The inn closed for 4 days and the three of us, Nao-san, Mayu-chan and I plus two regulars of the inn, Masako-san and Ogawa-san took a holiday together around Hokkaido. Up until the day right before the trip, nothing was confirmed. No accommodation was booked. It was SUPER SPONTANEOUS.
But that’s what made it exciting!
We first stopped over at Clover Cafe near Asahikawa airport for ice cream. As the farm was just right next to this place, the ice cream is very fresh!
Metou Onsen (芽登温泉）
Our accommodation for the night. A big tatami room for four ladies. Ogawa-san is just next door with a room same size as this but alone! What luxury. Of cos we went over to his room for drinks and chit chat all night.
Basically, metou onsen has quite a long history. It’s water is famous for its effects on skin which really does make it smoother!
Shimafukuro, a kind of owl unique to hokkaido can be spotted in this area!
Wow, i didn’t know it is THIS endangered. http://www.bfh.jp/en/theme/theme_searchdetail/80000888/
Yama no Suizokukan (山の水族館）
We visited this aquarium which is said to house almost all the types of local fishes in this area.
There is this huge clock tower that plays music once it reaches a certain time of the day.
At the end of it, a huge (ugly) bird emerges.
Soon, it was lunch time. After looking at so much fishes, i feel like eating a fish!
And so i did.
Please do not underestimate this Hokke. It is the largest Hokke i have ever seen. It took 3 people to finish this fish!
Everyone ordered shio-yakisoba EXCEPT ME.
Doesn’t it resemble Hokkien mee??? AHahhaha
Passed by a fish market.
Our onsen for the day was Maure sansou （マウレ山荘）. It is a majestic hotel with superb onsen!! The water is very nuru-nuru (as what you say in Japanese for the slight slimy texture)
Maure is a word from the Ainu language. This hotel actually originates from a church (with stained glass). Inside, it’s european style decor with tall ceilings and majestic sofas. Quite posh.
After leaving Maure, we set off for our accommodation for the night: Saromanianne (サロマ二庵）
The car ride was super long…..
We took a dormitory room in this house. Super cosy!
The seafood is really fresh!
The owners of this inn is actually good friends with the owners of my inn and their style is actually quite similar. The house is entirely made of wood too so it’s like a wooden cottage.
More pics of the house.
Our room name, kami-fuusen, which means paper sailing boat. (So cute!)
The owner told us that near here, there is a kind of red grass that only turns red during this autumn period which is very beautiful.
And really it did!!
And then we drove away and passed by this lake.
And an old steam train which is no longer in use anymore.
I went in and it was full of dust and spiderwebs. With spiders as big as my palms. Scary.
And so it was because the weather was sooooo good, Nao-san suggested that we climb a mountain for autumn leaves appreciation. And we headed to Mount Mokotoyama.
But along the way, we passed by this cheese factory kind of place which makes fresh cheeses and sells cheesy food (literally).
Higashi mokoto nyuurakukan (東藻琴乳酪館）
And stone oven pizzas:
This was lunch and so after that we set off for yama nobori!
At first it was alright. But it got worse…
Time for dinner!
The wife of the owner of saromanianne earlier on recommended us this cafe.
By the way it was still too early for dinner. So i called it my tea time. The rest ate a full meal though.
My Satsuma-imo (Japanese sweet potato) apple cake!
The croissant sandwich for both Ogawa-san and Nao-san.
And Mayu-chan and Masako-san’s Mabo-don.
Mayu-chan modelling for my camera.
At night, we checked into Hokkaido hotel! I had no idea that this hotel is one of the top 10 hotels in Japan… apparently it’s expensive.
Hokkaido hotel has like …. 4 huge carparks…
And then we went to Yatai-mura (屋台村). We went to this kushi stall which your food is all fried right in front of you after you order.
It is DAMN GOOD.
It was raining heavily and the stall was packed. We were lucky that we could still fit in.
A salaryman speaking in osaka dialect treated me to some natto gyoza after knowing i’m a Singaporean. HA! Actually he just wanted to see me squirm at eating natto.
WHICH I DID.
for continuation of story, see onsen meguri (part 2).