さよなら, Japan. 你好 Taiwan!

My last trip in Japan came to a close in Hokkaido. Tour prices were consistently escalating, so it was unlikely that we would return to Japan in the foreseeable future. It’s really sad to think about, considering how much it’s help me grow as a person and teaching me to step outside my comfort zone. And also how much I’ll miss eating kaiseki meals and bathing in hot springs by the lake. We ended on a good note. With more ramen! Doesn’t get any better than that.

ajisai

Ajisai Hakodate is the place to hit up if you want some good ramen. The broth is typically made from chicken, pork, kelp, and “secret incredients”. There’s apparently a lot of body to the soup, which is clear and not at all fatty and oily. Omnomnom. We had our ramen in a sauce and with a ton of vegetables–which they weren’t skimpy on–since we couldn’t have the broth. Just as good. I was happy with it.

Then we flew to Taiwan for more hot springs. At 陽明山 Yangmingshan, which is located between Taipei and New Taipei. The mountains are famous for its cherry blossoms and hot springs, as well as Taiwan’s tallest and inactive volcano. My mom’s close friends in Taiwan treated us to a night at 天籟 (Tien Lai) Hot Springs Resort.

tianlai

It’s a 4-star resort with the option of European or Japanese style rooms. All of us oped for Japanese rooms, since that’s the right way to do hot springs :). You get a private semi open-air hot spring pool at the veranda, and mountain views. The rooms were really spacious and we got to sleep on tatami once more.

yangmingshan

The hotel also hosted a bonfire that night, which included lots of fooooood! Yay. Delicious.

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