Hokkaido Trip 17th June 2010: Lake Toya(洞爺湖) – Mt. Showa Shinzan(昭和新山) – Shiraoi Ainu Village – Hell Valley(Jigokudani(地狱谷)) – Noboribetsu(定山渓).
Farewell to Jozankei, we visited Lake Toya this morning. Today’s itinerary were supposed to be packed with activities and we should be visiting Bear Ranch later but again, dissappointments stepped in due to the lack of experiences of the local tour guide. Sigh. Read on..
Click onto the map below for more details.
Boat ride, anyone?
Next we proceeded to Mt Showa Shinzan(昭和新山), one of Japan youngest volcanos where its’ sulfurous fumes still vending out. Below is the map(from japan-guide.com) which give you clearer picture of where Mt Showa located.
From here we can also see the Usuzan Ropeway which brings visitors close to the volcano’s summit. Too bad it was not included in the itinerary and we had to give it a miss.
We were brought to this shop below to buy the famous Hokkaido horse oil and this was where the disappointment towards the local tour guide kicked in again. I asked her when we were inside the shop, wasn’t this the entrance to the Bear Ranch that we were supposed to visit? Her answer was a definite “No”, we were going to another one at Ainu village later of the day. At that time I had million puzzles crossing my mind. Huh? This wasn’t the one? I remember reading several blog posts written by those who have visited the place before and this should be the “right” one.
Oh, well, she is the tour guide, she should be the expert, right? I walked away in disbelief.
Bought these horse oil creams, the orange bottle(¥3000) is less oily and meant for face and hand. It is claimed to give moisture and oils to restore smooth and soft skin. I have not really use it regularly at the time being.
The white bottle(¥2000) has more general uses like help in scalding, muscular pain, athlete’s foot, chaps and dry skin and even on wrinkles. But I use it particularly for rashes, which appears on my arms occasionally(due to sensitivity to certain sun block cream); I personally find that it is very much safer to apply this natural cream than using any doctor prescribed steroid cream. Thumbs up!
Then we took about 5 minutes bus ride to a farm for Strawberry picking.
Fruits harvesting season are stated here, click onto the picture to zoom in.
This is where the strawberries grow, below were not riped at the time of visit.
Yummy red and sweet!
Found an odd shaped strawberry.
There are many trees inside the farm and not sure if I got all the fruit trees correctly. Correct me if I am wrong. Below is a Pear tree?
Lunch time at this restaurant, again it is a seafood market cum restaurant where customers can order the optional seafood from the ground floor. There is a big “bear” on the roof of this building.
All kind of fresh seafood
Abalone: Click for a closer look
Even fresh colorful fruits are sold here. The melons are one of the “celebrity” fruits in Hokkaido. A small piece as shown below cost ¥300 but it is very sweet!
Dried food like scallops are also famous. Bought 2 packages in g each.
Souvenir like Hello Kitty and the fortune cats
Our lunch today was quite simple, just a bowl of crab meat rice served with miso soup.