Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dear to my heart

It had been a long day of sight-seeing and touring. When nightfall had come, I had arrived at the final stop for the day: the hotel. And despite my fatigue and weariness, I could not resist snapping a few photos of the beautiful area that surrounded the hotel. Dark, isolated, and cold. Hands down, this was the most wonderful evening I had during my trip to Japan, and the best hotel I had stayed in as well, Hotel Fukuhara in Shikaribetsu, Hokkaido. The hotel is in the vicinity of Lake Shikaribetsu and the Daisetsuzan National Park.  There were even igloos across the hotel which had a bar inside, but unfortunately, it was no longer open for visitors because the ice was melting. Although I couldn't visit the lake because it was too dangerous to come when the lake is frozen over, nor could I visit the igloo-bar, there was still a lot to do.This was the first hotel during my trip that had an onsen, a Japanese bath. And aside from this, I enjoyed a buffet dinner --- all Japanese food! I enjoyed several plates of salmon sashimi, tempura, chawanmushi, and best of all, I ate slices of tender beef that I cooked on my own. With all that food in my stomach, I had enough energy to partake in a nighttime snow tour, and that's exactly what I did.

Please forgive my messed up face. But here is a photo of me before leaving for the snow tour, dressed up a pink snow suit that was rented out by the tour guide. I was actually wearing several more layers of clothes underneath it, preparing for the coldest of colds. The tour started with a trek from the hotel, following an icy path towards the forest which wasn't very far away. Our tour guide, Charlie, wanted my family and I to get our eyes accustomed to the dark, because after a certain point in the trek, there was no light whatsoever. Nothing but the stars, the snow, and the trees. I don't quite know how long that trek lasted, but I enjoyed every second of it. There were times Charlie would make us keep quiet for a few moments, as we listened to pure silence, and if we listened hard enough, our own heartbeat. He also told us about the owls in Hokkaido, and what sounds they made, which was sort of funny.. Buu buu, said the owl, ha ha! And after that, Charlie also surprised us with a delicious cup of hot chocolate that he had in his jug. He made us guess what color the cup of hot chocolate was in absolute darkness. I wasn't able to guess correctly when he took out his tiny flashlight, but I just continued to enjoy my cup of hot chocolate in the snow and darkness. On the way back to the hotel, my siblings and I started playing on the large mounds of snow nearby. During that moment, that night, we were all kids again. And finally, I went to sleep in our traditional, tatami room. What a night.

Forgive me if my posts have been longer than usual. I want to encapsulate every wonderful memory I had in Japan, every detail I can possibly remember. This day most especially.


  1. Hello! first time here =) the igloos are so cool! I've actually slept in one when I was about 12 years old and it was amazing! Your nightime tour sounds so exciting!! Especially after all the yummy yoof you had :P I miss sleeping in Tatami rooms... you have a beautiful happy face :)

    1. Hello, thank you for visiting my blog! Ha ha. Wow, it must have been so cool sleeping inside an igloo. Thank you for taking the time to read this extremely long post of mine, and thank you, thank you, thank you, period! X3