Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 2 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 2 of 14

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.

Gay buddies
Gay buddies
Inspecting our natural fridge (the open-air balcony)
Inspecting our “natural fridge” (the open-air balcony)

view from our balcony

Whats for breakfast?
What to eat?
Breakfast time!
Breakfast time!
Breakfast for champions
Breakfast for champion!
Onsen egg
Onsen egg
Our car looks very jialat hor
Our car looks very jialat hor
ready to set off
ready to set off
Mark and Meiyen still very fresh in the morning
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
Ski resort carpark; check out the mountain behind
Mark, visibly excited about skiing
Mark, visibly excited about skiing
Mark practising
Mark practising
Ski and snowboard school
Ski and snowboard school
Rachel pretending to ski
Rachel pretending to ski
Rachel on ski
Rachel on ski, shrieking (not even on steep ground)
Rachel gave up skiing for this
Rachel gave up skiing for this
Meiyen joined her too
Meiyen joined her too
5-year-old kids
5-year-old kids
Kids making snowmen
Kids making snowmen
The snowmen
The snowmen
posing in the snow
posing in the snow
playing with snow
playing with snow
ski lesson in progress
ski lesson in progress
The gondolas
The gondolas
filming the view from the gondola
filming the view from the gondola
No gloves
No gloves
Ski resort map
Ski resort map
Cold!
Cold!
I look like a fat ninja
I look like a fat ninja
Rachel and I at the peak
Rachel and I at the peak
freezing cold at the peak
freezing cold at the peak
It was really very very cold...
It was really very very cold…
Mark the hero
Mark the hero
Braving the snow... die die also must ski
Braving the snow… die die also must ski
Everyone were wrapped like teddy bears
Everyone were wrapped like teddy bears
Mark and Meiyen on the way down
Mark and Meiyen on the way down
the view from our cabin
the view from our cabin
Tea-time!
Tea-time!
Hot cocoa and onigiri
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
Wall of snowmen
Sad-looking snowman
Sad-looking snowman
Another sad-looking snowman
Another sad-looking snowman
shitting in the snow
shitting in the snow
Star-shaped snow sculpture
Star-shaped snow sculpture
We are at Otaru!
We are at Otaru!
By the canel
By the canel
Otaru entrance
Otaru entrance
Handicraft kitties
Handicraft kitties
Blow glass workshop
Blow glass workshop
Themed handicraft/gift shop
Themed handicraft/gift shop
weird structure which dont seem to serve any purpose
weird structure which don’t seem to serve any purpose
The shops are all closed - we can also pose and take pictures outside
The shops are all closed – we can also pose and take pictures outside
We need food... where is it???
We need food… where is it???
shop is closing
shop is closing
Live hairy crabs
Live hairy crabs
seafood
seafood
Live giant scallops!
Live giant scallops!
Honeydew jelly which Mark claims is the world best tasting jelly
Honeydew jelly which Mark claims is the “world best tasting jelly”
Hokkaido foodstuff
Hokkaido foodstuff
Happy to see food
Happy to see food
Live scallops
Live scallops
The guy in front of us bought all of these... no more left for us
The guy in front of us bought all of these… no more left for us
Found it! - our dinner place
Found it! – our lunch place
Salmon and scallop sashimi rice - yummy!
Salmon and scallop sashimi rice – yummy!
Some grilled fish which Mark and Meiyen are crazy about
Some grilled fish which Mark and Meiyen are crazy about
Mark loves the scallops
Mark loves the scallops
Expensive looking restaurant which we obviously didnt go into
Expensive looking restaurant which we obviously didn’t go into
Outside LeTao Chocolates flagship store in Hokkaido - its closed though!
Outside LeTao Chocolate’s flagship store in Hokkaido – it’s closed though!
LeTao window display - we can also watch from outside
LeTao window display – we can also watch from outside
Waraku restaurant in Japan
Waraku restaurant in Japan
some western food restaurant
some western food restaurant
Some clock tower
Some clock tower
We thought they were going to buy hot drinks... they bought cold ones instead!
We thought they were going to buy hot drinks… they bought cold ones instead!
Bringing a thermal flask was the smartest thing Rachel did
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
setting the GPS to head back to our hotel
Our dinner
Our dinner
Hungry couple
Hungry couple
Sweet prawn galore
Sweet prawn galore
sashimi
sashimi
This scallop sashimi made Rachel and I sick
This scallop sashimi made Rachel and I sick
sea urchin sashimi - tastes like durian, yummy!
sea urchin sashimi – tastes like durian, yummy!
Some light alcohol to digest with the food
Some light alcohol to digest with the food
Cup noodles
Cup noodles
This cup noodle comes with mochi
This cup noodle comes with mochi
Complementary snacks from the hotel (one type each day)
Complementary snacks from the hotel (one type each day)
Nice packaging, but the taste is so-so
Nice packaging, but the taste is so-so
Ichigo - Mark has to eat this every night
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

14 comments
  1. OMG Alvinator! you are so cute. I love you. I have been your fan from Day One.

    I was wondering, can we meet up? I just want to talk to you and be friends. I know you are attached.

  2. Which htl did you stay on this day. I was in Hokkaido during October and would love to be back during winter. My wife loves Otaru. Thanks.

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