Asahikawa, 2007

Stop #1: Snow Crystal Museum in Asahikawa 旭川市. A small museum dedicated entirely to snowflakes. Honestly, there wasn’t much to do or see here–the exhibits literally took no more than 15 minutes tops to go through. But the building itself is pretty, and in a way, the idea is quite charming. Admission is ¥650.

snowmus

Then we drove the Otaru for lunch, which my mom and I just visited last year. Not that we were complaining; it’s one of my favorite places in Japan. :’)

otarulunch1

parents being goofy for good measure

It was time to grill fresh seafood! What Hokkaido is best known for. Everyone was super excited to have all the fresh-caught fish brought out (and some red meats thrown in for funsies). I was pretty happy with our platter though; have I mentioned how much I love kabocha? And corn. And eggplant. And mushrooms.

otaru2Lots of cute woodworking, stitching, glass-blown pretty things. That’s the best I can do to describe them. Also, last year when we went to Hokkaido I didn’t get the name of the coffee & cake place, but now I do! It’s 银の钟一号馆, or “Gin no Kane, Silver Bells”. So hit that place up if you want pretty tea cups that sing to you as you drink tea, and for some delicious pound cake. 🙂 And don’t forget to check out LeTao for some amazing Earl Grey chocolates.

kuromochi

We bought a box of delicious mochi paired with peanut powder for the road. This is the life. And then went down to dinner, which was served at our hotel. Don’t think I can ever get sick of kaiseki meals. They’re a feast for the eyes and for the mouth. There are a ton of dishes to sample and eat, but none of them are too overpowering or heavy. The meal is light, nutritious, and enjoyable. If only they were offered in the US! I would definitely shell out the necessary money for them.

asahidin

It’s amazing to think that all of these are simply vegetables. We get a ton of compliments on our meals from the other people, since it’s like dining on artwork. Also, I think that East Asians simply eat more vegetables than other groups, so it’s not uncommon for them to enjoy eating vegetable dishes. Americans, on the other hand, aren’t as receptive…

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