One of the places my family visited during our trip to Hokkaido last July was the Asahikawa Snow Crystal Museum. It’s not really a popular tourist destination, and to be honest, it’s not really much of a museum too as there’s limited things to do and see here – basically, you just go here to look at the snow crystals, as well as passing by and looking in awe at the huge chunks of ice that they have on display in a corridor.
Upon entering the Snow Crystal Museum, this is the sight that will greet you. A crystal tree! 😀 Entrance to the museum is 650 yen for adults.
Out of all the regions in Japan, Hokkaido is probably one of the youngest. There isn’t really that much cultural sights to visit as when you’re in the Honshu area (where Tokyo is located), but it’s still worth a visit as for the lack of history, it makes up for beautiful landscape and natural sceneries. During the winter, a lot of people go here because of winter sports like skiing and the like. However, during spring and summer, it’s also visited for several activities such as hiking, summer festivals, and of course, to view the pretty flower gardens there. One of the flower gardens we visited during our trip to Hokkaido was the panoramic flower gardens of Shikisai-no-Oka, which is fifteen hectares of land in Oka-no-machi Biei that provides breathtaking views of rows upon rows of flowers.
Such a pretty sight! During our visit, it was really hot but being able to see this view was worth it. I suggest that you bring an umbrella and a hat when you visit though!
The place sort of reminds me of Sirao Flower Farm in Cebu. Obviously this one is bigger though and there are much more varieties of flowers to be seen here compared to the ones you can see in Sirao.
For our last full day in Japan, we spent it in Universal Studios Osaka. I think that it wasn’t really a bad way to spend our last day. I’m not really complaining, but I would have liked it better if our tour was extended one day more so that we could explore Osaka.
As we approached the entrance of the theme park, we were greeted with flags with various Universal Studios characters like minions and the very famous Hello Kitty. This was new information to me, as before the trip I wouldn’t have thought to see Hello Kitty in Universal Studios.
The entrance. There’s a big ’15th’ there because Universal Studios Osaka was celebrating their 15th year anniversary.
Having been given a choice of either going to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea, we chose the latter and somehow, I’m glad that we did. After all, it was a different experience than going to Disneyland. Why, you might ask? Well, the attractions really does vary from those that you can see in Disneyland. That, and DisneySea is a theme park that targets an older audience, what with the rides available mostly being roller-coasters. Also, another thing that you will notice in DisneySea is that the characters wandering around the theme park are not ‘mainstream’ characters. In Disneyland, you might see Goofy, the Disney princesses, and other well-known characters, while in DisneySea, you’ll see Cruella De Vil, the Genie from Aladdin, and Woody just to name a few.
After you buy your ticket and proceed inside, the first thing that will greet you once you enter Tokyo DisneySea is this huge globe. Continue reading →
One of the places that was part of our itinerary that I had really been looking forward to visiting would be the Deer Park located in Osaka. I don’t know, but for me, there’s a certain allure to being able to see, and hopefully pet, a deer.
We spotted this construction of a boat. I wasn’t really sure what it was for, but it did look quite interesting, enough that it merited quite a few shots.
During our trip to Japan, we were able to go on a side trip to Kyoto, though we were only able to go to the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple. I was hoping to go to Fushimi Inari-Taisha, which had been made famous by the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha. That, or stop by Arashiyama, which I had seen a lot of photos of. However, since we had joined a group tour, we had to stick to the schedule that was given to us. On the other hand, at least now I do have more reasons to go back to Japan! 🙂
Again, I was able to spot some women wearing colourful kimonos. According to our guide, in Japanese culture, if the woman’s kimono is colourful, then that means that she is still single. However, if her kimono’s isn’t colourful (for example, it is mainly coloured red or any other colour), then that means that she is married already.
During our first three days in Japan, our hotel (Grand Hotel Le Daiba), was located in the Odaiba area. Odaiba is an island apart from Tokyo, so if you want to go to other districts such as Shinjuku or Shibuya, then it will take you twenty minutes or so to go there via bus, train, and other modes of transportation. However, I think that if you’re just going to stay in the Odaiba area, the Grand Hotel Le Daiba is located strategically, and it’s near all the shopping places like Diver City, Decks, Aqua City, and Palette Town.
On our first night in Odaiba as we walked around our hotel, we were greeted with this magnificent sight. The Rainbow Bridge and a replica of the Statue of Liberty. It’s a must-see if you’re around the area!