Journey in winter Hokkaido! – Pair of NTU JAC students, Day 2

We started our morning with a light breakfast at Masuya Pan Bakery.

As we approach the bakery, the smell of freshly baked bread permeated the front door. As we entered the front door, the smell became overwhelming. A selection of both sweet and savoury breads were available for us to choose from, including the classics such as: yakisoba sandwich and melon bun.

Male student: “They really had a lot of breads to choose from, and the staff were very friendly. I love the sugar cream donut that we bought especially much. Honestly, comparing with breads you can get in Singapore, the size of it was huge, one was enough to fill me up for breakfast.”


Masuya Pan Bakery


Various bread available at Masuya Pan Bakery (Male student)

We bought our breakfast and proceed back to the hotel, where we prepared to check out before having our breakfast. When we returned our keys to the front desk, the staff told us that they had a lounge for guests to sit at while waiting for their train. The lounge was sleek and modern, with plenty of space for us to put aside our luggage and have our breakfast.

Male student: “It is indeed a very comfortable place to relax, while we wait for our train.”

Lounge at Hotel NUPKA (Male student)

Since we had some time before our train, we decided to tour the city. First was Rokkatei Obihiro Main Store. This is a shop that specialises in Japanese snacks and sweets. Similar to this, we also visited Ryugetsu Obihiro Main Store.

Female student: “I loved that Ryugestu Obihiro Main Store carried a number of cute looking confectionaries such as rabbit-shaped looking kinako treats and cat-shaped fromage biscuits, all of which make cute gifts for friends.”



Exterior of Rokkatei Obihiro Main Store


Exterior of Ryugetsu Obihiro Main Store (Female student)


Interior of Ryugetsu Obihiro Main Store (Female student)

 


Sweets from Ryugetsu Obihiro Main Store, which the female student fancies

After purchasing some souvenirs from Ryugetsu Obihiro Main Store, we set off to JR Obihiro station to board the Limited Express Super Ozora train bound for Kushiro.

 


Boarding the train bound for Kushiro


Various sceneries along the way

Upon reaching Kushiro, we quickly checked in to Super Hotel Natural Hot Springs, before racing off to Kushiro Washo Market to get our lunch.


Kushiro Washo Market

Male student: “What’s interesting is that the plants here look like that they had a manicure done, the tips of their branches had been painted with a translucent white colour. Looking closer, I saw that ice had formed on the branches! They looked like they were encased in ice!”



Ice forming on the branches (Male student)

The market was packed with stores selling all kinds of seafood. Giant crabs, more giant crabs and even more giant crabs! We had settled to get our lunch from a store called “Kushiro Hokkaido Speciality Seafood Bowl”, which had an extensive range of sashimi on display. The main item we were looking for was the “Kattedon”, which roughly translates to “pick what you wish” rice bowl. The friendly staff had English instructions to guide us on the creation of our own “Kattedon”. First, we purchased a bowl of rice at another shop. The rice came in various sizes from extra small to extra large. Next, we had to select the types of sashimi we wanted.

Male student: “I was ecstatic, it’s exactly as its name suggests. You pick from a variety of seafood to go along with rice. This makes it the Japanese equivalent of Singapore’s vegetable rice. But instead of meat or vegetables, you have all sorts of different sashimi, which made me feel like a little kid in a candy store, definitely spoiled for choice. It was all extremely fresh, and the texture of the fishes was like silk, smooth and soft on the tongue.”

Female student: “I also enjoyed Kushiro Washo Market. I loved how I was able to decide about how much rice and sashimi I wanted and did not have to worry about the rice being too much for me to finish. I loved being able to savour a wide variety of sashimi like shrimp roe, yellowtail belly and whale meat. I like that the staff was friendly and appreciated that there were English instructions that taught us how to put together our own “Kattedon”.



Crabs at Kushiro Washo Market (Male student)



Various seafood at Kushiro Washo Market (Male student)



Photos of Kushiro Washo Market (Female student)


Putting together their “Kattedon”

After our “Kattedon” experience, we had some ice cream – Hokkaido melon and Hokkaido milk. We then made our way to the Nusamai Bridge to catch the sunset. Unfortunately, the fog was too heavy so we were unable to watch the sunset, but nonetheless we still enjoyed the view.


Female student trying Hokkaido melon flavour and Male student trying Hokkaido milk flavor




Nusamai Bridge (Male student)



View from Nusamai Bridge picture (Female student)

Male student: “As the sky got darker, the streets began to glow a wonderful warm orange colour, lighting the city up with a certain charm.”



Night pictures of the streets in Kushiro (Male student)

We chanced upon this place called EGG, or “Ever Green Garden”. A glass dome with the interior filled with green foliage. The evening sky peered past the glass dome, allowing us to savour quite a magical sight from the interior of the dome.

Male student: “Outside was freezing and yet inside we had green trees, warm lighting. It almost feels as if we had stepped into a different world.”



Ever Green Garden (Male student)

Our final stop of the day was Fisherman’s Wharf Moo, where we bought some souvenirs.

Female student: “Fisherman’s Wharf Moo was another place I enjoyed since they carried limited edition LuLuLun masks like honey, lilac, snow, autumn, lavender, and melon. I have only ever seen the lavender and melon masks in Singapore but not the others. As a fan of the LuLuLun series, I knew I had to get my hands on it and bought one box of lilac scented and one box of honey scented masks. I cannot wait to try them once I’m back in Singapore!”


LuLuLun masks, purchased at Fisherman’s Wharf Moo (Female student)



Interior of Fisherman’s Wharf Moo

A claw machine selling crabs was available at Fisherman’s Wharf Moo. The machine featured ACTUAL LIVE crabs. This caught as a surprise to us since this was something we had never encountered before. Despite our curiosity to figure out how the machine worked, we did not dare to try our luck or else we might end up with a crab and not know what to do with it.

 


Claw machine selling crabs at Fisherman’s Wharf Moo

And with that, we returned to the hotel and ended the day.

Please tune in for more of our adventures as we explore Lake Mashu next!

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