On the second day, we went skiing in the morning and sight-seeing at a port town called Otaru (小樽市).We had a good hotel breakfast in the morning. After which we spent some time clearing away the snow on our car before we set off. The snow was really heavy that day and it was very difficult to drive.
Inspecting our “natural fridge” (the open-air balcony)
What to eat?
Breakfast for champion!
Our car looks very jialat hor
ready to set off
Mark and Meiyen still very fresh in the morning
I wasn’t too keen to go skiing, having tried before in a previous trip to Korea. I didn’t particularly enjoyed it as I have very poor hands and legs coordination. Most of the time, I find myself falling flat on the cold hard snow. The two ladies were not keen too, both not being the sporty types. However, all of us tagged along for the sake of Mark, our tour guide, who is very persistent to try skiing.
In the end, only Mark rented a set of ski which we shared among the four of us later on. All of us paid for a one-day pass to use the gondolas though – a major mistake as it costs 3800 yen (S$64) per pax. We discovered that given none of us were pro-skiers, we won’t be able to ski down the high peaks the gondolas bring us up to. In the end, we just took the gondola for sight-seeing… lame man… moreover, you can ski for free at the lowland area.
While we break for tea, Mark did went to ski down one of the giant slope up from the gondola though. He said he tumbled down almost all the way and was shocked by the speed of descent.
Ski resort carpark; check out the mountain behind
Mark, visibly excited about skiing
Ski and snowboard school
Rachel pretending to ski
Rachel on ski, shrieking (not even on steep ground)
Rachel gave up skiing for this
Meiyen joined her too
Kids making snowmen
posing in the snow
playing with snow
ski lesson in progress
filming the view from the gondola
Ski resort map
I look like a fat ninja
Rachel and I at the peak
freezing cold at the peak
It was really very very cold…
Mark the hero
Braving the snow… die die also must ski
Everyone were wrapped like teddy bears
Mark and Meiyen on the way down
the view from our cabin
Hot cocoa and onigiri
We reached Otaru at around 5 plus in the noon – very late according to Hokkaido winter timing. As a result, all the shops were already closed or closing (we were too hungry to shop anyway). We had a hard time hunting down a small, cosy restaurant to have our very late lunch. Otaru faces the Ishikari Bay, and it has long served as the main port of the bay. With its many historical buildings, Otaru is one of Japan’s leading tourist destinations. There are a lot of interesting handicraft shops in Otaru; particularly those making blow-glass and other glass artifacts. They were very pretty to look at, but also too expensive to buy and too fragile to attempt bringing back to Singapore in our luggage.
Wall of snowmen
Another sad-looking snowman
shitting in the snow
Star-shaped snow sculpture
We are at Otaru!
By the canel
Blow glass workshop
Themed handicraft/gift shop
weird structure which don’t seem to serve any purpose
The shops are all closed – we can also pose and take pictures outside
We need food… where is it???
shop is closing
Live hairy crabs
Live giant scallops!
Honeydew jelly which Mark claims is the “world best tasting jelly”
Happy to see food
The guy in front of us bought all of these… no more left for us
Found it! – our lunch place
Salmon and scallop sashimi rice – yummy!
Some grilled fish which Mark and Meiyen are crazy about
Mark loves the scallops
Expensive looking restaurant which we obviously didn’t go into
Outside LeTao Chocolate’s flagship store in Hokkaido – it’s closed though!
LeTao window display – we can also watch from outside
Waraku restaurant in Japan
some western food restaurant
Some clock tower
We thought they were going to buy hot drinks… they bought cold ones instead!
Bringing a thermal flask was the smartest thing Rachel did
The drive back from Otaru to our hotel takes around 2 hours. As shops all close very early during winter time, we decided to head straight to the supermarket near our hotel, whack some discounted sashimi and sushi; then have dinner in our hotel before turning ourselves in early. Oh… we went to the open-air onsen (温泉) in our hotel that day – damn shiok! The water was like over 40 degree Celsius while the outdoor temperature was negative zero. Hot on the inside, cold on the outside.
setting the GPS to head back to our hotel
Sweet prawn galore
This scallop sashimi made Rachel and I sick
sea urchin sashimi – tastes like durian, yummy!
Some light alcohol to digest with the food
This cup noodle comes with mochi
Complementary snacks from the hotel (one type each day)
Nice packaging, but the taste is so-so
Ichigo – Mark has to eat this every night
That’s it for the day. We went to the zoo the next day to see the penguin march. Stay tuned for my next post if you like penguins. 🙂
Meanwhile, you may want to read my Day 1 blog entry if you haven’t done so.
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, ichigo, onsen egg, onsen, otaru, skiing in japan, japan godola, ski holiday, 小樽市, snowmen, snowman, blow glass, japanese handicraft, giant scallops, hokkaido scallops, live scallops, grilled scallops, scallop and salmon don, grilled fish, letao, hokkaido letao, japan waraku, sweet prawns, sea urchin sashimi, sea urchin, cup noodles, japanese cup noodles