Eastern Hokkaido Trip from 29 May to 12 Jun 2018

This is a long awaited family trip that I have been looking forward to. The last time we had a long family trip was more than a decade ago. You can imagine the excitement that I am about to embark on.

Previously, I have covered the southern part of Hokkaido back in 2016 and then the northern part in 2017. This time round, with the covering of the eastern part, I would have completed the entire Hokkaido.

For this trip, I will be covering Obihiro, Kushiro, Shiretoko, Shibetsu, Kitami, Asahikawa, Otaru before spending time back in Sapporo.

Getting there this time round will be via Thai Airways to New Chitose Airport, Sapporo. This is my first time trying out this route and I managed to get a very good airfare at $600 for return ticket. It certainly helps when travelling with a family of 5. 😎

The adventure starts with a tummy warm up at the Plaza Premium Lounge prior to my flight departure.

I have to take a red-eyed flight with a 1.5 hrs layover at Bangkok. Surely, it has to be an exciting flight and before I knew it, I am already on my connecting flight bound for New Chitose Airport.

It was an uneventful flight as usual and I arrive into New Chitose Airport at the scheduled local time at 08:30 hrs.

Immediately after clearing immigration and baggage collection, I headed to the Nippon Rent A Car pick up counter on Level 1 at the Domestic Terminal (where I made prior reservation http://www.nrgroup-global.com/en) to pick up my rental car, Toyota Alphard for this road trip.

Upon registration, there will be a shutter bus to fetch you to the car rental company which takes about 7 to 8 minutes from the airport.

As usual, did my routine car check and quick familiarisation after car collection before departing for my first destination to Obihiro which is about 2.5 hrs drive from New Chitose Airport.

The journey starts…….

While enroute to Obihiro, embark on our first snack break at one of the pit stop.

Enjoying our fried hotdog, fried chicken, tornado potato skewer and a cone of Hokkaido milk ice cream.

Thereafter continuing our journey to Obihiro for the long anticipated Butadon (Pork Rice Bowl). It is also known as the Home of the Butadon.

In Obihiro, Butadon is one of their signature food item and one of the highly recommended restaurant will be none other than Pancho Butadon in Obihiro downtown which happens to be right opposite the hotel I am staying.

It is definitely a must to pay homage when you are at the Home of the Butadon. 👍👍👍

The restaurant is focussed and specialises in Butadon. So, on the menu, you only have a choice of either 4, 6 or 8 slices of pork to choose from. It is definitely a no-brainer to go for the 8 slices when you are here.

As it was still early for my hotel check-in, went on to recce the surrounding area and pop over to the nearby JR Obihiro Station for rounding. Obihiro is a quiet city and certainly a relaxing place to be in, especially away from the bustling city that we used to be in.

I am staying over a night at APA Hotel Obihiro Ekimae which is near to the JR station.

After checking-in, decided to spend the rest of the afternoon at AEON Mall. There are lots of food lining up the mall shouting for attention. Finally, settled for a lka Okonomiyaki at the foodcourt after much struggling.

Dinner was at Hamazushi, where most sushi are going at 100 Yen a plate.

Our accomplishment…😋😋

That marks an end to Day 1. After a red-eyed flight, needed a good night rest to be ready for the next day adventure.

Waking up to a wet and cool Day 2 morning. This morning, will be going to the Ryugetsu Sweetpia garden followed by Lake Shikaribetsu before checking in at Hotel AreaOne Kushiro for another night.

What other way than to have a good breakfast at Sukiya upon check-out.

Grilled Salmon & Pickled Veggies Breakfast Set


Teriyaki Eel Bowl with Beef

Rice & Spicy Pork Curry with Beef & Soft-Boiled Egg

Fried chicken

Green Onions

Soft-Boiled Egg

Next up, proceed to Ryugetsu Sweetpia Garden, a truly Hokkaido representative confectionery selling all kinds of sweets. Definitely you will be spoilt for choice either shopping for souvenirs or for self consumption.

You can even take a short tour of their factory to see the confectionery production.

This time, they happen to feature their limited edition cheese cake at their cafe and needless to say, got to check it out without fail.

Oh mine…..the cheese cake is simply awesome and you will be blown off with the first bite. Yum yum… 😋😋😋

Enjoying the beautiful garden outside of their building before driving off to Lake Shikaribetsu.

Lake Shikaribetsu (然别湖) is a freshwater lake located about 40km north of Obihiro City. It is located at the level of about 800m and is the highest lake in Hokkaido. It is about 98m deep, 4km long from north to south, 1 to 2 km wide and is surrounded by the mountains as much as 1,000m high.

It is indeed a secluded place to be in for relaxation and away from city living.

Snacking at Lake Shikaribetsu’s cafe.

One for the road Butadon though different style from the champion pancho butadon. Anyway, it is still tastily good. 😉

Hot Soba with Tempura

So much on Lake Shikaribetsu, it is time to move on to Kushiro which is another 2.5 hrs drive. Decided to catch a late lunch at Kushiro Washo Market (和商市场).

Kushiro Washo Market is near to JR Kushiro Station.

This flopping-fresh fish market is the place to stop for a delicious sushi or sashimi.

Proceeded to check-in at Hotel AreaOne Kushiro after a satisfying meal. Upon settling down, took the opportunity to drive around the city.

Chanced upon a huge Daiso outlet and before I knew it, I was out with handful of tidbits and some household items.

Dinner was at Bikkuri Donkey which is across Daiso. It is liken to be that of Saizeriya & Victoria.

Sliced Steak, I must really give credit to this steak. It’s so tenderly juicily good.

Hamburger with spaghetti

Japanese Tofu Salad

Grilled Squid with Mayonaise

Cheese Sauce Fries

Margherita Pizza

I must admit, the food quality is without a doubt and every dish is so deliciously good.

What an eventful Day 2.

Greeted with a bright and sunny Day 3.

Started the day early by visiting the Kushiro Fishermen’s Wharf MOO (Marine-Our-Oasis) for picturesque. Followed by an awesome fresh seafood breakfast at the Kushiro Washo Market.

What is uniquely special in this seafood market is their “Katte-Don” literally meaning you get to pick and choose & concoct your favourite sashimi on rice.

There are 2 simple steps, first you need to purchase a bowl of sushi rice

and thereafter find any seafood stall that you fancy and select your seafood item to go with your rice.

Here you go, my mouth-watering breakfast masterpiece…

and fresh sashimi too…

Since I am at the freshest seafood market, it is a no-brainer to go for their Hokkaido Crab too. ☺

You get to pick your live crab and they will steam it within 30 minutes for your consumption. 现买现煮现吃。超新鲜。一个字”棒”。

There it goes from live to steam. 😎

With a happy belly, time to depart Kushiro for Lake Mashu while enroute to Iruka Hotel at Shiretoko, the eastern most tip of Hokkaido.

Enjoying a quickie lunch over at the Lake Mashu Observatory Cafe.

Lake Mashu is a caldera lake in Akan Mashu National Park. It vies for the position of “clearest lake in the world” and is considered by many to be Japan’s most beautiful lake.

More beautiful scenic views from the Lake Mashu 3rd Observatory deck.

Passing by Oshinkoshin Falls, a spectacular waterfall just next to the coastal main road from Shari to Utoro.

The waterfall is also nicknamed “Sobi no Taki”, meaning twin beauties waterfall as the stream is split into 2 visible falls. Oshinkoshin Falls is being designated as one of Japan’s best 100 waterfalls.

Reached Iruka Hotel after about 3 hours drive. Iruka Hotel (Dolphin Hotel) in Utoro, is a casual hotel and restaurant with an ok view of the sea. Utoro is the largest and only sizeable town along the western coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula, Shiretoko Natural World Heritage.

After check-in, drove to the town area for an early dinner at Oomiya-Shoten. Ordered their curry udon, hot soba with veggies and seafood curry rice.

As the weather still permits, decided to visit Shiretoko Goko Lakes. Shiretoko Goko is a group of lakes and wetlands that dot the northern side of the Shiretoko Range. The area is a basin of undulating topography that was formed by collapsed slopes and landslides from an eruption on Mount Io some 3,700 years and later filled with water. All 5 lakes are but 2 to 3m in depth and are not fed by any rivers, but water is supplied by underground springs so the lakes never run dry.

The picturesque view of the lakes situated against the Shiretoko Range are one of the most spectacular landscapes on the peninsula.

So much for Day 3. Ended the day with a simple supper from Seicomart, a local convenience stall.

Waking up to another bright and cheerie Day 4 morning.

Enjoying the morning views from the hotel. This morning, will be exploring around Rausu Town & Shibetsu Town through Shiretoko Pass.

Arrived at 1st stopover, Shiretoko Pass after half an hour ride.

Shiretoko Pass is located at the top of the Shiretoko Highway between Utoro and Rausu that crosses over the mountain range at an elevation of 738m. This highway is popular among drivers during summer and views of snow that still remains at the end of July are impressive.

After enjoying the magnificient view from the mountain top, time to descend to Rausu. The Shiretoko Peninsula sticks out like an angry finger into the icy waters of the Sea of Okhotsk on the map. Rausu sits on the eastern coast of the Peninsula, 20km from the tip of the finger. Rausu draws people for many reasons. Nature enthusiasts come during the summer for whale watching and to catch sight of the brown bear as well as sika deer and foxes.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I only manage to catch sight of deers and foxes while driving through the mountain ranges. ☺

Settled my lunch at a small eatery outlet near the coastal area.

Sashimi set – the seafood are really fresh from the sea

Flounder set – the fish meat is so tenderly cooked

Crab and sea urchin set – super generous with the amount of crab meat and sea urchins given

Fish that look like unagi set – the fish meat is grilled to perfection

It is definitely value for money and food quality is superbly fresh. Oishi desu. 👍👍👍

Proceeded to visit the next attraction, Shibetsu Salmon Park.

Bonus scenic shots along Route 335 while enroute from Rausu to Shibetsu.

Shibetsu Salmon Park is found in Shibetsu Town, which boasts one of the largest salmon catches in all of Japan. This park is child friendly and you can see parents bringing their children here to have a day of family outing fun.

After having fun in the park, headed to the nearby cafe for a quick snack break before continuing with the last attraction of the day by making a visit to Furepe Waterfall.

Made a brief stop over at Kumanoyu Hot Spring. Here you will see many locals coming over for a hot spring bath in the open.

Furepe Waterfall can be reached in a pleasant twenty minute walk from the Shiretoko Nature Center, which provides information and exhibits about the national park, as well as a restaurant and souvenir shop.

The nature trail leads from the nature center through the forest and then over grassland to an observation deck on top of the cliff with views down onto the waterfall.

View of the Furepe Waterfall from the observation deck.

Can you spot the light house across the cliff?

Furepe Waterfall drops down a steep cliff into the Sea of Okhotsk on the spectacular western coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula. The waterfall is fed by ground water, which surfaces just at the top of the waterfall, meaning there is no visible river leading to it.

It has been a great & fun filled day. Time for a well deserving dinner back at the Iruka Hotel.

The Ocean View restaurant serves primarily pizzas. Their pizza is made with fresh wheat dough and hand-tossed.

Interestingly, due to the size of their oven, only 3 pizzas can be made at only one time.

Ragout of venison from Shiretoko (Rated #1) – tomato sauce, deer meat, onion, soft-boiled egg & mixed cheese

Margherita – tomato sauce, tomato, basil leaf & mozzarella cheese

Hokkaido sausage

Pepper chicken

Hokkaido potato gratin

Chocolate Banana dessert pizza

View from the restaurant before nightfall

View after nightfall

A nice moment to mark an end to Day 4.

A bright and sunny Day 5 awaits. Checking out of Iruka Hotel and leaving Utoro for Kitami for my next 2 nights.

Making my way to Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park on my first pit stop.

Arrived at Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park after about 2 hours drive.

Re-fuelling at one of the food kiosk inside the park before exploring the park.

Higashimokoto is famous for its beautiful scenery of Shibazakura (Moss phlox) in Hokkaido that widely spread in the park just like a huge pink carpet. Moss phlox means “grass cherry blossoms” because it is like a little cherry blossoms blooming on the ground. Shibazakura has variety of colours including light pink, red, light purple and white.

The view from the observatory on the top of the hill is so magnificient and you will feel like you are on the pink sea. Best season to visit Higashimokoto to see the beautiful scenery of Shibazakura is from middle of May to the beginning of June.

After the park visit, swing over to Highland Koshimizu 725 which is just about half an hour ride away.

Highland Koshimizu is located in 725m high just like the name and you can see Lake Kussharo from a distance.

You will get to see a lot of hikers coming to trek in this highland with the guided paths.

Thereafter, visited Hogaja Factory in Koshimizu.

Visitors can come here for an educational tour on their fried crackers production and you can get to buy snacks too in their store.

Interestingly, they are super generous in providing sampling of their crackers and you can literally sit there and munch at their various fried crackers sampler and enjoying a cup of self-made coffee from the coffee machine.

It is time to bid farewell and make my way to Kitami.

While enroute, came across an eatery shop alongside of road and decided to stop over for lunch before continuing with my journey.

Had a great lunch of tonkatsu curry rice, cheese pasta, tomato pasta and gyoza.

I will be staying over at the Hotel Crown Hills Kitami for the next 2 nights.

Immediately after check-in, drove round the Kitami area for familiarisation. Came across AEON Mall Kitami along the way and went over to spend some time there.

Enjoying a light snack of Tako Ball and Yakisoba at the AEON food court.

Dinner was at one of the nearby Yakiniku Restaurant.

The marble beef is superbly delicious and melts in your mouth type. This is certainly another satisfying meal without a doubt.

That’s all for Day 5.

Waking up to a super hot sunny Day 6 morning. From the morning news reported, today and tomorrow will be the hottest day in Hokkaido experienced with temperatures up to 31 degrees celcius.

Enjoying a complimentary traditional Japanese breakfast served at the hotel prior to starting the day.

1st attraction of the day will be to Lake Akan.

Lake Akan is a beautiful crater lake in Akan Mashu National Park. It is home to marimo, a rare algae species that forms itself into beautiful green balls. The algae have been designated a National Special Natural Monument.

Enjoying the beautiful lake view.

Followed by a leisure stroll along the streets of Akankohan, which is the only town around the lake.

Next attraction will be Ainu Kotan, a small Ainu village in Akankohan (少数民族) which is basically a street lined by souvenir shops specializing in Ainu handicrafts.

Managed to catch the live performance of the Ainu Traditional Dance at the Ainu Kotan theatre for this trip of mine.

Unfortunately, no photography is allowed in the performance. So you can read from the brochure on the play.

From here, the 3rd attraction will be Kitakitsune Bokujo (Fox Farm).

A compact wildlife facility with a variety of fox species in the open ranch where they wondered about freely and you can get up close & personal with.

Recharging at the nearby rest stop before heading back to Kitami.

Spent the rest of the afternoon shop hopping along Kitami area before ending back up at AEON Mall for a quick munch break.

Had a nice gyoza at 王将.

Dinner was at Steak & Hamburg which is directly across AEON Mall before calling it a night.

Miya roast steak with miya sauce – their #1 in popularity

Roast beef don

Cheese Hamburg with steak soy sauce

Five types of sausage

Onion ring

The food, especially the beef is so power!

Starting Day 7 with a great morning breakfast prior to hotel check-out.

This morning, we will be travelling down from Kitami to Asahikawa which is about 140km away.

Made a couple of stopovers along the journey. 1st being Ryusei & Ginga Waterfall. These waterfalls are part of Daisetsuzan National Park. It is located in Kamikawa district, Sounkyo, Hokkaido.

Ryusei and Ginga Waterfall are located alongside. Horyusei means “Falling star” while Ginga means “Milky Way”.

The Ginga Waterfall which looks like a white thread and the Ryusei Waterfall resembling cascade of falling stars create a perfect contrast.

Cooling it off with their limited edition strawberry ice cream. 😋

Moving on next to Kuradake Ropeway.

The Kurodake Ropeway connects Sounkyo Onsen with an upper station at the 5th station halfway up the submit and acts as a gateway to the mountain range and provides access to panoramic views from above the Sounkyo Gorge.

It is also a popular entry point for hikes into the interior of the national park.

Mt. Kurodake side area (view from the ropeway going up)

View of Mt. Kurodake from the 5th station observatory deck. Mt. Kurodake is a magnificient 1,984m high peak in the Daisetsu Mountains.

View of Mt. Niseikaushuppe from the 5th station observatory deck.

Sounkyo Onsen area (view from the ropeway going down)

After admiring the beautiful views from the ropeway, time to head downward to Daisetsu Mori-no Garden.

This is one of the recommended garden to visit in eastern Hokkaido as the vast garden changes its appearance with each season.

Munching on the Fried Fish & Cheese Sausage with Fries at the garden cafeteria.

Followed by Gelato with berry millefeuille, rose & cornflakes, black honey & mochi & roasted soybean flour for dessert.

After a good charge up, continue down to Asahikawa Ramen Village for my late lunch.

Butakakuni ramen

Karamiso (spicy) ramen

Shoyu flavoured ramen

Kakuni rice bowl


Boiled gyoza

Checking-in to Hotel Crescent Asahikawa for the next 3 nights.

The hotel is about 700m away from JR Asahikawa Station and is a straight road down from the hotel. We spent the rest of the evening at the AEON Mall.

There is a huge food court and a big supermarket at the mall.

Couldn’t help but continue with the food trail to have the cold udon with add-on tempura side, trying out the new flavour strawberry milk taiyaki croissant and taking advantage of the 50% off sushi at the supermarket closing hour sale.

Dinner was at one of the Yakitori Izakaya near to the hotel.

Had a satisfying Yakitori meal to mark the end of Day 7.

How time flies, I am in Day 8 of the trip before I knew it.

Decided to have another round of breakfast at Sukiya this morning before spending the rest of the day in Furano.

Teriyaki Eel bowl – they really do serve value for money unagi rice bowl.

Minced Tuna bowl – complements well with wasabi

Gyudon – sweetness of the beef is awesome

Beef low-carb noodle bowl

Grilled mackerel – simple and tasty

Fried chicken

Soft-boiled egg – I just love their runny egg yolk

Mustard leaf pickle – good start to whet your appetite

Apple as dessert to go

With a great charged up, time to head over to the Glass Forest in Furano

You will get to see varieties of tableware, burner works, small pieces of glass works and accessories made in the glass studio are displayed in the shop next door.

Participant blowing glass at the workshop in the glass studio.

Next up, visited the Anpanman shop and viewing at the exhibit in the gallery.

Interesting and educational for parent with kids.

Right beside it you will find the jam studio where you can have a fun time tasting all the different types of jam that they produce.

Coming up will be none other than the long awaited Furano Omelette Curry lunch which I have been craving for the longest time ever at Yuiga Doxon Curry (喂我独尊).

Omelette & Homemade Sausage Curry with Homemade Bacon

Homemade Sausage Curry with Cheese

Beef Curry with Mushroom

It is indeed satisfying to eat it again. Their omelette, homemade sausage and homemade bacon is damned champion.

You must try it if you are ever in Furano. I guarantee you will not regret even if it means a detour for you!

It will be recommended to drop by Furano Marche after Yuiga Doxon Curry as it is just another 2 minutes drive away.

Here, you will find cluster of shops and it is the ultimate food paradise. Furano Marche is catered very much for foreigners but locals also frequent here for its yummy food.

Was lured by the bakery confectionery, Cazeres on its bread look. Couldn’t help by staring at it and the next best thing is to check it out.

Launched the “attack” on their salt bread and buttery croissant. 🤨

Right across the street, there is this shop selling soft & crispy Baumkuchen.

Wanted to buy their crispy Baumkuchen but unfortunately it was sold out.

Thus, ended up buying a box of soft Baumkuchen and a cup of mini crispy Baumkuchen since I am already here.

From here, drove down to Tomita Farm to catch a glimpse of Lavender and various colourful flowers planted on the farm.

Having a fun time enjoying their Lavender ice cream, Lavender Calpis and Lavender Calpis Jelly while admiring the Lavender.

Hopping over to the next door Tomita Melon House. This is a place not to be missed by melon lovers to get your melon fix.

You certainly need to try their Yubari King Melon as it is well known in Hokkaido and is also the most expensive melons in the world.

Other not to be missed melon items include the melon pie & the red melon bun. Some will choose to go for the melon ice cream as well. As for me, I will give it a miss since I have chosen Lavender ice cream earlier. 😊

That’s all for here, time to head towards Campana Rokkatei (六花亭).

You get to find all sorts of sweets & confectioneries and is famous for its desserts.

This place is also surrounded by vineyards. It is indeed a beautiful scenery.

Dinner was at Victoria. I last had it when I was in Wakkanai last June. This trip, I happened to see it when I was in Kushiro but did not manage to have it.

This time round, I happen to see it again in Asahikawa so without further hesitation, I am here to avoid disappointment.

Victoria’s beef steak with wasabi soy sauce

Grilled chicken with onion sauce

Cheese stuffed chopped steak with tomato

Japanese style butter soy sauce spaghetti with bacon and cabbage

Grilled sausage – somehow I find Japanese sausages are super tasty.

It has been fun and exciting spending a day in Furano and what better way to conclude it off than to be able to settle on my food craving.

Day 9, decided to hunt for my all time favourite Doutor Cafe for breakfast before spending the day in Biei. Thanks to GPS, I managed to locate one outlet about 3km away from the hotel.

This Doutor Cafe is right inside a big book store.

Woo, it feels so good having this for breakfast whenever I am in Japan.

After a good fix, ready to set off to Hokusei no oka Observatory Park as my 1st destination.

In this park, you will get to overlook the hills and Tokachi mountain range from the pyramid-shaped observatory.

Savouring their local snacks at the eatery outlet right across the observatory deck.

The white corn, asparagus, potato croquette & potato cake are so freshly delicious. 😋

Then a short 2 mins drive away, you will come across Ken & Mary Tree.

This is the iconic Ken & Mary Tree and it became popular ever since it was used in Nissan Skyline’s “Love’s Skyline” commercial in 1972. Many Japanese people will recognize it from the commercial.

From here, proceeded to the next destination, Zerubu no oka.

This is another one of those flower farm with a nice tractor ride but unfortunately the season is too early for a nice view of the fully bloom flowers. 😢

Fun with tractor ride

Moving on to Biei Senka Market.

Having a fun time sampling some of their local produce & snack.

Head down to Shikisai no oka (Four Season Hill) thereafter.

This is a flower garden hill. From April to October, you can enjoy the colours & fragrance of tulips, lupine, lavender, salvia, sunflowers, dahlia and Japanese anemone.

Snacking on their locally produced fried asparagus. Fresh and crunchy.

As it is time for lunch, went over to the 風 cafe for a quick bite.

Healthy lunch comprises of local vegetables

Pork Cutlet Curry

Homemade lemon sorbet

Swing over to Blue Pond next.

It is a man-made pond feature in Biei and is the result of the works on the Biei River after the 1988 eruption of Mount Tokachi.

About 2.5km away, you will find Shirahige Fall. It is also known as the “White Beard Waterfall”.

Now you know what I mean…..😉

The final destination of the day, Tokachi-dake tenbo gaku-dai (Tokachi-dake Observatory).

Mount Tokachi is an active volcano located in Daisetsuzan National Park. It is the tallest volcano of the Tokachi Volcanic Group witb a height of 2,077m and is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan.

Can you spot the ashes brewing?

There are four hiking trails to the peak of Tokachi-dake. You can spend some time hiking up if time permits.

Beautiful views from the observatory.

It is now time to head back to town after a day of attraction visits.

While on the way back, happens to come across this newly open restaurant selling the famous Otaru Fried Chicken.

There is no prize for second guessing. Yes, it is a must to check it out.

Signature half size fried chicken

Fried chicken bites

Fried chicken wings

Fried chicken neck

Fried chicken skin

Chicken gyoza

Cold Somen

Trust me, their fried chickens are worth dying for. You must try if you have the opportunity to do so.

Definitely, this is a bonus meal for this trip.

With all the fried stuff, the next best thing to do is to burn off the calories intake.

Went over to Asahikawa Kitasaito Garden behind the JR Asahikawa Station for a leisure stroll.

The cool weather is certainly a plus point in this instance coupled with the beautiful landscape.

Managed to snap a nice sunset shot.

Spend the rest of the evening rounding up AEON Mall.

Picking up discounted sushi from the AEON Mall as I simply couldn’t resist the tempting appetizing look.

Look what I have found! 😲

Well, that’s all I have for Day 9. Hope you enjoy reading so far.

It was a wet Day 10 morning. This morning, we will be leaving the suburb to city life. While leaving for Sapporo, we decided to detour to Otaru and go for a good and fresh seafood breakfast at the Otaru Market (三角市场).

The freshness of the seafood still ringing in my mind since the last time I was here.

The eatery shop is inside the market alley.

This is the shop.

True Fatty Tuna and Scallop Rice Bowl

Crab and Sea Urchin Rice Bowl

Assorted Sashimi Set Meal

Grilled Japanese Boarfish

Grilled Oysters

After a great breakfast, took a stroll along Otaru Canal before going over to LeTAO for dessert.

This is their biggest flagship store in Otaru.

Their 人气#1 item, Fromage Double Cheesecake is simply out of the world.

You need to try it if you have not!

The making of Fromage Double Cheesecake.

Hmmm…. deliciously good! 👍👍👍

We were supposed to do some sightseeing in Otaru but was dampened by the heavy downpour. As such, we decided to head down to Shiroi Kobito Park back in Sapporo instead.

As expected, with the heavy downpour, there is nothing much to do at the park as well. Only consolation is that the park is giving complimentary entry to visitors from 1 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019 as their factory tour is under going renovation this period.

Well, main reason for visiting Shiroi Kobito Park despite the heavy downpour is to settle my craving fix for Fire Burg which is directly opposite Shiroi Kobito Park.

They really serve super good hamburg, grilled steak, fried chicken & fries.

Cheese hamburg with tomato – the cheesy cheese with the tomato-rish flavour blends extremely well with the hamburg.

Medium rare grilled steak to perfection with the black pepper gravy sauce is simply heavenly.

Their fried chicken is definitely comparable to that of Otaru fried chicken. Not to mention the nicely done fries. Crispily tasty.

The hamburg is so good that it warrants another round of serving.

Look at the sheer size of the hamburg! Woooo….Oishi desu!

With my craving fixed, proceeded to check-in at Premier Hotel Tsubaki (where I will be spending the last 4 nights) before returning the car back to Nippon Rent A Car at the outlet near Sapporo Station North Exit.

Farewell Alphard. You have served us well over the last 10 days with an approximate total travelled distance of about 1,800km.

Decided to go and pick up discounted sashimi & sushi from Daimaru supermarket just before closing hours for my simple dinner. 😀

So much so for Day 10. Hope tomorrow’s weather will be a better day as forecasted.

Started Day 11 by waking up to our natural alarm clock. It was almost mid day when we wake up. 🤣

Well, guess I must be tired over the past 10 days having to drive and waking early each morning. It is certainly a good rest for me. The next few days will be living a city life so it will be lots of walking to get back to shape with all the food intake that I had. 😀😀

Starting the day with a solid lunch at Sushizaimai. This is also one of those “die die must-eat” kind of eatery joint in Japan for me apart from Doutor cafe.

Thereafter, went over to Tanuki-koji-arcade for some shopping activities.

Tanuki-koji, Sapporo’s oldest shopping arcade, is a roofed souvenir shopping paradise that boasts a kilometre long stretch with two hundred shops and seven streets worth of tourist friendly shopping.

Having a good time at Don Quijote.

While strolling the streets, happen to come across this eatery shop, Kani King that caught my attention.

I could not resist the temptation and decide to check it out.

Ordered their Kanikin riceroll. The rice is cooked with crab broth and served with crab meat on top. Similar to onigiri and it tastes pretty good.

Shortly after, came across this shop, 海老秀 which sells ramen in prawn stock. Something unusual and went in to have a try.

The prawn stock ramen soup is tasty while the dry version is cold and you will need to dip it in the thick prawn stock before slurping it down your mouth. It takes like prawn mee rebus. Uniquely tasty.

After Tanuki-koji, moving off to Sapporo Factory.

Sapporo Factory is a large shopping and entertainment complex which includes clothing stores, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes & a movie theatre.

Coincidentally, I managed to catch their Matsuri, a local Japanese festival at the Sapporo Factory.

Enjoying the strawberry shortcake crepe and a cup of bubble tea at the Dipper Dan Crepe shop at the atrium of Sapporo Factory.

Sweets and candies lovers, you need to check out this Grapefruit gummy at the sweet factory. It is gummily good.

Strolling along Odori Park on my way back.

Snacking at the baked cheese tart and appie pie at Kinotoya Bake at the underground mall in Pole Town.

I prefer their cheese tart better than Hokkaido baked cheese tart more so because of the tart crust.

However, their apple pie will surely blow you away with the first bite. Their puff pastry is fluffily good.

Dinner was at Cuomo Salvatore. They serve really good Italian cuisine. Salvatore Shigeta (born Salvatore Cuomo) is an Italian-born Japanese celebrity chef, restaurateur and media personality, known for his food-focused television shows and cookbooks as well as for his restaurants across Asia.

“Zeppole” Fried pizza dough

Fried calamari

Fried gnocchi & pancetta sauage

Fresh mozzarella salad with cherry tomato & basil

Primavera – potato, bacon, spicy salami, red onion, furiarierri, black pepper, mozzarella & grana padano

Linguine pescatore with hearty seafood

Spaghetti with cabbage and anchovy topped with whitebait

Oven-baked lasagna with cheese & meat sauce

There is no other better way than to end the day with a good meal.

Waking up early on Day 12 to prepare to head out to Rera Chitose Outlet Mall. Yes yes yes, today is the day dedicated for retail therapy. How exciting…..👏👏👏

To gear up for the long day, crucial to start the day right with a champion breakfast at my all time favourite, Doutor Cafe near Odori Station.

Here I am at the Rera Chitose Outlet Mall. The journey took 33 mins by train from Sapporo Station to Minamichitose Station.

Snacking at the Rera Square area from the various food carts.

Australian Meat Pie

Kebab Wrap

Churros with vanilla ice cream

Recharging at the Rera Mall Food Court before continuing with the shopping spree.

After helping to generate the Japan’s economy 💸💸💸 , time to head back to Sapporo city with the loots.

Dinner was at Meat Gang at APIA west alley at the Sapporo Underground Mall. This is also one of those highly recommended restaurant for meat lovers.

Souffle omelette

Steamed soup with clams

Broccoli and anchovy garlic saute

Four mushrooms grilled

Deep-fried kitamidori tomato & basil

Meat Gang’s Pie

Simmered tomato with meatballs

Garlic rice

Tsubetsu Farm Hokkai Japanese Black Sirloin

Roast beef bowl

Salad & beef consomme

It was another great dinner as usual. Though the day has been tiring but it was certainly fulfilling & fruitful. Ending Day 12 with a high note.

Waking up to a relaxed Day 13 morning. There is no specific agenda for today being our final day in Sapporo.

As such, we decided to take it easy by spending the day around Sapporo Station and feast on food trail as we come across.

One for the road Doutor cafe for breakfast at the Sapporo Station North Exit outlet. Guess I will have to wait till end of the year before I could savour it again.

Tried out their new curry naan hotdog and their club sandwich in addition to my usual orders.

Enjoying bakery confectionery at Little Mermaid.

Cold Udon at the ESTA food court. Their cold udon is chewy and springy in texture. 好有口感! I really love eating it. Simple & tasty.

Last minute shopping at Can Do (100 yen shop) at B2.

When in ESTA, it is a must to visit Loft on level 6 as it is the biggest scale outlet that I have seen so far. I simply love to window shop here. You can find a lot of interesting & ingenious items in this place.

Adjourn for lunch at ESTA Ramen Stadium on level 10.

You will be spoilt for choice with all the ramen joints in the stadium.

It took us quite a while to settle at 一期一会.

Soy sauce ramen with flavoured egg

Spicy miso ramen

Teine rice


Continuing with snacking as we shop along. Their limited edition matcha mochi pancake presentation looks so inviting that I couldn’t help but succumb to the temptation.

Freshly baked apple pie at the supermarket

Savouring Yakitori at one of the Izakaya joint on level B1 at Exit #3 of Susukino subway station.

It was agreed unanimously to have dinner at Sushizanmai again to mark an end to our family trip for this summer.

A hearty meal indeed to conclude Day 13.

It was a great day of fun with food & food & more food before we depart back home. We will surely miss the food in Japan without a doubt.

Doing up our laundry at the nearby 24 x 7 coin laundrette before home coming.

Day 14, time to bid farewell to Japan for our late morning flight home.

Started our day super early by waking up and getting ready to take the airport limousine bus which is right across the hotel.

There are multiple bus timings available operated by 2 different bus companies, Hokuto Kotu (denoted in green) & Chuo Bus (denoted in red). It is extremely convenient.

The journey took about 70 mins so we could still manage to catch up on our sleep. 😅

Arrived at New Chitose International Airport Terminal as scheduled.

Sumptious breakfast at the Departure Hall Food Court.

With the completion of this eastern Hokkaido trip, I would have completed the entire Hokkaido. Guess, it will be a long while before I visit Hokkaido again.

Sayonara Sapporo! For now, I will start to count down for my next Japan trip at the end of this year.

Hope you enjoy & like this travel experience.

One thought on “Eastern Hokkaido Trip from 29 May to 12 Jun 2018

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