I’m back to write about my trip. This time it’ll be all about Hokkaido! It was different from previous trips in that I didn’t stay in one place the whole time; my family moved from one city to another everyday. It took a lot of energy, but we got to explore more of Hokkaido.
Travelling from Tokyo to Hokkaido was the only bad thing about this whole trip. It was quite plainly the worst plane ride I’d ever experiencedTurbulence is one thing—when the plane has sudden drops several times during a journey, it’s petrifying. And worse when half the passengers go ‘ahhh!?’ at the same time. I sat like a stone for the entire hour and a half (and to think I’d even been the mood for cake when I at the start).
My brother did help me feel less uneasy though; he told me to look out the window and watch the view outside. Domestic flights don’t fly at such a high altitude so it felt reassuring to be able to see city lights
But anyway…thank God we landed in Hokkaido and could start enjoying our trip on safe ground after that. The six days started from there!
We’d arrived in New Chitose Airport, but since all the hotels were full we stayed in the neighbouring city Tomakomai! It’s not exactly a tourist spot so it was a fairly quiet place, but still nice. I walked around for a bit and talked to a few locals while looking for places to eat at! Enjoying the peace of more residential areas is good too, plus getting to interact with people is fun
Omelette rice for a late dinnerWe slept quickly that night haha.
The next day we headed to Jozankei! Since Tomakomai is a fair distance away we got up early to catch the train to Sapporo, and then a bus to the town.
Mame daifuku (mochi with azuki beans) for breakfastI love their chewy texture, especially with the beans. Plus every conbini sells them for cheap, so they’re a really thrifty and affordable snack.
We also had a small cake on the train since it was a long journey.
We arrived in Jozankei after lunchtime! Jozankei is an onsen resort town located in the south of Sapporo. It’s famous for its hot springs, so a lot of locals like to come for a short getaway at one of the many ryokan hotels. There’s a lot of nature because it’s basically a town in the mountains. Which makes it a great place to see the trees changing to fall colours!
Beautiful trees everywhere
The hotel I stayed at was Shika no Yu, a ryokan hotel with a pleasantly traditional interior. It had hot springs and a neat shop that sold a lot of snacks and souvenirs unique to Jozankei. My favourite part was definitely the Japanese style room my family stayed in!
Our room was all soft and thick after the futons were set up
Dinner that evening was buffet-style at this really big banquet hall. I remember being a little awestruck because of all the tables and how all of them had already been assigned to each family with a special appetiserThe interesting thing was that there seemed to be different ‘social classes’—the section my table was in had fish, and when I walked around later I saw other tables that had crab, and another section with lobster haha.
The buffet setup was amazing
Even the tables have little trees on them.
My main tray looked like this.
And shiratami azuki for dessert
It was a filling dinner! It was even better because of how laid-back and charming the whole atmosphere was—a lot of people were in their yukata just before or after going to the baths. My family and I went after dinner
No pictures for that one, needless to say.
But I had a great time soaking in the onsenThe minerals in the spring water must be really good because I think my skin became smoother after that lol.
That was a relaxing end to the day! The futons were so fluffy and inviting that we all fell asleep pretty fast.
Staying in a ryokan was one of the more special experiences I had. It was my first time being in a proper Japanese-style room (hotel, rather) so I was amazed by everything I saw because it was all so traditional and well, Japanese. It’d be nice if I could go back again one day! I’ll write more about the second day in the next post ♪