No reason to rush today as we didn’t have a long drive ahead and we, as usual, had an early start because breakfast is always served early. The sun was out and it was a chilly 10 degrees when we left the guesthouse at 8:30.

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It was still raining in the morning so the scenic route over the Shiretoko pass was a bit disappointing. We followed the coast to Notsuke peninsula, a narrow piece of land with a nature reserve. We waited a while for the rain to clear and then walked 1.3 Kilometers to the boardwalk that allowed us to “walk on water”. On the way back we spotted a few deer and when we drove back we also saw a fox looking for food.

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We had booked a boat tour this morning to takes along the cast and look for bears. Unfortunately, when checking in yesterday evening we were told the tour was cancelled because of the weather. We kind of expected this as we knew it would rain a lot today.

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Today we only had two stops on our drive East. We had to fill up the car for the first time. At most fuelstations someone will pump for you but we we guided away from the pump. When we stopped at the right spot we noticed the pump’s nozzle came down from above us. Using sign language we were able to explain we wanted a full tank. The first stop was Sounkyo Gorge, a Canadian style village, with a ropeway that goes up to about 1600m. There’s a 360 degrees observation platform to overview the autumn coloured area.

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Only a short report today and no photos as we have internet problems at our hotel, the connection reset every few seconds, so I’m on the travelSIM data that will have to last until the end of the holiday.

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We were ready to go at 9 and went to the parking next to the hotel to wentget our car. After we had paid we saw the garagedoor open and our car facing the right direction to drive away. Apparently the garage system turns cars 180 degrees somewhere inside. We loaded our luggage and let Waze guide us out of the city. Contrary to yesterday there was not a lot of traffic but we had to stay alert to drive on the left especially when turning right. For some reason we stayed on the National road with 50 and 40Km/h speed?imits so it took a lot more time to get to Cape Kamui.

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Around 9 we left the hotel and after a short walk we arrived at the Nijo fish market. Different kinds of fish, octopus and crabs on ice are presented in small shops. A short distance away is the top Sapporo landmark, the TV tower. The viewing platform is 90m above Odori park and shows a nice panorama of the city center. Walking west on Odori for a while we turned right to the old government building.

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Our first full day in Sapporo started at 9. We entered the subway station around the corner and made our way to the ticket machine. We selected “English” and quickly got 3 daytickets without asking for help 😉 , another hurdle was taken.

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It took about 24 hours to get here. It started with two trains at 7:30 to go to the airport. The first flight to Helsinki was a short one lasting just 2..5 hours. We then tranfered to a nice Airbus 350 where we had a lot of legroom for change.

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After a few evenings of clouds we finally had clear skies and higher solar activity.