Showing posts with label Hokkaido. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hokkaido. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What to see and do in Hokkaido?


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If you are planning for a visit to Hokkaido, let me give you a list of all the places of interest in Hokkaido which are inside the travel itineraries of most travel agencies that may be of interest to you!

Hokkaido Jingu Shrine


On the last day of my Hokkaido tour with my wife on 28 Sep 09, our group visited the
Hokkaido Jingu Shrine. The shrine is a Shinto Shrine. Shinto is a native religion of the Japanese which worships the god in the universe as symbolized by the sun. Shinto is the indigenous religion of Japan before Buddhism and other religions set foot in Japan.

Hokkaio Otaru tour

My wife and I set foot on the town of Otaru one bright afternoon in our tour after a hearty lunch. Otaru is a habour town in Hokkaido with the Otaru canal a famous landmark there.

I have read so much of Otaru in the travel itineraries and coming to this picturesque town, we were not disappointed!

Hokkaido Bear Ranch

Shopping around in Hokkaido, Japan, you will find many memorabilia related to bears and foxes. Bears and foxes are the indigenous animals in Hokkaido and they still exist in the jungles of Hokkaido. The two animals have become the emblems of Hokkaido! The great brown bear of Hokkaido has spawned a number of memorabilia, with cups, T-shirts, keychains and more products ‘fronted’ by the animal itself. I believe Japanese and tourists alike have grown enamored of these two animals as they are always portrayed as cute in the many illustrations you see in the souvenir shops.

What to buy from Hokkaido?

As part of my series of posts on my recent Hokkaido tour with my wife, today, let me give you a list of things to buy from Hokkaido!

As all of you might have known, the White Lovers' Chocolate is the most famous chocolate in Japan, and if you are in Hokkaido, you must definitely buy at least one box of these chocolates as the White Lover Chocolate factory is located none other than Hokkaido!

Hokkaido airport and Mas Selamat?

While I was at Chitose Airport in Hokkaido, I saw this photo of a criminal plastered on the noticeboard in the airport, immediately I recalled similar such posters of Singapore's Mas Selamat.

Uniqlo in Japan


Loyal readers of my blog would have read it
here on my encounter to Uniqlo’s Singapore flagship outlet at Tampines One shopping centre on its opening day. Uniqlo is the leading Japanese casual wear retail chain.

Hokkaido Holiday: Blood Type Bath

I spotted these bloodtype bath powder bags in a store during my tour with my wife in Hokkaido about two months back. The letters on these packagings should be obvious to you: they denote the different blood groups of man.

Japan Hokkaido Tour: Dosmetic Flight

Did you see the photo of the colourful plane below?
If you take a closer look, you would have noticed that the plane is decked out in 'Pokemon' style, with the pictures of the cartoon characters adorning the facade of the plane.


This was the plane my Dear and I travelled in when we made our return journey from the Chitose airport in Hokkaido back to Haneda airport in Tokyo. As such, this plane is a domestic-flight plane. Not all the domestic-flight planes in Chitose are similarly adorned with Pokemon characters. My Dear and I were lucky to travel in this lovely plane. Even the seat covers depict these Pokemon characters as well!

There are some cool and beautiful models of these "Pokemon" planes on display at the airport.

Domestic planes in Japan are of no-frill types. There is only a centralized projector screening screening movies for interested passengers to pass time as there is no individual TV station for each individual. It only makes sense. What I love about the flight is that we can order bottles of Japanese wine/sake in lieu of the common glasses of orange juices and I must tell you that their wine or sake is real refreshing and invigorating!
On our last day of our tour, we left our hotel towards airport at 8 am Japan time and we reached our home only around 12am Singapore time! The whole journey of taking 2 planes as well as transfer coaches coupled with waiting took around 12 hours in all! We were tired nevertheless but sad to leave a beautiful country like Japan.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Japanese Sex


On the last night of our Hokkaido tour, after a frenzied shopping trail trying to cover as much of the shopping malls, streets and sights in Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, my wife and I arrived at Susukino, the largest entertainment as well as red light district in Hokkaido! We stumbled on Susukino innocuously and left with ‘eyes wide open’!

Save for the brightly-lit buildings and neon lights of the billboards of the towering buildings, we found the district a tad dimmer than our Orchard Road or City areas, that was a bit surprising to me as I thought that an entertainment as well as a red light district, even billed as the largest in Sapporo, should look quite bright like our world-(in)famous Geylang red light district.

When you are at Susukino, do not ever think of seeing dozens of young, pretty and sexily-dressed Japanese girls at the roadside, beckoning to you, brazenly and boldly dragging you for a ‘discussion’ or hot dating! No, there are no such things in Susukino and we were briefed by the tour guide that prostitution is not legalized in Japan, hence there exists other ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ of the flesh trade in Susukino as I have learnt (from my tour guide again!)

As compared to Geylang, the red light district scene in Susukino is way too modest and covert, though there are some interesting finds and tell-tale signs of something sleazy, before I go on to that, let me tell you some of the interesting ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ mentioned earlier.

First of all, there is something called a ‘cofeeshop’ in Susukino. If you heard of some men telling you that they are going to drink coffee in Susukino, ask yourself whether Susukino is like Brazil, famed for its coffee and cocoa beans. Of course not, these men are going for some special coffeeshops where the customers look at the reflective floor of the coffeeshop which reveal the ‘inside worlds’ of the young waitress wearing tiny dresses serving them coffee.

Then there is a peephole shop whereby men pay to look at the activities of women in rooms via peepholes similar to keyholes. And the final example given by the tour guide is a room with train settings where men enter in to molest the female ‘passengers’ inside the compartments!

Though the flesh scene in Susukino is not as overt as in the other red light districts in the world, including Singapore’s; when I heard the 3 examples of the ‘hybridized flesh trade’ I find that Japanese version is even more crazier or should I say pervertic!



With no ladies of the night in Susukino plying their trade, flaunting their assets openly, what my Dear and I saw were men in black: tall, handsome men dressed impeccably in office wear, topped off with a tie and a black jacket. As it was raining then, each of the groups of 3 or 4 such men stationed at each road intersection of Susukino were waiting with their umbrellas wide open, giving them a larger-than-life aura, and it was little wonder what they were doing.

There was even a shop with some comic books on the front, but it was pure XXX videos on sales inside!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Japan Hokkaido Tour


Last week, my wife and I embarked on a 7 day holiday tour to Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. It was our first visit to Japan and it was inevitable that we were thrilled and excited.

My Dear and I have heard so much about Japan in our daily living in Singapore. In Singapore, we have often unwitting or not, taste the food and drinks of Japan, pick up some simple languages of Japan and watch the many cartoons, dramas, movies and documentaries of Japan on TV, which somehow shaped our impression of Japan!

There we went, last week with a tour group, onboard a flight near midnight. The flight lasted 7 hours to reach Tokyo Narita Airport, reaching Japan at around 7 am (Japan’s time is 1 hour ahead of Singapore’s). The particular Japanese airline our group took was quite noisy and bumpy throughout the flight, which sent shivers through our spines at times through its deep ‘crests and troughs’.

We arrived at Tokyo Narita Airport after a 7 hour flight and I must say I did not sleep a din, not because I was not tired but because of the roller-coaster style of the flight. To get to Hokkaido, one must take a Japan domestic flight and sad to say, the domestic flights to Hokkaido do not run from Narita Airport, our group then took an hour coach trip to reach Tokyo Haneda Airport.

Unlike international flights, Japanese domestic flights do not require the tourists to produce their passports. Since our group arrived earlier than expected, we took the flight slated a hour earlier than what we have booked and 1.5 hours later we reached Sapporo Chitose airport where we met our Singapore tour leader and the local tour guide.

It was around 12 pm when we reached Sapporo Chitose airport and thus it was time to feed our hungry stomachs, especially after an exhausting 10 hours of travel, via plane and coach!

My wife and I had a ‘recee’ of the different restaurants in the airport, before settling on one restaurant.

It is common knowledge that the standard of living here in Japan is very high, and hence before departure, my wife and I took care to ensure we have sufficient money to ‘stay alive’ (no la just exaggerating), but to stay happy in our tour of Hokkaido! Our first simple meal already cost us SIN $20 plus! This is what we ate:

My wife and I booked the tour to Hokkaido when prices were great during the August NATAS fair; Hokkaido resonates with us as we love nature, the type of nature that Hokkaido offers: great breath-taking flowers, nature, animals, mountains, hot springs and many more!

Prior to visiting Hokkaido, one must determine what he or she wants to see in Hokkaido. If one wants to see the great stunning display of flowers, visit the lovely island during this time (Autumn), if one is to experience sub-freezing temperatures and to witness the snow-skiing and ice-sculpting monuments, visit the island in winter!

Anyway, after our lunch, we took the coach again and proceeded straight to the places of interest slated for the first day. The tour guide was knowledgable, ‘feeding’ the tour group with snippets and additional information of the island.

Hokkaido is 160 times the size of Singapore, with Sapporo the largest city on the island. There are many places of interests sprawled around the island and to get to one place of interest to another, for the next 6 days or so, our tour group experienced waking up early, experiencing 4 to 5 hours of coach travel to the many places of interests, ate and ate and ate (buffets mainly) and indulged in hot springs for 4 of the 5 nights, so shiok!

Oh, hot springs or ‘onsens’, something interesting which I had tried for 3 nights where you see dozens of naked humans of your same gender soaking with you up and down in waters averaging around 40 degree Celsius!

The Ultra-violet in Hokkaido was especially high though it averaged 20 degree Celsius in the day. Come nights, the nights in Hokkaido at this time, is around 15 degree Celsius, enough to send shivers of coldness down my spine!

When I was having my hot and enjoyable hot spring bath, I witnessed the cold force of nature outsides via the thin window that separated us: the strong howling winds blowing all and sundry amidst the cold temperatures, it was no wonder that the countries with perennial cold temperatures had one of the highest suicide rates in the world with Finland topping the list, as I learnt from the local guide.

Anyway, I would like to invite you to share what I have experienced of lovely Hokkaido through my blog posts in the coming few days and learn of my experiences with the lovely people, lovely animal, lovely flowers, lovely mountains, lovely temperatures. lovely things and lovely scenery as well as lovely supernatural!

Lovely supernatural? Ya, no joking, but for the first night only in the first hotel loh….. where the hotel is equally eerie! Stay tuned to find out more!

Anyway, our tour is really a lovely tour, so much so that I would love to rewrite our whole experiences together and share with all of you who are interested.

So stay tuned as Singapore Short Stories share with you his and his wife’s tour of Hokkaido!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Japan Hokkaido Tour- Jigokudani Hell Valley

As soon as the tour guide announced that the next place of interest we would be visiting was Hell Valley, the whole of the tour group which included my wife and I were thrilled and ecstatic!

Oh Hell Valley! What a name! What is this place that merits such a heavily-worded name? We were soon to find out.

Within minutes, we arrived at Hell Valley, which is a valley that has clearly discernible steam vents, yellow sulphurous streams and some trees and grasses on the periphery.

The weather was very hot and harsh and it just accentuated the hellish feeling of the valley. Our group proceeded on the trail which led us to hot fuming lakes, sulphurous streams, it seem that the name is befitting of the place which makes life almost inhospitable there!

Cameras were up by the dozens, followed by clicks and clicks of the camera buttons as we lapped up pictures after pictures of the scenic valley.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Japan Tour: Toilets


In Singapore, every time I bake a cake, it is such a mundane, dull and unexciting affair, which I complete all within 5 minutes at the very most.

If you do not understand what I mean, ‘bake a cake’ is just an euphemism for moving one’s bowels, now you get it, don’t you?

Why am I writing such a topic? Is it that I run out of topic to write as to stoop to this ‘shitty’ level? Of course not, this post is a continuation of my holidays in Hokkaido, Japan last month, so sit back and enjoy!

I have always heard so much about the Japanese toilet bowl which melds technology with one of man’s basic needs since evolution. Thus in Hokkaido, I was most pleased to witness the first ‘vestige’ of such brilliant toilet bowls in Japan’s airport.

However, my first encounter with the toilet bowl then did not ‘translate into action’. I was starving after having been through tens of hours of flight and coach travel to get from Singapore to Hokkaido. I did not have the ‘prerequisite’ to do my first and special ‘bombing’ on Hokkaido.

On the first night at the Japanese hotel, after a full and hearty buffet dinner, I soon accumulated enough ‘capital’ to do my ‘big business’ in the Japanese toilet bowl in my hotel room and I entered the toilet eagerly.

What followed was a succession of quick and unrelenting ‘bombings’: “POO….BOO….ARGHHHH……OOHHH”

Calm and tranquility soon reigned thereafter.

Why is the Japanese toilet bowl special? To cut the long story short, each Japanese toilet bowl comes with features that help you to wash up after a series of “bombings”.

After I was done with my “business”, I pressed one of the 3 or 4 buttons on the armrest of the toilet bowl valiantly. ‘Valiantly’ is the appropriate word to use as the description for each button is made in Japanese words, there were some pictorial description but I could not comprehend them. After pressing one of the buttons, I waited anxiously for my fate!

A noozle emerged from the interior of the top of the bowl and proceeded to shoot needle-shots of water but it did not reach the targeted area of washing as it went beyond (I later realized it was for washing of women’s sensitive part). So I stopped it with the ‘stop’ button, which I could make out.

I tried another button, this time another nozzle emerged and sprayed its loads of water into the ‘target’ precisely and accurately!

“Wow”, the feeling was indescribable! “Shiok” should be the word used instead! The cleaning did not stop unless you hit the ‘Stop’ button and I also figured out on how to alternate between warm and cold washing water. I never enjoyed moving my bowels as much as here, in Japan!

I also tried exploring the towel bowl further and I realized it is real intelligent. If I were to just stand up and press the washing buttons, the noozles would not be activated! The toilet bowl is smart enough to detect ‘false alarms’.

I have recently completed reading a great book “What would Google do?” by Jeff Jarvis. One of the ideas that was tossed up in the book is for toilet bowls in the future to be so intelligent that within minutes after you move your bowels, the bowl would do an analysis of your waste and advise you on the current condition of your health and the minerals you need to bone up on! This may be reality soon!

I have fallen in love with Japan toilet bowls!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Japan Holiday Tour - Ainu Village

Our Hokkaido tour (of my wife and I) led us to the Ainu Village one fine afternoon. The Ainu people were the aboriginals of Japan though an internet finding by me indicated that they obtained their indigenous people status officially only in 1998. I also learnt that the Ainu people were quite conscious of their status as it was deemed not to be as noble as the other tribes of Japan. The Ainu person on Hokkaido would have escaped modernization if not for the Meiji restoration, which saw Hokkaido opened up for development.


History aside, our visit to Ainu Village was to come up, close and personal with the Ainu people though I also came beyond comfort level with somebody there, read on to find out more!

When our tour group descended on Ainu Village, we were awed and intrigued by the gigantic boulder statue of an Ainu man as well as of other strange but interesting structures. We saw 3 to 4 Japanese dressed in Ainu costumes beckoning to our group, and we followed them into a hut for a presentation.



As the presentation commenced, a young lady dressed in Ainu costume popped out and gave us an introduction of what was to follow in Japanese language, translated to us in Mandarin by our local guide. We were taken on a 20 min cultural ride as tribal dances, tribal singing (solo and individual), musical performance and more lectures of the Ainu culture soon ensued. I was invited on stage to sing and dance along with the Ainu people and I went on stage gamely and belted out many of our ethnic songs which amazed the Ainu people!


Sorry, I did not do that and this stint of mine did not materialize! It was just my wishful thinking to be a Japanese (Ainu) idol! I read somewhere before when Singaporeans are invited to sing before a group when they are holidaying overseas, guess what song they sing? The song is “Majulah Singapura” (Singapore’s National Anthem)! Patriotic sia!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Kobe beef



One of the famous Japanese dishes die-hard foodies must try when they are in Japan is undisputedly Kobe beef!

On the second last day of our Hokkaido tour, the tour guide took our group to a seafood restaurant selling various kinds of seafood, which includes the very popular Kobe beef for lunch.

Of the 21 members of our tour group, there were only 3 groups of ‘takers’ for the Kobe beef and this was understandable as the price tag for a dish of Kobe beef: 10,000 yens, which translates to slightly more than Singapore 150 dollars!

My mind has been hardwired not to spend such astronomical sum of money on food, hence my wife and I did not order Kobe beef. Nevertheless we did pose for a shot with the giant beef plate.

Though we did not order and try Kobe beef, we believed that the beef we partook of during the one of the nights of our buffet dinner is Kobe beef as the beef is really thick, juicy, succulent, yummy and the best beef we have eaten so far!

We ate so much meat in Hokkaido: pork, chicken, fish, mutton, seafood but it is surprising to me that Japanese do not seem to take duck meat as there is none in the buffets throughout our tour.

Do Japanese eat duck meat at all? I did a search on Google, it seems that there are some Japanese duck meat dishes, Japanese eat duck meat it seems. Then the next question to ask is whether the residents of Hokkaido consume duck meat? If they do so, why is duck meat not featured in our buffets?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mount Moiwa, Sapporo

It was already close to 7 pm (Japan time) after our tour group had completed our hearty Ramen dinner at one of the many Ramen stalls in Sapporo. Though night had already fell, the itinery of the day was not over as we would be proceeding to Mount Moiwa to view the spectacular views of the entire Sapporo City!

Mount Moiwa is not a tall mountain in Sapporo as compared to its bevy of taller brethren in
Hokkaido, standing at a height of 531 metres. Despites its shorter height, Mount Moiwa is the only mountain where one can enjoy a spectacular, bird-eye view of Sapporo city!

My wife and I were thrilled to ascend up a mountain of another country and take in the 360-degree views of a city we visited. The other instance we had done so was at Hong Kong, where the whole of Hong Kong island presented itself to us as we admired the city sights from the top of Victoria Peak, which stands at 552 metres, slightly taller than Mount Moiwa. By comparison, Singapore’s tallest hill, Bukit Timah is only 163 metres tall and similarly my wife and I had been on top of Bukit Timah but could not see anything except trees!

As the bus proceeded up the slope of the hill, the lights inside the bus were switched off, creating quite an atmosphere as our tour group glanced at the street sights of Sapporo tilted at an angle as the bus moved on. These sights were fleeting for soon, our views were obstructed by thick vegetation.

It was not long when we reached the top of the mountain and alighted from the bus. It took another 5 minutes to navigate up a steep slope towards the shop on the hilltop and ascending some more stairs before we finally reached the top of Mount Moiwa.

The winds were strong and howling, the temperature was only around ten degrees Celsius, my wife and I were shivering from the coldness despites being decked out in jacket clothing. Just look at these clouds:

What a spectacular sight! The whole of Sapporo, brightly lit-up unfolded itself to us, sparking like a jewel in the night! Even the best vocabulary could not describe the magnificent views! You have to be there to experience the sights yourself!



Cameras were up next, followed by an almost incessant snapping of photos from the group. My wife and I joined others in the queue for a photography shoot by a team of professional photographers. The photographer stood on a tall ladder, carrying out his photography functions, with this, whose photo of the city view beneath could rival his?

We left Mount Moiwa after visiting the souvenir shop and collecting the photo. Sapporo is really a beautiful city!

Back in the hotel, my Dear and I had a quick dinner and bath before indulging in the ‘onsens’ (hot springs!)

The ‘onsens’ were simply ‘shiok’! I could really smell the minerals in the spring water, no joking! It took me just a short time to get used to stripping and to parade stark naked as I walked around, trying the different ‘onsen’ pools, averaging 41 to 43 degree Celsius.

To the Japanese, the intake of minerals and vital vitamins is not only via oral consumption. Hot springs or ‘onsens’ is a method to absorb minerals into the body via the pores. The secrets behind the longevity of Japanese and their radiant complexion could be due to their hot spring rituals and not forgetting great, nutritious and healthy food and water as well as excellent charms of nature! There are 4 beautiful seasons to hold and behold and the climate is moderate and temperate!

I do not mind to trade my job in Singapore for the job of a farmer in Japan, leading a simple, healthy and rustic lifestyle, free of stress and corporate politics and be in touch with nature daily!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Biel -Beautiful mountains of Hokkaido, Japan

Continuing our Hokkaido tour, my wife and I, together with the rest of the tour group, arrived at the picturesque town of Biel one warm afternoon.

Biel is famous for its magnificent fields and plains sloping beautifully complementing one another on the different mixes of colours against the backdrop of majestic mountains, simply breathtaking, it was just like a giant rainbow palette! Just look at the photo below!



My wife and I were thrilled at arriving at one of these farms (not too sure the name of this farm, but believe t is near Tomita farm) and experienced the sights and aroma of the plethora of flowers in a myriad of different colours. My wife and I were particularly attracted to the Lavender flowers, which is famed in the region.



Prior to visiting Hokkaido, I have only paid fleeting attention to Lavender, only knowing that the flower has romantic connotations. Coming to Hokkaido, I was fully enlightened on the usefulness of the flower, how these aromatic flowers are being harvested as ingredients for products.

For example, lavender skin conditioner which will help one remove stubborn dead skin. Lavender pillows promise a good night of sleep. There is also lavender drink I learnt from the internet, though my wife and I did not see it in Hokkaido, let alone try.

On another day of our tour, the subject of interest: Sunflowers! Yeah, we stopped at a large field growing hundreds of large, healthy and beautiful sunflowers! Each sunflower is as big as my face!





With shots and shots taken of these great flowers, we boarded the bus and proceeded to our next destination.

Biei is real beautiful with its myriad of stunning, colourful and magnificent flowers! I never been to a flower paradise as Biei.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Japan Sex


On the last night of our Hokkaido tour, after a frenzied shopping trail trying to cover as much of the shopping malls, streets and sights in Sapporo, the largest city in Hokkaido, my wife and I arrived at Susukino, the largest entertainment as well as red light district in Hokkaido! We stumbled on Susukino innocuously and left with ‘eyes wide open’!

Save for the brightly-lit buildings and neon lights of the billboards of the towering buildings, we found the district a tad dimmer than our Orchard Road or City areas, that was a bit surprising to me as I thought that an entertainment as well as a red light district, even billed as the largest in Sapporo, should look quite bright like our world-(in)famous Geylang red light district.

When you are at Susukino, do not ever think of seeing dozens of young, pretty and sexily-dressed Japanese girls at the roadside, beckoning to you, brazenly and boldly dragging you for a ‘discussion’. No, there are no such things in Susukino and we were briefed by the tour guide that prostitution is not legalized in Japan, hence there exists other ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ of the flesh trade in Susukino as I have learnt (from my tour guide again!)

As compared to Geylang, the red light district scene in Susukino is way too modest and covert, though there are some interesting finds and tell-tale signs of something sleazy, before I go on to that, let me tell you some of the interesting ‘adaptions’ and ‘hybridizations’ mentioned earlier.

First of all, there is something called a ‘cofeeshop’ in Susukino. If you heard of some men telling you that they are going to drink coffee in Susukino, ask yourself whether Susukino is like Brazil, famed for its coffee and cocoa beans. Of course not, these men are going for some special coffeeshops where the customers look at the reflective floor of the coffeeshop which reveal the ‘inside worlds’ of the young waitress wearing tiny dresses serving them coffee.

Then there is a peephole shop whereby men pay to look at the activities of women in rooms via peepholes similar to keyholes. And the final example given by the tour guide is a room with train settings where men enter in to molest the female ‘passengers’ inside the compartments!

Though the flesh scene in Susukino is not as overt as in the other red light districts in the world, including Singapore’s; when I heard the 3 examples of the ‘hybridized flesh trade’ I find that Japanese version is even more crazier or should I say pervertic!



With no ladies of the night in Susukino plying their trade, flaunting their assets openly, what my Dear and I saw were men in black: tall, handsome men dressed impeccably in office wear, topped off with a tie and a black jacket. As it was raining then, each of the groups of 3 or 4 such men stationed at each road intersection of Susukino were waiting with their umbrellas wide open, giving them a larger-than-life aura, and it was little wonder what they were doing.

There was even a shop with some comic books on the front, but it was pure XXX videos on sales inside!


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hokkaido Tour and Fast Food

When my Dear and I were at Hokkaido, the days of our tour flew really fast! There are a couple of reasons for this. First, with Hokkaido being near the north pole, days start early and nights come fast.

When my wife and I woke up on the mornings of our hotel stays around 5.30 am, it seemed dark like in Singapore around this time but as we opened the thick curtains, we were surprised that the skies were already as bright as 8 am, in Singapore! Our six days in Hokkaido passed really fast as nightfall comes around 530 pm as the skies start to get darker.

With a bulk of our tour everyday spent in tour coaches as we got from one place of interest to another, departing from 8 am from the hotel everyday, it is really a blessing that the weather was kind to our tour group on whatever precious little time we had at each travel destination except the last day when it was drizzling.

If it were rainy, some mountain ascents would not have been possible and it would be indeed inconvenient to carry umbrellas and to take photos. Our tour group was lucky! It has been some days since I blog about the lovely tour of my wife and I in Hokkaido as I have been busy with life, how I love our carefree and fun days in Hokkaido when we were treated like Royalty, enjoying and eating like horses!

Alas, the Great days are already over, what I can do now is reminiscence and share with all of you the Great days my wife and I had in Hokkaido as well as working hard to save up money for another Great tour soon! So what am I going to share with you today about Hokkaido?

Well, it has been sometime that I have talked about food in Hokkaido and so today, I will share with you this topic: McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and food in Hokkaido! There are really very few western restaurants the likes of McDonalds and KFC in Hokkaido. Thus my wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find one McDonald restaurant near our hotel on our third night at APA hotel.


Why are we so interested in a common globalized western restaurant which serves food we can eat in Singapore? Well, though the restaurant is globalized, the layout and menu served differs accordingly to the country the restaurant resides in. For example, when I was in Taiwan many years back, their McDonalds has a pork burger on its menu, certainly not a dish to have in heterogeneous Singapore where the McDonald chain of restaurants serve Halal food.
There are only 3 customers in the McDonald restaurant. Apart from the Japanese menu, the layout of the restaurant is different from Singapore’s. The air-conditioned restaurant is partitioned into smoking and non-smoking areas. My Dear and I felt uncomfortable inhaling the cigarette smoke from the few smokers in the smoking areas. There was a large poster showing a burger with an interesting shape with the Chinese word “Fu (4) Huo(2) ” in Hanyu Pinyin.

Throughout my stay in Hokkaido, it was interesting to note some Chinese words used in the Japanese context which would not make sense, take a completely different meaning or become a laughing matter in mandarin context. I knew the poster means to state that the burger on it has made a comeback but “Fu (4) Huo(2) ” really means ‘come back to life’ in mandarin literally! I was hence amused!

My wife and I ordered Chicken Tatsuta. It is a heart-shaped bun, complete with great chicken patties and the taste is unlike what can be found in Singapore. The chicken burger is simply amazing!
More about Hokkaido KFC in the next post as too tired, going to sleep now. Good night!