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Headed to Susukino for Ramen, Sapporo’s Red Light District

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

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The last night in Hokkaido saw us hanging out late at Susukino, Sapporo’s Red Light District. Not for the girls or the guys but for their ramen! Love the picture above! This place is so picture worthy and using my iPhone camera, we are able to capture the glamour and glory here!

Before enjoying a bowl of ramen for supper, our tour guide brought us on a walk about tour to look at how their red light district functions! It was an eye opener and they are very high tech.

If you see offices like below which states “Information Center”, these are not tourist information centre but there are the shopfront providing sexual services.

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Guests enter the professional looking shop and take a pick of their ladies from an electronic catalog. They do not serves foreigners so if you are a tourist, don’t even bother! We also saw a store for gigolo but I forgot to snap a picture! Lots of pretty, pale looking boys! Haha. After an interesting walk about tour of their red light district, we headed to Sapporo Ramen Yokocho, which is a famous ramen alley in Susukino.

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We picked the first store in front of the alley and enjoyed a hot bowl of ramen on a breezy night.

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Our tour guide assisted us in ordering “less salty” version of their local ramen as their ramen is generally a little too salty for Singaporean’s palate. The owner generously gave us free corns because he knows our tour guide who returns to this store whenever he is in Sapporo.

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There are many sponsored chilli pepper cans in the ramen shop! Haha.

 

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Li Xiao Lu and an Artist, Hokkaido

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

I didn’t realized that it has been about 3 weeks since I last blogged! When that usually happens, it is either that my life is in a disaster mode or a fun filled mode and people, don’t worry, I’ve been so busy enjoying my life that I’ve yet to have time to blog!

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So catching up from the last post on my Hokkaido trip, Li Xiao Lu Shopping Street was not part of our Itinerary and this place closes really early! It is filled with shops and restaurant but when we reach at 7.30pm, most of the shops are closed. The tour guide brought us here for some food souvenir shopping as they offer for up to 10% discount off the retail price for some of the items and it is cheaper than in the airport. So we decided to buy them and pack it into our luggage.

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While waiting for the rest of the tour group to finish shopping, I chanced upon an artist selling his prints on the street. I really love his prints as it is brightly coloured and pretty! Initially, I wanted to get one of his print which shows a guy backpacking alone with his pet dog but he don’t have a female version. In the end, we picked a print featuring a couple enjoying their time in the rain. The artist has speech difficulty but his work has been featured in so many publications! He is also really sweet and nice and asked me to pick a postcard print for free!

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He gingerly signed and dated the print and packed them up really nicely. He was all smiley and very friendly.

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After I asked to take a picture with him above, he requested for us to squat down to take another one! In this pose, it makes a better picture with us together with the rest of his work! Haha.

Otaru, Hokkaido

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is hereDay 4’s post is here and Day 5’s post is here!

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One of the highlights in our Day 5 itinerary is the visit to Otaru! There is something about Otaru which left me yearning for more of Hokkaido. Perhaps it’s the food, or maybe it’s the vibe, I left wishing we had a lot more time to wander around the shops and streets of Otaru!

Otaru is popular and fame for a few things, and here are some which we get to squeeze in our two hours time here.

Otaru Music Box Museum

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Otaru Music Box Museum is one of the landmarks in Otaru, right in front of the museum; there is a steam clock which was gifted by Vancouver. Look out for the steam clock to find the museum. This place is more of a giant maze of music box shop and less of a museum. On the first floor of this building, there are many types of music box on sale while on the second level, the more exquisite, expensive antique music box are on display and also on sale!

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In my younger days, I remembered my mum having a plastic red vintage music box with a spinning ballerina and I was fascinated by it! She used it to keep her jewelleries and we can only see it during festive where we were given gold to wear. So prior to this trip, I was determined to go hunt for a music box at Otaru Music Box Museum. In the end, he gifted me a simple wooden music box with a spinning ballerina for my birthday! I love it! Will share the picture another day.

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Glass wares

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Along the shopping street of Otaru, you can also hear the sweet chimes of the glass wind chimes hanging around the streetlamps. Otaru is also popular for their mouth blown and hand crafted glass wares and accessories. There are many shops which sells pretty mini glass figurines like these.

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LeTao Cheese Cake

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Hokkaido is famed for their light fluffy cheesecake and we had the best one in Otaru. Le Tao Cheesecake is really good and probably one of the best Japanese cheesecake I’ve tried. Yums.

If you are traveling in a big group, you can get a big one like this to share!

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The cheese tart has nothing to rave about so you can probably give it a missed.

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Cream Puff from Rokkatei

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You would believe that in Hokkaido, there is an affordable cream puff that is better than any cream puff I’ve tasted. The cream is fresh and tasty and it only cost 85 Yen! It even comes with a free coffee!

There are many other interesting sights and eats in Otaru which we didn’t have a chance to try. For example, the famous Hello Kitty cafe where you can take home the limited edition cup and saucer. I’m not a fan of Hello Kitty and so we didn’t pop by the cafe.

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We were too full to try this interesting looking ice cream!

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I also came across a dried seafood store in Otaru and bought some dried Hokkaido scallop for my mum. There are 3 grades of dried scallop sold in the store. The top grade are the ones which are dried in a nice full form, the second are the ones which are slightly chipped off and out of shape, while the last are the small bits and chucks of dried scallop. They are all sold by weight. The best grade is generally used for gifting while the worst grade is used for personal consumption. After all, when you cook dried scallop in soup, there are often mashed up and broken into small pieces. I got the second grade for my mum!

 

Hong Thai Travel: 8 Days Hokkaido/Tokyo: Day 5

// To recap, we signed up and went for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

The overview of the tour package can also be found here. Day 2,  Day 3 and Day 4’s  itinerary is already shared in previous posts! Day 2’s post is here, Day 3’s post is here and Day 4’s post is here!

Day 5 is the last day in Hokkaido and we were so sad to leave Hokkaido. In this Hong Thai package, we didn’t see much of Hokkaido as we only spent 4 days in Hokkaido. It is a pity but we will be back!

In Day 5, we started at Hokkaido Seafood Market and had a chance to pick our additional seafood and pay for it on our expenses for lunch! Yummy! Will share more pictures in a separate post of the crabs and sea urchin which we tried.

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This was in the standard seafood steamboat lunch which was not bad a deal, but we couldn’t resist topping up for more!

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After lunch, we headed to Otaru and I love this place. It’s beautiful, plenty of cafes and good food, we ate cheesecakes (again!), ice cream, cream puffs, shopped at Musical box museum and just walk around the different shops. Wish we had more time though, I can spend a whole afternoon here! Will share more in a separate post too! Look out for it or follow my blog by clicking on the button on the right for more updates.

Someone in our tour group was late after visiting Otaru as he was lost and his family couldn’t find him. After searching for almost 30 – 45 minutes, he finally appeared and we were too late for the second sight. The Olympic Ski Stadium. It is still upsetting as we can only visit the Ski Stadium after dinner as the dinner reservation cannot be pushed back, and that means, we can’t take the chair lift as it is closed by then. DAMN.

Anyway, after Otaru, we headed for dinner. We were still full from our seafood lunch and plenty of food at Otaru! We had another indulging dinner where we ate Wagyu beef, abalone and a BBQ buffet. Gosh. The wagyu beef steak is amazing.

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After dinner, we then headed to Okurayama Ski Jump Stadium, it is a beautiful sight and if you are here in winter, it will be amazing.

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Li Xiao Lu Shopping Street was not part of our Itinerary and it closes really early! If you can see, the clock states 7.30pm and most of the shops are all closed! The tour guide brought us here for some food souvenir shopping as they offer for up to 10% discount off the retail price for some of the items and it is cheaper than in the airport. So we decided to buy them and pack it into our luggage.

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After dropping our luggage and loots in the hotel, people who are not tired went on to Sapporo’s Red Light District’s Susukino which is famous for Ramen and of course, sexual services. It is definitely interesting as the way they allow their customers to pick the girls is very professional and high tech! It was an eye opener. Ramen is great as well!

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Old Hakodate Post Office and Red Brick Warehouse, Hokkaido, Japan

//Two weeks back, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. Last week, I’ve also shared on the places of interest we visited in Day 4 of our trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing in details on some of the sites we visited in Day 4 with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

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On the fourth day, we were also brought to the Hakodate-Meijikan, Old Hakodate Post Office, over here, the buildings are more western influenced and it is currently now converted into a small shopping mall, selling mainly souvenirs to tourists.

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There is a strange old man showcasing his pet rabbit on a table. The pet rabbit is also very tamed and simple ignore all the ooo and ahhh around it. Haha.

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Spotted these cute owls and resisted them! My room looks like a bird park now, or more accurately an Owl Park and I need to stop spending and adding clutter to my room! Haha.

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Inside the post office is also a mini bear museum which we didn’t buy the ticket to enter. This picture shall suffice. Heh.

Just next to the Old Post office is a cluster of warehouse, the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse. The shopping isn’t great and it is more for tourist to take a break with some cafes in there and to take pictures of the pretty brick warehouse!

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We also spotted the Pure White Corn in one of the seafood warehouse, and their Japanese name which is written in Kanji (Chinese Character) is loosely translated to “Snow Spirit”. Heh. This was when his mum bought her second corn of the day!

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In the warehouse, we also went to try the already too famous Snaffles Cheesecake of Hokkaido. Even though the chain is now in Singapore, it tasted better in Hokkaido then the ones in Singapore! Haha.

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The buildings are all too pretty!

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On the way back to our tour bus, we spotted this.

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There is a no trespassing sign, but seriously, that guy has got a bus in front of his porch and who can resist not taking a photo with it?! So guess what I did? I ran in and took a quite picture and ended up looking too nervous in the picture. Damn.

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Fort Goryokaku and Goryokaku Tower, Hokkaido, Japan

//Two weeks back, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. Last week, I’ve also shared on the places of interest we visited in Day 4 of our trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing in details on some of the sites we visited in Day 4 with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

After lunch, we went to Fort Goryokaku. It is now converted into a park and declared as a Special Historical Site. It is also home to the Hakodate city museum which we didn’t see. This place is also the favourite spot for cherry blossom viewing and if you are here in spring, you are in luck!

“Goryōkaku was designed in 1855 by Takeda Hisaburō. His plan was based on the work of the French architect Vauban. It is shaped like a five-pointed star. This allowed for greater numbers of gun emplacements on its walls than a traditional Japanese fortress, and reduced the number of blind spots where a cannon could not fire. The fort was built by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the Tsugaru Strait against a possible invasion by the Russian fleet. Goryōkaku is famous as the site of the last battle of the Boshin War (Goryōkaku no Tatakai). The fighting lasted for a week (June 20–27, 1869).”

– Wikipedia

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My favourite was going up Goryokaku Tower where we can see the overall view of the Fort! This is my first time seeing a star shaped fort and it is definitely interesting! There are many star shaped fort around the world (mainly in Europe) and there were pictures shared in the Tower too!

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Isn’t the view spectacular! I was really wowed and mesmerized by this view.

At the Tower, there is also a Ice Cream chain – Milkissimo – which is popular in Hokkaido. It can also be found in the airport if I am not wrong. Their ice cream is yummy and the reason why ice cream in Hokkaido is exceptionally good, it’s because they get their milk locally and it is all fresh! No wonder I’m all fat and chubby after the trip. Rawr

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Mt Showa Bear Ranch and Mt Showa, Hokkaido, Japan

//Two weeks back, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. Last week, I’ve also shared on the places of interest we visited in Day 4 of our trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing in details on some of the sites we visited in Day 4 with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

After fruit picking, we headed to Mt Showa Bear Ranch. Over here, we get to feed the bears with cookies and watch them wave and play among themselves. The premise seems clean and there were playgrounds are tubs for the bears to play and cool themselves down.

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They remind me of the Disney movie “Brave”!

“The Ussuri brown bear , also known as the black grizzlyis a subspecies of the brown bear found in the Ussuri krai, Sakhalin, the Amur Oblast, northward to the Shantar Islands, Iturup Island, northeastern China, the Korean peninsula, Hokkaidō and Kunashiri Island. This subspecies is thought to be the ancestor of the North American grizzly bear. Ussuri brown bears crossed to Alaska 100,000 years ago, though they did not move south until 13,000 years ago. The Ainu people (native of Hokkaido) worshipped the Ussuri brown bear, eating its flesh and drinking its blood as part of a religious festival known as iomante.”

Wikipedia

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That’s a pole dancing bear right there! Haha.

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Bears who are hungry will be waving at you for food, while the rest just chill and bask in the sun.

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The more playful and aggressive bears are kept in cages. Poor thing!

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Just next to the Bear Ranch is Mt Showa, the youngest active volcano in Hokkaido. We can see that it is still steaming and there are definitely activities in the volcano!

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There is a fruit stall outside the bear ranch and we got ourselves a white corn! You can read more about the Pure White Corn in this article. It is the first time I’m eating a corn raw, yes you heard me, RAW. And it tasted so good. It’s milky, sweet and like bubble milk tea in a corn! The juicy is also milky white. We all got insanely excitement after eating them! His mum ate 3 during the trip after discovering them.

Fruits picking, Hokkaido, Japan

//Two weeks back, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. Last week, I’ve also shared on the places of interest we visited in Day 4 of our trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing in details on some of the sites we visited in Day 4 with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

In the morning of Day 4, we visited a fruit farm and had a lot of fun picking and eating fruits at the same time. The farm is supposed to be an organic farm, and we are encouraged to pick and eat at the same time. We don’t even have to wash the fruits! There are many types of fruits grown in the farm, but because of the season, we are only allowed to pick plums and blueberries. The honey peaches are almost in season, but not sufficient for us to go crazy picking them. That’s a pity!

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Our guide demonstrating gladly how the picking and eating is done. Basically, pick, rub off the natural white powder on the surface of the fruit, pop the entire plum in your mouth, enjoy and spit out the seed.

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When we were told to start picking, we ended up taking a lot of pictures and got “scolded” by the guide! He told us to not just take pictures, but to start picking and eating! Haha.

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On the left: Fruit with natural white powder On the right: After rubbing it off.

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It is extremely sweet and juicy! I think if my family is here, they will go crazy! Especially my mum! Haha. It is the day where I ate the most plums! I think I ate like 4 plums! That’s not a lot considering there are people who ate a lot more. Haha.

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Look at the bright red! We were told to pick fruits which is dark red in colour. The redder it is, the sweeter it is.

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Next we took a quick ride on the bus to the blueberry farm, own by the same family. The farm is huge!

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For blueberries picking, the trick is to pick those which are really fat and plump!

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After eating the sweet plums, the blueberries are really sour! We decided to secretly pack some blueberries for breakfast the next day! Blueberries go well in yogurt!

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Even though we didn’t get to pick the honey peaches, we can get them at a bargain! Each packet is 450 yen, which is approximately SGD5.50. What a bargain, considering that they are fruits from Hokkaido and they are really overpriced in Singapore! There are two types of peaches and the one in yellow is crazy sweet! We bought a packet to share! Sugar overload. Heh.

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At their fruit stall, we also noticed that there are many yellow umbrellas hanging on the ceiling and there are so many bird’s nest! Not the kind you eat but it’s barn swallows! When we asked the lady tending the stall, we were told that they have been allowing the swallows to reside at their stall for many generations, and since it was a practice started by the great grand parents generation, and all is well in the family, they decided to just maintain it. The reason for having yellow umbrellas? To catch the young swallows who are learning to fly! Such an interesting sight.

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The little ones asking for food!

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Definitely a great experience and one of the many highlights of the trip!

 

Jigokudani or Hell Valley, Hokkaido

//Last week, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing on some of the sites we visited in Day 3 in details with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

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I love visiting natural sights and it thrilled me to see a natural phenomenon which is not available in Singapore (come on, we only have Bukit Timah Hill) and something I’ve never seen before. So when we are at Hell Valley, I was thrilled.

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It is a valley with hot steam vents, sulfurous streams (means smelly) and other volcanic activity! It is also th emain source of our resort’s hot spring waters in the area of Noboribetsu.

Apparently there are many walking trails through the forests above Noboribetsu and if you follow them for 30 minutes, you get to Oyunuma, a sulfurous pond and nearby mud pond. Also, flowing out of Oyunuma, there is a river where you can enjoy a natural foot bath! But in a group tour, we do not have this luxury of hiking up to see them, but instead was given some time to walk on the wooden platform to the centre of the valley!

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Beware, if you are someone who pukes easily after smelling rotten stuff, please stay away! It smells like hundreds of rotten eggs all around you! I had to press my nose with a wad of tissue to survive the walk! Clean air is something we don’t appreciate until it’s taken away!

Ishiya Chocolate Factory, Hokkaido

//Last week, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing on some of the sites we visited in Day 3 in details with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

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In this post, I will be sharing on the second spot we visited in Day 2, the Ishiya Chocolate Factory. Ishiya is the brand of the famous “White Lover’s Chocolate” which in the past can only be bought in Hokkaido and was never imported. But because of its growing popularity, it can now be found in Tokyo airport and in Singapore whenever there is a Hokkaido fair.

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Even though the place is called a factory, it is more of a mini theme park than a factory. The owner of this place, created a happy and chirpy place and other than housing a mini showcase factory, there is also a rose garden, and some exhibits of his collectibles e.g antique tea cup sets, chocolate boxes, toys and gramophone etc.

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According to the guide, some tour agency only brings their customers to the rose guide and does not include the entrance ticket to visit the collectibles and the factory. So if you are coming with a tour, do read the itinerary carefully!

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We spotted an apple tree at the rose garden! Haha.

His collections are very extensive and it is like a mini museum in there.

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Beautiful antique tea cups.

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Love the floor tiles! Haha. Sorry for being random.

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These are my favourite. Antique chocolate boxes. Look how intricate these chocolate boxes are, chocolate in the past are luxury items and cocoa beans are really expensive. This fact I learnt from a Nutella event, where the creator of Nutella wanted everyone to enjoy having Chocolate spread, he created a Chocolate – Hazelnut mix as Hazelnut was cheap than and chocolate was only for the rich. I can imagine how expensive chocolates are in the past just by looking at the boxes.

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Beautiful vintage posters.

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Here’s where the factory begins.

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The factory is so beautiful as well. But of course, this is only a showcase factory where they produces limited quantities each day. They’ve got another full scale factory somewhere else in Hokkaido.

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After touring the factory, you can also see and buy these beautiful hand crafted sugar crafts. These are too expensive and pretty to be eaten.

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Children can also sign up for workshops! Now sure how though, it’s all in Japanese.

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The antique toys collection continued before we end the trip with some Ishiya soft served ice cream! If you are trying them, get the duo flavours one with milk and chocolate! Yummy.

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This won’t be the only ice cream you see as eating in this trip. Haha.

Hokkaido Jingu (Hokkaido Shrine), Japan

//Last week, I shared on an overview of our long awaited Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel and I also shared on some of the places of interest we visited in our Day 2 and Day 3 of the trip. In this post and more, I will be sharing on some of the sites we visited in Day 3 in details with a lot more pictures! So stay tuned!

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“Hokkaido Shrine enshrines four kami including the soul of the Emperor Meiji. A number of contributors of the Exploration in Hokkaidō such as Mamiya Rinzō are also enshrined.”

” Emperor Meiji (明治天皇 Meiji-tennō, November 3, 1852 – July 30, 1912), or Meiji the Great (明治大帝 Meiji-taitei), was the 122nd Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order of succession, reigning from February 3, 1867 until his death on July 30, 1912. He presided over a time of rapid change in the Empire of Japan, as the nation quickly changed from a feudal state to a capitalist and imperial world power, characterized by Japan’s industrial revolution.”

In his reign, Japan fought and win during 1894, the Sino-Japanese War; where Japanese victory establishes Japan as a regional power with control over Qing Dynasty and Korea. And also in his time, 1904–1905, the Russo-Japanese War; Japanese victory earns Japan the status of a great power.

– Extracted from Wikipedia

So with all these history, our tour guide advises us, all Chinese from various parts of the world to not worship in this shrine. Buying the pretty amulet is also not encouraged as it is also inviting blessing from Emperor Meiji. This is definitely a history lesson as I’ve visited so many temples and shrines in Japan but was unaware of who they are worshiping. According to the guide, there are many Buddhist temple in Japan and those are alright. For example, my favourite temple in Asakusa worships Goddess of Mercy and the temple in Nara which worships Buddha. So these, according to the guide, is alright for us to worship there. But not Meiji Shrine in Tokyo and this.

With that, the idea of buying those pretty exclusive Hello Kitty amulet as souveniors is gone!

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Now back to the touristy pictures. Like in all temples and shrines in Japanese, visitors are encouraged to wash your hands and rinse your mouth before entering the temple.

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If you look carefully at the structure of the temple, doesn’t the roof resembles those ancient Japanese armour or helmet we see in anime?

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But no harm taking some pictures of these pretty Rilakkuma Wishing Board! Too cute and only seen in Hokkaido Shrine.

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Gah, my arms is huge! That’s the consequences of not going for my combat classes regularly.

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Pretty entrance towards the shrine. These are cherry blossom trees and when in full bloom, this corridor will be bursting in pink! Awww, I can only imagine.

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The shrine is so peaceful and the air is cooling and clean!

Near the entrance to the temple near the carpark, there is a shop selling handmade pastries and in there, there is free pastry given to all visitors. It tasted a little like red bean mochi pancake.

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There are also free hot green tea provided at the little hut.

Hong Thai Travel: 8 Days Hokkaido/Tokyo: Day 3

// To recap, we signed up for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

Day 3 was a fun filled day with plenty of activities!

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We woke up bright and early for breakfast before heading to Hokkaido Jingu / Hokkaido Shrine. As the intended Naebo Yukijirushi Factory is full, we were brought to Hokkaido Jingu instead. It was a peaceful shrine and it is the only shrine where you can get Hello Kitty embroidered amulet. Great for Hello Kitty lovers, however the guide told us not to pray at this shrine as this shrine was build for the then Emperor Meiji who was involved in many wars. I will be sharing more pictures in another post!

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We then proceeded to Ishiya White Chocolate Museum which also deserves a post on its own!

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After Ishiya White Chocolate Museum, we visited Tokei-Dai, which was the first western university in Japan. All of the campus building were destroyed except the main building which houses the oldest clock house in Japan. This wooden building dates back to 1870s!

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After visiting 3 sites in the morning, we stopped for our lunch, DIY tempura lunch which was a disaster. Whoever came out with this idea is seriously insane. In the middle of our table is a hotpot filled with boiling oil, we gingerly put in the sticks of flour coated ingredient, but was scalded by oil popping out from the pot! OMG! I got scalded a few milimeters away from my eyes which resulted in a light scar. I could have been blinded! I know I’m just being a whiny drama queen, but this was a bad idea.

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After lunch, we headed to Sapporo Beer factory where we were walked through the beer making process and treated with 2 glasses of Sapporo beer! Great for beer fan!

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We then headed to Shiraoi Ainu Village to learn more about their aboriginal cultures. Will share more of this place in another post too!

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Another highlight of the trip, is to visit Hell Valley, a spectacular valley just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen. It displays hot steam vents, sulfurous streams and other volcanic activity and is a main source of Noboribetsu’s hot spring waters. I’m a geography student back in my school days and I love visiting sights like these. A warning though, it stinks really bad. I almost give up the walk but press on with tons of tissue covering my nose! Will share more of this place too!

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We were then checked into a hotel where we need to sleep on Tatami at the Noboribetsu town. The lake view out the window is spectacular and there is an in-house hot spring public bath at the hotel. The facility is very much like a public swimming pool and I wasn’t tempted to soak myself in there. We were then served with in-house traditional dinner which wasn’t too bad.

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During summer, the lake in front of the hotel has mini fireworks display, and it was great to enjoy a cool walk by the lake watching fireworks! This is life! And this concludes the second day of our 8 days tour!

Hong Thai Travel: 8 Days Hokkaido/Tokyo: Day 2

// To recap, we signed up for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 Days Hokkaido / Tokyo tour package and in this post and the upcoming posts, I will be sharing them via the days (e.g Day 1, Day 2 etc) but if some locations interest me enough, I will share them in details in a post on its own! This is so if anyone is researching on Hong Thai Travel’s tour package, you can have an idea on what to expect. So stay tuned!

Day 1 was counted as departing from Singapore’s Changi Airport and Day 2 transiting in Tokyo. Day 2 was the most painful of all. The journey to Hokkaido was treacherous. Ok ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little. The overnight journey via Japan Airlines to Tokyo wasn’t that bad. It definitely wasn’t SQ standard, the food was not fantastic, but it was comfortable.

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Food served on Japan Airlines

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After 5 odd hours on the plane, we finally reach Nippon land! Oops, that’s me looking tired without makeup. My bad.

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We had almost 5 hours to transit to Hokkaido and it was a long 5 hours. Ate some crappy expensive curry rice at the Airport.

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Thereafter, we started shopping and walking around their domestic airport. Bought a small pack of Tokyo banana to share before hopping back on to continue our journey to Sapporo, Hokkaido!

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The first stop to visit in Hokkaido was Sapporo city. It in the late afternoon and yes, the transiting and traveling wasted most of our first day. We were brought to Odari Park where we get some time to walk about and shop in their underground shopping street.

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There are Zakka stores like these at the underground shopping street that has many pretty household items!

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There is a departmental store selling all yummy treats and we got ourselves the popular chocolate coated freeze dry strawberry to try! Yums. Love the sweet and sour combination.

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There was also a supermarket at the underground shopping street, and we can’t wait to have a taste of the famous Hokkaido melon!

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Shortly after the walk about at the underground shopping street, we were brought to enjoy a steamboat buffet. Nothing to rave about as the soup was practically water. There wasn’t any taste at all. There were unlimited shabu meat ranging from chicken, pork, beef and lamb but everything else is non refillable. Yes, very strange, vegetables and noodles were chargeable but not the meat. Strange ya?

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After dinner, we were whisked to our hotel and it gosh, the bed looks inviting. It was a pleasant stay and the room is spacious and comfortable.

That concludes our non eventful Day 1.