KonnichiwaGREETINGS from Hokkaido!

As we traveled in Hokkaido free and easy for a week in Hokkaido, now I understand why a friend of mine as well as our family doctor kept
coming back to Hokkaido for holidays!

Here are some of the reasons why…

>>> Hokkaido is Spacious <<<

Hokkaido, being the second largest island in the north of Japan, is roughly 60% the size of Peninsula Malaysia. And yet, the entire population is only like that of Singapore, around 5 million in total. So, can you imagine the amount of space they have?

Just yesterday while walking around Hakodate, the third largest city in Hokkaido, around the size of Singapore, we spotted very few people but long queues of taxis!

Overcrowding? Are you kidding me? We can literally walk in the middle of the roads if we want to 🙂

Hokkaido seafood>>> Hokkaido boasts of Yummy Seafood <<<

Seafood and sashimi lovers like me are in for a treat!

They are fresh and reasonably priced at the morning fish markets in major cities like Sapporo, Otaru and Hakodate… And we got to sample most of the yummy and a little ‘exotic’ seafoods such as:

– King crab: the huge ones cost over USD100 per crab while the average sized ones ranged between USD50 to USD80

– hairy carb: a little easier on the pocket as an average crab costs around USD20 to USD30. There’s a lot of meat and really fresh and easy
to eat! We tried this at Hakodate Morning Fish Market* and it was really nice!

– sea urchin (‘uni’): there’s nothing like eating uni sashimi directly and we managed to savour this delicacy at a sashimi outlet at Otaru

– clam & scallop: we tried the BBQ scallop and sashimi clam at Hakodate Morning Fish Market* and it was really yummy!

– oysters: we enjoyed fresh sashimi at the Sapporo Nijo market**

– cuttlefish (‘ika’): we tried the live cuttlefish at Hakodate Morning Fish Market** and essentially you get to fish a cuttlefish from the
pond if you want and they will prepare the sashimi for you

**Two highly recommended morning fish markets to visit are (1) Nijo market in Sapporo at the end of Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade and (2)
Hakodate morning fish market which is just 100m from the Hakodate JR Railway Station.

Hokkaido cheese cake>>> Hokkaido boasts of other Yummy Foods <<<

– rock melon: sweet and juicy and also pricey! 2 pieces of rock melon averages ¥350 or ¥500

– cheese cake: we savored this at Otaru’s Letao sweet shop as well as Hakodate’s Snaffle at the Red Brick Warehouse

– potato chips

>>> Hokkaido boasts of Excellent Service <<<

– taxi drivers: they are very helpful and loads and unloads our luggage with a smile unlike some we met elsewhere

– hotel service staff: they always have a ready smile and help as much as possible!

– airport service staff: like hotel service staff, they are generally helpful and explain things as much as they could in their limited English

TRAVEL TIP: One hotel that stands out is the one at Hakodate: LOISIR Hotel which is just 100m from the Hakodate JR Station.

>>> Hokkaido has lots of sightseeing and other pleasurable activities <<<

Hokkaido Otaru

– Otaru: visit the canal area (see pic on the right) as well as the many sweet shops there the most famous being LeTao sweets where the cheesecake is heavenly! There is also a Venetian glass museum for those who are keen.

– Sapporo: visit Tanokikoji, the famous shopping street in seven sections as well as the underground shopping (Pole Town and Aurora Town) and don’t forget to visit the Nijo morning market to taste their yummy seafood!

– Furano: see the lavendar farms and taste the lavendar ice cream… as well as visit the colorful flower farms

– Biei: see the most beautiful village houses in Japan there just outside the JR railway station!

– Asahikawa: visit the Asahiyama Zoo and hear the wolves’ howling! The Asahikawa ramen is also famous and very yummy

– Hakodate: visit the Morning Fish Market just 100 m away from the JR railway station and taste live ‘ika’ cuttlefish as well as take the ropecar up to the Mt Hakodate to enjoy an amazing view of Hakodate and the bay, which is considered as one of the top three views of Japan!

– Noribobetsu: enjoy the many ‘onsen’ there plus watch the fireworks during summer!

TRAVEL TIP: Whatever you want to do there in Hokkaido, make sure to book your hotels early as they get filled up pretty fast and the rates can skyrocket (eg. from $200 to $300 or even $500!)