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Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 2 of 14

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.

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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. 🙂

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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

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About The Author

alvinology

Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.

8 Comments

  1. QuaChee

    hey nice share – seeing the hairy crabs & snow! now i can consider this place for a winter holiday! 🙂

    Reply
  2. fan

    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.

    Reply
  3. alvinology

    fan: Oi! Stupid spambot! Go away!

    Reply
  4. fan

    What ish spambot?? Sorry me dunnoe internet lingo…

    Lup chiu dip dip.

    Reply
  5. Wai Leong

    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.

    Reply
  6. alvinology

    Hi, it’s call Niseko Hotel. 🙂

    Reply
  7. lee

    Hi, is this Niseko Snow Resort?

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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