I love Japan. Over the past 12 years I've visited this amazing country just over half a dozen times. What's so great about it...? Well for the most part it's clean and safe, people are very polite, the food is cheap and the culture there is a broad range from extravagant to subtle and charming. I was very fortunate to be invited on a special trip to Hokkaido with Dokoga TV and my amazing friend Melissa Chang. Also in the group my former HTJ chaperone (from the Miss Hawaii days) Yumi Ozaki and Melissa's longtime friend Deb Aoki. The amazing jack of all trades and the man behind Doko Ga TV, Pali Kaaihue spends nearly 75% of his time in Japan and he along with Hawaiian Airlines, Doko Ga TV, Hokkaido Television Broadcasting and various governmental agencies in Japan hosted us on outstanding experiential tours, stops, food and more.
I was only in Japan for 3 days as I had to return home to Hawaii for the launch of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival on Maui, but here is a look at the phenomenal experience from Sapporo to Hokkaido in just 3 days.
Once we arrived and checked in to our apartment we were starving so we walked to a nearby famous ramen shop. Onimusha is famous for it's miso ramen. The noodles are chewy and fresh, the broth is rich, full of flavor and the toppings are amazing too. It's hard to believe that these gigantic bowls of slurpy goodness are all under $9. AMAZING!
I got to choose a base color (pink) and an added color (light blue). Then you create a marble while melting the glass onto a metal rod. Burning, twisting, twisting, burning till it's orange, this takes skill and thankfully my teacher helped me so my marble looked like a perfect round ball. (Photo Credit: Melissa Chang)
Just below Mt. Yotei is the magnificent Fukidashi Park, known for its mineral water. Residents come with water bottles and containers to scoop up the fresh water from the mountain. The park itself is exquisite and very photogenic. I would highly recommend coming here to relax and enjoy. You can also drink the water right from the waterfalls. (Photo Credit: Melissa Chang)
Mention Sapporo and you'll likely hear oohs and ahhs about their fresh seafood. This is no joke. They have the best, fresh, tasty seafood I've ever had. This is the special Hairy Crab, it doesn't come with butter or any sauce. In fact it's so sweet and tender you don't even have to put lemon on it. The way they cut it and present it for you you just use a special fork to pull out the meat. So easy.
I am not a sashimi freak like some, I love poke but there's only so much sashimi I can eat, usually. But this plate of fresh, delicious sashimi was so good I couldn't stop eating it. I was addicted. They also serve a sweet type of shoyu sauce that is the perfect compliment to the succulent sashimi pieces.
This was all in Day 1 of the trip. Stay tuned for Day 2 and 3 coming up.
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