We’re officially in love with Hokkaido. Everyone should come here, twice. On second thought, one thing we loved was the feeling like we’d gotten off the Gaijin trail. We only saw a few white people in the several days we spent around the parks and onsen villages. So stay away! Most western tourists probably only make it to this island for the famed ski resorts, not for the national parks, like amazing Daisetsuzan.
We’ve been using Asahikawa as a base to venture into the mountains with our little Mazda rental car the past few days. I’m grateful I had an automatic, because driving a manual while also driving on the left side of the road would have been a lot to keep track of. It turns out you’ll be in the snow after a 1-hour drive up the mountain.
Due to the total white out in Asahidake, and the 3,000 yen per person price tag, we skipped the cable car and sought out an onsen to soak in instead. No photos of this, of course, since it’s fully nude and separated by gender. I spent the entire time in the outdoor bath, which was getting a welcome dusting of snow and had amazing views of the valley and river below.
After our soak, we headed to Furano for dinner. Along the way, we stumbled upon this gem, Shikisai Hills flower farm.
Finally, we ate cheese ramen. And by “we”, I mean “I”, because Amanda had miso ramen instead. It was good and definitely unique, but wouldn’t be my go-to bowl of ramen if I was craving one.
More to come later on our second day with the car in the national park.