Mingalaba

I approached the guy holding a sign with my name on it. “Mingalaba (hello),” he greeted and then led us to a Toyota Corolla. The first thing I noticed (aside from it being an old car) was the right-hand steering driving on the right-hand side of the road. Before we even reached the guesthouse, I … Continue reading Mingalaba

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Of Snows and Hot Baths

In the middle of Daisetsuzan National Park, nestled in narrow scenic gorge flanked by cliffs, abundant hot springs, powerful waterfalls, and fantastic rock formation is a full-scale mountain resort town called Sounkyo. It has become quite touristy because it is an excellent base for trekking and skiing around the National Park. From late January to … Continue reading Of Snows and Hot Baths

Asahikawa

Hokkaido’s second largest city is a good base for those exploring the nearby Daisetsu mountain range and the picturesque Biei-Furano. But because we were there in the dead of winter and we don’t ski, we had other things in mind. We were there for the 58th Asahikawa Winter Festival, its zoo, and ramen. The Asahikawa … Continue reading Asahikawa