Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 1 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 1 of 14

As promised, here’s my first blog entry detailing my Japan trip with Rachel, Mark and Meiyen. Mark  can write and speak fluently in Japanese. He has been to Japan 5 times and his wife, Meiyen, 4 times. I been to Tokyo once when I was in primary school. Rachel is going there for the first time in her life.

The itinerary for the entire trip was planned by Mark, including transportation, the booking of the hotels and cars rental. I was tasked with photo-taking and recording video. Mark is also the main driver when we are on the road and I am the back-up. Rachel and Meiyen’s roles were to sleep at the back of the car and to constantly whine about the coldness.

We departed from Changi Airport at around 1am, on board a SQ flight bound for Kansai Airport in Japan.

Rachel writing her diary while on board our SQ flight
Rachel writing her diary while on board our SQ flight
Mark and Meiyen - pardon Marks stupid expression
Mark and Meiyen – pardon Mark’s stupid expression
My Western airplane meal
My “Western” airplane meal
Rachels Japanese plane meal
Rachel’s “Japanese” plane meal
Sunrise from our plane window view
Sunrise from our plane window view
From another angle, showing the wing tip
From another angle, showing the wing tip
nearing Kansai
nearing Kansai
Touch down in Kawaii land!
Touch down in Kawaii land!

Upon reaching our destination, we were to take an internal transfer flight to Hokkaido from Kansai, following a 4 hours interval where we can have lunch and do a wee bit of shopping.

Kansai Airport
Kansai Airport
Checking-in for our ANA transfer flight
Checking-in for our ANA transfer flight to Hokkaido from Kansai
Nicely packaged mochi
Nicely packaged mochi
Cutesy chick-shaped chocolates
Cutesy chick-shaped chocolates
Meiyen trying to steal some Hello Kitty toys
Meiyen trying to steal some Hello Kitty toys
Studio Ghibi toys!
Studio Ghibli toys!
Rachel loves Totoro!
Rachel loves Totoro!
Lots of cigarette brands in Japan - and they can be bought from vending machines
Lots of cigarette brands in Japan – and they can be bought from vending machines
The first place Mark went to in Japan...
The first place Mark went to in Japan…
Something not available at the MacDonalds restaurants in Singapore
Something not available at the MacDonald’s restaurants in Singapore
Waiting for lunch
Waiting for lunch
Rachels first meal in Japan... looks yucky hor?
Rachel’s first meal in Japan
Alvinologys first meal in Japan
Alvinology’s first meal in Japan
Mark and Meiyens first meal in Japan
Mark and Meiyen’s first meal in Japan

There’s no pictures of us on the ANA flight as it was a very short two hours flight. Plus all of us dozed off completely thoughout as we were really tired. In any case, we found ourselves in Hokkaido already when we woke up! First thing when we got to Hokkaido was to take a shuttle bus service to the car rental centre where our rented car – a Nissan Wingroad was waiting for us.

Oh… btw, Rachel, Meiyen and Mark saw snow for the first time in their lives upon stepping out of the airport doors.

Enquiring on the car rental
Enquiring on the car rental
Rachels first time seeing snow
Rachel’s first time seeing snow
They are happy to see snow now... but will dread it for the next week
They are happy to see snow now… but will dread it for the next week
On board the shuttle bus to the car rental centre from the airport
On board the shuttle bus to the car rental centre from the airport
At the car rental centre
At the car rental centre
A can of nice, hot coffee to warm me up
A can of nice, hot coffee to warm me up
snow everywhere...
snow everywhere…
Inspecting our rented car
Inspecting our Nissan Wingroad
Loading all our barang barang
Loading all our barang barang
Guy rental guy teaching us how to set and use the GPS
Guy rental guy teaching us how to set and use the GPS

The drive to our hotel from the car rental centre took around 7 hours in total. We stopped at a rest stop after being on the road for about 4 hours for a short break and some snack. The GPS somehow led us to a sealed road upon reaching the hotel… we have to take a long detour as a result.

Mark on the wheels
Mark on the wheels
Rachel and Meiyen in the back seat
Rachel and Meiyen in the back seat
First time driving in snow
First time driving in snow
another picture
another picture
At our first rest stop after driving like 4 hours straight
At our first rest stop after driving like 4 hours straight
Coffee break at the rest stop
Coffee break at the rest stop
Street vagabond eating an onigiri
Street vagabond eating an onigiri
Checking-in our first hotel in Hokkaido
Checking-in our first hotel in Hokkaido
Rachel warming her at an electronic fireplace at the hotel lobby
Rachel warming her at an electronic fireplace at the hotel lobby

By the time we reached our hotel, it was already very late by Hokkaido’s standard during winter times (around 6.30pm). We were worried none of the eateries will be open and we may be left hungry for the night. Hence upon unloading our luggages, we immediately took the car and drove to the nearby town centre to find food. The only place still open was a CO-OP supermarket. Sushi and sashimi were all on 50% discount as it was after 7pm – we went on a crazy sweep, buying lots of these for our first dinner in Hokkaido. 🙂

Our futons
Our futons
Going crazy at the supermarket
Going crazy at the supermarket
Sushi and sashimi are all 50% off after 7pm!
Sushi and sashimi are all 50% off after 7pm!
Our luxurious dinner
Our luxurious dinner
Dinner time!
Dinner time!
Assorted sushi
Assorted sushi
More sushi
More sushi
Salmon sashimi
Salmon sashimi
Tuna and swordfish sashimi
Tuna and swordfish sashimi
Ebi sashimi
Ebi sashimi
Mutant strawberry
Mutant strawberry
Hersheys desert
Hershey’s desert
Very nice blueberry ice cream
Very nice grapes ice cream

That’s it for now. We turned ourselves in rather early for the first night, having spend almost 36 hours travelling without much sleep. Look out for my next blog entry on day 2 of our trip.

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

Day 3 – Asahikawa, Asahiyama Zoo

Day 4 – Sledding, Shiroi Koibito, Crab Buffet

Day 5 – The 60th Sapporo Snow Festival

Day 6 – Staying with the Asai, Shōnan

Day 7 – Ueno, Tokyo

Day 8 – Shibuya and Akihabara, Tokyo

Day 9 – Ikeda, Osaka

Day 10 – Kobe

Day 11 – Kyoto

Day 12 – Osaka Aquarium Kaiyukan and Dotonbori

Day 13 – Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and Mt. Rokko

Day 14 – Return to Singapore

Technorati Tags: hokkaido travel, hokkaido, japan travel, alvinology goes to japan, mark tan, hua meiyen, rachel chan, onigiri, nissan wingroad, kansai airport, changi airport, sq flight, ana flight, ebi sashimi, tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, sushi, ebi sashimi, mcpork, airplane meals, studio ghibli, hello kitty, hershey ice cream, mutant strawberry, futons

10 comments
  1. Hi,
    I love the pictures of your trip. How did you plan the places you were going to visit? I have been checking http://www.japan-i.jp which is quite good but if you have other recommendations I would be glad to hear from you.

    Thanks,

    N.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts
Alvinology Award 2008 - Alvinology
Read More

Alvinology Award 2008

Following last year’s tradition when I did a 2007 round-up with an “Alvinology Award”; here’s my list for…
Hello. Add your message here.
See how Snapask has been helping out over 3 million students around the world. Find a perfect plan