Hokkaido was incredible and I want to call out a few highlights that weren’t really mentioned:
- We ate something called Jingisukan (named after Ghengis Khan), which is lamb meat that you cook on this grill on your table. It was delicious. And yes, we are eating mammal on this trip. It’s too hard to avoid in Asia.
- The fall colors. They were just starting to appear, but what we did get to see was worth it.
- Visiting an onsen. Even though it was a little weird, it also wasn’t that bad, and it was definitely a life experience. We were so cold driving around in the snowy mountains and it warmed our souls a bit.
- Every kind of ramen. Sapporo is known for miso ramen, so we had that in Sapporo. Asahikawa is known for shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, so we had that in Asahikawa. Hakodate is known for shio (salt) ramen, so we had that in Asahikawa. Plus, Shawn ate the cheese ramen in Furano. And we had Hokkaido soup curry. We did ramen right in Hokkaido.
Hokkaido was spectacular, but we had to get back on the Gaijin Trail, so to break up the long journey to Kyoto, we stopped over in Hakodate (southwestern Hokkaido) for the night. We explored a little bit, but it was mostly a stopover. We had beer and ramen. We took a trip up the ropeway, which was a bit of a zoo, with a 45 minute wait to get on the ropeway back down.
More on Kyoto soon.