Hokkaido Day 4: Sounkyo Gorge and Kitami

We checked out of our hotel early after eating a delicious Japanese breakfast and headed to Daisetsuzan National Park, just down the street from our hotel. We took a cable car up into the snowy mountains to get a better look at Mt. Kurodake. It was just beautiful and the weather was perfect. 美味しい日本朝食を食べてから早朝にホテルをチェックアウトして、通りを一つ隔てた大雪山国立公園に行き、黒岳を見るために雪山までケーブルカーで登っていきました。非常に美しくて、天気がちょうどよかったです。

Sounkyo Gorge, a beautiful waterfall, was also nearby. I’m amazed at just how awesome the nature is here in Hokkaido. 近くの層雲峡もあり、北海道の自然が本当にすごいと思います。

Today was a more relaxing day as we had to drive a bit to get to the city of Kitami. I’m happy to take a nap on the bus because I don’t sleep as much on this tour. The city is Kitami is known for its mint production. We went to a museum to see how they cultivate and extract the mint to make various products. 北見という町まで少し長い間なので、今日はのんびり旅行をしました。このツアーのうちにあまり寝ていなくて、バスで昼寝できてよかったと思います。北見はハッカの名物に知られており、到着した際北見ハッカ記念館で商品を作るために耕作、抽出の方法を学びました。

Lunch was in a nearby Aeon mall in Kitami. I just had typical shoyu ramen. 昼は近くのイオンモールで、普通の醤油ラーメンを食べました。

We drove a bit more and was supposed to see Bihoro Pass but it was so foggy so we couldn’t see anything. We ended up just driving to the hotel and meeting my friend there. The hotel and this small town really is in the middle of nowhere. There’s a lot of local Ainu people who sell their handicrafts. We went to go look at some of the shops and I just wish I could buy everything. The owners are all so nice and talented; I feel bad that many are unable to make a lot of money because they have been historically disenfranchised by society. I bought one small thing from a store and I hope to buy more later. その後もう少しバスに乗って、美幌峠を見に行くはずでしたが、霧がかかったので全然見えなかったのです。だってホテルに到着し、私の友達とそこで集まりました。この町は本当に何もない所にありますよ。ホテルの周りに手工芸を売っているアイヌの方が多くて、友達と買い物をしました。みんな優しくて、才能があっても、歴史的に権利を剥奪されたので多くのアイヌが貧乏です。一つの小さいお土産しか買わなかったけれど、後でまた買って支援したいと思います。

Bihoro Pass–couldn’t see anything 😦 

Many Ainu people live here and sell wood carvings.

                    Cute dog that lives there. 

Our hotel is so amazing. It is my first time here and I just love it. There are Ainu statues in the lobby. Our room is so spacious and beautiful. And the onsens are the best I’ve ever been. As guests we can use the onsen on the other side at the connecting partner hotel. We went to both and the one over there was three stories; there were places to massage your feet, an indoor cave, and an outdoor rock one. I wish you could take pictures. 泊まっているホテルは素敵なところです!ロービーにはアイヌの彫刻物があるし、温泉が入ったことあるの中で一番最高だし、1日の宿泊はよかったです。お客様は隣のパートナーホテルの温泉も利用できるので、私たちは両方入り、隣の温泉のほうがよかったと思います。三階の多い温泉には足のマッサージ、洞穴、露天風呂もあり、写真を撮りたかったなと思いました。

                         ANA Tsuruga Wings Hotel 

I will greatly miss the onsen here!! 次の温泉を楽しみにしています。

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