Helloo!! I’m back to my English writing version!
Well, I’m not a good English writer because I’m Thai. But, I’d like to do it to practice my skill! So, just don’t mind if you notice any grammar mistakes 🙂
Okay, let me talk about my recent trip to Hokkaido!!
Japan is one of the places that I love to go back again and again. I heard people said this many times when they visited Japan, as it also happened to me. In my opinion, I thought it’s because of the people, traditions, infrastructure, architecture, food, and so forth. I couldn’t mention them all. However, this time I got another reason to visit Japan, it was the beautiful nature.
Hokkaido is full of pure and beautiful natural places. There’re so many national parks and natural sights. Sapporo is the capital city which I think it is the most crowded city as well. You can do shopping here but it shouldn’t be the main purpose to come here. You’d better visit Tokyo or Osaka for this purpose. On the other hand, it should be the place to take a rest, to walk slow, to stay calm, and to enjoy the surrounding nature. However, more time and small car are recommended to explore and experience this island. There’re two famous things in Hokkaido, the Sapporo’s winter festival on December, and Furano’s lavender farm on July.
I had no chance for that, poor me 😦
It happened to me unintentionally 3 weeks before as I was asked to join the trip. Well, no one to blame but myself because I said yes!!
My first mission began by arranging the trip to see Hokkaido in 5 full days. It’s not enough time to hire a car and no chance to see that lavender farm either. So, I decided to travel with train and visit only Lake Toya, Hakodate, Otaru, and Sapporo.
Once we got off the plane, we headed to Lake Toya. It’s my requirement to visit this place. Again, I thought the lake was so beautiful as I saw in pictures. Then, I just wanted to see it with my own eyes. It was very impressive, anyway. Toya city was situated close to the shore, but we got to take a bus to Toya Onsen, where the lake was. Our accommodation was great! They’d got a lake view, natural onsen, and traditionally delicious dinner+breakfast.
The place that got me excited was the Showa Shinzan. It’s a newly mountain rose from earthquakes. I still saw the sulphurous fumes from this mountain which I never saw at any places before. We took Usuzan ropeway to the observatory where I could see Lake Toya and also the sea, the view was so awesome!
During night time, there’s also fireworks around the lake. It’s first time to see a lot of people in the city. Actually, it’s was a very small and silent city. I rarely saw cars on the roads or people on the streets. It’s weird. Well, you’d get used to it when you visited other cities in Hokkaido, it’s very silent even in Sapporo. I didn’t know where did people go. Moreover, this hotel got only a public onsen. Even this was my second time but I was still embarrassed. But, once you got rid of an unusual feeling to have a shower with other people, you’d get a very good feeling to bathe in the onsen.
Next day, we went to Hakodate city. It was prior the harbour of Hokkaido when the transportation was still limited. So, it’s quite a big city and so many places of interest. We walked around the Motomachi, bay area, the Goryokaku Fort, morning market and the observatory on Hakodate mountain which was claimed to be the third most beautiful evening scene in Japan.
In Hakodate, however, I really liked the local supermarket store and donburi. In the store, I could see many local fruits, foods, snacks, and all the Japanese unique items which they’re so interesting and exciting. I could spend time there (actually, I wanted to try them all!). It’s good to go to the morning market as well because we could see their local life and we also had a chance to eat a very good uni donburi! 😀
Otaru was the next spot. It’s just 40 kilometres away from Sapporo situated on the north coast. It was famous for the old canal, desserts, and a shopping street. Well, I thought there’s nothing much to do and to see in this city. It’s mostly designed for the tourists. Anyway, the city was still nice to visit once.
Then, we took the train back to Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido. Well, it’s like other big cities in Japan, where we could see many high rise buildings, people, traffics, lights, and anything that big cities should have. However, I tended to think differently. I thought it was sufficiently and traditionally developed city. You might wonder what is was. Well, it’s a big city but not crowded and less traffics. People were not that hurry to walk or to do things. I could walk slowly on the streets or in the train stations without got hit by other people unlike Tokyo and Osaka.
In Susukino, the busiest district, was actually crowded by people who wanted to enjoy their night life, but I didn’t feel like crowded. You know, when we walked a few blocks away I didn’t know where people gone! It’s back to dark and silent city again.
We went to the historical places like the old parliament and clock tower,also the newly architecture like Odori park and Chocolate Factory, which was very good. Again, my feeling was so different compared to other big cities.
Because it’s summer, there’s a lot of flower, beautiful gardens, and some places even had a very nice and delicate plant and flower decoration.
Because we came during YOSAKOI festival, there’s so many people in many teams wearing colourful clothing and makeup, dancing with the traditional music on the streets all days long.
Because it’s Sunday, there’s so many local markets on my way, organic market at the front of old parliament building, secondhand market at a car park near Sapporo’s clock tower, and handmade market at the underground walkway between the subway stations.
Imagine that it’s sunshine, blue sky, gentle breeze, and colourful flowers around, you saw people shopping or trying to sell their things. Some of them were watching people dancing on the streets and having fun with it. It’s such a lively and lovely day for me. If you want to slow down and enjoy your life more, I think Hokkaido in summer is a place for you. 🙂