Hokkaido has more than just 1 winter festival: This is what happens when you put together subzero temperatures, a lot of water, colorful lights and some crazy minds: The Sounkyo Ice Fall Festival Until March 27th you can enjoy the ice sculptures and buildings at the small Onsen town of Sounkyo, located in Daisetsuzan National Park, 2 hours from the town of Asahikawa. On an area of 10.000㎡, you can find a lot of different buildings made of ice and snow, some even two or three stories high! There are temples… …and ice bar… …and wild animals! The main attraction this year is a 3 story building, with several rooms, a throne, balconies and a couple of surprises. The buildings and the layout of the festival change every year, though you can always find a snow tubing run and a stage built of snow where various events, like Hyobaku drums or Ainu ethnic dances, are held. There are also fireworks on weekends and you can drink hot drinks to keep you warm. This is one of the coldest parts of Hokkaido, so be sure to bring really warm clothes! It's also one of the snowiest regions in Hokkaido, so there is some amazing powder waiting for the skiers and snowboarders amongst you. The small ski resort of Kurodake in almost 2000m height is fun for everyone! Don't miss out on this spectacular event. It's great as a day trip from Asahikawa. If you stay in Sounkyo over night, you can also use the shuttle buses from Sapporo. More information here (Japanese only) http://www.sounkyo.net/event/detail.php?id=3 http://www.rinyu.co.jp/modules/pico01/index.php?content_id=3 Written by Irene
Written by on 2016-03-08
Hi everybody, today I introduce "Atami Ume Park" which is not very far from Khaosan Atami Onsen Ryokan & Hostel. Ume (japanese apricot) blossoms are already blooming beautifully in Atami. Atami is known for ume blossoms blooming earlier than any other place in Japan. ☟Ume blossoms in Atami Ume Park (19th February 2016) I went to a Ume park where you can enjoy 59 different kinds of Ume blossoms. Since there are 472 Ume trees in the park and they bloom at the different period, You can see the flowers for two months, from January until the beginning of March. Besides Ume trees, there is a river, and bridges. These make you feel as if you are in a Japanese garden. Also there is an old Japanese house that you can actually go inside, feel comfortableness of a Tatami floor and see how Japanese people used to live. ☟This is called 'Naga-hibachi'. This one was used as a heater or to boil water. A Japanese composer, Shinpei Nakayama used to live here in 1940s. Many old ladies who were visiting this house said that his music reminded them of their childhood. During this ume blossoms event, local ladies are provide you some Japanese hot food. This Ume park is not only for Ume. You can see beautiful lightning bugs flying by the river in June and autumn leaves in November. Since the park is quite big, it took me about 1 hour to look around at all the trees. It's worth seeing! If you are not in a rush, you should try taking a foot bath which is inside the park after walking around there. Atami Baien Park 8:30am-4pm During this Ume event, entrance fee is 300yen Guests who are staying at Atami get discount: 300yen → 100yen (After 4pm to next morning 8:30, it's free!) How to get there From JR Atami station Take a bus heading to 'Ainohara houmen', get off at 'Baien' bus stop: 15 min OR By walk: 30 min From JR Kinomiya station By walk:10 min Access Written by Aya
Written by on 2016-02-24