The Real Hokkaido

We don’t have the words to adequately describe the Real Hokkaido.  If a picture is worth a thousand words this video should make your skin tingle with goosebumps.  The video features the cities of Sapporo, Hakoate, Otaru and the world famous Asahikawa zoo, and contrasts the beauty of the built environment with the four seasons of the Hokkaido landscape.  Hokkaido’s major cities are quintessentially Japanese with a Russian tint.  Hokkaido is the most sparsely populated of Japan’s islands and you will be surprised by the extent of it’s forrests and national parks.  Hokkaido is renowned for the quality of its seafood, the expertise and imagination of its chefs, and the quality of its cuisine.  Seafood Ramen is a Hokkaido speciality, and the crab Ramen in particular a real delight.  Summer tourists flock to Hokkaido to view field after field of Lavander, Rape Seed and Potato flowers set out in strips of vibrant color with dozens of potato varieties grown.  Hokkaido is the farming and dairy heart of Japan and of course the breeding place of 2006 Melbourne Cup winner Delta Blues. The old man featured in the video is Ainu, the original inhabitants of Japan who settled the islands 10,000 years prior to the invasion of the Children of the Sun.  The Ainu are related to the peoples of Tibet and India’s Andaman Islands.

The closing scene is of Nakajima Island situated in Lake Toya less than 40 klms from Pension Woody Note.

And yes there are bears in Hokkaido.  ‘Bear Bells’ dot the ski slopes, a reminder of times when skiing had that extra spice.  The noise of the ‘Bear Bells’ was said to frighten away the bears, we think that since bears are intelligent they probably worked out that it was their dinner bell.  Guests are always encouraged to ring the ‘Bear Bells’ for good luck before setting off on their runs.  Skiing Hirafu you wont see bears but you will see the footprints of rabbits and foxes in the snow, and on occasion, the real thing.

Ringing The Hirafu Bear Bell

The Hirafu Bear Bell. Or is that the bell for a Bears’ picnic?


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