Lake Toya, 2007

There’s nothing like drinking unfiltered mountain spring water straight from its source. Kyogoku Fubuki Park ‘京極吹出公園’ is where to do it. The water comes straight from the melted snow up in the Hokkaido mountains. It’s cool, crystal clear, and so pure. No bottled water brand can compare.

kyogokufubuki

It’s also there that my mom discovered the most delicious corn any of us had ever had. My dad and I were still incredibly full from all the huge meals we’ve been having on this trip, so we kind of just rolled our eyes at my mom when she went out and bought two big ears of corn. Then she let us take a few bites. And man oh man. Hands-down the sweetest and juiciest steamed corn I’ve ever had. My mind was blown, no joke. There’s something in the water there. Literally. I can’t even fully describe my feelings for the corn. It was like love.

Alas we had to be whisked away to the Sairo Observatory, which overlooks all of Lake Toya. We had a panoramic view of the Nakajima Isles, Mt. Showa-shinzan, and Mt. Usu.

sairo

toyalunchWe had hot pot on the lake, which was a very solid meal but not at all on the same level as the other meals we’ve had in Japan. I was a little disappointed, in all honesty. I also cannot deny that I’ve been spoiled by the astounding food we’d had so far on all our Japan trips.  The fried tofu was good, though, so that was the only thing I bothered taking a picture of. If anything, the view of Lake Toya from the large windows made up for it. Even if it was a pretty gloomy day.

cherriesThe best part of the day was yet to come. A chance to go cherry picking on a farm! We had a little more than an hour to pick as many cherries as we could. Inexplicably delicious. Mind blown twice in a day, and all from eatables. Don’t think I will ever have cherries that good again. Fruit right off the vine is a whole world of underestimated goodness. Sweet but not saccharine, plump and firm without being hard, juicy but not messy. Perfection. They look like maraschino cherries, but without the chemical food colouring and flavor.

We spent the night at Noboribetsu Onsen 登別溫泉 in the Noboribetsu Grand Hotel. The dinner buffet was beautiful there. 🙂 And with my sweet tooth in full bloom, I had a ton of cakes and red bean soup with glutinous sesame rice balls. So good!

noboribetsu

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