Far From the Hustle and Bustle

Hokkaido isn’t just physically far away from Tokyo (although thanks to the new Shinkansen line it only takes 4 hours to get there) but with its wild nature and lack of people it almost feels like a different country. Excellent place to go relax in some beautiful onsen.

We stayed at two different ryokans, one more traditional and old-fashioned and one very new and fancy. Although fancy is the wrong word to use probably because neither one of them came cheap…

While the first one felt like it had last been overhauled in the 70s they did have a family onsen room which meant we could all go and enjoy the baths together instead of having to split men/women. They also served dinner in our room which made things slightly more relaxing for us with the kids. I say slightly because while this meant BabyPaw could run around instead of having to pretend to sit in a high-chair, it also meant we had to follow him with eagle-eyes and pick up any food he dropped. Since we were later going to sleep on that same floor with our futons, this was a real concern. Still, very nice place.

The next day we drove around Lake Shikotsu.

Then we headed to our second ryokan, the newer/fancier one. I actually don’t have many pictures from there because we spent most of our time inside the onsen – it was gigantic – and you’re obviously not allowed to take pictures there. They also had a delicious buffet, the reason for SmallPaw asking every day to go to a buffet restaurant now. It will break her heart when she finds out that not all buffets are created equal…

Unfortunately they didn’t have a family onsen but you could bring kids and babies with you into the big onsen. We didn’t get a chance to try it with BabyPaw because the timing was never right (when you’re still in diapers, timing is everything…) but SmallPaw is a total pro at the whole shebang now.

From there we headed to the Onuma Quasi National Park. I thought the ‘quasi’ was a joke on Google maps or maybe a special Japanese word but no, it’s really not quite a national park. Just a quasi national park.

So in short, if you’re looking for nature and good seafood, head to Hokkaido.

2 Responses to “Far From the Hustle and Bustle”

  1. vicky says:

    just beautiful – love this last pic – it really seems staged

  2. Kuru says:

    Beautiful. Love the outfits. Want to go

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