Saturday, September 17, 2016

Noboribetsu - Hokkaido (Day 3)

Time for a hot shower, time to pack, time for breakfast and time to depart from Hilton Niseko Village to Noboribetsu the next morning. Breakfast was wonderfully satisfying. Plenty to tuck into (Chitose & Hokkaido Day 1), the one I loved the most was porridge alongside the spicy and salty condiments. Incredibly a pleasurable breakfast for a typical Malaysian like me, to end my meal, I couldn’t resist the simply irresistible “Made In Hokkaido” desserts. Washed down with another helping of hot coffee, I then dashed through the massive snow to hurriedly hop into the coach. Literally trembling to my bones despite bundled up in multiple layers, thank god, I bounced back to warmness once the journey started. 
Much needed was the short comfort break along the way to use the loo and also to grab a hot coffee prior to arriving in Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura Village (Century Sultanhani Carasvanserai Turkey & Cambodian Village Siem Reap)  - a 25 year old theme park set in the natural beauty of Hokkaido and one of the most attractive era in Japanese history. Highlighting the Edo Period (1603-1867) when Emperor Meiji took power of Japan by ending the Samurai controlled Shogunate rule and naming it Edo, the old name of Japan which became the capital of Japan during this era.  

As we walked into the lovely and clean park, simultaneously we viewed the distinctive historical structures and landscape and lingered around to capture some shots. Later, we entered the quite dark/gloomy Ninja Maze/House which resembled a hammer house of horror. At the point of stepping into one of the rooms, we were literally caught off guard. Not only the panels started twisting, we felt as though the floor was slanting sideways. If not for quickly holding on to each other, I bet we would have tumbled down. Quite an experience actually. 

Carefully making our way out of house, I especially ran to the nearby wooden hut for the warmth from the kerosene lamps. Dear me. Winter in Hokkaido is death deifying. Just wondering how on earth people actually withstand such a weather? Honestly, I almost died. Anyhow, regaining my composure, within the next 20 minutes, we were already in the theater for the winter limited action packed and loud Samurai show. Sure, a thought-provoking swordplay. Initially I was all excited. However boredom soon kicked in. I didn't know what was going on. How can I possibly understand Japanese language (Water Puppet Show Vietnam)?. So, I was more interested looking at the audience who seemed fixated to the stage.

Once the show ended, we followed the line of people to another theater where we sat on the floor for the Oiran show. Fairing a whole lot better compared to the sword brandishing samurai show, Oiran show injected with fun and laughter depicted the Edo social life – Oiran concubines, merry making and production elements coupled with audience participation.

Struggling to stand up after 40 minutes as by then my legs were cramped up, lunch was next at the close-by restaurant. Back again to another piping hot and cook yourself steamboat, it was all the way self service even for the porridge, rice and drinks. 

Steamboat supposedly is the Japanese way to keep warm during winter, I actually preferred the cooked with seaweed porridge. Simple yet satisfying. After tucking in, I stood outside the restaurant as I badly needed the sunshine.Thereafter, we journeyed to the Bear Park (Lion Park Johannesburg) in Noboribetsu Onsen-cho. As I walked a distance from where the coach stopped, I started trembling. Still, one way or rather, I made it in one piece to reach the 550 height mountain top via the cable car and up the 20 stairs. But I backed off from seeing the different species of bears in the open area, not even for picturing. Instead I dashed into the indoor "Brown Bear Museum" - the only bear specialist museum (Edvard Greig Museum Bergen, Ho Chi Minh MausoleumWar Remnants Museum Vietnam, Western Australian Museum Perth & Cheng Ho Museum Malacca) in the world, housing 500 pieces of theme exhibitions between the varying specimens of bear's biological and historical information. Not at all a regret. Quite a knowledgeable experience. Also, for a lovey-dovey moment with my other half, away from the rest who over-looked this museum. 


Two hours at the bear park, on the way to the next hotel, we stopped at a hypermarket (Fremantle Market) for retail therapy. I bought a few boxes of chocolates for my family whereas the others shopped frantically mainly on food stuffs as well (The Fish Market BergenGrand Bazaar Istanbul & Damnoen Saduak Floating Market).

Indeed, a mild jump start to shopping with more lined up as the days goes by, at about 7.00pm, we were already in Hotel Maharoba. Upon checking into our Japanese style room, we couldn't help but wonder if we will be sleeping on the bare floor. I mean everything was there except for the bed. Eventually, the tour guide calmed us down. The traditional Japanese bedding/Futon comprising of a quilted mattress will be laid when we return to the room after dinner. Oh, what a relief!. Now, the other concept in this hotel is wearing a kimono for dinner. Not something we were really keen on, but I guess going with the flow is part and parcel of travelling. 

And dinner? Perhaps one of the best seafood buffet so far for us, the main highlight obviously had to be the steamed huge crab legs and crabs compared to the raw cuts, desserts and other Japanese dishes. We have never been the pigging out kind, so, we eat so little, but watching fellow buddies gawking non-stop and messing their tables was alarming. They certainly were getting their money’s worth, unlike us who soon quietly left to the lobby to use the free wifi.

While there were a few takers for the onsen bath, we didn't dare. No way. Although we are liberal and open minded, nude bath even amongst our own kind, no matter what, is out of the question. Instead I returned to the room at about 11.00pm whereas my other half had earlier joined his one big happy family male drinking session. 

More on lifestyle at Navakris.    


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  1. You rock the coat, great place to tour and delicious food awesome pictures especially the one of you with the bear its my favorite.

  2. What a beautiful place....!! and yummy foods...! u r so lucky to travel this much places dear...! and nice write up..!

  3. Loved reading abt ur travel journey.. sometimes food like porridge is something u wud love more than the usual food we eat..

  4. Totally in love with your colourful outfit, babe! I enjoy seeing Geisha's performance too. My legs will probably get cramps in just 20 mins. Hahaha! xoxo

  5. Beautiful place and food looks inviting

  6. Food looks so delicious! The patterns on the plates and bowls are unique too. Wouldn't I love to own them all!!:)


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