Sunday, 22 April 2018

Hokkaido Travelogue: Day 9 - Takinoue & Yubetsu

Well, day 9 of our Hokkaido trip started off pretty early once again with an almost 2 hours' drive to Shibazakura Takinoue Park!

There should be a 500 yen entrance fee, but since it was already off-peak (no more festival) when we visited during early June, it was FREE, as we couldn't find anyone/anywhere to pay the admission fee to. 

The back of snow capped Daisetsuzan Mountain Range should be clearly visible from the park, and there's ALOT of walkways snaking all over the park for visitors to explore the scenic views. There's one humble looking eatery located at the rightmost corner of the park, and also stalls selling Shibazakura Soft Serve and a souvenir shop located at the right side of the car park. 

As it's already the start of their off-peak season, bare patches of green are already beginning to show. 

But that shouldn't stop you from taking tons and tons of #ootd shots!

Taking a mandatory shot with the shibazakura-milk mix soft serve. I guess the shibazakura flavour is a must-try, only because you're already at a shibazakura park. Similar to lavender, there's this distinctive floral scent to it, paired with a sharp sourish taste that didn't really go too well with my palate. I'll highly recommend to go for the mix flavour so that the milk will kind of neutralise it. 

If you wish to be fully immerse in the purplish pink of shibazakura, do check out the dates of their shibazakura festival (usually starting early to mid May and last for 1 month) before you drop by, whereby there will also be stage performances and a 5-6 minutes helicopter ride for about 5000 yen per adult. There's no illumination as the park, hence opening hours will more or less depend on natural daylight (7am - 6pm daily). 

For more information, visit their official website HERE

And as the small eatery at the park doesn't look that appealing to us (plus we weren't all that hungry, yet), we headed off the Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park, which is another 1 hour and 15 minutes drive away, and found a random standalone eatery by the road enroute for lunch!

The owners here (an elderly couple) doesn't speak English at all, but they do have Chinese Menu (instead of English, I don't know why either) if you can understand them. Prices here are extremely affordable, mostly around SGD $10-ish with food quality way better than the restaurants here in SG charging you at least $18 and up for the same dish. 

BF went for their Tempura Udon.

While I had their Katsudon. <3

So with our full and satisfied tummies, we continued our journey down to Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park.

Admission fee during the Tulip Fair will be 500 yen per adult, but since we've visited after the festival is over, it was free admission for us again! But I would highly recommend that you check out the dates of the festival and DO NOT visit during off-peak seasons. We were only late by 1 or 2 days for the tulip fair and they're already in the process of cutting away all the tulips. About 50% of the area was already bare when we're there. 

And so we just gotta make the best out of what we're left with. HAHA!

I'm very sure the park look damn awesome when full of all these brightly coloured (and not miserably half-wilting) tulips. Apparently, the tulips at the southeastern fields are for sale during the fair, and you can dig the flowers up by yourself for 100 yen per tulip! How fun would that be! There will also be live performace of street organ. custom ordered all the way from Netherlands right in front of the windmill. During the fair, there will also be a 12 minute tour bus (Tupit Bus) available at 300 yen per pax. 

Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park is opened daily (during Tulip Fair) from 8am to 6pm. For more information, visit HERE

At the car park of the tulip park is a huge signboard pinpointing out the major tourist attractions of Yubetsu Town. And since we still have tons of time left for the day, we decided to just check out a few of the places that's marked out on the guide. 

And now, just let the picture do the talking. First stop of our super impromptu itinerary for the day, Ryugudai Scenic Park.

Over here, you'll get to see the infinite line whereby the sea meets the sky. There's absolutely nothing else but sand, the sea, the sky and us (and a hell lot of crazily chilly wind too). Definitely an experience you simply cannot get in Singapore. 

Next up, it was Ai Land Yubetsu.
Which, actually wasn't open... Or perhaps, isn't even in operation anymore?

And Kerochi Traffic Park is actually right beside it, which is also seemingly abandoned and has nobody in sight. 

Hence, we decided to steal a Rombus 2000 and try to catch up with Harry Potter and gang. HAHA!

And on the way over to Lake Saroma, we decided to our luck at the Skunk Cabbage Colony, after stumbling upon a travel blog raving about it. But of course, their season is in April and it's already early June when we're there. So absolutely nothing was growing. 

So after a few more random shots with the lush greenery, we hopped onto the car again and headed for our last destination in Yubetsu, Lake Saroma! 

And let's just let the pictures do the talking, shall we? 

Viewing the sunset here is absolutely breathtaking, as NOTHING will block your view of watching the sun disappearing down the horizon over the sea lake. But you really have to watch the time, as there is no illumination over here, once the sun has set, you'll probably be engulfed in darkness while literally in the middle of nowhere. 

Well, initially the plan was to return to Asahikawa and find Jiyuuken for dinner, but having overstayed our time (for the sunset) in Yubetsu and with a 2 hours' drive back to our hotel, we decided to shelf Jiyuuken for the next day and just randomly found an eatery along the road in Asahikawa that's still open for business at 9 plus, almost 10pm. 

And guess what's for dinner?

KIMCHI CHAHAN (fried rice)! 
I must be that weirdo who keeps eating non-Japanese food while in Japan. 

Day 10 (final episode!) of my Hokkaido Travelogue, in Biei and Furano, is up HERE! So do check it out!

Till then,
Mia Foo


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