Day 2 – Hakodate, Hokkaido

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We arose at a ghastly 5 am to get to Haneda airport. From here we were headed to the town on the southern peninsula on Hokkaido Island. We flew with Japan Airlines which had great service. It’s interesting how much faster the airport process was just because of their heavy use of technology. We are so behind in Australia. I’ve even rented out a pocket wi-fi that gets internet EVERYWHERE – subways, up on high levels, underground, mountains, countryside etc. To think Australia is still debating over the NBN when Japan has fibre optic already.

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When we got there we picked up our rental car and headed into the city. As we were still too early for check in we headed to Donburi Decision market for lunch. It’s an area full of shops with all of the same thing, hence the suggestion that it’ll be hard to decide. Donburi is a meal consisting of a rice with seafood on top. As I’m allergic to most things seafood I went with the bed of salmon roe.

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Afterwards we went to the actual seafood market. Holy macaroni there was a sea’s worth of seafood here, I can’t fathom any more creatures left in the sea. There was so much contained in one area.

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The green things are fresh wasabi. They’re usually grown around mountain sides in pure areas. Very expensive when fresh.. I got to try it at the Japanese degustation the other night and wow you can taste the difference!

 

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Just hanging out with the squid lord…

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I then did a lucky draw from the Squid lord and I didn’t understand anything but everyone exclaimed WOWS AND OOHS as I apparently picked up the luckiest of luckiest fortunes. I’ll have to get someone to read it to me.

 

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After lunch we caught a tram downtown to the port side of town. Here there were a lot of European influences (such as the tram with wooden floorboards) and architecture that looked a little confused between Japanese and European. There were large areas of gorgeous tectonic (exposed wooden roofs) warehouses that would be very trendy and modern back home in Australia with the whole industrial fascination currently going on.

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Sarumoto Ryouma? I can’t remember.. apparently a very famous revolutionist

 

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Hokkaido draws similarities with Holland – well known for their gorgeous flowers and dairy farming.

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Another seafood market but was more about preserved things. They love their squid.

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We didn’t realise that these were in fact not hats but rather tissue boxes.. oops!

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A gift for my best friend.. inscribed Deena & Deshna

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ごめんね、おじちゃん!

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Tour van…

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Afterwards we headed to an area known for having many different religious churches… I always said that my suburb back at home could be a tour itself as we’ve got mosques, Sikh temple, Buddhist temple, Korean Christian, Chinese Christian, Lutheran, Anglican.. etc.

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Then we caught the Hakodate Ropeway to get ourselves to the top of Mt Hakodate. The view was absolutely stunning. We stayed here until at least 6:10pm as that was the recommended time of most beautiful viewing. It was gorgeous, the sun was providing enough light to see yet dark enough to let the city lights peep through.

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We then came home to enjoy sashimi, sukiyaki and shabu shabu. It was so amazing, this trip has turned into a food tour but I’m not complaining!

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Heritage buildings have no nails or steel infrastructure. They simply just use wooden pegs. I saw this on my walk home and was just absolutely mesmerised. It is truly great architecture or engineering.

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At the seafood markets I bought a pea-sized marimo. Marimo is a type of moss ball that grows only in two lakes that have the purest water to accommodate for it. They keep growing larger in the right conditions as you can see below. They are just so cute!

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In Japan they love cartooning everything. Most cities, areas or meanings have a character to go with it – the one below is Marimo-ko resembling the moss balls above. I don’t know where it is meant to represent but I just could not stop laughing at the extra ‘marimo’ to signify it’s gender. It’s seedy eyes don’t help the creepy factor haha.

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