Shiretoko Pass and the mountains !

by Chis.

Mt. Rausu(dake) in Shiretoko was covered with cloud and we could not get the fine view of it on the day. Neither could we get the fine view of our northern territories off shore of Rausu Town.
Other lower peaks could be seen around Shiretoko Pass but few tourists were at the lookout of Shiretoko Pass.
The skyline over there is not of Kunashiri Island but you would be surprised at the distance between Shiretoko Peninsula and the island that might be much short than you may expect.
This is the lookout of Shoiretoko pass. It was a little bit colder than usual. It was not so hot the past summer. I hope it will not be so cold in coming winter. We are fed up with heavy snow in winter.
This photo was taken from Prefectural Route 244. The mountains in Shiretoko Area could be seen far away from the bridge over Chuurui River. I think the central peak is Mt. Rausu(dake).
Shiretoko Area designated as the World Heritage of UNESCO is the place like a dream but as a result of preservation for wild animals, the number of each species tends to increase in the area and the pressure of creatures also increases.  Not competitive species may have to go west seeking for food and their own territory.    
This is Chuurui River where fishing bears can be seen in autumn. The flow of the river is so clean but the deep at the corner is green.
As the place for tourism, Shiretoko Area went to the dogs before but after getting on the list of UNESCO, it hogged the limelight in Hokkaido. I hope the area will be able to continue to attract tourists and will not give the damage to other area of Hokkaido by increasing the number of creatures that eat up the produces nurtured by farmers.


Utoro in Shiretoko Area of Hokkaido !

 by Chis.

I think most of the people are all on the same page when it comes to talking about salmon roe called "ikura" in Japanese and Russian.
Unless having allergy against salmon roe, most of the people love the taste and the sense of touch in the mouth, I think.
This is "Salmon and Salmon Roe Rice Bowl"
in the restaurant run by the ladies of fishermen's association in Utoro.
Salmon and its roe are "in" now in Hokkaido.
Actually, the rice bowl and the grilled salmon showed the difference from the ones of other seasons. The grilled salmon was so fatty that the chef had to cook it in the microwave oven again after grilling it in the oven.
As the salmon was not well treated before grilling, soy sauce was necessary to savor it enough. I wanted the chef to put the salt of appropriate amount on the salmon and nurture the best condition.
Many tourists queue up in front of the restaurant every time I visit there. But I am wondering why some people order curry rice and ramen noodle soup that has no characteristics as the dishes provided by the spouses of fishermen.
Is it recommended in some guide book of this area ?
No, this flag of ramen noodle soup may be attractive and inviting. Come to think of it, the restaurant is originally for the fishermen who may be fed up with seafood. Many tourists may think that the restaurant may serve the special ramen noodle soup as the fishermen's specialty.
This autumn is for art, appetite or love for you ?
Please enjoy the beautiful season in Hokkaido !    


Taushubetsu Bridge in and on Lake Nukabira !

by Chis.

Beside Route 273, on our way from Nukabira Onsen Area to Mikuni Pass which is the highest pass in Hokkaido, there is a small parking area for the tourists to visit the lookout for seeing Taushubetsu Bridge.
After walking through the forest for five minutes, this old railway bridge can be seen from the lookout.    
The photo taken from the air can be seen at

 This bridge was built in 1937 for the railway Shihoro Line that connected Nukabira Area and Tokachi Mitumata.
  • To build Nukabira Dam and to make the lake for electric power generation, the route of railway from Shimizudani~Nukabira~Horoka was changed and the railway on the bridge was disused.

 After that the bus line from Nukabira Area to Tokachi Mitsumata took place of the railway and the whole Shihoro Line was disused.
The railway was taken away and the path in the forest was left.
I saw the similar green tunnel that is still in use on TV program that report on Ukraine.
I have to visit Esashi Town to take JR Esashi Line that will be disused next year.  
This is Horoka Onsen that has very nice hot spring bath outside of this house. Females have to go through the men's bath to go to the outside bath that is for both men and women. The female visitors can use big bath towels to hide their body but have to watch the naked males washing themselves on the way to outside bath.
Would you try ?  


One of only two hot spring spa in Japan !

 by Chis.

On our way to the hotel in Tomuraushi area, Higashi Taisetsu-so, there is a hidden hot spring spa that is strong alkaline. There are only two alkaline hot spring in Japan and this is one of them.
The name is OSOUSHI Onsen, Shikanoyu-so.
Please check out the detail at http://foodsnet.net/
Driving on the unpaved road beside the dam lake and a river for 20 minutes from the fork on the prefectural route 718, the old small building appeared in the forest and the pretty dog received us kindly.
To avoid mis-understanding, I did not take picture in the spa. As it may be difficult to reach the spa in winter, I recommend you to visit there before snowfall.
This photo was taken at the lookout on the hillside to reach Lake Shikaribetsu. The fertile plain of Tokachi area can be seen from there. The scenery was worthwhile without obstacles to the fine view.
I could recognize that I was going up the mountain that held a caldera lake. I think everybody is impressed by the scenery.
The hotels bear the Lake Shikaribetsu can be seen at http://travel.rakuten.com/hotelinfo/63/135963/
The mountain is called "Kuchibiru Yama(Lips Mountain)" because of its shape like the upper lip and its reflection on the surface of the lake.
This lake freeze up every year and hot spring spa is set up on the ice as well as the ice bar with blocks of ice. Cold cold beer can be savored with the ice pints.  
This hot spring was run by a couple but they gave up running the spa and now it is run by Hotel Fukuhara at the edge of Lake Shikaribetsu.

The name is Yamada Onsen.
During I soaked my self in the spa, everybody talked about the landlady of the spa, who ran the spa as well as the accommodation.  It sounds that the dinner she made was superb and in particular, fried edible wild plants was fit the pints of cold beer to a T.  Most of the guests who stayed in the ryokan drank too much because of the delicious cuisine she made.  
The accommodation is not available now but the spa ease the pain of your heart and body for 100 days in a year because it is closed from mid autumn to the beginning of summer.
I was allured by the catch " It opens for only 100 days !" and dropped by on our way to Lake Nukabira which is the artificial lake made by the dam.
The foliage is turning to red and yellow.
Hit the road and enjoy this autumn !


Buckwheat noodle soup "Mebunryo" in Tokachi Shimizu again !

 by Chis.

Sometimes I get eager to eat buckwheat noodle soup in this restaurant. My hubby always orders this fried crisp veggie and shrimp set.
I pick up a bit of the fried veggies from hubby's dish every time.
 This is my favorite "Hiyashi Gomoku"which means cold buckwheat noodle with five kinds of toppings. I got to know that it contains 1.5 times of amount compared to my hubby's dish this time.
I like galette but I prefer this noodle to that.
The restaurant opens at 11:00 in the morning but we arrived in at 10:20.
As long line of people is created just before its open, my hubby set up the director's chair in front of the entrance and waited for the open for about 30 minutes.
Today's buckwheat was produced in Naganuma Town in Sorachi sub-prefectural area. The strong point of the restaurant is to select the very best of the buckwheat on the day. The restaurant is closed as soon as it run out of the buckwheat prepared for the day.
Please be careful your arrival time and enjoy the fresh taste of the noodle !


Poisson Rouge NANAYA in Iwamizawa City !

by Chis.

I found the restaurant that set up the food stand in "Wine Picnic" held on the premises of the Rose Garden in Iwamizawa Park. High quality Italian cuisine and drinks can be savored in Poisson Rouge NANAYA

  address:16-1, Higashi 2 Chome, 4 Jo, 
             Iwamizawa City
■Parking lot: for four cars
■Close:Sunday( Reservatiion is required)

◇ OPEN ◇
■Lunch 12:00~14:00
■Dinner 17:30~
Green salad above was served with nice dressing savoring citrus and creme cheese. For that price, it was much better than I expected.
My husband started with a pints of cold beer but the olive and the cracker topped with foie gras paste fit dry Chablis to a T albeit I can not drink at all.    
Pizza Margarita was not crisp but so soft with tasteful cheese. Generally speaking, the restaurant seemed to stick to the quality of cheese they used for dishes or served directly to the customers.
To be honest, I prefer the crisp pizza of Roman style but the taste of the pizza was superb !

 The fried chickens seemed to have been well-treated before fried. Caesar salad could make a wonderful contrast with the tasteful fried chickens.
This carbonara seemed to be affected by the female French Chef who served for the former president of France, François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand. The egg seemed to be warmed with hot water.

Please try the dishes and the design of the restaurant as soon as possible !


Jinnai Farm 21 in Urausu Town 4!

by Kazu

Jinnai Farm 21 has a horse stable on its premises and grade-school students visit there on a regular basis to enjoy horse riding.
"This kind of horses called Arab is not appropriate for kids," said Mr. Furukawa, the chief director of this farm. "Arab is gentle but not so much for mischievous kids and we can not assume the responsibility in case of trouble."
It seemed that the horses were well-cared by the staff of the farm. But, as the saddle of the horses cant be seen in the stable, I could not see the frequency the horses gave a ride to people.
This small horses are called "Dosanko" that is indigenous kind of horse in Japan. I saw the same kind of horses in Iceland. Is it interesting to see the similar horses both in the separated countries ?
The black horse in the middle is originally for agriculture and pioneering Hokkaido and has stalk body compared to the horses for races.
The horses seemed to enjoy their lives in the farm but I was not sure if they want to run in the field of green or not.
This horse looked so lonely and seemed to be contemplating on her life in the fences.
This plant is growing baby leaves for salads.
The complete hydroponic system has the appropriate size of width and height to make the harvesting easier than the cultivation on the ground. Each line of hydroponic can be moved for making aisle between the system.
No waist pain to the workers in this green house. They do not have to squat for harvesting.
These buds of baby leaves grow to the size above within a month and can be harvested 10 to 16 times a year without pesticide. Actually the initial cost might be tremendous but the system has  also strong competitiveness in this world, doesn't it.


Jinnai Farm 21 in UrausuTown 3 !

 by Kazu

In the experimental greenhouses, many kinds of fruits are cultivated but the mangoes are the most expensive among them.
How much do you think the mangoes are ?

Two ripened mangoes cost 12,500 Japanese Yen on the web and more in the real market.
 Can't you believe that ?
Please check the price at http://store.shopping.yahoo.co.jp/kani/ija00953.html

Above is the pineapple field in the huge green house. And the starfruit trees are on the left and below.
 I love the sophisticated sweetness of the fruit. They also are sold at the roadside station in Tsurunuma Area of Urausu Town.
This is the flower of banana, I think. I am getting eager to visit tropical islands in the south and dive into the sea.

 Japanese people don't eat these not-ripened green banana like in the southeast Asia.
Dragon fruits can not be expected to be in the market on a regular basis.
 Have you ever seen this beautiful flower ?
This flower makes for the dragon fruits.
Palm trees are also raised in the greenhouse. The trees are not so high and can be obtained by hands, I think.
I suppose the initial cost to establish these facilities required the founder Mr. Jinnai a small fortune and the running cost is also covered by his private assets. We have to think out the next step together with the company.  
The ripened fruits fall down to the net at the foot of each plant. Some would-be farmers are trained in this farm now and seeking for the way to stand on their own.
I pray for their success in producing fruits veggies and crops added value.

Please enjoy the last day of great weekend  !