Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Anniversary Adventure Trip - Day 1

Last year Ted was in the US on our wedding anniversary day, so we celebrated by taking a trip to Otaru after he returned. This year he was in the US again on our anniversary, so we took a trip this past weekend to the center of Hokkaido to Daisetsuzan National Park. Hokkaido’s tallest peak, Asahidake, is in this park.

We left about 7 am because we knew we had several hours to drive. This rest stop map showed us everything we needed to know about the area.

 
As we rose in elevation, the tree colors became prettier.  We stopped to take pictures and I took some through the car window as we drove.
 





Near our hotel/onsen there is a tram that you can take partway up the mountain. They run every 15 minutes and the cost was 5600 yen for two round trip tickets.



 
At the top of the ropeway is a small visitor’s center, then out to the loop trail.


 
I was excited to see the steam rising from the fumaroles. I’ve never been around a volcano before.





We took a leisurely hike around the trail, taking lots of pictures.



 
We stopped and ate a picnic lunch at site #5, where there were picnic tables.  Nearby was a bell memorial to a group of hikers who fell off the side of the trail and died.





 
The trail took us fairly close to the steam vents.



 
There were other hikers around, but not a lot.  It was a beautiful day and the scenery was gorgeous.





 
After our hike we took the tram back down to our hotel and onsen.

 



The hotel was a little old fashioned, but clean. Ted likes a lot of pillows and was disappointed with one tiny pillow.  There was a rotary dial phone in the room and a hot pot for making tea and  a television with three Japanese channels.  We did watch a program with ice skating. I worked on my hexagons a bit in the room.

 





We went to the onsen on the first floor that evening.  The women’s side was on the right and the men’s on the left. Soaking in the hot water was perfect after a day of hiking. In my post tomorrow I’ll tell you about what happened at the onsen the next day and what we did on the rest of our anniversary adventure trip.

4 comments:

  1. You are so ACTIVE! I guess this was the perfect anniversary trip for you. I would have stayed at the inn, soaking in the hot mineral water all day... Yes, these onsen hotels are often frugal but has a lot of charm. If there are 'zabfutons' in the room you can always use them added to your pillow for some bulk.
    Did the volcanic vapour smell of minerals?

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  2. Sounds like this was a super trip. I agree with Ted about the size of Japanese pillows - and some of them in ryokan are stuffed with beans! Did you enjoy your soak in the hot pools?

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  3. That sounds like the PERFECT weekend! I loved hiking up (safe...) volcanos in Japan, and soaking in an onsen sounds like the perfect end to such a day. Lucky you!

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  4. Hokkaido ha ii na~ so beautiful, thanks for posting. If you guys ever travel south, Showa-shinzan (showa new mountain) and Toyako ( lake toya) are both beautiful. My favorite onsens were jozankei and noboribetsu grand hotel...

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