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July 20, 2005

Next stop...Hokkaido

So, I will get a bit of holiday in Japan after all! I am going to take a long weekend with Kaz (a previous star of this blog) and tour part of Hokkaido. He went a few years ago with the bird and keeps telling me how very cool it is. I am looking forward to it.


Hokkaido is the northern most island in the Japanese archipelago. Despite being the second largest of the Japanese islands, it is the least populated with only two million people (and half of those are in the capital Sapporo!). You get the idea - lots of space, cold etc

We are heading to the central and Eastern parts of the island, so we will skip Sapporo completely. One definite destination is Shiretoko National Park, which has just been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lots of nature: trees, lakes mountains, wild animals...should be fun. I also want to go to Daisetsuzan National Park, which is also well-known for its beauty.

I have been to Sapporo once, but that was during the World Cup and we barely made it out of Suskino let alone the City itself. So, in a way this is the first visit for me.

One place that I really would like to go but it is impractical for this trip is Wakkanai, which is the northern most city in Hokkaido and Japan. You can sometimes see Russia's Sakhalin Island off the coast when it is clear. Which reminds me, there is a very good write up of that p;ace in a book called Hokkaido Highway Blues. You should read it if you have a chance!

Posted by Kirk on July 20, 2005 08:29 PM


been to hokkaido twice coz me missus originates from there. first time was in jan for a spot of snowboarding and the last was a couple of weeks ago. i swear the place is just like scotland. start of july pissing with rain and a chilly 17c. i went to asahikawa which is alright, notable perhaps only for its zoo in which the inhabitants all show extreme signs of mental deterioration...to which the japanese obviously take great delight in clapping and whooping at...

Posted by: chook at July 20, 2005 11:43 PM

We even went to a museum about the indigenous people (ainu?) when we were in Sapporo (as well as gluttounous Mongolian bbq at the brewery and Fat Boy Slim concets). I also got good ramen and a Ultraman action figure which still figures prominently on my mantle. As I remember, the sun never friggin' sets up there.

Posted by: BB at July 21, 2005 01:31 AM

yikes...i forgot about the museum and ultraman and FBS. i do remember that mongolian BBQ...i have to write a post about that soon. That was weird!

Posted by: kirk at July 21, 2005 08:38 AM

Congratulations to the Inclusion of Shiretoko National Park in UNESCO's World Heritage List!

Posted by: Matthias Ripp at July 26, 2005 03:06 AM

i am looking forward to seeing it!

Posted by: kirk at July 26, 2005 09:28 AM