We travel to Asahikawa to pick up my brother and try some ramen for a late lunch. I like Asahikawa station, it’s newly renovated and looks really big and spacious, with wood trim offsetting these concrete and stone slabs and walls. They got all these names up on slats. I dunno exactly what for but I’m guessing it’s some proto Facebook or a list of certified ninjas. Foodwise, I would have liked to have tried one of the better places but I opt for going to a chain store branch near the station that isn’t the main shop. Hachiya Ramen is the place, it specialises in the Asahikawa standard, a shoyu ramen using tonkotsu x seafood base. I think the original shop made the og Asahikawa style ramen. Now it even has a shop in the Yokohama Ramen Museum. Time constraints is killing this trip. My parents still wish we coulda rented a car. The ramen is good. The gyoza though, is great. In fact, it’s comparable to the ramen we had at Haneda except that one had sick ass chashu.

I manage to sneak in some shopping at Loft and Muji. I regret not kopping this mushroom humidifier from Loft. Back to Furano and we head straight for dinner, a short walk from the station is a place called Kumagera, where they are famous for this Sanzoku nabe, which has venison, duck and chicken in a hotpot with veg. We get that plus bear meat!, raw marinated squid, some sausage, potatoes and sake. Potatoes are always good in Hokkaido. The bear meat is between venison and beef for me, alright but not something I’d run out for. The squid’s quite good, the sausage bland and the hotpot is good but well, it’s a nabe. I think the waitress is Taiwanese because she has this insane lazy drawl that’s so unlike every other zippy service type person I’ve come across but she manages to pour the sake until it forms this concave rim on the top, suspended just so and without spilling a drop. The sake is good, as usual. Oh and yes, I’ve eaten bear! It’s the second from bottom pic.

Nighttime I spend soaking in the onsen, which is located in the basement of the hotel and totally modernised but the water is drawn from the natural hot spring at a lovely 40 degrees C. That plus more snackalacks. I would like to come to Furano in Spring or Summer or Autumn pho sho, snowconing a milk soft serve in a field of lavender. That plus the other pastisseries in the area. Maybe I could stay at the Natual Hotel, which looks kinda cool! Oh and Asahikawa again would be cool too. Actually Hokkaido like 7 more times would be great. Actually Japan forever might just be perfect.