Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One last adventure

When H, R and I realized that we were going to have one last weekend adventure together, we decided to plan to do something a little bit more epic than usual. We decided to aim for the islands Teuri and Yagishiri, off the coast of Haboro, Hokkaido.

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Friday night, I picked H up from the train station and we crashed at R’s house for the night.
We had a lot of fun laughing as the last of the preparations were made before bed.

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Saturday morning it was raining, so we decided to take our time and not rush out to the islands.
Since we decided not to hurry, we thought we might try to see some famous wetlands in Uryu-cho. As we drove down the tiny, one lane, gravel road, we came upon a bear. It was a baby and we were in the car, so it wasn’t very scary, but it was quite exciting because we all had heard bear warnings, and kind of wanted to see one, though we didn’t want to get hurt.

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When we got near the area for the wetlands, we discovered that we would have to hike in and none of us were dressed well for that, plus the people coming back were wearing bug nets. With H’s allergic reactions to mosquitoes, we decided it was a good idea not to go down the trail, but to just go see a small waterfall.

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As we continued our drive for Haboro, R and I decided that we wanted to stop at every Michi-no-eki along the way. Michi-no-ekis are a cross between a rest stop and a town information center. Most of them have cool local products.

In Hokuryu, we found a michi-no-eki with sunflowers and dragons.

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I ate the sunflower seed ice cream. It was pretty yummy.

Our next stop was in Obira, to get a photo of their welcome sign, complete with a dinosaur head. This stop also resulted in a new pair of kitty shoes.

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Next was a stop at the oldest building in Hokkaido and it’s michi-no-eki.

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H decided to have a lick of ice cream.

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And was surprised when her tongue actually landed on the ice cream.

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That night we decided with the rain that had been coming on and off, that it would be  good idea to stay in Haboro and head for the islands the next morning. We stayed in a nice Youth Hostel.

On Sunday, we got up fairly early for breakfast and our boat ride to Yagashiri.

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On Yagashiri, we had a nice walk in the rain and a peek through the oldest building on the Island – it used to be a place to stay, a bank, a post office and a shop. Maybe the first shopping mall?

We also saw some sheep and upon finding out the population, decided there were likely more sheep than people, and thus deemed Yagishiri the New Zeland of Japan.

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This post is turning out longer than I thought. So, I’ll continue our island adventures in the next post.