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Sakura no shita(Under the cherry tree)/櫻の下

sakura no shita

Place : 2-20 Nogi-cho, Hakodate(7 minutes from Kashiwagi-cho streetcar stop)
Open : 11:00-17:00(Sundays 10:00-16:00, From 11:30 to 14:00, light meals are served.)
Close: Wednesdays, the second and forth Thursdays
Paking lot: three cars available

It is located on the Sakura-ga-oka street in Nogi-cho. It is in the quiet residential area and you can enjoy good coffee while looking at a small Japanese Garden. Prices for a cup of coffee(They offer serveral kinds of coffee, such as Brasil, Indonesia, Costa Rica, etc.) costs 500yen and the photo above is a cake set which costs 700yen. Cake is a no-bake cheesecake.

It's good to have a chat over a cup of coffee with your friends.

Here below is the cafe's web site.
櫻の下(Sakura no Shita)

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GW旅の記録 パート2/My Golden Week Travel Part 2

May 4
6:00 left the net cafe in Shizunai

6:20 Nijikken Road Again!
morning Nijikken

After enjoying the cherry trees again, taking the prefectural road#71 and headed to Nibutani in Biratori town. Nibutani is well known for its Ainu village. So I wanted to visit there.

8:00 Arrived at Nibutani
It was too early to visit any museums there. So that reason we decide to go to Shiraoi poroto kotan. We took national road #237 and from Hidaka-tomikawa IC we used Hidaka expressway until Shiraoi. We could save much time and it was surprising. It was great to be able to drive without any signals nor disgustingly slow drivers.

10:00 Arrived at Shiraoi Poroto kotan
ainu chief

I wanted to visit this tourist attraction for a long time. I bought a bag of food for bears and Hokkaido dogs, known as Ainu dogs. A bag costs 100yen. I couldn't help buying the food when I saw a bear waiting at the other side of the iron pipe through which th pieces of food is fed.
bear and snack
When a piece stops in the middle of the pipe, you can use a pole set against the cage. I think there were six bears.

11:30 From Shiraoi to Date
My friend taught me that a pasta restaurant called Bocca in Date was good. So we heded to date to have lunch there. We learned that expressways were convenient, so we used Do-oh(Central Hokkaido) expressway again from Shiraoi to Date. We were driving my husband's light vehicle this time and the express toll for light vehicle was cheaper than others. Between Shiraoi and Date most parts has two lanes and it was really comfortable. We were driving leisurely on the inside lane at about 90km/h and observing other cars. Driving speed of cars from Sapporo and Asahikawa surprised me. They passed through the fast lane like bullets. Sometimes mistaken drivers popped out on the fast lane and annoyed very fast coming up cars. On the following morning, I read an article of a school bus accident near Shiraoi. I was relieved that we could come home safely.

Around 12:30 Arrived at a road station in Date
Yomen-chaya(western noodle tea shop) Bocca was super-crowded and we gave up having lunch there. I only bought ball-shaped puddings and left there.
bocca pudding

Taking the route#37 until Oshamanbe and from there taking the route# 5 and headed to Hakodate.

Around 15:30 Arrived at Aobagaoka Park in Mori
We could return the southern Hokkaido area as we expected, we dropped by the Aobagaoka Park in Mori where cherry blossom festival was held. I heard that there was a kind of cherry produced in Mori town, called "Mori-komachi" and it could be seen only there. I saw the Mori-komachi and wanted to see its mother tree, Horii-hizakura. The Horii-hizakura cherry trees are planted in the Oniushi Park that is located next to the Aobagaoka Park. My husband didn't want to walk k anymore, so I decided to come back to see Horii-hizakura next year. At both parks, you can see various kinds of cherry trees. Matsumae boasts its 250 kinds of cherry trees, but if you do not mind so many kinds of cherry trees, Mori's two parks are really recommendable.

17:00 Arrived at home in Hakodate!
My husband who couldn't sleep well and drove long time fell asleep from 7:00 through the following morning. I was grateful for being able to return safely.

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GW旅の記録 パート1/My Golden Week Travel Part 1

I'm changing Japanese version into English. You can find replaced Japanese version clicking on "READ MORE". Pictures I took during my trip will be added later.

* * *
Golden Week is a holiday studded week started from the end of April through May 5 or 6.

I went to Hidaka and Tokachi Districts in Hokkaido, both located in the southern center of the island. The aim of the travel was to see cherry blossoms standing both sides of Nijikken Road in Shizunai, Shin Hidaka town and Banei Horse Race in Obihiro city. My husband and I drove about 1,300 km in two days. Most of the travel, we spent driving but it was really enjoyable and I'm satisfied with the trip. It may be your travel reference(though I'm not sure it is good), so I'll show you our travel route as below. If your are interested in the tour, how about checking the route with a map in hand?

May 3, 2008
Departed Hakodate at 3:30
In addition to the time before the sunrise, dense fog was covering the western half of Hokkaido in the morning. So even after the Sun rose, we couldn't enjoy the scenery while driving. It was difficult to find speed traps installed ocassionally and it was also difficult to overtake cars for fear of an oncoming car from the dense fog. So we were obliged to drive safely. We used the Central Hokkaido Expressway from Tomakomai, the section temporarily offered for free. I think we used the express way from Numanohashi IC to Mukawa IC, because the road information told us that there was 2 km jam from the exit of Hidaka-Tomikawa IC. Hidaka-Tomikawa IC was the last IC of the Central Hokkaido Expressway. We got off at the Mukawa IC to avoid the jam and dropped by the Road Station of Mukawa. It was a very good road station with onsen facility for day trippers.

10:00 Arrived at Shizunai and headed to Nijikken Road
Nijikken Road

Nijikken Road runs parallel to prefectural road #71. It is 36meter wide(20(Niju) ken in old Japanese measurement) and 7km long. Both side of the road, numerous cherry trees are planted and when they bloom, it is spectacular and counted as one of the most famous cherry blossom viewing points in Hokkaido.
It was truely great. Over the cherry trees, you can see thoroughbred farms.
farm over there

The horses are sensitive and some parts are banned to have a drinking party under the cherry trees. I knew it for the first time. In the middle of the road, there might have been a venue for the cherry festival, but too many cars prevented us from reaching there. We gave up to drive through the road and doubled back to the dirrection we started.
too many cars


12:30 Arrived at Cape Erimo
cape erimo

We had lunch here. Todai-tsubu(Literally translated meaning is a lighthouse sea snail.) is its specialty and I had a sea snail ramen.
ramen


13:30 Departed Cape Erimo
We drove up the north enjoying the scenery of Hyakuninhama beach on the right and headed to Obihiro. The last race of the Banei Horse Race starts at 17:00 and the distance between Cape Erimo and Obihiro is more than 100 km. We were worried if we could arrive at the race ground on time. But I fell asleep for an hour or so. While I was sleeping, my husband drove fast and when I woke up, we were around Churui. Churui is famous as the place where fossils of Naumann elephants were excavated. We decided to drop by the former Kofuku station, because we were sure that we could arrive at the race gound before four and bet at least two races.

Around 15:30 left Kofuku Rail Road Station Park
Kofuku Station

On the walls of the former Kofuku Station building, numerous name cards were attached. There were many chinese names. It seems popular among the tourists from China(or Taiwan?) and Korea.

Around 16:00 arrived at the venue of the Banei Tokachi Horse Race, in Obihiro
banba

Bamba, or tough horses used to carry cargo at the time of pioneering in Hokkaido were really cool. There was a guidance for beginners how to bet the race. I hope strongly to the race continues in the future. We could bet the main race and the fina race of the day. We betted 1,000yen in total (Were we too frugal?) and both lost the bets(; ;).
bamba2


18:00 Dinner at Yurakucho(a mutton barbecue restaurant)
yurakucho

This restaurant is the one where my husband goes when he is in Obihiro on business. Its spicy sauce used to flavor the mutton was superb.

19:00 Day use of Onsen at Tokachigawa Onsen Daiichi Hotel Hoshu-tei
We experienced peat onsen, which is specific only two places on the earth. One is this Tokachigawa and the other is Baden Baden in Germany. It costs 1,000 per person. "It's expensive!", thought I at first, but its spring quality was rare and shampoo, conditioner and body soap, etc. were very good and it was worth paying 1,000yen.

20:30 left Tokachigawa Onsen
To accomplish my desire 'I want to drive through Nijikken Road from one end to the other end', we decided to visit the road again early in the next morning. So we headed to Shizunai. We took the route through Cape Erimo in the first half, we chose different route to drive back to Shizunai. The return road was the route crossing the Hidaka mountain range from Hiroo, Temma Kaido. It has the Notsuka Tunnel, the longest tunnel in Hokkaido and I wanted to drive through it. It was dark and we couldn't enjoy the scenery from the car window. but we could encounter some nocturnal animals.

We saw a toddling raccoon dog cross the road, a deer that made me return the route to make sure of it, but later we encountered a group of deer just next to a signboad that said "Caution! Horses cross here." It made me chuckle;-> Then I saw a fox. At first I thought, "Is that a dog?" but it had a bushy brush. Next mornign, I almost ran over a squirrel. It was panicking in the middle of the road, but the driver, it was me, was also panicking and thinking "Nooooh!! I'm running over it!!" Then we encountered a pheasant(!) crossing the road.

Around 24:00 arrived at Shizunai
We were planning to sleep in car, but we stayed at a net cafe using a "night pack".

To be continued...

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Gappari Soft, hefty wine ice cream/がっぱりソフト

がっぱりソフト

You can taste this hefty wine ice cream at Budokan(葡萄館) run by Hakodate Wine Company. It is 400yen and when I bought it, they served it with a combination of two tastes:strawberry and plum wine ice creams.
地元ワイナリー・はこだてわいんさん直営店、葡萄館でがっぱりソフト食べてきました。400円です。私が伺った時はストロベリーワインと梅ワインのミックスでした。

At the Budokan, you can buy various wines produced by a local winery and you can taste a little bit for free. How about drop on the Budokan when you drive between Hakodate and Nanae? It is on the national route 5 and you can easily find it.
葡萄館ではいろいろなワインが売っていて、無料試飲もしています。函館・七飯間を移動の際、寄って見てはいかがでしょう?5号線沿いにあって見つけやすいです。
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Akiko

Author:Akiko
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too.
函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。

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