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Hokkaido Shreds

    • June 17, 2022
    • June 19, 2022

    A Little Curious About the Guardian of the River

    Asahikawa is a paradise of rivers The bike path along the river is one of the most comfortable road to run in Asahikawa. Most of pedestrian and bike paths laid out on the top of embankments. You can pedal along the river to your heart’s content without worries about cars. Asahikawa ctiy has 130 rivers and more than 750 bridges, and “Kawa” means “river,” so as the name of city suggests it is a paradise of rivers and accompanying small paths. Objects of curiosity and their various designs Do you notice anything that catches your attention, when you are running along the river? Yes, they are small structures scattered along the embankment. They are called “樋門” (Himon) in Japanese which means sluice gates in English. I found there are amazingly different designs in the city. Unfortunately, I have no other place to show off my collection of photos of these […]

    • June 10, 2022
    • June 13, 2022

    How about Cycling in Hokkaido?

    What would you like to do on your free time in Hokkaido? If you were to move to Hokkaido and start a new life, what hobbies would you like to do on your free time? Hokkaido is one of the most comfortable places in Japan for cycling. Roads are usually straight, wide, and with less traffic. Even if you are not an avid cyclist, going for a bike ride a little further afield is a great idea to keep active during the weekend. Asahikawa is well suited place for cycling I am not an enthusiastic cyclist, just started riding a bike about a year ago. As soon as I moved here, I realized how well suited Asahikawa is for cycling. With the vast Kamikawa Basin and several rivers running through it, there is no shortage of places to ride. On weekends, when my body feels like lead after a week […]

    • June 7, 2022
    • June 25, 2022

    Flourishing July

    In 2021, due to the epidemic, foreign tourists can’t come to Japan. Otherwise, this period of the year (I’m writing this in July) is usually the peak period of tourism in Hokkaido in early summer, though flowers bloom brilliantly as usual. One of popular tourist attractions in Hokkaido is Farm Tomita, a huge lavender farm spreading over hills. The popular sightseeing spot reminds me of something. I used to work at a small hotel run by two Taiwanese girls, of which name is Lavender Cottage. When traveling in Hokkaido, they were impressed by the magnificent lavender scenery at Farm Tomita to establish a company and open a villa in Biei town in Hokkaido with their own lavender garden. Their start-up has a touching background story. They didn’t build a villa from scratch but bought an existing one run by a Japanese owner. He started the villa with his wife, but […]

    • July 5, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    The Way Home

    When working in Tokyo, I always left the office after dark and rushed back home. After getting back to Hokkaido, I’ve noticed the busy city made me forget to pay attention to the beauty around my life. Hokkaido has been covered with snow and ice for nearly half a year. When the snow melts in spring, all the flowers and plants burst into bloom. They seem to try to show their beauty that has been frozen for a long time. Now, I leave the office earlier, and always enjoy the view and take pictures of the flowers and plants on the way back home. Although I don’t know their names, their beauty remains in my heart. The world is full of beauty, but we sometimes rush too much to miss it. Why don’t we get some rest and pay more attention to things around us, like flowers on the roadside. […]

    • June 28, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    Biei Walk

    Which season do you like best? My favorite is autumn. After the extremely hot days of summer, everything is dyed in red, like wearing makeup. Of course, the autumn leaves soon wither, but their short lives make the autumn scenery look more attractive. Walking on the street in Biei town, Hokkaido, you can see photogenic spots everywhere. Even if it’s not a famous spot, the contrast of red leaves and the indigo sky always makes you feel like walking in a famous painting or movie; so beautiful that you will never forget it. I like to travel around Japan and actually visited many places. When it comes to the natural landscape in Japan, I’m sure Hokkaido is second to none. Why don’t you come and see for yourself? You can take beautiful pictures anywhere like a pro!

    • June 23, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    The Playground of Gods in Spring

    I think one of the best things about living in Asahikawa is nature right next to us. Mountains, rivers, forests and the vast sky always enrich my body and soul. Daisetsuzan National Park is a prime example. The native Hokkaido people, the Ainu, have called it ‘Kamuy Mintar’ meaning the playground of gods. On my way to work, I find myself checking it up through my car windshield how those gods are doing up there. The park covers Mt. Asahidake, the highest mountain in Hokkaido. Even though the summit is so close to the spring sun, the deep snow on the mountain stays for long where we can enjoy both the snow and the bright sunshine showering down and reflected by snow below. One day in mid May, 2016, mountain climbing lovers at work including myself gathered for the very first snowshoeing at the mountain. It was a kind of […]

    • June 16, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    My First Impression of Hokkaido: Biei Blue Pond

    What comes to your mind when you hear Hokkaido? Freezing snow, lavender fields, the ginkgo street of Hokkaido University? For me, it’s the Blue Pond in Biei town. When deciding to work in Hokkaido, I made some preliminary research and saw the photos of the Blue Pond on the internet. The beauty took my breath away and made me decide to go to Biei town. I never forget the day when I first visited the Blue Pond. That day, my work finished earlier. Having said that, it was already two o’clock in the afternoon, though. The autumn sun sets so quickly. I got on a bicycle and climbed up the long slope leading up to the Blue Pond. As it got colder and darker, I kept on pedaling the bicycle, shivering and regretting a little. After more than two hours of riding, it finally came up in front of me. […]

    • June 9, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    Tsuru (Crane) In Hokkaido

    In the early spring of Hokkaido, when all living things come back to life, I drove a car down a country road and happened to see two cranes. They, without being afraid of me pulling over and other cars passing by, seemed to wait for something. I quietly got out of the car and kept watching them to find it was baby birds that they waited for. The crane family marched up to the other side of the road while the local cars just stopped, taking it like a common practice. I was so impressed to see people peacefully coexist with animals. People and animals are close to each other in good harmony, which is very Hokkaido, a real paradise.

    • June 1, 2021
    • June 7, 2022

    September in Sapporo

    Sapporo in September, completely different from the main land of Japan where people still suffer from lingering summer heat. The capital city of Hokkaido has a population of two million, but has such a big natural park in the center of the city. One autumn day, I went to the park to take some pictures, with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1. I took this shot under macro mode. The leaves were focused and the background was blurred out. This mode makes even my photography skills look better, though the picture was kind of a failure. The color of the leaves came out well, but I should have gone more closely. A giant crow casually enjoying a thick piece of bread. The crow was constantly moving, and so, I had to switch to sport mode for a faster shutter speed to freeze action. I was able to catch it within the […]

    • July 16, 2020
    • June 17, 2022

    Doggies

    When traveling in Yufuin, Kyushu (sorry, it’s not about Hokkaido), last summer, I randomly walked into this famous Shiba Inu Café, which was the one I always wanted to visit. The reason why I like shooting animals more than people is because I can easily capture ideal views without any communication. For people, they are always too shy to act natural in front of the camera. Natural light is always the best decoration for a photo. Hopefully I can take a sweet nap like her this weekend.