Thursday, April 19, 2007


お久しぶりです!i'm back from the land of sudoku/salmon/hotsprings!

10 things about hokkaido

1. there are no cherry blossoms in april. wtf.
2. seafood fresh from the ocean. absolutely to die for.
3. eating ice cream while it's snowing is very enjoyable. my mum was so frightened that i would steal the plastic ice cream cones they put on display everywhere.
4. tame foxes are very fat, and SO CUTE!!
5. hotsprings are hot, old saggy people are not. okay seriously though, we had a great time soaking in the water and being so close to nature cos our hotspring was in the middle of some mountains.
6. i like the fact that tatami rooms are so simple (sparse is not the right word, it's more zen than empty haha) and that it's a reflection of their way of life. less clutter, despite some places being so densely populated. very clean cut, straight forward but with a depth about it that's borne from the years of history and tradition.
7. everyone looks so cute in their uniforms! they remind me of lego toy sets, where the people move like clockwork, abide by traffic rules, and wear smart hats to go with crisply ironed clothes
8. not just hokkaido, but the whole country makes you just want to keep bowing! everyone is super polite, the salesperson even comes out of the shop to wave goodbye as your bus drives off. the workers are also mightily meticulous, telling you the price of every single item, even if you buy 20 things. everyone is very happy to serve you, very proud of their work and everything quality-controlled and double/triple checked too. omg. the japanese really have an admirable working attitude. also, you have this irrepressible urge to clean up after yourself when you're in such a clean place. all their roads are spotless despite the snow and heavy traffic in some places, all the hotel rooms are so neat and well stocked. free flow of yukatas =p
9. this really is the land of square cars that save space, vending machines that sell a myriad of knick-knacks, and other ingenius devices - toilets equipped with seat warmers, flush sounds to distract from... other sounds, bidets (or in some hotels with bad english, what they call "rectal washers")
10. lastly. omg, they sell porn everywhere. in convenience stores, there is literally a row dedicated to porn. hoho. the men standing around browsing gave us very amused looks as we tried to take photos of it. haha.

totally random photos below. too bad i couldn't take photos of all the food i ate, all the hotsprings i went to, and all the cute guys i saw (not many la, hokkaido's like the place to especially when you're a retiree)

the only photo i'll explain is this first one and the last one. if you eat at the jap stall at science canteen, you'll notice this fugly creature ornament that the auntie has next to her cash register. she has no idea what it is, but is under orders to clean it and place it there every day. now we know, it's an owl, usually located outside restaurants in hokkaido. and lastly, when we transitted in tokyo, we finally caught a glimpse of sakura!

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