Hokkaido Guided Tour #1 – Bird Watching

Date:  Dec 11, 2015

Last year, It was a busy year end.  I have no time to plan for the vacation.  I only know I want to bring the family to go to Japan for skiing.

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So, I asked a travel agency to plan 2 trips for me in Hokkaido.

  1. Before Rusutsu Resort ski trip
  2. After Rusutsu Resort ski trip

This is the person, Ms. Misa Kawata-san who arranged both trip for me.  If you don’t want to think of anything, and you want to enjoy some unique places, you can ask them to plan for you.  They will quote you and then, plan everything for you.  What we need is we want something we have in our previous Taiwan and Bangkok trip, where there are van bringing us everywhere.

You can drive yourself, but during Winter, I think it is better to leave this task to the local who are familiar with the local road, they know where to park, they come fetch you once you done, etc.

In my opinion, they did a pretty good job!

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She even comes to the airport with the driver to pick us up.

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This is our big van we are sitting for the next 3 days.  They will take us to Rusutsu Resort on the 3rd day to meet up with my friends there.

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The van even had my name on it.

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This is the itinerary of my first 3 days tour.  Let’s see how fun that can be.

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We wanted a Japanese Onsen hotel.  So, she picked this for us.  It is 100 years old hotel for this Onsen hotel.

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Hot Spring Hotel Marukoma.

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When you stay in a hot spring hotel, make sure you will go to the Onsen pool at least two times.

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It is a beautiful hotel by the lake side.  The sun rise.

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Hundred years of history for this Marukoma hotel.

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Our simple buffet breakfast.

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Lake Shikoku is about the size of Singapore.  So big.

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This is our beds.

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We starts our journey by stepping on the snow.  Not much snow now.

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We did not ask for a tour guide.  So, the driver with some English speaking knowledge will be our guide.  We spotted nice place to take photo, then, we will ask the driver to stop the car for us to take the photo.

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Hokkaido sky is really blue and beautiful.

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Let’s take picture of the blue blue sky.

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As usual, Jay with the happy face.

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Kay with his funny tongue.

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Our first stop today is here.  A bird watching place.

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Usually people come to Hokkaido see famous places and shopping.  We come and do science, and nature walk.  hahahaha

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This is like trekking Bukit Timah hill, but it is much cooler here.  And you see a lot of different things.

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The tour agency arranged an English speaking nature walk tour guide for us.  He is going to explain the wonders of Hokkaido nature to the kids.

Yep, it is an educational walk.  With him, we learned a lot a lot of things.

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Bringing the kids into the wood is to let them see, let them smell, let them walk, let them feel the different climate, and place.

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Somehow they love the ice form on the mud.

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Somehow they get pretty excited to see all these small pond of water turning into hard ice.

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They will use it as a filter to look into the sun.

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We come here to see birds.  Of course they are plenty of birds for you to watch.

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Most of the birds are small.  They simply flies around the human.

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We never say this forest is safe.  Wow!  the poo poo from the bear.  Yep!  Hokkaido big brown bear.  Very dangerous, very fast.  Now, you know why I need a local guide here?  hahaha just in case of any danger.  This poo poo is freshly made not long ago.

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A lot of interesting never seen before plants here.

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Woody lives here.  (woodpecker)

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Of course, there are friendly animal here too, like the raindeer.  And the guide is explaining what does the raindeer eats in the forest like this.  The fresh shoots from the leaves.

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This is the wild grapes wines.  In Hokkaido, they use wild grapes to make red wine.

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Poo poo from the more friendly reindeer.

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The bird will come.

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Place some seeds in your hand, and watch them fly to your hand.

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Koko, let’s crack the ice.

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How old is this tree?

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There are many of them here.

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A nice place to take photos too.

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Now it is my turn to wait for the bird to come.

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Haha, it came to me.

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Two birds flew by.

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And finally Kay Kay had one bird on his hand.  He is so happy!

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And another one came.

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They stepped on every ice they can find.  Crack crack crack!

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Here is how they break the ice.

Another video of they breaking the ice.

The water in Hokkaido nature is so fresh that you can just drink like that.  That is precisely what you need to do when you need to survive in the wild.

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And it is pretty cold too.  Icy cold water.

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And it is the end of our little nature walk.  After 2-2.5 hours.  And the tour guide gave some sweet gift to the kids.  Wow!  Nice!

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We love the natural walk.  And the kids love the ice.  They like when the birds fly to their hand.  And they love the icy water there.

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