Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 3 of 14 - Alvinology

Alvinology goes to Japan – Day 3 of 14

Advertisements

On the third day, we checked out of our hotel and headed for Asahikawa.The snow was really thick that day; Mark skidded the car a few times and it was a nerve-wrecking experience for me sitting in the front passenger seat. The ladies were too sound asleep to feel anything though.

Look at the amount of snow covering the cars
Look at the amount of snow covering the cars
Braving the snow
Braving the snow
On the road
On the road
Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance is bliss

We took a short stop at Otaru to grab a quick bite. Mark and Meiyen were determined to go back for the charcoal-grilled scallops which we missed narrowly the night before. Rachel and I tried the two-coloured Hokkaido corn which tasted delightfully sweet. We also visited LeTao and bought some chocolates. A few of the service staff at LeTao were Taiwanese who spoke Mandarin to us. It felt really warm to finally be able to communicate with someone in Japan as I don’t speak Japanese.

The presence of Mandarin-speaking sales staff in upmarket Japanese shops reflected the increased economic importance of China around the world. It was interesting to note there were more tourist signboards and announcements in Mandarin rather than English in Japan.

Fresh, charcoal-grilled scallop
Fresh, charcoal-grilled scallop
Operation Scallop - mission accomplished!
Operation Scallop – mission accomplished!
yummy two-colour corn
yummy two-colour corn
delicious two-colour corn
delicious two-colour corn
Would Totoro like some corn too?
Would Totoro like some corn too?
Braving the cold to make snowman
Braving the cold to make snowman
Dancing toy cats outside a 1000 yen shop
Dancing toy cats outside a 1000 yen shop
LeTao chocolate art
LeTao chocolate art
LeTao counter staff
LeTao counter staff
LeTao chocolates
LeTao chocolates

After Otaru, we headed for Asahiyama Zoo (旭山動物園) to catch the penguin march – the highlight of our programmes for the day. It did not disappoint! Coming from a tropical country, it was really amazing to see cold-climate animals like penguins and polar bears roaming about freely in open-air enclosures as opposed to the giant fridges at the Singapore Zoo.

At the zoo entrance
At the zoo entrance
open-air penguin enclosure
open-air penguin enclosure
Lots of people vying to see the penguins
Lots of people vying to see the penguins
Many penguins
Many penguins
Penguins cleaning themselves
Penguins cleaning themselves
Bunch of King Penguins
Bunch of King Penguins
Nice fur
Nice fur
Sunbusking
Sunbusking
Baby King Penguin
Baby King Penguin
Front view
Front view
Two Rockhopper Penguins
Two Snares Penguins
A Snares Penguin cleaning itself
A Snares Penguin cleaning itself
A lazy penguin
A lazy penguin
A Galapagos Penguin
A Humboldt Penguin
Group of Humboldt Penguins
Group of Humboldt Penguins
A diver in the penguin enclosure feeding them
A diver in the penguin enclosure feeding them
swimming penguins
swimming penguins
strange looking marine fish
strange looking marine fish
fierce-looking red fish
fierce-looking red fish
Colourful puffer fish
Colourful puffer fish
Japanese crane
Japanese crane
At the polar bear enclosure
At the polar bear enclosure
Polar bear
Polar bear, not carpet
Standing tall and proud
Standing tall and proud
Theres two of them
There’s two of them
resting on a rock
resting on a rock
Up close
Up close
Two polar bears playing
Two polar bears playing
Taking a leisurely stroll
Taking a leisurely stroll
Shiok-looking expression
Shiok-looking expression
Sad brown bear
Sad brown bear
At the seals and sea lions enclosure
At the seals and sea lions enclosure
Clowning around
Clowning around
A sea seal popping its head out of the water
A sea seal popping it’s head out of the water
Hello!
Hello!
underwater view
underwater view
Fatty sea lion
Fatty sea lion
Posing the the sea lions
Posing with the sea lions
Cute vending machines
Cute vending machines

As we arrived rather late, we had only about one hour to tour the entire zoo, minus the time spent watching the penguin march. Hence we visited only the cold-climate animals and skipped all the tropical animals. An observation made was that cold-climate species of the same animal tend to be bigger in size, probably because of thicker fur.

Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 3 of 14 - Alvinology
Rawrrrrrrr
Arctic Lion
Arctic Lion
Snow cheetah
Snow cheetah
Snow leopard
Snow leopard
Siberian tiger
Siberian tiger
Irritated by gawking tourists
Irritated by gawking tourists
Desperate red panda which fell into a moot and couldnt get out
Desperate red panda which fell into a moot and couldn’t get out
Another red panda
Another red panda
Two more red pandas up the tree
Two more red pandas up the tree
Japanese wolves trail - as they are already extinct, there are only images
Japanese wolves trail – as they are extinct; there are only images
A snow wolf
A snow wolf
Smiley looking snow fox
Smiley looking snow fox
At the monkey enclosure
At the monkey enclosure
Rachel, me and the monkeys
Rachel, me and the monkeys
Can tell the monkeys are very cold
Can tell the monkeys are very cold
Hurdling together for warmth
Huddling together to keep warm
Another neatly hurdled group
Another neatly huddled group
Commiting obscene acts
Committing obscene acts
The orang-utans enclosure was closed - probably hiding from the cold
The orang-utans enclosure was closed – probably hiding from the cold

The penguin march was an exhilarating experience for all of us. Two long rows of people lined the path of the penguin march in a circular loop from their enclosure. The penguins were followed closely by zookeepers who ensure they do not stray and make it safely throughout. Two species of penguins were in the march – the King Penguins which generally walked in a straight line, minding their own businesses; and the inquisitve Gentoo Penguins which seems to enjoy interacting with human beings.

Long queues to see the penguins march
Waiting for the penguin march
excited kids
excited kids
Here comes the stars!
Here comes the stars!
lalalalalala
“lalalalalala”
King Penguins minding their own business
King Penguins minding their own business
The smaller, mischievious Gentoo Penguin leading the King Penguins pack
The smaller, mischievous Gentoo Penguin leading the pack
Please stand behind the red line!
“Please stand behind the red line!”
Rachel was very excited
Rachel was very excited
Strolling along
Strolling along
Uncle behind Rachel trying to camwhore
Uncle behind Rachel trying to camwhore
Heads up high
Heads up high
A closer look
A closer look
Keep to the line!
Keep to the line!
Get off my turf!
Get off my turf!
A naughty Gentoo Penguin straying from the formation
A naughty Gentoo Penguin straying from the formation
Bouncing along
Bouncing along
Rachel, me and the penguins
Rachel, me and the penguins

Rachel went totally gaga over the penguins, trailing them all the way, running down the path to catch them as they marched their way down. A few of the naughtier Gentoo Penguins got really close to the audience till they were made to fall back into formation by their zookeepers.

We left the zoo very satisfied and thrilled with getting to interact up close with penguins in their natural climate. Now, we have hunger tummies to fill. To accomplish that, we headed to a ramen town which is near to our hotel for the night – Loisir Hotel.

Japanese ramen are fantastic! Rachel and I had a very satisfying lunch. There are three flavours for Japanese ramen – miso, soy and shio (salt). I tried the miso ramen while she took the soy ramen.

After unloading our luggage at the hotel, we set off to do some shopping in Asahikawa. Following our routine the previous two nights, we made a stop at the supermarket to sweep some discounted food for dinner.

That night, we went to sleep feeling very full and satisfied with the food and experiences.

At the ramen town
At the ramen town
Some ramen shrine
Some ramen shrine
We ate at this restaurant
We ate at this restaurant
Inside the ramen restaurant
Inside the ramen restaurant
Our ramen lunch
Our ramen lunch
Miso Ramen
Miso Ramen
Soy ramen
Soy ramen
Marks serving with extra char siew
Mark’s serving with extra char siew
Loisir hotel automated multi-storey carpark
Loisir hotel automated multi-storey carpark
loading the car
loading the car
Up it goes for storage!
Up it goes for storage!
checking in
checking in
hotel room
hotel room
Shopping for fruits
Shopping for fruits
Nice Japanese fruit beverages
Nice Japanese fruit beverages
Our dinner spread
Our dinner spread
Some prawn that Mark likes to eat
Some prawn that Mark likes to eat
Ebi tempura bento lunch
Ebi tempura bento
Beef tendon
Beef tendon
sushi
sushi
giant barbequed chicken thigh
giant barbequed chicken thigh
Hokkaido grapes
Hokkaido grapes
Alvinology goes to Japan - Day 3 of 14 - Alvinology
Creamy sponge cake desert

Stay tuned for my day 4 blog entry. 🙂 Meanwhile, you can read my previous blog entries on the trip if you have missed them:

Day 1 – Kansai Airport, Hokkaido

Day 2 – Skiing, Otaru

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, asahikawa, otaru, charcoal grilled scallop, letao chocolate, letao, two-colour corn, hokkaido corn, totoro, asahiyama zoo, 旭山動物園, penguin march, asahiyama penguin march, king penguin, gentoo penguin, baby king penguin, polar bear, puffer fish, fugu, two snares penguin, humboldt penguin, japanese crane, japanese brown bear, arctic lion, snow leopard, snow cheetah, sea seals, sea lions, siberian tiger, red panda, snow wolf, japanese wolves, japanese monkeys, orang utan, japanese ramen, shio ramen, salt ramen, miso ramen, soy ramen, loisir hotel, ebi tempura bento, beef tendon

8 comments

Leave a Reply

Related Posts
We are now on Telegram with daily deals and giveaways! Click and join our channel. It's FREE!
See how Snapask has been helping out over 3 million students around the world. Find a perfect plan