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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Kyomibou (蕎味坊)| Soba Restaurant | Ebetsu/ Sapporo

I love soba noodles. Today I'll show you "Kyomibou (蕎味坊)", one of my favorite soba restaurant located in Ebetsu↓

Autumn is the soba season, when we can enjoy newly-harvested very fragrant noodles!!

Let's enter it!

When I come here, I always order hot and cold soba, because both of them has the different flavors even though the ingredients are the same.

They serve smaller portions. You may order oomori (大盛り) or big portions if you want to eat a lot like me. Hahaha!

This is hot kashiwa tempura soba (かしわ天ぷらそば) whose topping are various from prawns to vegetables!

How about cold soba with tempura (えび天そば)?

Look at the shinny soba, which has distinctive soba aroma!!!

Soba should be swallowed without a lot of chewing in order to enjoy the sensation of soba going down the throat and the scent of buckwheat flour.

Don't forget the yummy x 2 tempura!!

The kuruma prawn (車エビ) is very huge!!!

Last but not least, we enjoyed sobayu (そば湯), or hot water left in the pot after soba has been boiled.

This soba shop will move from Ebetsu to Sapporo city on the 25th of this month. I should go to the new restaurant!!!

■Where is "Kyomibou (蕎味坊)"?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mt. Kurodake (黒岳)in Winter | Sounkyo/ Daisetsuzan National Park (層雲峡・大雪山国立公園)

The greatest appeal of winter is fluffy powder snow. Today we went to Sounkyo/ Daisetsuzan National Park (層雲峡・大雪山国立公園) to enjoy the winter world!
This is Sounkyo Station (層雲峡駅)↓

Let's go to the 5th station of Mt. Kurodake (黒岳) first!!

Here we are. It takes only seven minutes from the first to the second ropeway station.
This is Kamuimintara (カムイミンタラ), which means a "playground for gods" in Ainu language.

Wow! Wow! Wow! How beautiful it is!!!

The ski slopes on Mt. Kurodake (1,984 m) open when the first snow of the season falls in various parts of Hokkaido.

Surprisingly, we can enjoy skiing here for a long time; from November to May!!!

I personally recommend snow hiking in woods↓

The gears are available for rent at the Kurodake Station (黒岳駅) on the 5th station.

Just a few weeks ago, we enjoyed autumn leaves like this↓, but the time passes so quickly!!

In the summer time, we can enjoyed wonderful alpine planes on the mountain.

■Where is Mt. Kurodake (黒岳)?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!

Ryusei Waterfall & Ginga Waterfall, and Obako (流星の滝・銀河の滝/大函)| Sounkyo, Daisetsuzan National Park

Sounkyo is a hot spring resort nestled in the Soun Gorge (層雲峡) of the Daisetsuzan National Park (大雪山国立公園) in Hokkaido.

It is known and named after the nearby gorge, which runs for 24 km along the Ishikari River (石狩川) and features some pretty waterfalls and interesting lava formations. The gorge is located to the east of town, an easy walk or bike trip of a few kilometers along a disused highway.

Entry is free, so head here early in the morning to beat the tour bus brigade... or just head further down into the gorge, past the few falls frequented by everybody.

Ginga Waterfall (銀河の滝), literally "Galaxy Waterfalls", is a series of thin, silvery rivulets cascading down the mountainside.

Ryusei Waterfall (流星の滝), literally "Shooting Star Waterfalls", is a powerful fall seemingly bursting out of solid rock.

I recommend to walk along the Ishikari River, and enjoy the famous waterfalls.

The twin waterfalls are collectively referred to in Japanese as Meoto Taki (lit. “husband-and-wife falls”), with Ryusei-no-Taki as the husband and Ginga-no-Taki as the wife, and are listed among Japan's top 100 waterfalls.

Right behind the shops at the large car park, we walked up a series of stairs to Sobakudai(双瀑台), a pair of viewing decks.

The middle one was about half-way up and provided a view much better than the one we got at the car park.

But the upper viewing deck was even better as we were further above the tree line that would've blocked parts of the falls in the distance from our line-of-sight.

See?! The waterfalls are so beautiful!!!

We can see Mt. Kurodake (1984m) behind the twin waterfalls

This is a picture I took last fall. We enjoyed autumn colors of leaves here.

How about the two waterfalls in the winter time?

How romantic it is!!

The Ishikari River under the waterfalls are also covered with snow! Wow! Wow! Wow!

The gorge has a number of lava tubes (柱上節理) and other odd rock formations, many of which look not a little like concrete. Best known are the aptly named Big Box (Obako).

About 30,000 years ago, a volcano in this area erupted, and the pyroclastic flow  deposits were cooled, causing cracks to shrink and forming them in hexagonal or square patterns.

The deposits were eroded by the Ishikari River over 10,000 years, shaping today's gorge.

I really recommend this wonderful national park!

 ■Where are Ginga Waterfall & Ryusei Waterfall?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Kuidokoro Sakebanya (喰処 鮭番屋)| Seafood BBQ Restaurant | Kushiro

If you want to eat fresh seafood early in the morning in Kushiro, how about "Kuidokoro Sakebanya (喰処 鮭番屋)"?

This is a seafood BBQ restaurant, and

we can enjoy fresh seafood such as squid, Pacific saury, and salmon caught off Kushiro (釧路).

Look at the variety of choices; dried fish to ...................

alive seafood in the fish tank such as scallops and oysters.

Grill over charcoal fire, and fish flavor increases dramatically!

Actually I ordered seafood bowls↓ Which do you like the best? I love all of them; shrimps, salmon roe, and Tokisake salmon (時鮭)................., and surprisingly or naturally I ate all of them! Hahaha!

We can choose the size of rice! I think this is a good idea! Because like me, some people want to eat a lot, or can order some small-sized seafood bowls at the same time!!

Until the dishes were served, I was relaxed, drinking free tea .................

Voila! This is a shrimp and salmon roe bowl (えび・いくら丼)↓

Look at the plump, succulent shrimp! Yummy x 2!!

The roe is from the freshly-caught salmon in this season! Perfect!

This is a Tokisake salmon bowl (とき丼)↓

They use only Tokisake salmon caught with a fixed netting off Kushiro. How high the quality is!!

 The seafood bowls come with miso soup.

I love this fishing town!!!

The operation time of this restaurant is from 7:30 to 14:00. Wonderful, isn't it? It takes 20 minutes from JR Kushiro station to this restaurant on foot.

■Where is "Kuidokoro Sakebanya (喰処 鮭番屋)"?

View Larger Map

■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!