Saturday, 31 March 2018

Hokkaido Travelogue: Day 8 - Asahikawa

And of course we started day 8 with more driving! We picked up the car back at the Budget kiosk located at APA Hotel at around 10am and then it was another 2 hours plus drive up to Asahikawa Court Hotel from Sapporo. Really thankful to the BF for all the ridiculous amount of early driving. :)

Due to a slip up on my reservations, we're actually supposed to have checked in on Day 7 (we overstayed our time in Sapporo) and hence the concierge allowed us to check in "earlier" before the official check in time of 3pm. There's also parking available for our car in the hotel premise itself (it is in the form of a rotating "lift" at the back of the hotel building) at just $1000 yen a day. 
The hotel, although pretty small and basic, and nothing too fanciful, also comes well equipped with all the basic necessities and yukata. 

So after leaving all our barang barang (belongings) in the hotel room, we hopped back onto the car and headed for the 1st (and only) destination for the day, Ueno Farm!

Ueno Farm (上野ファーム) is a popular farm garden in Nagayama-cho, Asahikawa city and has been a farmer since 1906. Ms. Sayuki Ueno (上野砂由紀), a gardener, made a Hokkaido-style garden suited for climate and natural features of Hokkaido as the foundation for an English-style garden at their site and the garden has been opened to public since 2001. More than 2000 kinds of flowering plants are planted at 1 ha of the site, and visitors can enjoy different flowers from a spring to an autumn. Admission fee is JPY 800 with free parking available. 
The farm garden is divided into 10 segments such as Garden of Gnome (ノームの庭), Pathway of White Birch (白樺の小道), Mirror Border (ミラーボーダー), Purple Walk (パープルウォーク), Circle Border (サークルボーダー), Long Border (ロングボーダー), Mother's Garden (マザーズガーデン), Garden with Hearing Voice of Tree (木の声が聞こえる庭), Mt. Shatekiyama (射的山) with 171 m in Height and Pathway of Gnome (ノームの散歩道), and there are the west entrance, east entrance, rest rooms, parking lots, and a restraunt, a variety goods shop, a soft serve ice cream shop and a young plant shop are provided at the west entrance. In addition, it is a special feature that chickens grazing freely run around. It takes about 60 minutes to go round and takes about 3 hours to go round seriously.
-excerpt from

Towards the right of the premise is Naya Cafe, which apparenylu specialises in soft serve ice cream.

But sadly, they were out of soft serves when we're there, and so we settled for a parfait instead, which is also rich and creamy!
And so after warming ourselves up with a cuppa coffee, we headed back out to the rainy chilly weather for a walk in the garden. I was expecting animals, since they're called a farm (and I seriously read some travel blogs that posted pictures of animals too) and hence was just a little bit disappointed to find out that it's actually a garden, with no animals whatsoever. 
Plus, since we visited during an off-peak season, we're pretty much greeted by a sea of green. 
But I can imagine how beautiful it would be when all the different flowers are in full bloom and this place would be the perfect spot for some serious #ootd camwhoring.

Seriously, the BF loves taking pictures of me, where you cannot see my face. 
Is this some kind of hint?

 Yes, finally some FLOWERS!

Saw this "bear family" on a large patch of empty land that's probably not part of the farm's premise. But we went down despite of the crazy cold wind (there's absolutely nothing, not any form of building or structures anywhere to block out the wind) to snap a picture with the "animals". I swear my smile looks exactly the same in all pictures by now because it's literally FROZEN onto my face. 

And I held the hand of a gnome too, isn't it cute? :)

Ueno Farm is located at 16 Chome-186 Nagayamacho, Asahikawa and is open daily from 
10am to 5pm.

And while on our way back to the hotel, we came across this frigging long and empty stretch of airport runway lookalike road, we just had to stop the car by the side of the road and take an #ootd shot. 
I mean, where else can we take such a shot, right?

And guess what's right across the road from our hotel?

It's Santouka Ramen, OMG! It's my favourite ramen franchise in Singapore, and it so happens that this is their first ever flagship store in Hokkaido. 
This is where it all started. 

Other than the aji-tamago, which surprisingly didn't have a runny yolk, everything else just tasted so delicious and it's also cheaper compared to the Santouka Ramen we have in Singapore. 

ps. we had this for dinner again on Day 9, because the BF insisted. 

After filling our tummies, we took a turn around the corner and headed for Heiwa Street Shopping Park. Opened on 1st June 1972, they're the first pedestrian only street in Japan, with more than 100 shops and restaurants occupying this shopping street. There's also not one, but TWO 100 yen shops (that's not Daiso!) along the street, one being Seria in Feeeal and the other is called Silk in EXC!

But the only disappointing thing was, they're mostly closed by latest 7pm, so we ended up not being able to do much shopping while we're there. 

And so, what's up for the night? Just more snacking and drinking in the hotel room!

Well, don't be put off by the idea of a matcha cup noodle, it's actually real good!

Can't say the same for these "interesting-looking" beers and ciders though.

Read up about my Day 7 HERE
Recount of my Day 8 in Takinoue & Yubetsu is up HERE

Till then,
Mia Foo


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