Monday, February 27, 2017

(Updated) Trip To Muroran - Hokkaido

(Updated photos on 27 February 2017) 


I had to book the nearest hotel away from Sapporo during the Snow Festival's peak weekend as all the hotels in Sapporo were fully booked. The closest I could book online was at this unknown town called Muroran. I was a bit skeptical of this quiet and peaceful town but it brought us wonderful surprises instead. It snowed for the first time during our trip and the countryside's cape was spectacular.


We took a 2.5 hours bus ride from Sapporo Station to Muroran.


  
We saw many snow capped mountains and thick forests enveloped
in pretty white snow. It gave me a sleepy & peaceful feeling
of a cold winter.




The Donan Bus passed through a tunnel and many
miles of scenic landscapes along the Hokkaido Highway.



 Finally, the bus reached the T-Junction where I saw the whole
Pacific Ocean for the 2nd time in my life! The first time was in
San Francisco back in the 90s.




 The Donan Bus driver was so polite like a robot
and dropped us off at the small Muroran bus terminal.
He bowed and zoomed off.


  
We walked less than 1 km and checked into a brand new hotel
that had a beautiful onsen inside for the guests.
There is a post office, right opposite the hotel and my wife
took all her postcards inside to write them. She was still writing
inside until 5 pm of their closing time. She was the one who
insisted that I should never be lazy and send postcards to
all my blogger friends while she posted to all our mutual
friends.




We walked to the nearby supermarket to look-see!
Goodness! Look at how cheap the Fresh Hokkaido Milk!
One liter for less than RM5.00!!




Waaaaah Mabuk! 6 big cans of Sapporo Beer
for less than RM40.00!




Japanese brand alcohols are often sold in Giant Mineral Water Bottles.
Many drink sake like plain water.




That night snow fell from the skies! My wife was so excited
and danced happily like a child on the street.




 We enjoyed the hotel's buffet breakfasts that served plenty of
Japanese food with some Western dishes. That saved our money for
lunch as we ate till our stomach bursts.



 It was a very cold morning at -3 degrees C and we walked out
to catch a single coach train to Bokoi town.


  
Bokoi is a tranquil and typical countryside town in Hokkaido.




Oh My God! My nightmare began as I had to walk up the steep hill 
for 3 kilometers on the roads filled with snow and ice. 




 Finally, we arrived at this cape that overlooked the cliff and Pacific Ocean.




 Haute Couture By Twilight Man. Ahem!




 This is the famous light house at Cape Chikyu.





I stood and admired at this light house covered in snow for a long time.
It is very lonely and stands alone by the sea to give
out precious light to all the passing ships.
It never complains about the cold winter.



  
Ding Dong Bell.




 We pulled our Wedding Bells again happily for
many years of happiness & good health.




We walked over 20,000 steps that day in the bloody cold winter
just to admire the cliffs, capes and ocean views! This small town 
does not have buses to this part of hilly areas.



 Which way? In Hokkaido areas, they don't display much
signboards with English words. Not even inside restaurant's
menus. Sigh!


  
Pacific Ocean @ Muroran's Bokoi hills.




Panoramic landscapes by the ocean.




 We posted this lovely scenic postcard to Blogger Lina before
going to see the actual place.




Oh Well.... We saw all white snow & frozen rivers instead
at the same spot as the pretty postcard.


The end of my Hokkaido postings.
Next post will continue with Xi'an in China.

***



53 comments:

  1. Awesome sharing, Tan! I've to admit I don't have the habit of sending postcards..... Happy weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are too busy running around like a celebrity. You need a secretary to send postcards for you. Hihihi

      Delete
  2. Thanks for walking 3km and 20,000 steps to show us the sights (of which I would never have successfully walked...haha! :D Those are some cool poses at Cape Cikyu & Ding Dong Bell...nice! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was so tough to walk over 20K steps in that winter condition. How I survived! No more 2nd time ding dong bell. Ha ha!

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  3. Replies
    1. You bet! It was damn freezing and I imagined I was training for Mount Everest climb. It's our mind power that keeps our endurance high.

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  4. Ooohhhh...looks very sejuk there! It's raining right now and the air-cond is like in Hokkaido hah...hah...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wah! How to compare with office air cond? So mild and I could still sweat inside my office.

      Delete
  5. Love the gorgeous white landscapes that you've captured. I've only been to Japan in autumn, so I haven't experienced the height of winter. Will definitely need to pack warm, by the looks of your pics ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have been to Japan in Spring and Winter to enjoy their cold weather. I want to visit in Autumn to see the beautiful foliage.

      Delete
  6. Falling snowflakes are very pretty and each snowflake has a different pattern. Did your wife look closely at the snowflake to see their pretty pattern? You have a new pose now! No more jumping pose? But in the slippery snow very dangerous to do jumping pose. You and your wife very keng to walk so far in the wet and slippery snow and very cold too. Salute!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes I had been explaining to her the many types of snow - Flurries, Flakes, Powdery, Sleet, Light Snow, Blizzard & Storms etc. I myself had a fright to see snow piling up over 8 feet in many parts of Hokkaido.

      We had to hold each other's arms tightly as she almost fell several times. My trick was to drag both my feet along the way to remain stable & safe.

      I dare not jump anywhere as it could be fatal. LOLOL

      Delete
  7. The 3rd last picture, fuh, TM so yaoyeng! Love that pic and also the pic of your wife with the snow falling.

    So, so nice. I've never experience snow falling on my nose. The only snow we touched was at Switzerland but none falling on my nose :(

    Lol at the robot driver. They are very polite. I keep bowing too when I see them :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you & Domo Arigato. When we are kids, we don't know how to pose. When we get matured and older, we will pose & shoot so many times at the same spot. Thanks to filmless mobile smartphones.

      I love the polite manners of the Japanese everywhere in the world.

      Delete
  8. Did you dance with your wife on the street? keke...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We would be lying on the hospital beds if we both really danced on the icy streets.

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  9. The town was covered with snow. Love all the pic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the snow covered every inch of the place after each snow fall. Poor them having to shovel the streets with their hands. You have so many Japanese bosses and friends that would welcome you anywhere in Japan. Hurry up book your tickets!

      Delete
  10. What I like about Japan is that they sell liquor in huge mineral water bottles at the supermarket. And so many tunnels along the Hokkaido Expressway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reminding me and I dug up that shot of sake in mineral water bottle to update my blog photos. In China, they have many more & very long tunnels along the 24 hour train ride which I experienced. It made me think a lot how they invested time, money and labour costs for development.

      Delete
  11. Wow.. your pictures are tempting me to go during winter! hahaha... really nice especially the scenery with the lighthhouse and white snow... minus 3 degrees?? Having second thoughts.. By the way, thank you so much for the postcard, really thoughtful of you and your wife to send out even when both of you are traveling!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are still young and we only live once. Take up the challenge to experience some cold winters for a change.
      We will always keep to the old traditions to send postcards instead of emails or Facebook messages.

      Delete
  12. Road looks quiet, I guess because it's winter?

    Btw TM, I saw your FB, now only I know your wife's name, I actually bought YLEO from her recently from a preloved group in FB, what a small world!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a remote town and countryside. I guess the roads covered with snow and ice would see even lesser vehicles.
      I think you must have mistaken that my wife sold YLEO to you as she never bought them. I am the one who is a long time user. Could it be someone with similar name?

      Delete
    2. Opps, really? Haha paiseh paiseh, confirm it was Eleanor but may be someone else with another surname :p :p

      Delete
  13. Beautiful photos! Thank you so much for sharing this lovely tour! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind compliments. I am glad you liked the photos.

      Delete
  14. I like photo #19, the background behind is so scenic and breathtaking, LOL, sorry ah, I only notice the background and not Anay you because the background is too outstanding

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am sure my presence made that scenic background even more spectacular! Perhaps I should add more oceanic photos!

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  15. I remember drinking 700 ml of Hokkaido Milk in one evening and instantly bloated, so rich and creamy... same effect as being drunk, mabuk susu LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wakakakaka! Mabuk Susu! You are so funny and should drink direct from the Cows. Honestly I could not tell whether the Hokkaido Milk is the best as reported. Perhaps I should ask the Japanese friends to introduce the famous brand.

      Delete
  16. Your trip to Muroran and Bokoi seems to have consisted of long bus ride and walking including slipping and sliding on the slippery snow. Sorry for the inconvenience due to the lack of English sigh. I often hear about that off the beaten track in the rural area. I like the happy face of your wife in the falling snow.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We were so glad that we had to stay at Muroran as it gave us a very different opportunity to see the remote towns and the scenic environment. Overall, Muroran and Otaru were more interesting than Sapporo itself.

      I specially made this trip to see the Sapporo Snow Festival, so that my wife could see real snow falling from the skies. She was so excited and happy!

      It is okay that not much English is used in Hokkaido areas as they are still not over commercialized and natural. The shops and folks were very helpful and friendly to guide us very well. Well, that's the beauty of Japan!

      Delete
  17. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos and entertaining post.Sometimes the unexpected can turn out to be a blessing....now I start dreaming of a winter trip too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are most welcome. As you know that life is so short and time flies so fast. I would game to do anything and visit anywhere while I am still walking and alive.

      Delete
  18. I love reading things like this. You thought you were making a compromise, but end up your "compromise" turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

    I really like the lighthouse picture. The mabuk picture, not so much as I don't drink much beer these days heh...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life is always uncertain and each day would be a new surprise sometimes. That town was a great blessing for a nice change.

      I knew about the lighthouse before my trip but had no idea that it required a 3 km walk through thick snow and icy roads. Crazy!

      Delete
  19. It sounds like a tiresome experience and that too walking through pretty cold is absolutely hard! But I am sure the sights inspired you to go ahead and with an encouraging wife as a companion things should be fine. The ride in bus and by foot along the ocean cliffs is breath-taking... Lovely postcard images!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This trip to the remote town taught us some new discoveries and I look forward to visit more remote & unspoilt towns like this.
      Life is a journey for us to walk and discover.

      Delete
  20. Oh... those scenery~~ simply breathtaking.
    Haha I hope I can received your postcard one day :P
    ps: u are a good poser, which can pose very naturally :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was really enjoyable to see the breathtaking views from different cliffs. I would have stayed there all day to relax but it was too cold. My head was frozen.

      Delete
  21. Hi! It looks nice trip to Muroran. Ringing the wedding bell,I felt both you and your wife were very happy. I went to Kyusyu for a three days,came back yesterday,sorry not to visit you soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Kyushu and would blog it soon. We visited Kyushu Island and loved all the towns there.

      Delete
  22. From all the photos... so cold leh... freezing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes it was so so cold throughout. I told my wife that no more freezing winter trips again after she had seen real snow falling from the skies! I would still visit foreign countries in winter but not at minus temperature.

      Delete
  23. I'm jealous. You've been to Japan so many times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am more jealous. You visited Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam so many times like going to Puduraya.

      Delete
  24. The fresh milk is cheap! Makes me wonder why our locally made fresh milk is so much more expensive (like 50% more!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we need to wake up that our Najis gomen is causing inflations!

      Delete
  25. Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your kind compliments. Please visit again.

      Delete
  26. Now who said Japan is expensive? The stuff was pretty cheap there right? I'll drink beer everyday! :D Anyway, how I wish our Malaysian bus drivers can be as polite as them :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many affordable and cheap things in Japan. A good example is their 100 YEN Shops!

      I think it is impossible to educate rude people nowadays. It is like a contagious and incurable disease.

      Delete

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