Sunday, 29 January 2012

Snowstorm Mass With The Stunning Maple Leaves During Autumn In Hokkaido Japan

I love Hokkaido ever since I've heard and watching some of the articles or broadcasts which showing numerous of spectacular and gorgeous sceneries of Hokkaido, and I was dreaming of being there since then. We were  told by a senior from a travel agency telling us that Hokkaido is a extremely beautiful, peaceful and yet kinda desolated place ever, the best way to experience the gorgeous of Hokkaido is self-driving, we needless to waste our time awaiting peoples or urged by tour leader the entirely trip, we can stop our vehicle at any spot anytime we like as well, the choice and freedom are ours. Yet it's definitely no traffic congestion or feeling tense driving in Hokkaido, most of the roads are isolated. Even if in the city region of Hokkaido the cars on the road would be merely 1 over 100 or even more I suppose compares to Singapore for example and don't even talk about in Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. We were lucky enough to be recommended with a rare <Hunt Hokkaido> tour organized by the agency which merely once yearly and it was merely the second time the agency running the <Hunt Hokkaido> tour either.  There was no rushing, needless awaiting others, all we should do was only taking off from the hotel A and reaching the hotel B individually at anytime (better don't be too late due to the Autumn climate where it would be getting dark at 4pm afternoon), and going any scenic spot or stopping anywhere we like anytime ( GPS & Mapping are provided as well ).

Once we stepped on the ground of Hokkaido at ✈Chitose Airport, we were brought to the neighboring Toyota Car Rental by coach to collect our self-drive car. Wonderful weather..cold and sunny~

Awaiting to get our car key~

Haha..have had our car key for a Toyota Corolla to be accompanied us within the entire journey we stayed in Hokkaido

A comfortable car~ You are the good buddy of ours during this journey in Hokkaido~❤❤

Yeah! Have started our  adventure journey in beautiful Hokkaido~

Magnificent scenery along the route we drove heading to our first destination..Weird yet amazing scene which has the Wintertime snowy peak mountain & the Autumn time yellowish meadows, and yet they were matching perfectly to each other.

Yes, we felt hungry on our half way to destination, since we saw a 7-11 convenience store , so we decided to grab some foods to comfort our belly before carry on the journey, cause we were afraid of couldn't find any later on if we entering an more isolated place as this was our first time being in Hokkaido, and we were not familiar to its district circumstance after all.

"178"-Our number of <Hunt Hokkaido> program for the next day...

We have bought the <Kantodaki 关东煮> ( known as おでん oden in Japanese) from 7-11, which I've been told by my cousin sister that she has found it from 7-11 and was craving for it when the time she went to Tokyo before. Therefore it's the must try food for us since we have been to 7-11 even though they sell plenty and varieties of great authentic cooked foods or microwaved foods which are ready to be eaten within a second. Guess what, you would never know a simple <Kantodaki 关东煮> that sells in a convenient shop can be so savory that I was craving for it each day since then. The soup was so so so dense and sweet ( not sugar sweet but natural sweet of meaty, Japanese daikon radish, misoshiro, dried fish 柴鱼 ).

Haha...We reached our first destination~<Shikotsu Toya National Park 支笏洞爺国立公園> which located southwestern of Hokkaido, and named for its two renowned lakes- <Lake Toya> & <Lake Shikotsu> (somehow we didn't manage to take the photo of <Lake Shikotsu> due to it was raining, too cold and extremely windy to get closed to the lake area, we were almost flown away by the gales). In addition to its magnificent scenery, its location proximity to Sapporo is one of the reason it becomes a popular scenic spot for visitors.

Stunning Maple leaves during Autumn~

Immersed in the spectacular yellowish & reddish leaves surrounding I crazily fond of~

Magnificent view~ In fact the weather was incredibly freezing~but I love it so much..❤❤

Every angle and nook seemed to be so romantic in this splendid Autumn moment~❤❤

Woo...It started raining ☂, and we bought a pair of umbrella from a souvenir shop. In fact the raining weather didn't seem favorable to us cause it was getting cold and unbearable that my honey has the necessity to add his "Long John ( thermal underwear )" on to stay warm...somehow the climate seemed alright and comfortable to me :P

I just love the stunning maple leaves in Autumn time~ I swear I was gonna bring back some of them to my hometown as a souvenir or a bookmark for my own~❤❤

My honey was freezing at that moment..haha..

Walking in the rain~☂☂

The weather was getting chill and day was getting dark rapidly due to the Autumn time, daylight ☼ was definitely shorter than night ☽, it would be getting dark on 4pm during Autumn.

We grabbed some hot drinks from drinks selling machine in order to keep our body warmer.

Be prepared to take off to our next destination before dark~

Posing for a photo before left..^^

<Shikotsu Toya National Park支笏洞爺国立公園> is a beautiful park with magnificent scenery during Autumn, I love it~❤❤

Yeah! I've collected some Maple leaves to keep as souvenir for my own, but I didn't pluck from the tree (I am a green environment lover anyway), I merely picked the fallen ones from the ground...haha. ^^
(bottom right)The hot Chocolate Milk we bought from the machine was incredibly tasty and warmed up our body, it was so creamy yet not too sweet. Hokkaido milk is one of the famous productions and a major composition in many goodies in Hokkaido such as Hokkaido ice-cream, Hokkaido chocolate milk, cookies which you are not gonna miss it.

☃☃Oh my God! The weather seemed to be getting worse. The further we went, the rain drops transformed to be snow flakes, and from slightly snows to frightful heavy snows caused the road we were driving on fully covered by a thick layer of white snow within a second. It was kinda dangerous due to its slippery surface of the road and the darkness of the night (although it was merely around 4pm++ in the afternoon).

Yeah! We reached the second destination-<Kinoko Oukoku きのこ王国 or Mushroom Kingdom> which is renowned for their earthy flavor aroma and surprisingly delicious tasted mushrooms, and has a wide range of authentic mushroom products made by its owner from dishes as mushroom soups, mushroom tempura, udon, ramen,buckwheat noodles, curry and various type of raw fresh mushrooms, raw materials for making mushroom soup, mushroom tea, many variety of condiments made with mushrooms and etc...every item is allowed to sample before buying them. Nevertheless we were unable to experience all of foods as mentioned due to heavy snow and getting dark, and there has no other visitors but us, merely a couple of cars pulled over to avoid driving in the snowstorm, and the shop was apparently seem to be closed. In fact we were feeling quite anxious and scared being in such situation with an unfamiliar places and the ruthless weather. 

Snow doesn't seem to be stopped, luckily the toilet at <Kinoko Oukoku きのこ王国 or Mushroom Kingdomwas still available (we needed to release everything because we didn't even know how long we were gonna take to get back to our hotel then) yet unfortunately the time I was in the middle in the ladies, the electrical power suddenly shutdown, I was yelling to my honey crazily and prepared to run off from there at once because the scene of the Japanese horror movies suddenly appeared in my mind out of my control..I'm kinda coward person~ (>.<) 
(But the electrical power recovered within a minutes later).

We were almost frozen being in such ruthless heavy snowing circumstance. We were thinking that we couldn't just sitting in the car and wait for the snow to stop, we need to get out from there and find the way back to our hotel. 

Our car was fully covered by a thick snow within a second. We have to continue our journey regardless of the snowstorm...but who knows, many of the routes instructed by the GPS had closed due to heavy snows. We kept turning and turning in the middle of nowhere while many roads had been closed, we could barely find a house or people but the heavy snow and forest surrounding us and also the admonish signboard of "Beware Of Bears"..That was absolutely freaking us even more, my mind kept thinking that "Are we gonna die cause of frozen in this strange world of ice and snow?" Finally we found a residential area where not even more than 10 households of them. Yet unfortunately we have the language barrier with the onsen owner (an old man) whom couldn't speak and understand English, before long a handsome young owner came out and yet he couldn't speak English either, we could merely use sign and body languages..somehow all of us seemingly could understand slightly to each other with this communication way then..haha..that was kinda hilarious scene at the moment while everyone was playing part seriously. After all the Japanese peoples are the most friendly, amiable, intimate and courteous nation I've ever met even though they don't understand our language yet they willing to help.

Eventually we reached <Noboribetsu登別市 >where our hotel was located. ⚑A little advise to those who wanna have their self-drive in Hokkaido during snowstorm, you shouldn't have drove through the mountain district as the GPS instructs but just use the high way route to get to your destination, there would be definitely safer and faster. Anyhow you just gonna skip your sightseeing venues if you being in the situation as us. Don't be like us, I've gotta concede that we were kinda greedy, we just didn't wanna lose any change to visit any recommended and renowned scenic spot even if we were encounter such horrible weather that caused us an fearful adventure in our lifetime ( In fact we consider that was a great, remarkable and rare opportunity to be experienced in our lifetime, yet we were lucky enough to survive). 

❤❤ Finally we could have our hot and savory dinner in our hotel- <Mahoroba Hotel> after being exhausted in such freezing cold climate out there.

Our hotel room, so Japanese-style room <Washitsu和室>which has tatami flooring and fusuma (sliding door) that I was longing for so long~Yeah! 

Haha..Wearing the Japanese Yukata (Japanese bathrobe), it can be wearing down to the lobby for having dinner or breakfast and the hotel onsen as well. Noboribetsu Onsen (Hot spring) is Hokkaido's largest hot spring richly endowed with nature, and a large volume of waters, it's a unique hot spring in Japan that lets you enjoy various types of water quality. Nevertheless I didn't go to onsen owing to it has to be naked in there, and this is definitely impossible for me to be naked in front of people even though there are allocated by gender. ^^ Therefore my honey went to Onsen alone and I was waiting alone in the room, and the meanwhile the Japanese ghost stories scene arised in my head once again..I just couldn't figure out why I always had this strange & freaking feeling while being alone at any nook in Japan :P

Finally I could lay on this my Japanese style bedding (one of the most comfy beddings I've ever slept before) with ease to have my sweet dreams after the entirely struggled and adventured journey for our very first day in Hokkaido, Japan. Kinda satisfied experience after all. Good night everyone.

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