After our day trip to Otaru on Saturday, we planned to go to Asahidake on Sunday and take the ropeway up, like we did a year ago. (You can see photos of and read about our trip here and here.) When Ted checked the color report, he found out all the leaves were gone two weeks ago (and we later saw snow has already fallen on the mountains this year). We decided to change our plans and go toward the mountains, then decide what to do as we go along. It turned out to be a good plan.
This is what we saw from the Furano area as we drove toward the mountains.
We stopped at a grape place and looked at the grape vines. We wanted to get some grape soft ice cream, but it was too early! They didn’t crank up the ice cream machines until 10 am, so we got this instead. I thought it was an ice cream sandwich, but it was like cheese cake between two chocolate cookies.
We were surprised to see this field of flowers in Furano so late in the season.
It’s hard to see, but these flowers spell out Furano.
My camera is the size of a deck of cards. Ted brought three cameras and a bunch of lenses and tripods and monopods and I don’t know what all. He knows all kinds of things about taking pictures and how to use the equipment and as a result takes some beautiful photos. Here he is with a lens that allows him to see the branches on the trees high up on the mountain.
The back of our car is full of camera equipment.
We ate our picnic lunch outside with a beautiful view. It was a bit chilly, but we wanted to see the mountains. We could see the steam/smoke coming from the fumiroles of this volcano.
After lunch we went to the San Dan Yama onsen. This was the
first time I’d been to the onsen since my surgery. I was a little afraid the hot water would melt open the stitches - silly, I know. This onsen has a co-ed area in addition to the segregated areas. You have to wear clothes in the co-ed onsen area and no clothes in the segregated area. We hung out in the co-ed area for awhile, then each went to our own segregated areas. It was too nice a day to stay in the inside onsen so we both soaked in the outdoor areas. It’s hard to explain how relaxing it is to be naked soaking in hot water outside.
After the onsen, we got back in the car and headed down the road, looking for the Blue Pond. We didn’t know exactly where it was, and first stopped here. We couldn’t read the sign, but there were some cars pulled over, so we did too. It turned out to be a trail with some shrines or god statues, leading to a beautiful waterfall.
We continued down the road and found the Blue Pond. The water was much bluer than my photos show and the reflections were very pretty. We could also see the mountains in the distance.
We continued on to near Tokachidake and took a few more photos before the sun set.