This is Edmond from Hokkaido Government Representative Office and it is my final day in Hokkaido. The first thing after waking up, is to head out to see the view of Lake Akan (阿寒湖).
Lake Akan is Hokkaido’s fifth largest lake, and the view of Mt. Oakan-dake (雄阿寒岳) from the lake is truly a spectacle to behold. What makes Lake Akan so special is that it shows you a different scenery depending on the season you go and visit it. In winter, as the water freezes, you will even be able to walk across the lake!
Lake Akan with Mt. Oakan-dake in the background
Another view of Lake Akan
After taking a few pictures, I went back to my rental car and drove off towards Lake Onnetoh (オンネト－). By some chance, a fox came up alongside the road as I was driving, quickly I decided to stop and managed to snap a picture of it. Eastern Hokkaido is filled with many wildlife and you are bound to see animals as you drive through one place to another.
Beautiful scenery, along the road to Lake Onnetoh
Fox spotted along the way to Lake Onnetoh
Lake Onnetoh, is a beautiful lake, whereby there are no fishes, but wildlife do exists in the form of foxes, deer and rabbits, which roams the area surrounding the lake. On a clear day, you will be able to see a huge mountain, Mt. Meakan-dake (雌阿寒岳), in the background. I was unable to see the mountain due to the clouds on that day, but instead was greeted by another beautiful scenery. The rays of light from the sun shining through the clouds, created a mysterious yet beautiful scene. This is the true beauty of nature, it always let you see a side of it, when you least expect it to do so.
Time to head further north towards Ozora town and Abashiri. Along the way, I stopped by a road-side station that is selling “Kumayaki”, which is a Taiyaki that is in the shape of a bear. This snack became popular, due to it being cute and extremely delicious.
“Kumayaki” road-side station
After the short rest, I continued driving to Memanbetsu in Ozora town to see the beautiful “Marchen No Oka (メルヘ ンの丘)”. This scenic spot got popular, due to its artwork-like landscape, with rows of perfectly planted plants and trees on the ridgeline. It is definitely worth it to take the time to visit and take pictures.
“Marchen No Oka”
I finally moved on to my last destination of this Hokkaido trip, the “Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum” in Abashiri. “Ryu-hyo (流氷)” means “drift ice” in Japanese and yes, this is a museum that is dedicated to “drift ice”. Firstly, there is an observatory on the top floor, where you will be able to see the entire shoreline of Abashiri. During the peak winter season, you will be able to see the “drift ice” floating all along the coast.
“Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum”
View of the coast from the observatory of “Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum”
Inside the museum, you will be able to watch a documentary about how “drift ice” is formed and get to know about the various marine animals that live below the ice. They even have a special room, where you will be able to experience the coldness of “-15 degrees celsius”. In that room they have actual “drift ice” which they extracted from the oceans and you will be able to feel and touch them. You will find that they are actually as hard as concrete despite just being frozen water. Also, try spinning a wet towel in the room and see how fast it freezes.
Documentary on “drift ice”, showing an icebreaker ship
“-15 degrees celsius” room
“Drift ice” on display in “-15 degrees celsius” room
Towel freezing in “-15 degrees celsius” room
At the lobby area of the museum, do not forget to try the popular “Ryu-hyo soft cream”, which is a caramel flavored soft cream with a topping of blue sea salt, which you will only be able to purchase in this museum. Trust me, it is delicious and worth the money.
The lobby is also decorated with various pictures of landscapes of Abashiri and there is a shop for you to purchase souvenirs to bring back.
Lobby of “Okhotsk Ryu-hyo Museum”
“Ryu-hyo soft cream”
As it is almost time for my flight back, I headed to the nearby Memanbetsu Airport to catch a flight back to New Chitose Airport. At Memanbetsu Airport, I saw a standing sushi bar, where I decided to have my lunch. Eating the local sushi was definitely a nice way to end of my Hokkaido trip.
Sushi chef, making sushi at sushi bar in Memanbetsu Airport
Delicious sushi meal
I boarded my domestic flight and reached New Chitose Airport.
As there was still time left before my flight back to Singapore, I decided to roam around the airport to see the various shops that are available. To my pleasant surprise, there were quite a number of shops and there is even a “Doraemon WAKUWAKU Sky Park” that is catered to children.
Entrance to “Doraemon WAKUWAKU Sky Park” at New Chitose Airport
“Doraemon WAKUWAKU Sky Park” souvenir shop
Shops along departure gates at New Chitose Airport
Various Hokkaido souvenirs on sale at New Chitose Airport
It is finally time for my flight back and I am flying back to Singapore via Scoot! Scoot has flights to and fro Singapore Changi Airport and New Chitose Airport via Taipei. Scoot also has direct flights for this route, with no stopover every year during the winter season, from November to February.
Scoot departure gate counter at New Chitose Airport
Scoot airplane at New Chitose Airport
This concludes the “Discovering the charm of Hokkaido in Nov” series.
My trip to Hokkaido has been a fulfilling one, as it is the first time I have actually seen such beautiful autumn foliage in my life. I myself have travelled to many different parts of Japan before, but if you are looking at just pure nature, Hokkaido has the best to offer in my opinion. I hope to have the chance to visit Hokkaido again to head to Wakkanai (稚内) in the north or Hakodate（函館） in the south.
Please continue to check out Hokkaido Government Representative Office’s blog and Facebook page for more information on Hokkaido food and tourism spots.
Hope to see all of you in Hokkaido!
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