Hokkaido Trip 16th June 2010: Sounkyo(層雲峡) – Asahikawa(旭川市) – Jozankei(定山渓).
This morning we visited the famous waterfalls, Ginga-no-taki Falls(銀河の滝 Milky Way falls) and Ryusei-no-taki Falls(流星の滝 Shooting Star Falls)which fall directly over the cliff. These two falls are the famous 2 of Sounkyo Gorge.
It started to drizzle when we were busy talking photo and the rain getting heavy and heavier that forced us to rush back to our bus. I have yet to walk down further on the path to enjoy the surrounding scenery. What a waste! Next we proceeded to Otokoyama(男山) Sake Brewery Museum, located at Asahikawa city.
Sake Tasting and brewry shop
Photos below were taken inside the Sake museum
This big banner print hanging on the ceilling by Utamaro Kitagawa(if I am not wrong)
Sake-brewing tools in old times and from the Edo period
The picture below shows the Water of Longevity, the well-known water that springs to ground beneath Otokoyama. This underground waters originating from the snows of the Daisetsu mountain range combined with a harsh cold climate. Of course I could not miss sampling the water, it is cool and fresh.
The outdoor display area(cask sheds) which showcases brewing tools of the past.
The Japanese styled-garden outside Otokoyama brewery building
Could not resist taking photo in between these beautiful peach colored flowers’ trees.
Next was our lunch around 11:55am. This was another disappointed situation and minus point for the local tour guide again. On our itinerary , we were suppose to have our ramen lunch at Asahikawa Ramen Village. So the “clever” tour guide said that she changed this to a buffet lunch instead. The reason: the Ramen Village is meant for tourists. Excuse me, aren’t we the tourists? This puzzled me! This was a huge disappointment to me. She should have asked our opinion first before making such a decision. I was really not happy over this. Eating a bowl of ramen at Asahikawa ramen village remains a dream from now on..
The restaurant arranged by the tour guide.
However took some photos of Asahikawa Ramen Village(旭川ラーメン村) after lunch.
I love this wall! Wondering who is the artist behind this wonderful wall painting?
Listed down some of the ramen stores here:
- Raumen Aoba(青葉)
- Ittetsu-an Matsuda (松田)
- Ishida (石田)
- Ramenya Tenkin (天金)
- Ramen Santouka (山頭火)
- Saijo (さいじょう)
- Ichikura (一蔵)
- Baikoken (梅光軒)
The small UNI QLO as compared to those at Tokyo.
Left Asahikawa for Jozankei around 2pm. It took about 3 hours bus ride to reach the hotel, Shikanoyu.
This pretty deer painting is displayed on the wall at the lobby.
I have always forgotten to snap some photos of the futon because it was being laid during our dinner time. The moment we got back to our room, I was either busy packing for the next day tour or preparing to soak in the hotspring later of the night. By the time I got back to the room, I went straight to zzz…, no more energy left!
Our steamboat dinner at the hotel.
After dinner and took a short rest, we headed straight to the onsen to enjoy hot spring bath at Zuiun Bathhouse, located on the underground level of ShikanoYu’s main wing. We need to walk down the stair to access the bath which is very spacious; I particularly like the one which equipped with a Jacuzzis. From the open-air bath, we can have a view of the mountain stream that runs through Jozankei, although there are barriers which block away the view from the hot spring bath area, I don’t really feel safe soaking in this outdoor bath, lol, worrying about peeping Tom from the opposite side of the hotel. However, this hot spring is my favorite among the four hot springs that were included in this tour.
The following photos were taken at the vicinity of the hotel area, on the day 5 morning. Another big regret for me, read on..
Below shows a map of the Jozankei Hot Spring Source Park where it lists the hot spring for foot and leg bathing(click the map to zoom in), what a waste that I didn’t realize those foot baths are just within reach till the very next morning when we were leaving this place. I have not heard anything about this being mentioned by our tour guide, wonder if she ever know this or if she does, will she bother to inform us? Sad! 🙁