Posted on Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 at 5:47am by Brett.
(Tuesday, February 10th, 2004 at 7:47pm Japanese Standard Time)
Well, I just got back from a nice 5 day vacation to Hokkaido in northern Japan. Liz, Katie, and I went to the
To get there, we had to take a Ferry from Oarai, near Tokyo...kinda...to somewhere in Hokkaido. The ferry ride was 20 hours, but it was a blast. We got bumped to first class because they were out of the super cheap tickets, so our room as pretty nice. Liz and I spent a lot of the trip on the way there playing Bomber Man in the game room, while Katie impressed the old Japanese men with her skills at the quasi gambling machines.
Speaking of the game room, it was a bit odd. There was your normal arcade games like Bomber Man, Space Invaders...stuff like that, then right next to them you had your Strip Poker, Girl-on-girl action game, and other assorted porn-based video entertainment. To play the Jurassic Park shooting game, Liz and I had to walk around the dirty old man playing the Nude Girl Goh game. It was odd...
Anyway, we got to Sapporo, and met up with two friends from Tsukuba. They had flown, and wanted to go snow boarding the next day. Liz and I decided to go with them, and it was a lot of fun. We were both pretty bad, but got better. We accidentally bought the advanced level package, so we were basically restricted to use only two trails on the entire mountain at Teine, but it was a lot of fun. Halfway down a really really long trail (that, after one little misread sign and a wrong turn later, ended up on top of a frozen lake...oops) it started snowing really hard. The snow stung and hurt so much...my hair froze to my head. The next day, and still today, actually, we're so sore...
After that, we hit the main part of the
On Sunday, the three of us met up with a friend of mine from OSU, Greg, and his wife. Greg is studying at Hokkaido Uni, and his wife is living here with him. That was a lot of fun. We went to a restaurant that turned out to be much more expensive than any of us really wanted, but it was good fun. We gave the waiters a nice laugh when we started drinking what we thought was soup, but was actually just some flavoring for the shabushabu we were eating. Shabushabu is a kind of boiled meet that you dip in some kind of flavored soupy stuff. We drank our flavor...we think it's ok, though...
Monday, we woke up and checked out of our youth hostel, then went to an onsen. It was a really cool onsen, and we went there at about the best time. You could go outside and it was snowing like crazy, but the spring water was so warm that you didn't notice. After that, we ran around Sapporo frantically trying to make sure we didn't miss our ferry back to Tsukuba.
Sapporo felt amazingly different than Tsukuba and Tokyo. First off, there are foreigners and English everywhere. The city was amazingly easy to get around, and I'd imagine it'd be hard to get lost...Greg's wife known very little Japanese, and she said she didn't have problems getting around. The city felt a lot like America...it was kinda weird. It was nice to have the feeling that I was in America, but I'm glad I decided to come to Tsukuba. We might be small...not have any public transportation or anything, but it's a lot harder to get by without using Japanese here....It's good for me or something...
Anyway, the trip was a lot of fun. I got kinda caught up with homework from Japanese class, so that was good. Tomorrow is a holiday because...ah...who knows why. I'm going to use it to do laundry, though...wee fun!
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