As a child, going to the zoo during summer holidays was always an exciting event. Then, I grew up and this exciting activity was not so likeable any more. Now, I am a mum and I suppose zoo trips are going to be a regular event until my little bub grows up. Recently, we were invited by some of the fellow parents for a trip to the Asahiyama zoo in Asahikawa. The Asahiyama zoo the most famous zoo in Hokkaido. I heard a lot about the Asahiyama zoo and I was keen on revisiting my favourite childhood venture. Its popularity along with an easy accessibility by public transport, makes it a good day trip destination for mum and dads with kids and kids free adults alike.
Otaru is one of my favourite spots for a day tour from Sapporo in all seasons. This old town of Hokkaido is known for its glass works, sushi, ski resorts, and a romantic canal giving it a feel of Venice. However, all this while I never knew about a secret that Otaru holds. It has the largest lily garden in Hokkaido, and probably one of the biggest in the country. The Onze Harukyama Yurien (lily garden) opens only for one short month in summer. In 2013, to attract more business, Snow cruise Onze ski resort in Otaru started this garden. Easy accessibility along with a view of stunning flowers with the Ishikari bay, makes the Onze Harukayama Lily garden, a great site for a quick visit.
The drive to Lake Shikotsu from Sapporo took us through the winding Route 463. The road was sandwiched between skeletons of trees standing on a thin layer of snow and waiting to spring back to life at any moment. The winding road straightened abruptly as we approached the shore of Lake Shikotsu. Driving along the shore, I admired the beauty of Mount Eniwa reflecting in the calm water of the lake. The water in the lake was very clear and I could even see the rock while cruising on the road. Soon we arrived at the Shikotsuko Hot Spring and spent a few hours enjoying a picnic by the lake side. This was my second trip to Shikotsuko and certainly not my last. The proximity of the lake from Sapporo and its natural aura makes it a popular getaway for locals and traveller alike. Find out what you can see and do in Shikotsuko, one of my favourite day trip spots from Sapporo. (more…)
Yoichi, a small coastal town near Otaru is the birthplace of single malt whisky in Japan. Before sipping on pure malt by Nikka, I could never relate “Japan” with “Whisky”. Nikka Whisky is one of the big players in the international whisky market and holds a number of awards in its barrel including world`s best single malt in 2008. Opened in 1934, Yoichi Nikka Whisky Distillery is the first of the two distilleries opened by Nikka . Ever since, this humble place in Hokkaido produces some of the finest whiskies in the world.
Hokkaido has a rather short summer in comparison to the mainland Japan. This is when the mountains and valleys come alive with colourful flowers after being buried under snow for almost 6 months. Hokkadians too come out of their winter cocoon and go out to experience nature’s beauty. Furano and Biei in central Hokkaido are two popular destinations among the locals and tourists in summer. The region is full of beautiful flower fields, impressive landscapes and humble terrains. On one such hot weekend in July, we too went on a day trip to Furano and Biei. (more…)