi (一 "first [son]"; e.g. "Ken'ichi"), kazu (also written with 一 "first [son]", along with several other possible characters; e.g. "Kazuhiro"), ji (二 "second [son]" or 次 "next"; e.g. "Jirō"), or dai (大 "great, large"; e.g. "Daiichi")

While female names often end in -ko (子 "child"; e.g. "Keiko") or -mi (美 "beauty"; e.g. "Yumi"). Other popular endings for female names include -ka (香 "scent, perfume" or 花 "flower"; e.g. "Reika") and -na (奈, or 菜, meaning greens; e.g. "Haruna").

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 20 November 2014 - 03:33 PM

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#35 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:25 PM

Kodak Moment - With the sun up and shining brightly, the weather was warm enough so I do not need the jacket anymore. Many of us including me took the opportunity to take the “I have been here” photographs. Not much else to see, just some marigolds and plants in various shades of fall colours.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1626-Smiles.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1627-Aki.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1628-Marigolds.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1629-AutumnLeaves.jpg
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#36 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 03:40 PM

As the bus moves off, Vee started reciting a mental checklist of items in case we forgotten something in the room. When a lady accidentally left her scarf in the hotel room a couple of days later, the item got added to the list and so it gets longer as the days goes by. Also every evening before we reached the hotel, she would recite hers and Aki’s room numbers (twice) until we teased her that she can becomes a radio DJ announcing 4D numbers on the air.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1630-Vee.jpg

Next up, a boat cruise in a popular lake surrounded by volcanos, one of which recently erupted in 1981. The one hour journey was rather uneventful as we admired the countryside dressed in their best Autumn Colours.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1631-AutumnColours.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1632-AutumnColours.jpg
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#37 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 10:55 PM

Shikotsu-Toya National Park (支笏洞爺国立公園) was established as Japan’s 14th national park in the southwestern part of Hokkaido. Named after the volcanic caldera lakes of Lake Shikotsu and Lake Toya, it covered a total area of 99,473 hectares. The principle attraction of the park is the natural environment and landscapes created by the various volcanoes in the area; Mount Tarumae, Mount Usu and a number of others. With a number of volcanoes still active, hot springs bubble up throughout the park, facilitating some of Hokkaido’s most renowned hot spring resorts such as Lake Toya, Noboribetsu, Jozankei and Lake Shikotsu. The park is composed of three parts:

  • Lake Shikotsu and Jozankei Gorge regions
  • Lake Toya and Noboribetsu regions
  • The area centering around Mount Yotei


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1633-Shikotsu-ToyaNationalPark.png

Arriving at the spacious parking lots in Shikotsu Kohan, a small touristy town along Lake Shikotsu western shores, we were awed by the colourful display of fall colours all around us. The dahlias were also blooming at their best. Cameras and handphones were constantly clicking away recording the scenery as Aki-san was hurrying us toward the lake before the expected crowds comes in.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1634-LakeShikotsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1635-LakeShikotsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1636-Dahlias.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1637-Dahlias.jpg

This post has been edited by Kingfisher: 19 November 2014 - 10:56 PM

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#38 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 08:35 AM

The Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa or Benthamidia kousa) is a small deciduous tree 8–12m tall, native to Korea, much of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan and the Ryukyu Islands. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental. Like most dogwoods, Kousa dogwood has opposite, simple leaves, 4–10cm long. The tree is extremely showy when in bloom, but what appear to be four-petalled white flowers are actually bracts spread open below the cluster of inconspicuous yellow-green flowers. The blossoms appear in late spring, weeks after the tree leafs out. The fruit is a globose pink to red compound berry 2–3cm in diameter, though these berries tend to grow larger towards the end of the season and some berry clusters that do not fall from the tree surpass 4cm. It is edible, a sweet and delicious addition to the tree's ornamental value. The fruit is sometimes used for making wine.

Source

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1638-Berries.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1639-Berries.jpg

We stopped for toilet break as usual and the water from the washing basin was super cold!!! Just outside the washroom, we got a glimpse of the 865.8m Mount Monbetsu (紋別岳), one of the many mountains around this region. Climbing the mountain is a popular pastime for many visitors. From the top, one can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan. It also hosts a radio relay station at its peak. Following the stairs will leads you to the Himemasu Open Space (ヒメマス広場).


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1640-MountMonbetsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1641-LakeShikotsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1642-LakeShikotsu.jpg
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#39 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 10:30 AM

Downy Japanese Maple (Acer japonicum) or Fullmoon Maple is a species of maple native to Japan, on Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu (Nagasaki Prefecture), and also southern Korea. It is a small deciduous tree growing to 5–10m (rarely 15m) tall, with a trunk up to 40cm diameter. The bark is smooth on young trees, becoming rough and scaly on old trees. The shoots are slender, and thinly downy with whitish hairs. The leaves are rounded, 7–15cm diameter with 9–13 (rarely 7) serrate lobes incised to half or less of the diameter of the leaf; they are downy at first with white hairs, the hairs mostly lost by late summer except on the veins and the underside of the leaf; the petiole is 2–4cm long and hairy. In autumn, the leaves turn bright orange to dark red. The flowers are 1 cm diameter, dark purplish-red with five sepals and petals; they are produced 10–15 together in drooping corymbs in early spring as the leaves start to open. The fruit is a paired samara with the nutlets 7mm diameter with a 20–25mm wing, hanging under the leaves.

Source

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1643-LakeShikotsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1644-LakeShikotsu.jpg

The town of Shikotsu Kohan offered a mixture of lodgings, restaurants, cafés and souvenir shops to cater to the mainly tourist crowds. We walked pass the BBQ stall that Aki-san said had nice melon ice cream and grilled chicken drumstick. How nice they are giving us, Singaporeans a ¥50 discount off toward the purchase of ice cream. We don't have the luxury of time to try it yet as we were ushered toward the direction of the lake.


http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1645-LakeShikotsu.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1646-BBQStall.jpg
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#40 User is offline   Kingfisher 

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 01:15 PM

Went passed a bed of Red Dahlias which seemed to be waving us over to share that Kodak moment against the backdrop of beautiful red, orange and yellow foliage.

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1647-Dahlias.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1648-Dahlias.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1649-Dahlias.jpg

http://forumspp.vr-zone.net/1613/1650-LakeShikotsu.jpg
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