Shivering Urausu Town and vineyard!

by Kazu

What I saw with nostalgia in last summer was covered with snow in this area, too.
Mt.Shokanbetsu(-dake) shows the white skyline in the north of this hilly area of Urausu Town where the widest vineyard in Japan is run by HokkaidoWine Company headquartered in Otaru City.
Hiking season has gone but the season of hunting has come! But, to be honest, the number of hunters in Hokkaido is not enough and the existing hunters are aging.  On the other hand, the number of deers in Hokkaido has been on the rise and they ate up the veggies, crops and fruit the farmers grew. Basically, we Japanese people are the tribe of agriculture and the culture of gibier has not been here to stay. If we set the spacial area of hunting deers for the tourist from other area of Japan and globe, will the number of tourists will increase ?
What do you think about it? We have to cull the number of wild deers in Hokkaido.
But, unfortunately, it is not clear who is responsible for adjusting the number of deers in Hokkaido. The leaders of the municipalities in Sorach sub-prefectural area said it is tough for them to arrange and carry out the countermeasure against the damage to the agricultural produce brought by deers.
Primary, Hokkaido Government should commit to draft the plan to cull the number of deers.
Secondary, the plan should be executed by the government.
Tertiary, the effective and efficient way to kick out the deers from the agricultural fields should be developed.
In this case, the important thing is easier way for farmers should be developed. Traps are valid to deers but it is a little bit dangerous to for inexperienced farmers to kill the deers trapped.
Quaternary, the culture of gibier should be introduced and make it penetrated in Japan.
I am planning to set up the web site that introduce "the gibier of Hokkaido".
Even these wide vineyard can be damaged by deers.  Some farmers who run the orchard in the outskirt of Iwamizawa City grumble that
 as if they grew the fruit for deers.
The light of hope has not been seen. But we should take action for the farmers!

Sapporo in winter 2 !

by Kazu

My jogging course in Sapporo City got so slippery. In the premises of Hokkaido University, the lawns and the roads are covered with snow and ice completely. Even in cold circumstances, the number of joggers like me seemed to be increasing. Inhaling cold air makes me refreshed and ready for battles in my daily life.
Inhaling the air of minus 30 degrees in Celsius made the mucous membrane of pharynx chilblain slightly in Canada.

We do not have such cold day in Sapporo City but the chilly breeze from the northwest
makes us shivering. Compared to the eastern part of Hokkaido including my hometown Kitami City, it tends to be cloudy or snowy in the western part of Hokkaido affected by the monsoon.
The pond in the premises of Hokkaido University has not been covered with ice and snow but the surface has been frozen slightly.
As if no leaves from the scratch, the colourful foliage has gone with the wind from the northwest.
The poplar trail where many tourists visit and take photos was also so calm and cold that very few people were strolling early in the morning. Much more tourists would visit there late in the morning. The roads are so slippery now that the visitors should be careful to avoid broken hip and compound or simple fracture. When Fatinnadiah visit Hokkaido in winter, I will have to escort her for the perfect pleasure!
I will post the so-called "white illumination" in Sapporo next time!


Paddy McGinty’s Niseko First Powder snow DJ Party RUMBLE NIGHT

by Yukihiro Hiro Takahashi
After big snow storm in Niseko.Blue sky and snowy world.
Go skiing and DJ party NISEKO RUMBLE on Saturday night,8th December.
— Mt.Youteiさんと一緒です。
Details are as follows;
Paddy McGinty’s Niseko First Powder snow DJ Party
8th December 2012

We would like you all to be informed on Niseko ski season opening DJ Party
for local businesses and all winter staff in Niseko. The concept of the
party is to celebrate First Powder snow fall and opening Niseko ski resorts
with all local businesses, staff and guests.
 We hope we have a great season 2012-2013. We will make more opportunities
to get to know each other at the beginning of winter season.

This DJ party is 6th party, as NISEKO RUMBLE NIGHT in Niseko. Our DJ and VJ
are visiting from Tokyo, Saitama, and Fukushima prefecture in Main Island of Japan, Honshu, and
as well as Sapporo and Bibai in Hokkaido to blitz Niseko area with their
fantabulous performance. Our DJ team has enough experience to arrange
perfect mixed music for boys, girls as well as ladies and gentlemen. Please
understand the concept of this welcoming Powder snow season to Niseko.
We welcome your support and joining this DJ Party.
VJ (Video jockey) shows Powder ski video, Effects and Support company logo.
●Please buy the tickets for this DJ party for your staff.(350yen / ticket)
1.    We can show your company Logo on the big screen every 1 hour.
2.    We introduce all sponsors’ name, short information at Sponsor
introduction time.(the Start, the Middle and the End)
 ●If you could give us your kind support to inform on this party to all
staff and guests, we would really appreciate it so much!
Date / December 8th 2012 (SAT)
Place / Paddy McGinty’s Irish Pub @ Hirafu Main Street
Advanced Ticket / 350 yen for 1drink including Music fee
DOOR OPEN 17:00   /   DJ PLAY START 19:30
DRINK MENU: Draft Beer (Classic),Wine, Basic Spirits and Soft Drink.
Please feel free to contact about this party to hiro@hero-hokkaido.com
THE HERO ski school & snowmobile tour   TEL 090-8274-1489l (Hiro Takahashi)


Paddy McGinty's Irish Pub in Niseko !

@[100004706286086:2048:Paddy McGinty's Niseko] by Yukihiro Hiro Takahashi
So nice Irish Pub in Niseko! Please check it up at http://paddymcgintysirishpub.com/en/

Sapporo in winter 1

by Kazu

The beautiful autumnal foliage has gone and the white cold beauty has come without paying through the nose in Hokkaido.
Can you remember the photo of the same tree and the outside lamp I posted?
The total color was yellow or orange of the leaves and the light.
Now it turned to white with snow and ice.
It is the backside of of my condo. 

It was very calm at midnight even in the center part of Sapporo City. Such scenery will be seen in the mainland of Japan this winter, I think.
At the beginning of winter, I wonder if I can get over the coldness and wind chilly every year but once the world around me is covered with white snow, my body begins to generate the power and fever to get along with winter. The roads are covered with so-called black ice and terribly slippery. 

Many car accidents happen in Hokkaido including Sorachi sub-prefectural area because of the snow and slippery surface of the roads.

The center street in front of JR station of Sapporo City was so decorated with white illumination of LED light bulbs.
 I do not think such scenery has not been the object of pejorative appellation but somebody said if the couple of "straight" walked this road through Odori area, the couple would say good-by each other and would not get married.
No evidence and not statistics has not been shown in this regard but it may be natural for single persons to envy the couples walking through the beautiful light happily. The underground promenade that connects JR Sapporo Station and Odori is available this year but this season the number of passengers walking through this road increased a little bit to see this white illumination. Heavy snow may  hit our area again this year but now the stars are shining in the sky like these white LED light bulbs.


Late at night in Bistro Fumiya, Iwamizawa City!

by Kazu
This is where I dropped my mobile phone and the owner kindly kept it for me. Yes, this is the second bistro we usually use in bar-hopping in Iwamizawa City.
Bistro Fimiya is well-established time-honoured bistro in front of the JR station of Iwamizawa City.
It has not so wide space but I have a crush on the KAKUNI, blocks of pork boiled with broth, red wine and something.
It has only eight seats around the counter table but two separated room for groups of eight to ten people.

From the JR Station of Iwamizawa City, you can find this red lantern on your left.
After binge drinking in the first venue of the party, this red lantern may be dangerous enough for me because its delicious dishes make me forget how much I drank and ate before I reach this bistro. My instinct tends to be lured to this red lantern, to be honest. Even if I decided to go back to my flat in Iwamizawa City just after the first party in the downtown is wrapped up,  I find myself doing chug-a-lug of a pints of beer in this bistro. So dangerous!

This shopping arcade around this bistro is very calm in the night and such lonely circumstances may make the passengers drop by this red lantern. Basically the charm of this kind of red lantern which is the sign of typical Japanese bistro called "Izakaya" may stimulate the gene of Japanese people historically and might have penetrated in our DNA.
You can smoke in this bistro.
For non-smokers,
I recommend to reserve a table for your group in the separated room like a cocoon. Various kinds of Japanese sake and spirits it has. Particularly, Okinawan aged spirits called "KUSU" in a big brown pot is to be tried. It is very strong but also tasty with ages.
The name is "Ryukyu Ouchou" which means old dynasty of Okinawan Islands. The bistro does not specialize in Okinawan typical cuisine and flavouring but it has some twist of Okinawan cuisine,I think.

My supervisor loves Japanese sake so much that I should be careful about the pace he drinks sake for the next business day when I drink with him.
This is my favorite "Kakuni". The fat is shed enough during boiled in the broth but only protein and collagen are left in this pork. It requires 6 km jogging to avoid to get extra pounds  for me but absolutely it is so good for our skin that I can find the difference of my skin next morning after I had this dish! Strongly I recommend this dish to females!


Yakitori and Motsu-nabe in Mifune, Iwamizawa City

by Kazu

It was in 2007 when I got to know about the yakitori restaurant Mifune 三船 in Iwamizawa City.
When I had a business jaunt to Iwamizawa City  with my colleague and direct supervisor, "It requires 6 persons at least to enjoy enough the restaurant by 9 o'clock in the evening!" said my superior.
I could not understand what he said at that time.
To be brief, the restaurant closed at 9 o'clock albeit it was the place to booze and the fire pot of chicken chitterlings worth 6,350 Japanese Yen is so huge even for five people to eat up. The restaurant is so famous even now not only for the citizen of Iwamizawa City but also in other area of Hokkaido. It derives from Bibai City and Bibai Yakitori, skewered grilled chicken that contains chicken breast, leg and chitterlings in one stick. If asked "What do you imagine from the name of Iwamizawa?,  many people would reply Mifune Yakitori restaurant. It is not written in sand but like on marble.
Versatility may be required to the restaurant to survive in this day and age but specializing in certain kinds of menu may be another way to flourish. To select and concentrate should be required to all kinds of businesses.  The owner and the staff of the restaurant have worked their tail off for many years specialized in yakitori and the chicken chitterlings fire pot.  Reservation is required to have the fire pot in this restaurant by a day before you have it. It may be difficult to find the entrance of the hole-in-the wall but it has wide space inside. Almost everyday the restaurant is full and lively. From the JR station in Iwamizawa City, you can find small sign of this restaurant on your right. Please try it and if any difficulty to reserve a table, please do not to hesitate to contact me at ikeda.kazuaki@pref.hokkaido.lg.jp and I will ask your contact to help you enjoy the dinner at this restaurant or others in Iwamizawa City. The photo of skewered grilled chicken in this restaurant is from 
When you have the fire pot, please save the half of the soup in the pot for second round of fire pot;)


Ramen Republic of Sapporo!

 by Kazu

It may be surprising to see the ramen restaurant from Tokyo in Sapporo City.
The name of the restaurant is "Hirugao" which means convolvulus in Japanese.
Salt-base fatty broth called "Paitan" soup seemed to be the main draw of this ramen restaurant specialized in salt-base ramen
noodle soup in Ramen Republic of Bic Camera Building of Sapporo. On the right is the standard salt-based ramen noodle soup with Charshu, slices of  roast pork. It is not too fatty but tasty. I understood the reason this restaurant was admitted to open in Ramen Republic of Sapporo despite, basically, the flagship restaurants should be based in Hokkaido.  
Merely ramen noodle soup? But ramen is almost the national cuisine that attracts millions of pepople per day and actually grabbed the stomach of Japanese people. It is still on the way of evolution. A certain kind of gluten in wheat may be addictive to Asian people. Many people who love ramen or soba, buckwheat noodle stand on their own and run their own restaurant all over Japan.

It's fine in Nanporo Town!

by Mieko K.
It's fine in Nanporo Town!
It's been a while to see the blue sky.  
(The height of the sky can be recognized with this photo!)


Early in the morning in Nanporo Town!

by Mieko.K
(It is not so-called " magic hour".)
This is the scenery cut out early in the morning of today. We found and appreciate enough the beauty of Nanporo Town in winter peculiar to the flat town. Can I introduce here?
(Yes, of course!)

Foggy Bottom of the Hollow in Kamikawa !

by Kazu inspired by Kamikawa Sub-prefectural Office of Hokkaido Government

Why the place where the central government was placed, has the name related fog or mist in the U.S.A and Japan. In the U.S.A., Foggy Bottom of Washington, D.C. and in Japan, Kasumigaseki which means Misty Gate in Japanese. It's very curious to compare the both each other. 
This is not the "Morning Glory" at the north end of Australia. The difference of the temperature of the comparatively warm river and the extremely cold air at the bottom of Kamikawa Hollow generate the fog around the flow of Ishikari River.
Winter has come with white snow in Hokkaido including Kamikawa and Sorachi sub-prefectural area. Both area were harshly hit by heavy snow last winter.  What's the Meteorological Agency of Japan forecast about this winter? 
I heard that it said it would be colder than last winter in the western part of Japan.  But I heard no mention about the north and east part of Japan, yet.
Early in the morning, such kind of scenery can be seen in Kamikawa. Very cold and very calm it was but the beauty in the morning was worthwhile.
It gets dark earlier in the evening than other seasons. And sun rises later in the morning than other seasons. It may be easier to see the scenery when you visit this area jogging around in the morning.
Something is moving on the flow of Ishikari River in the fog.
My wife can not get up early in the morning, particularly in winter. I see many couples jogging or walking around in the premises of Hokkaido University early in the morning. I am wondering if I will be able to have time to share such beautiful scenery that can be seen only early in the morning with my better half. Is it embarrassing for females to be invited to such world? My friend Norm paddled down on a Voyageur Canoe from Ottawa through Montreal, St.Laurence River, the Richelieu, the Hudson,  the East River, New York Harbour, by the UN building and Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, the Delaware, across Chesapeake Bay  and  Potomac to Washington D.C..
What a great journey he did!
He slept under the stars by the ocean, on a deck of tall ship in Philadelphia, paddling in big waves, in the rain, saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. He said they were surreal, dreamlike, beautiful beyond words. He made it!
You can see the scenery he saw on the journey at www.youtubeCap2Cap (video), and www.cap2cap.ca (photos).
Can you accompany such great journey, ladies?


Arte Piazza in Bibai City in Autumn!

by Kazu
 It is prohibited to be three sheets to the wind in this cafe. Before that, no alcoholic drinks in this cafe.
But it is very romantic and stimulating our sense of art, if we have, to nurse the glasses of wine in front of the fireplace or stove, as it was during our stay in Mt.Tremblant in Quebec, Canada.
The flame in the fireplace give our face and skin red light and shadow. Just looking at the flare and popping wood ease our nerves at night as our ancestors felt in the cave or elsewhere long long time ago. 
 As I introduced before, this facility and the park were planned by the famous artist Mr. Kan Yasuda et al. So many sculptures made by Mr.Yasuda are here and there in this park. Looking at this sculpture from the window in front of the stove may loosen our tongue without alcohol.
The ceiling is arranged so that the guests feel comfortable to have enough space over their heads.
Just one gentleman talking  with the staff was in the cafe  other than us three. This facility and the park are not time-honored but promises the time of quality.
Art seminars are held in this building sometimes.
Some guests prefer the seats at the counter table to the other table because many guests, particularly the frequent visitors love to chat with the staff. Convivial people should go to other facilities to drink but in fact, the facility became the stage for the citizen and the residents of adjacent cities to mingle and spend the quality time.
A kindergarten is in the same premises of this park. Romping around the sculptures on the lawn must affect positively to the mind infancy.
It has already snowed in Sorach sub-prefectural area but the snow will melt up again and we have a wee bit more time to hit the road.
Hot spring bath and fireplaces are rampant in Hokkaido. What is the nearest resort that has hot spring spa and a fireplace for you?