Hunt for Falls: Snowy Edition

December 31, 2017

To close my Nikko trip, I went up north to just walk around. While looking at the map, I saw that there’s Yudaki falls and Ryuzu falls near each other, so I decided to stop at Yudaki and walk to Ryuzu.

Yudaki was pretty impressive. The falls was really, really high.
To walk to Ryuzu falls, I have to enter this. It says there are dangers in the path. Honestly, this scared me a little bit!
But onward I must go!
The path was really pretty – snow DOES make things look magical.
Let’s walk some more….
Walk a bit more… (oh, people are actually in some picnic spots!)
Keep on walking!
After around an hour, I’m almost out of the mountain area so the snow thins.
A little bit more and bye bye snow. 😦
The swampland (?)
I’m quite sure that this is not Ryuzu falls. But I’ve been walking all over the place for two hours, and it’s COLD (-2c)! I’m a Filipina who has never even touched snow. So I’m happy with this. 😉

Susukino Site

February 10, 2017

Outside the Susukino Station is a street with ice sculptures in the middle. Yes, that’s the Susukino Site of the Sapporo Snow Festival. You’ll be done in about 10 minutes. The street isn’t even blocked, so you’ll have to wait for the cars to stop you take the pictures. It’s close to the Ramen Alley so it’s worthy of a look.

Had to wait ’til all the cars are out of sight.

Tsudome Site

February 10, 2017

One of the trio for Sapporo Snow Festival, the Tsudome Site is for those who wanna play with the snow.

I decided not to take the bus from the station and just walk. On the way, I saw these cute snowmen!
Hello little snowman!
Look at their snow covered bike parking lot!
These rows and rows of snowmen will welcome you once you get in. Oh, it’s near the dome, not IN the dome. it’s an open area.
and the first game that caught my attention? Snow rafting! (sorry, no pictures allowed during the ride). You have to pay around JPY600, if I remember correctly. Just zoom in on the picture if it’s clear enough haha
It’s a short ride, and this is the end of the trail. 😦
The next (and last for adult) ride, is right next to it.
Now this one is free, and you have to drag your own ride uphill. It’s a short walk, don’t worry
WHEW! that was way higher when viewed from up top. That was a fun ride, but I didn’t wanna line up for another hour. Time to head out.
This one you simply throw snowballs to the target. You have unlimited tries, make your own snowball. Honestly. Nobody’s even watching this place.
they also have a make your own snowmen. It was kinda cute. Once a section is filled with snowmen, they close off the section and open another block.

Nippon is Nikko!

December 29-31, 2016

The slogan all over the place – Nippon is Nikko, was a nice reminder that I’m still in Japan ;). Four month ish late, wrapping up the entire experience, here’s a rundown of my Nikko trip!
Before going there

  1. Accommodations. Book them online if you can. I stayed at Nikko Park Lodge at JPY3,000 a night (dormitory). You have two options – the one in front of the station and another in the mountains. I suggest going up the mountains if you want to chill and meet people, go to the one in front of the station if you only want a transit place.
  2. Transport. Book the All Nikko pass unless you’re not planning on going anywhere. The city pass is not that useful, as the entire city can actually be walked (if you like walking). I bought the three day pass, and it was worth it. Just the fare from the train station to the lake was more than JPY1,000 one way. Oh, and you can buy it right at the Tobu station in Asakusa.
  3. Plan? Not necessarily. You can do the rest of your itinerary on the way from Asakusa to Tobu Nikko. The two hour trip is more than good enough, and the map they provide when you buy the ticket has all the information you’ll need.
  4. Clothing. Check the weather. It can get really cold.

 

At Nikko

  1. Walk. The central part is relatively small. Just go exploring.
  2. Go north. You can explore Yuzuri falls, Kegon falls, and other Chuzenji near attractions in a day.
  3. Enjoy!

 

My Itinerary

Day 1.

I arrived late(around 3pm), so I simply went to Nikko Lodge and walked around. Well.

the cozy place plus the company of the other travelers was more than good enough for me.

Day 2.

Just went exploring on foot. I mainly explored the city, go lost again and again.

Day 3.

North! Boy was it cold! I walked from Yuzuri falls down to the entirety of the swampland, then took the bus to Kegon falls, then went home. 🙂

Flying to India

February 12, 2017

It takes TEN HOURS to fly to India. TEN HOURS. It’s my longest flight to date! I’m still not sure if I hate it or if I’m excited.

Quick tips

  1. Take the bag tag and attach it to all your bags. Once you go through baggage screening, they have to stamp these bag tags.
  2. Prepare for a very personal body scan. It was very professionally done, with the girls having a covered area. But still, it was the most personal scan I ever had.
  3. Arrange for car transport if you are arriving at night. Even priced at a premium, it’s probably worth it.

So. Here’s how my flight went:

We met at around 10am (Narita Terminal 2) to board our flight.

Hello, Airplane. Please don’t crash.
Since I’m haven’t done any long haul flights, this is my first time being given so many meals. and snacks. I finally get a taste of the often joked about plane peanuts! (Yes, I’m that shallow)

It wasn’t such a long flight. Maybe because I loved watching Now You See Me and Kimi No Nawa. I took a nap in between, then proceed to randomly watch videos. Yeah, I loved all those nine-ish hours.

Hello, Delhi! Hello, India! I’m here!!!

I was so excited! Then our group had some issues with the confusion in the line for the eTV (electronic Tourist Visa). Basically we went to the wrong line. Honestly, these people weren’t so helpful. But moving on!

We finally got into Bangalore! (I think this is a Bangalore picture)

It was a really, really, long flight. We got in our hotel at around 2am! O.O

 

Otaru During the Day

February 10, 2017

Otaru is quite famous for being a port, and having these old warehouses.

They also hopped in the Snow Light Festival concept of Sapporo, and I’ve got to say, they’ve made the place a worthy side trip.

I came in around 3pm, where they are setting up for the day’s night show. So most of the paraphernalia like the the pretty bowls and snow sculptures aren’t things you should expect on a normal day.

How to get there

Otaru station is one JR ride away from Sapporo Station. If you are on a tourist visa, get the JR Pass. They have one for the whole of Japan, and one just for Sapporo (or Hokkaido?). That makes things way cheaper.

Quick Tips

  • Hokkaido milk is pretty famous. Try the ice cream (I did even though it was soooo cold)
  • Otaru Canal is pretty during the day. But it also gets really cold. So time your trip right so you enjoy say, an hour or two of daylight then another hour of darkness. It’s such a transformation seeing the snow structures before and after lighting.
My favorinte view in Otaru. Why? No people (the crowd is behind me).
One of the old warehouses turned food court.
They have this a lot all over Japan. I’ve seen one in Okinawa, in Fukuoka, in Tokyo…. It’s like street that’s covered like a gym with food and craft stalls
Playing in the snow. grrrr so cold
Freebies! Freebies! (I didn’t get one though.)
Check the Otaru at Night post. This becomes pretty impressive.
Awww.  ❤