Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

January 11, 2011

On to Hokkaido

Filed under: Skiing — Tags: , — admin @ 11:23 am

Arrived in Furano.

I am so tired. My eyelids are drooping and my shoulders feel like the weight of the world is upon them. My head feels heavy and I am almost numb. But enough whinging, let us get on with the story!

Where did I leave you last time? Oh, that is right, at Cairns airport. I got on the plane and flew onwards over New Guinea and Guam to Osaka and touched down about 7pm. It was cold when I got there. Lucky I had my jacket with me. I think it was about +4C. I jumped on the airport bus to Kobe Sannomiya and caught a taxi to the hotel. The cab driver did not have a clue where it was and was driving around looking for it. I stayed at the Kitagami Hotel, a couple of blocks away from the Sannomiya Station. It is a really nice hotel. And they had a Toto Washlet, I think that they are called bidets in English.

Toto Washlet controls
Toto Washlet bidet controls. Note the symbol for “Back”

In the morning I got the Portliner to the Kobe Airport and jumped on the Skymark plane to Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido. ( Did I tell you I was going to Japan? ) Skymark are fantastic, they really treat you good. I like Japan, well I actually love it. The people are so nice and helpful and friendly. It makes me feel good. Kobe to Sapporo took about 2 hours then the nice people at Skymark bumped me to an earlier flight so I just jumped on the early plane to Asahikawa instead of waiting 3 hours for the later one.

Sapporo Airport
A big jet taking off behind us at Sapporo Airport

The plane was nearly empty, only about 20 people all up. Here is the poor flight attendant doing the routine for about 5 of us up the back.

Plane to Asahikawa
Safety Routine on the flight to Asahikawa

Nearly all of Hokkaido that I saw was covered in snow. All the fields and everything was white. It was like a fairy wonderland or something.

Hokkaido Fields
Fields of Hokkaido

Touched down in Asahikawa and got on the Lavender-Go bus to Furano. They have this incredible ticketing system on the bus where you get a number when you get on and then pay according to whatever number stop you get off at. It was brilliant. Such efficiency and innovation blows me out. The poor old bus driver could not understand my map that I showed him where I wanted to get off, but he put me off at the right spot and I walked up the hill to the hostel and booked in.

In the afternoon I went to the supermarket and was bug-eyed at all the remarkable Japanese food. I had no idea what most of it was but had a good look at all the different produce. I just bought some noodles, bok choy, carrots and bread and I will suss out all the exotic foodstuffs at a later date. I got my ski pass, and the skis are ready to go, my clothes are all out ready to be worn, so tomorrow will be a ski day. I am going to take it easy but.


  1. hey steve it sounds fantastic…awesome hope you have some excellent skiing ahead…cheers from iz in oz…by the way woodford was great but very muddy and wet…fully enjoyed the woodford vibe…a great new year countdown at bluestown…

    Comment by issi brent — January 12, 2011 @ 9:11 am

  2. Well this sounds just fantastic! Can’t wait to hear a report on the snow & the new skis!

    Comment by Linda Rockwell — January 12, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

  3. Thanks Issi. Maybe I will make it to Woodford next year. I will have to remember.

    Thanks LInda. just about to post my first days skiing report.

    Comment by admin — January 13, 2011 @ 12:37 am

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