Saturday, February 15, 2014


These cute snowmen were outside of the window of the restaurant at Century Royal Hotel where we had breakfast on the morning of our 3rd day in Hokkaido.  Scattered snow flurries fell from the sky.

I gained 4 pounds during the course of the trip . . .

and this . . . 

 is one  . . . 

of the . . . 

reasons . . . 


After breakfast we met in the lobby at 8:30 am with an overnight bag in hand. The group consisted of 22 very punctual people.  They were all so, so nice . . . I would love to travel with them again.

I forget how long the bus ride to Otaru took . . . maybe an hour?  It didn't seem long at all.

I marveled at the powdery snow.  You could see individual snowflakes as they fell on our jackets.  I wish I coulda taken a picture of the flakes.

So light and fluffy!

This is Otaru Canal.

The snow banks were pretty deep along the sidewalk.

And you couldn't even tell where the street started and sidewalk ended.

At one point it started snowing pretty heavily.

We visited the Kitaichi Venetian Museum containing Venetian glass art and 18th century furniture.   Photography was prohibited except on this floor which held mosaic-type artwork.  Actually, I not even sure if it was okay to take pictures on this floor either, but I did . . . 

These are music boxes that we decorated.  The clock represents the steam clock which stands in front of the Music Box Museum and the panda represents Panda Travel.  From left to right: Sweetie's, Didi's, mine and Geri's.

We visited a music box shop.

Music Panorama1

The glass industry flourished in Otaru from back in the day when glass buoys were made there to support the herring trade.  The result today is numerous glass shops which cater to the tourists.

On the way back to the bus we passed by these crabs.

And a made-to-order oden stand.

But we were saving ourselves for a steak dinner which was planned for the evening.  

We arrived at our hotel for the night, Hotel Nord Otaru, which was across the Otaru Canal, at around 5:00 pm.

Panda Travel treated our group to dinner.  Here are a few of the dishes.



Tomorrow we head back to Sapporo and the Snow Festival.


Leslie's pics said...

yummmmm....making me hungry! The snow is so pretty!

jalna said...

Sooooo pretty, Les. Before this trip I had only been in snow one other time before . . . it was at Lake Tahoe and it was melty, crunchy snow. And this was my first time to see snow actually falling . . . can you believe! How cool izdat!

Kalin's Mommy said...

Aw I sooooooooooo miss Japan!

jalna said...

Me tooooo, Mich!!

K and S said...

ooh we stayed at that hotel in Otaru too!

jenny said...

This looks like a perfect trip so far and it's not even done!

jalna said...

It was a nice hotel yah, Kat. Great view.

It was, Jenny. After only our first day it felt like we had been there for several days because we had already done and seen so much.

SW said...

Love the trip so far and all the pics.. it's like we're travelling with you... the snowmen are all soooooo cute!

jalna said...

Thanks, Shun Wah!

Mark Shelby said...

Totally Awesome Pics!

Why do they still drive on the wrong side of the road....?


jalna said...

Thanks Mark! Ikuko, our tour guide mentioned about driving on the left side. She said that it started from back in the day when samurai who wore their swords on the left preferred traveling on the left side of the road leaving the right side free to face opponents. For real!

Mark Shelby said...

That's really interesting Jalna! Wow!

jalna said...

Awww thanks, Mark.

Nippon Nin said...

When I travel I eat lots too, especially in Japan. All those foods make me jealous. I love to stay in the hotel, looks so nice.

jalna said...

Oh boy, Akemi . . . did we ever eat and eat and eat!!