Japan Diaries 4: Weekend 42

Weekend 42: August 20-21, 2022

Day 292: August 20, 2022

Saturday – From Osaka with Love Day 2

We woke up to a rainy day. It was not the perfect sight to start a road trip. Thankfully, the weather cleared before we checked out of One’s Villa Sapporo House.

Our first destination for the day is Otaru. It is a port city located in the west of Sapporo City. It is famous for its canal, glassworks, and music boxes.

Otaru City's colored manhole cover

Here are the places that we visited in Otaru City:

Stained Glass Museum

Inside the Otaru Stained Glass Museum

Otaru Canal

Team Nicerio visits Otaru Canal

Otaru Sakaimachi-Dori

Look who Ella found at Otaru Sakaimachi-Dori

Kitaichi Glass Otaru

Lunchtime at Kitaichi Glass Otaru

Le Tao Main Store

We bought snacks at Le Tao Main Store before exploring more of Otaru.

⮚ Le Tao Main Store

⮚ Otaru Music Box Museum

Snoopy Cha-Ya

Who would want to eat food this beautiful?

Sunmall Ichibangai

While my family was checking out what omiyage to buy in the stores in Sakaimachi-Dori, I quickly headed out to Sunmall Ichibangai to take a photo of the Pokemon Manhole Cover of Otaru City. From there, I also checked out the site of the Old Ironai Station which has become a popular photo spot for those who know it.

Nichigin Street

Former Temiya Line

I got back to the parking lot just in time when my wife called me to inform me that we were leaving.

Shiribeshi Expressway 

Our home for the night - Otaru Asari Classe Hotel

From the central area of Otaru, we drove to Asarigawaonsen on the southeastern side of Otaru City where we checked in at Otaru Asari Classe Hotel.

We have Room 2705

Welcome to our room

My family and I enjoyed the different facilities of the hotel like the swimming pool and the onsen.


Before calling it a day, we had a sumptuous 7-course dinner in the hotel’s in-house restaurant.

Overall, it was another memorable day with the Kameyama Family. I can’t wait for what’s in store for us tomorrow.

Day 293: August 21, 2022

Sunday – From Osaka with Love Day 3

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning. After eating breakfast, we checked out of Otaru Asari Classe Hotel. Ms. Akiko wanted to experience the canal boat ride at Otaru Canal so we drove back to Central Otaru. Sadly, the canal boat ride was fully booked when we arrived so we left Otaru City for our next destination which is Lake Toya in the town of Toyako.

Good morning from Otaru Asari Classe Hotel

Breakfast before heading out

A quick look at Otaru Canal before leaving Otaru City

Bye for now Otaru City

On our way, we stopped by the Akaigawa Roadside Station in the village of Akaigawa. There was an agricultural fair when we arrived so the roadside statin was quite lively. Aside from that, there is also a Pokemon Manhole Cover in the roadside station which is one of the things that I collect here in Hokkaido.

We visited the following places in Akaigawa:

Akaigawa Roadside Station

Ella with Akarin

We met Cornman from the Akaigawa Roadside Station farmer's market

🚙Akaigawa Roadside Station

From our brief stop at Akaigawa, we continued on to the next town which is Toyako.

Next stop: Toyako

We visited the following places in Toyako:

Lake Toya

🚢 Lake Toya

Lake Toya cruise

The cruise has a stop at Nakajima Island

We chose to explore Nakajima Island and wait for the next ship back to Toyako

🚢 Nakajima Island

Toyako Gurutto Sculpture Park

We strolled along the lakeside walkway of the park

Toyako Pokemon Manhole Cover

🚢Toyako Gurutto Sculpture Park

After the Lake Toya Cruise to Nakajima Island, and also after briefly exploring Toyako Gurutto Sculpture Park we drove to the town of Sobetsu. We rode the ropeway up Mt. Usu and enjoyed the view from Mt. Usu Terrace.

We visited the following places in Sobetsu:


Statue of Masao Mimatsu

🌋 Showashinzan

Mt. Usu Ropeway / Usuzan Ropeway

Ms. Taeko enjoying her ride on the Usuzan Ropeway

Showashinzan as seen from Mt. Usu Ropeway

🌋 Mt. Usu Terrace

Mt. Usu Observatory

Mt. Usu Observatory

We then walked up to the Mt. Usu Observatory to see Mt. Usu’s crater. It’s a bit of a walk but I’m glad everyone in the family managed to reach the top. 
From there, we headed back down via the ropeway.

We visited the following places in Date City:

Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa

Checking in Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa

Our room in Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa

Soraniwa of Kita Yuzawa Forest

🏨 Soraniwa of Kita Yuzawa Forest

We then drove to our accommodation for the day which is the 4-star Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa in Date City. After checking in, we drove to the nearby Soraniwa of Kita Yuzawa Forest. This hotel looks exactly like ours but it has a kiddie playground and a wall-climbing facility.

Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa

Dinner at Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa

We then returned to Midorinokaze Resort Kitayuzawa to try out its amenities. That was when we got to appreciate it more. This hotel is by far, the best one that we’ve been to in our stay here in Hokkaido. We enjoyed the dinner buffet and the onsen. Speaking of its onsen, the hotel has a 2-floor indoor onsen and an outdoor onsen with numerous kinds of baths like yomogi and blueberry baths to name a few.

Overall, today was full of adventure. We’re thankful to our Japanese family for the awesome bonding experience. We're looking forward to what our adventure tomorrow will be.

Read more:

Japan Diaries 4: Week 42
Japan Diaries 4: Day 292
Japan Diaries 4: Day 293


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