We had kind of a lost day today. We drove to the coastal viewpoint at Onusa. Our car was the only one on the parking lot which was strange. We had to walk 500 metres to the viewing platform were we had a great view of the coast.

(more…)

At 8:30 we were on the road again. The first stop was Lake Towada from where we drove upstream along to the Oirase stream. There are several waterfalls and rapids over a 9Km stretch of road but only a few places to park.

(more…)

As the typhoon moves away the sun was out again although there still blew a hefty wind. We drove North to Takayama Inari shrine. Before we reached the shrine we drove through two very large Tori’s, or big red gates.

(more…)

During the night we heard heavy rain and some wind on the 6th floor of our hotel but in the morning we had this view.

Morning view

Because of the approaching typhoon near Tokyo JR began cancelling high speed Shinkansen trains going to Tokyo. Ours left Hakodate at 9:35 and was going to be the last one to go to the capital. The next one would go to Sendai and all others would just go to Aomori, the first station on Honchu.

(more…)

Not a lot to do today. It was cloudy but still 18 degrees. We just had an outing planned to Onuma park but first stopped at the coastal Shikabe Geyser park where a geyser sprouts up streaming water about every 10 minutes. A short drive later we arrived at Onuma Park. The park consists of many small islands that are connected with bridges. Colour coded walks lead people through the maze of paths.

(more…)

The Sun was out in full force this morning as we started our drive to Hakodate, our last stop in Hokkaido. We made a quick first stop at the Silo viewpoint to have an overlook of Lake Toya.

We then entered the Expressway for the 200 Km drive to the 107m high Goryokaku tower in Hakodate. We had a great view of the city and the fort below.

A short 10 minute drive brought us next to the ropeway’s lower station. We went up to the top with the cablecar for a nice 360 degrees view of the area. Ater the cablecar brought us back down we walked to the nearby old colonial building while passing a Catholic and orthodox church.

We then decended to the restored red brick warehouses that now contain shops. Going back to the parkinglot was a steep climb.

The rain continued throughout the night so after breakfast we stayed in our room for a while checking weather sites. A webcam at Lake Toya showed better weather there eventhough it is only 30 minutes away so we decided it was time to leave. The further we drove the more the clouds cleared and as we arrived at the Nishiyama Crater trail it was sunny. The trail follows the destructive path of the eruption that pushed the area up 75 meters. The local cookie factory, kindergarten and private houses were destroyed as wel as the main road and all infrastructure.

(more…)

When we left the hotel it was already raining. Fortunately we only had one stop and that was after driving 340 Km. We decided to take the toll expressway eventhough speed is limited to 70Km/h most of the time. We already noticed that, although the Japanese seem to stickly keep to the law, they systematically drive 20Km/h over the limit. We try to fit in by setting our adaptive cruise control to 100Km/h and let the car just follow the one in front of us.

(more…)

We started the day with a 1 hour drive to Lake Akan. At 11 we boarded a boat for a lake cruise with a short stop at a smalll island where we saw the Marimo, a unique algae that grows in balls.

(more…)