// 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!
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!
We then proceeded to Ishiya White Chocolate Museum which also deserves a post on its own!
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!
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.
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!
We then headed to Shiraoi Ainu Village to learn more about their aboriginal cultures. Will share more of this place in another post too!
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!
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.
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!
It has been a really long time since I last blogged and it only goes to show that my life is filled with fun filled activities! I hardly find the time to sit down in front of my Mac to blog nowadays! On top of my usual 3 days of yoga per week, I’ve got to go for 3 sessions of chiropractic therapy per week. Gosh. Anyway, I’ve got lots to share, first up will be on my Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel, Hanoi trip with my company, Lighthouse Tour organized by National Heritage Board and upcoming in September, a short getaway to Tioman! Hehe. If you miss me on WordPress, you can follow me on Instagram here! Just search for somethingboutrenes!
Back to my Hokkaido/Tokyo trip via Hong Thai Travel, due to some last minute arrangement and family constraints in terms of traveling period, we decided to go with whichever tour agency that has a confirmed departure during our intended travel period. In the end, we signed up for Hong Thai Travel’s 8 days Hokkaido/Tokyo tour. It is technically a 7 days trip as the 1st day is counted in as departing from Changi Airport and overnight on the plane. So in my blog here, the first day of activity with transiting at Tokyo Airport is considered as Day 2. Booo.
Generally, the hotels provided in the tour was comfortable and spacious, unlike typical Japanese hotels which I stayed in most of the time. The food arranged was also wide in variety with opportunities to try Hokkaido’s crabs and top up for expensive food. The tour leader (a Hong Konger) was a typical uncle, he was also rather caring and self sacrificial in bringing the group around during his free time. He also brought us to one or two more additional sights which is not in the intended itinerary when time permits.
Some of the down sides, like all other package tour, most of the places we went to were touch and go, we didn’t get to enjoy enough time to truly soaked in the atmosphere. As the group is a rather some group of 20, there were no local tour guide allocated to us. So in the end, details of local cultures and history were not shared during the trip. We also picked a wrong package of squeezing both Hokkaido and Tokyo in one trip as we didn’t get to see much of Hokkaido in the short span of time, but yummy Ichiran Ramen and shopping in Tokyo more than made up for it. The route in this package also did not cover Furano which is famous for their huge flower fields and Lavender in June/July/early August. Lastly, it was not the best season to visit Japan, Summer in early August in Hokkaido is still bearable with occasional cool breeze but Tokyo was crazy warm!
So if you ask me if I would recommend this package tour of 8 Days in Hokkaido/Tokyo if given a choice, I would not recommend. I would love to visit Hokkaido on a free and easy pace in the future but as we were traveling with parents and in a group of 6, logistically speaking, package tour is the way to go.
During the trip, the trip was not planned according to the above itinerary, the flow of sights was ammended but all the sights stated was covered. In 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! So stay tuned!