Eating my way around Hokkaido – 4

Here’s number 4 in my posts on Eating my way around Hokkaido. This time, I’m focusing on the food places that I went to with my shared house mates.

Butadon Ippin [十勝豚丼いっぴん]

One of the great things about staying at our shared house was meeting all the different people. Luckily, most of us got along really well. So a big group of us went out for dinner one night at this pork rice bowl restaurant called Kotachi Butadon Ippinor 十勝豚丼いっぴん in Japanese. It’s a chain of restaurants in Hokkaido specializing in just pork rice bowls.

Butadon Ippin in Sapporo’s Higashi Ward

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Merry Christmas with cups of good cheer

Christmas Day has come and I finally get a few days off. I will probably finish my Japan posts soon. It always seems to take half a year to finish blogging about a big trip. I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading about my travels and my occasional punditry on things that interest me. For now, here’s a few cups of good cheer from a variety … Continue reading Merry Christmas with cups of good cheer

定山渓 Jozankei – Onsen Day Trip

Apart from our first night at Chitose Airport, we hadn’t been to an onsen during the month in Hokkaido. We had discovered that there was a nearby onsen resort town called Jozankei (定山渓). The first time we heard about this place was through the lovely green mascot below.

the Jozankei kappa mascot

That cute green mascot, my friends, is a kappa. Kappas are supernatural frogs of Japanese folklore. This particular kappa is using her powers of cuteness to reel in customers to the Jozankei onsen area. Just look at the wooden tub that she has to carry around with her to protect her modesty.

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The transit referendum. Coming 2015 to your mailbox.

a black MKII SkyTrain at Nanaimo Station

Oh has my social media ever lit up with transit referendum news. Here’s the upcoming referendum question coming to your mailbox in 2015.

Do you support a one half percentage point (0.5%) increase to the Provincial Sales Tax in Metro Vancouver, dedicated to the Mayors’ Transportation and Transit Plan, with independent audits and public reporting?

  • Yes
  • No

And here are the projects slated to be covered by the 0.5% regional sales tax increase:

The transportation referendum will give Metro Vancouver residents the opportunity to vote on a potential funding source(s) for proposed new transportation investments to manage congestion, support 1 million more people living here and keep everyone moving, including:

  • better service on existing SkyTrain and bus routes
  • new LRT and SkyTrain lines in Surrey and Vancouver
  • new rapid bus routes throughout the region
  • replacement of the Pattullo Bridge
  • more frequent SeaBus and West Coast Express, and
  • safer pedestrian and cycling routes

More details about the projects are on Mayor’s Council website.

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Eating my way around Hokkaido – 3

Time for the third installment of Eating my way around Hokkaido. 

Afternoon dessert at the Sapporo Sweets Cafe

I heard about this wonderful underground dessert cafe on YouTube just before I left for Sapporo. Somebody had posted an entire episode of Journeys in Japan featuring Sapporo. The Sapporo guide for this episode is a fellow Canadian, Isis, who moved to Sapporo many years ago and is now a DJ and a TV show host.

My wife and I ended up going one afternoon after classes with one of our classmates. We had a free afternoon and I had wanted to visit the Sapporo Sweets Cafe. I had a little trouble finding the place. The underground city in Sapporo is quite large and all the shops seem to look the same. When I could finally find a WiFi hotspot, we were able to locate exactly where the Sweets Cafe was.

Desserts at the Sapporo Sweets Cafe

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富良野 Furano – the Blue Pond, More Flower Farms, and Shops in the Forest

After being awed by the lavender fields of Farm Tomita, we were on our way again. However, I had no idea what our next stop was. I don’t remember ever receiving a travel itinerary. We were in the hands and at the whims of our two accompanying teachers from Hokkaido Japanese Language School. It turns out that our next stop on our highway coach field trip was to the Blue Pond, or Aoiike (青い池).

the Blue Pond

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富良野 Furano – Farm Tomita

Hokkaido is famous for a few things. Hokkaido is the bread basket of Japan with farms covering much of this northernmost island in the archipelago. So Hokkaido beef and dairy are all famous products. Hokkaido is also well known for its cold and snowy winters. However, Hokkaido is also famous for its beautiful fields in the summer. In Furano, the area is famous for its colourful lavender fields that cover several farms’ fields. These lavender fields are also partly the reason we chose to spend a month in Sapporo. We were only a one-day trip away from the beautiful fields of purple.

furano map

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