Back to the hotel to grab the bags and schedule the trains. It’s time to go to Furano! We take the Sapporo – Kushiro line to Shintoku, where we would change trains for the Takikawa – Shintoku line. Lunch was at this place right next to Shintoku station, a little donburi shop. My mom gets this butadon, which is drenched in a sweet teriyaki sauce whilst I get my standard ten-don. Dad gets this seafood don. Food’s ok. Cheap-ish and mom’s turns out to be the best. Lucky! But we have no time for seconds and it’s all down the hatch before we’re suddenly plopped onto the next train. Furano is a kinda long ride. I miss my iPod which died on the plane. Well, it somehow erased all the music after I dozed off to some James Blake. When I awoke, there was nothing! WTF!!! Luckily, I email my brother to bring me my nano. He’d be joining us tomorrow and the family’ll be together at last! The first thing I notice about Furano when we arrive is the flatness. It’s this rather large plateau surrounded by beautiful snowcapped mountains and forests. In every other season, it’s covered in color from flowers where lavender is heavily cultivated amongst other flowers and plants. For now, it’s totally white, which means it’s super ski time. No skiing for us though! Lack of time concept! I know I want to return for when the fields are like lines of beautiful color just to take photos and breathe in the air. You know those postcards with the lines of flowers? It’s supposed to be like that. I make do with fields of fresh powder snow, which to me is just as incredibly beautiful. The second thing I notice about Furano is that the air is significantly drier than Abashiri/Kushiro. Probably because it’s not near the coast but in the middle of Hokkaido. I start to feel my lips edging to crack and borrow my mom’s shiny lip gloss that mattes out after a minute. Thankfully. I wouldn’t know what to do if I walked around with glossy lips all day. We grab a cab to the Shin Furano Prince Hotel, which is this rather swanky looking, huge ass place that has its own onsen plus easy access to a ski slope and this awesome 24hr minimart where I binge on snacks galore. I’m talking grape soda Calpis, monaka ice cream, almond crush Pocky, Hokkaido limited release Yubari melon Hi-Chew and shoyu butter Calbee. Shoulda taken pics. Shoyu butter locally made Hokkaido potato Calbee son! Snackin’ don’t get much mo’ serious then dat. Have to say though, the Konbu flavor is the sickest. Would eat that all day errday.

We decide to take it easy and walk around. There’s this place called Ningle Terrace where they have these touristy lookin’ little shops made Canadian log house style selling all sorts of trinkets. It’s alright. There’s also the curisously named Soh’s Bar for Miserable Smokers which we don’t go to. I walk around with my dad taking shots of shit whilst mom wrangles with the Singapore telcos trying to get my brother’s roaming hooked up. With time to spare, we grab a bottle of Furano red and some Furano Camembert.

Dinner is had at the hotel, where I make my parents opt for the washoku fixed set menu instead of the buffet. The set menu costs like 1000Y less. Buffets suck. You just pay more thinking you stuff yourself but you never really do and the food tends to be good at best. For 3500Y though, the meal we had was well, ok I guess. The sake was good but the food kinda lacked punch. In fact I don’t remember a single dish. Please be advised that you should prolly eat out in Furano. Looking at the pics I at least remember that first dish had nice contrasty textures with braised daikon, fish paste thingey and some fried tiny whitebait.

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