Walking in Winter Wonderland

As promised, here are some photos of my recent holiday in Hokkaido, with a short one-day trip in Tokyo. It sure was a wonderful wintry experience in near or sub-zero temperatures. Will blog about some key learning points next.


Statue of liberty in Tokyo
Tokyo was our first stopover en route to Hokkaido. Whom did we meet? Well, none other than the lady of liberty herself.

Humungous pink cat outside pet shop
Saw this huge inflatable pink cat outside a pet shop. Japanese pets sure have it good I tell you!

Giant Ferris Wheel @ Tokyo
Giant ferris wheel at Tokyo. Err....so what's so unique about the Singapore Flyer?

In Hokkaido itself, there were many different high points which I have (neatly) divided into categories below for your viewing pleasure.


Fresh King Crabs - Yummy
Fresh king crab (Kani) in a market at Hokkaido. Absolutely finger lickin' good!

Barbequed Lamb
Barbecued lamb done Mongolian style. The taste was simply awesome, juicy and tender without any strong mutton-like smell. Even Tina, who normally won't touch this, ate with relish.

Sashimi and steamboat galore
Raw foodies delight featuring fresh halibut, abalone, conch shell and salmon. Just minutes ago, these were all swimming in the aquariums so you can imagine how fresh they were.

Give that man a couple of Asahi beers and see how widely he smiles!


Frozen (almost) lake near Akan View
Partially frozen lake near Akan View Hotel. Several ducks were swimming in the icy waters, looking totally nonchalant while we were freezing our behinds off.

Noboribetsu volcanic mountains
Volcanic ranges at Noboribetsu, with sulphurous fumes being emitted. Smelled worst than it looks!

View from the mountain
A lovely view near the Okhotsk area, which is the sea at the north of Hokkaido.

Ski Resort
Rutsutsu Ski Resort near Sapporo, where we had lots of fun sliding down in a little yellow toboggan.

Snowmen (not ours though)
Tina and I shamelessly posing with somebody else's snowmen. These snow folks were created by a very diligent father and son team, who toiled for more than an hour!


Otaru Music Box Factory
At Otaru, we were mesmerized by the lovely chimes and music coming from the town square. It really sounded as if we were in a magical musical kingdom. Here is a picture of the largest music box shop in Asia.

Music Boxes 1
Aren't these music boxes simply gorgeous? They sounded pretty good too.

Otaru Music Box Museum
Popped by the Otaru Music Box Museum but unfortunately, it was already closed. Managed to catch a glimpse of music boxes from the past to the present though.


Santa doin' a Mission Impossible act
Spotted this Santa trying to make a quick getaway at the Asahi Beer Factory. Had one too many and tryin' to escape from the scene ol' Saint Nick?

Trees in clothes
No, these are not botanical equivalents of the Ku Klux Klan. Instead, the straw mats covering them are supposed to protect them from the harsh winter weather. See, even plants have it good in Hokkaido!

Sapporo city at night
Finally, a lovely night scene in Susukino, Sapporo's shopping district. It is as modern and sophisticated as you can get, dispelling images of Hokkaido being just about snow and seafood.

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