Esashi Town in Hiyama sub-prefectural area ! 2

by Chis.

This is the map of Esashi Town made like an old one. The island connected with the main island of Hokkaido is called Kamome -jima which means  "Seagull island" in Japanese. It is the namesake of the shape like a full-fledged seagull. To be precise, the birds flying around the island are Japanese gulls that are much smaller than original seagulls.  
This is the rock called "Heishi Iwa" that means " Bottle Rock upside down..The thick rope around the rock should be changed every year. This side of the island has a deeper seabed than the right hand side of the of the map.
This part is on the left hand side of the map above and the white arch in the photo is the frame of the bridge that connects the pier and the beach of the island. Many octopuses and crabs are living under the bridges.
On a fine day, the color of the ocean is emerald green  affected by the color of sand drafting in the sea. The ship-like museum is made of ferro-concrete and official checks should be conducted on it as a building on the coast.
This is the right hand side of the island on the map. Many fish can be seen in the water. A camping site is on top of the island. I think "day-camping" is preferable for me.
This building on the beach is a restroom and a souvenir shop. The wood deck in front of the building is much better to walk for ladies, I think.
The warehouse-like building on the island contains a diner that opens only in summer and a stockyard.
The wreck ship museum "Kaiyo-maru"is the replica of the real battleship wrecked off shore of Esashi Town. So many salvaged treasures and arms are exhibited in the concrete ship as well as  the hammocks. The setting sun behind the wrecked ship museum is so beautiful albeit we could not see that on the day.
Esashi Town has a very small station that is the end of railway which connects Hakodate City and Esashi. Many foreigners were dropped off from their tour bus and jumped on the train for Hakodate City. Is that the new draw of the tour in Hokkaido ? The station is located in the residential area of the town.

Have you ever been to the town ?

It is where I visited again and again before and just after our marriage in our twenties.

Esashi Town in Hiyama sub-prefectural area ! 1

by Chis.

We went down to the south and come across the Oshima Peninsula from the Pacific  to the Sea of Japan to reach Esashi Town through Assabu Town.
The Oshima Peninsula is very thin and it requires only 30 minute to cross over by car but the mountains wearing clouds on the narrow peninsula nurture so many brown bears with an abundant supply of food.
Based on the research conducted by the team of biologists in Hokkaido, those brown bears have the same mitochondria with the bears living in south east Asia.

To be surprised, two more kinds of brown bears are living in Hokkaido. One is from the northern Europe and Russia depending on the research about the mitochondria and they are living in the central part of Hokkaido. The other is from the far east of Russia and Alaska in the United States and they are mainly living in the eastern part of Hokkaido Island including Shiretoko Area listed as the World Heritage by UNESCO.

That means three kinds of brown bears in the world are living in the narrow island Hokkaido. Is that amazing ?

Besides, we reached Esashi Town in the afternoon and headed to the Japanese traditional sweets shop "Yamada-ya" established in Edo Era, approximately  400 years ago.  Unfortunately, what we wer eager to eat, the rice cake with strawberry and sweet red-beans paste inside, Ichigo Daifuku, and the rice cake with sweet red-beans paste inside and salty peas in the dough, Shiomame Daifuku were sold out.  
Eshashi Town was so flourished in Edo era that  it was said that "The flourish like Esashi Town in spring can not be seen even in Edo, the capital city of Japan in that era. Tons of herring swamped to the coast of Esashi Town and they were dried, processed and eaten and shipped as the precious natural fertilizer for the farms. The owner of the ships and the business men earned a hectic amount of money in these businesses based on the large catch of herring.
The old down town was refurbished and remodeled with a wide road for the bulk tour by buses. "Yamada-ya" opened its shop in Edo Era or later but in this remodeling, it changed the site to sell the high quality sweets to the citizens and the tourists. Even the citizens of the town have to hurry up to buy the quality sweets particularly "Ichigo Daifuku" on Saturday because all of the sweets are handmade, so the number of the products are limited.
This is Sakura mochi that should be eaten on the doll's festival called "Hina Matsuri" for girls. Sakura-mochi means cherry rice cake with sweet red-been paste inside.
The cover is real salted cheery leaf that can be eaten and creates miracle harmony with the sweetness of the read-bean paste.
The salty cherry leaf is very soft and the each grain of the dough is remained the shape. It is the situation called "hangoroshi" which means  "half-killed". The taste is guaranteed since its establishment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
This is "Inaka-mochi" that includes sweet red-bean paste and has very thin cover of dough made of rice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
After the long drive, the sweet brought me the  concentrations to keep drive safely. Please visit  Yamada-ya patisserie in Eshashi Town. and try the quality sweets derived from Kyoto, the ancient capital city of Japan.


Fukuyoshi in Bibai City !

by Chis.

I have asked my hubby to take me to the headquarters of Yakitori FUKUYOUSHI in Bibai City and at last I managed to reach the first bistro????? of the group which skewered grilled chicken attracts millions of people.
It seemed that most of the citizens ordered the chicken for take-out.

In front of the bistro, many cars were making line to take out the package of grilled chicken. If you visit the bistro with your chauffeur, the parking space is for just one car.
Needless to say, as the bistro chain has many branches in Sapporo and even in Tokyo, without a car, you can try the taste and wrap up the dinner with buckwheat noodle soup topped with grilled chicken.
Its URL is
but only in Japanese.
Chicken breast, yolk, intestine and skin are pierced with one bamboo stick and sold for 90 Japanese yen.
The soup is chicken-broth-basis but the skewered grilled chicken gives the noodle soup a twist and aromatic charms. After (binge) drinking, the citizens of Bibai City wrap up the feast with the noodle soup, not with ramen noodle soup as many drinkers do.
Would you try it with beer?

As the mom of the bistro is so kind and caring,
please accept her advice sincerely when you order the dishes in the bistro.Besides, I am very sorry for making mistakes in posting the name of Mr.SATO in Bibai City.
His name is Mr. Masanobu SATO, not Masanao.


Toumei Park in Bibai City and Space Carillon !

by Chis.

When I visited Toumei Park in Bibai City, the cherry blossoms were not in full bloom as posted on the left but "they are now in full flourish" said the Municipality of Bibai on its Facebook site as posted below.

However, as cold snaps bit the plants again and again this spring, some of the buds of blossoms were not successful to fully bloom before the green leaves extended themselves to the sunshine. So the green and pink made the harmony albeit only pink solo is expected every early spring.    
This is the cherry trees in Toumei Park on May 18(Sat.) The trees gave us the impression of black with their trunks that made a excellent contrast only with the pink blossoms.

This is the carillon tower called "Space Carillon" in Bibai City. I have never heard of the bell ringing unfortunately but I would like to know what kind of tunes are played by this carillon tower. Is the shape like a space ship ?
Toumein Park also has a pond at the center. Vendors set their stands around the pond on weekends.

Wild Mountain Cherry and Chishima Cherry  bloom at first and Someiyoshino Cherry second. Someiyoshino Cherry trees were sent from Japan to the United States and planted along Potomac River in Washington,D.C. before World War Ⅱ as the symbol of friendship between the countries.
It is a pity that the two countries fought each other in the war but the cherry trees along the Potomac River and in Japan must have seen and felt the sad fact.
I think we Japanese people do not like wars and never want to lose the family members, relatives and friends. In the world dog-eat-dog, cut-throat situation of international economy, what we should pursuit other than the real happiness?
The descendants of immigrants to Bibai City established this monument praying for the happiness of their descendants and the citizen of Bibai City as well as other immigrants in Hokkaido. Is it wrong ? People falter. Does it matter ?
We have to talk to the world to keep our hometown a kind of Shangri-La !  


Sunagawa Sweets Kitakarou !

by Kazu

I have never recognized the catch of "KITAKARO",  Nouvelle Patisserie Japonaise before.
When you are worn down by the challenges, house or office chores in your life, quality sweets will save you and give you the second wing.

At the flagship shop of the patisserie, a limited number of pancakes with fruit and cream topping were strongly recommended on that day. Of course, my wife snapped up the specialty. It might be easier to control my wife if I was a patissier but speaking of the skill to make sweets, my wife trumps me.
The patisserie Kitakaro is very famous for its tasting style as well as the quality and deliciousness of its sweets. The visitors buy the try-and-true products in the shop.
Various kinds of sweets in the gift package are wrapped up with pretty designed papers or small plastic bags. The appearance of the package excites and attracts the females in front of the showcase.

That is why most of the patisseries in Hokkaido are connected with the artistic activities in the regions.
Even in the flagship shop of the patisserie, a small gallery is set in the building with fountain system.
Many guests were waiting for the table to enjoy the quality sweets on the spot. I saw so many guests were tasting the sample sweets and rice crackers in the shop that I assume the cost for sample amounts to thousands yens in a day.
Chocolate cookies are the current big draw in the patisserie. Actually it hits the excellent balance between bitter taste and sweetness.
The gift pack which includes melon jelly, salty fried rice cake and other popular sweets were sold out on that day.
The Baumkuchen is one of the stable cake that sell like pancakes.
The salty fried rice cake flavored with shrimp, scallop, kelp or sea urchin are  so popular that the sample for tasting should be added again and again in a day.
I chose the strawberry parfait so that my wife could try a little bit of it with the special pancake of the shop.
The special pancakes were much better than the photo on the menu. It may be one of the art that can make the people happier and inspired with the power to contemplate and carry out the plan to be happier.

Again, when you are tired, such kinds of sweets give you the second wing.

The URL is


Viva Bibai City !

by Mr. Masanao SATO

What a beautiful harmony of sunset and clouds with their reflection on the surface of water in the paddy field! Viva, Bibai City !

Arte Piazza Bibai in the night !

by Mr. Masanao SATO

It may be lucky to be able to take this photo because we have few chance to see the object made by Mr. Kan YASUDA lighted up in the night even in Arte Piazza.
 So different from the scenery in the afternoon, the sculpture seemed to be starting to move and stroll in the park. It is the actual art of darkness and the light!

A piano concert was held in the hall of Arte Piazza in the night.

Departure !

by Mr. Masanao SATO

At the west end of Bibai City and beside Ishikari River, there is a small lake of 25 hectares.In spring and autumn every year,  at the most, over 70 thousand wild geese, the national natural monument,  visit there. Over 100 kinds of migratory birds can be seen there through the year. With the marsh and the pastoral scenery around the lake, the original  image of the scenery in Sorachi Sub-prefectural area can be felt around the lake called Miyajima-numa.

The national natural monument wild geese leave Miyagi Prefecture where they wintered and arrive in Lake Miyajima-numa in the middle of April through the beginning of May. They eat up the picking of the crops in paddy fields around the lake and stock the power for several weeks before their departure to the far east of Russia. In Autumn, they take the young peers and visit the lake again heading to the place of wintering. Approximately four thousand km journey is completed twice every year.

  The academic name and the English name  of wild geese include " white front" which means the characteristics of white feathers from around the joint of the bill to the forehead. the adult wild geese have white forehead and black stripe on their belly. As this photo was taken in spring, the wild goose does not have the stripe and seems to have been born last summer.


 The wild geese take off for their breakfast in the morning and come back to the lake for sleep in the evening normally but just before their departure for the long journey, they come back to the lake even in the afternoon sometimes.
 The number of the wild geese to take off may be fewer than in the morning or evening but the scene can be seen so rarely in one season that the photo chance is very precious. .
 Accidentally, some curious birds can be seen in the lake.
  Wild geese fly in formation of V when they fly the long distance.
  Surfing on the air wave that is made by the top goose, the other geese can fly with fewer power.
 Hundreds of families that consist of several members compose the squadron like a dragon and fly across the sky over Japan!

Thank you so much, Mr. Sato!