Sunday, September 24, 2017

Episode 242 - Advertisements or Fantasies?

The above are some of the many interesting, and beyond imagination, advertising signboards erected on the walls of the buildings, all along the streets in downtown Obihiro, Hokkaido.

It appears to me that the people there are not just advertising their goods and services.  These signboards are their fantasies and imaginations come true.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Episode 241 - Where is the Fairy?

The above is a photo of a michi no eki ("roadside rest area") situated along Japan National Highway No. 39.  This eki is called Meruhen-no Oka Memambetsu, meaning the Hill of Fairy at the Memambetsu (which old town, having merged with Higashimokoto, is now known as the Ōzora-cho).

It would appear that the outlook of the eki does not live up its name.  However, this is a "must visit" eki for many photography lovers.  It is because the eye catching spot "Hill of Fairy" is situated within half a minute's drive from the eki:

It's easy to drive pass this wonderful spot without noticing it if you come from a long distance.  The best way to do is to stop at the eki, take a rest there before start searching for the fairy.  

Friday, July 28, 2017

Episode 240 - Transient Beauty

Ryu Sei No Taki 

 Gin Ga No Taki

 Rope ways to Mount Kurodake

A frozen stream along the rope ways to Mount Kurodake

Landscape at Sounkyo

I took these photos at the Sounkyo and Mount Kurodake scenic areas.

Compare with the Shiretoko Goko Lakes, the landscape in the Sounkyo and Mount Kurodake scenic areas provide an intended visitor with some sort of comfort.  The quality of the landscape here will not be affected much by weather.  Sounkyo and Mount Kurodake could provide a visitor different but all aesthetic atmospheres whether it is a sunny, misty or rainy day - regardless of the weather, all is and will be well.  But a misty / rainy day would definitely diminish the enjoyment of a round trip at the Shiretoko Lakes - bad weather, bad luck - because the mysterious lakes' beauty will only be transiently presented under the sun.

My family spent an enjoyable day in the Sounkyo and Mount Kurodake scenic areas. The weather was not stable - occasional sunshine with mist and patches of rain - but that did not affect our journey.

Standing in front of the Ryu Sei and the Gin Ga Waterfalls, and watching the water lines crawling down the rocks like silver strings amid the golden sunlight, my joyfulness could not be expressed in words;  Sitting on the lift chair bound for the Seventh Level of Mount Kurodake amid the misty clouds, I felt like I was entering a land of deities. Such a touch of heart experience is incommunicable and could not be captured by photos.  Were they not also variants of transient beauty?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Episode 239 - The String that Drew us Back (Part 2)

Our 2003 Hokkaido trip, from which we brought back so many lovely memories, was the motivating force behind our decision to start the recent journey.  

Revisiting a place is like taking certain "emotional risks".  Any change in circumstances, whether in weather, traffic, food or personnel involved, might upset a re-visitor's established image of his "holy-land".

We took that risk nevertheless. 

The above are photos of those places where we put our steps on once again. They are Lake Mashū, Sulphur Hill and the Lake Ashoro Roadside Rest Area.  They were even more attractive than we were there in 2003.

The cakes of the confectionery shops at Obihiro, which I do not have a photo here, were still yummy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Episode 238 - Hidden Treasures

We discovered this flower park on our way to Kitami City.

According to the information available, this place is called Kitami-shi Onneyu Hot Spring Flower Park, which is ancillary to an Agricultural Interchange Centre, established to facilitate the agricultural development of the district.

The park is not publized as a sightseeing point in the Kitami-shi official website, likely due to the nature / purposes of its establishment.  We saw an uphill direction road sign, in respect of the flower park, after visiting the Onneyu Hot Spring Roadside Rest Area.  We followed the sign and reach the garden shortly.

In this Hokkaido journey, we intended to skip over those sightseeing points which would always packed with groups of tourists.  Hence we bypassed the flower beds in Furano and Biei.  We did not know some beautiful flowers were awaiting us in Kitami.

Every tourists attraction had a time when very few people noticed of its existence.  Whether this site will become popular in the future is not a matter for me to judge.  One basic rule in my self-help travelling handbook is that a traveller needs to have a sense of curiosity, without which one will miss a treasure trove even if it is in a within reach distance.