Hokkaido Lavender Tour 2013 Report by Linda

This time we had more than 30participants on our tour which included 4people from mainland US.

YES, We have people coming on our tour from out side of Hawaii!  We had such nice fun group, we had played some games during long bus ride with prizes, Hokkaido is full of good foods from seasonable vegetables to fresh seafood and don’t miss out on dairy products!  We wer so fortunate to have nice sunny day despite weather forcast so for that, we were all happy and came home with couple extra pounds and heavy suit cases…


(Day 2)

Our flight to Chitose on Hawaiian was smooth ride, they serve meals rapped with “IOLANI” aloha wear napkin which was nice touch of ALOHA.  1hour stop over in Sendai, we had to wait iside the plane, but at least a/c was on. Outside in Sendai was pouring rain although it was great see everything back to normal after a big disaster. I wonder what Hokkaido wsendai airporteather would be….
















(Day 3)

It is such a nice day, this is the view from our hotel lobby. Sorrounded by beautiful green and you can smell refreshing Eucalyptus.

Sounkyo Hot Spring Resort/Hokkaido


(Day 4)

Furano and Bioei, where its known for beautiful flowers and Lavender fields. It is like patch work of flowers. Unfortunately lavender was not in full bloom but we all enjoyed Lavender ice cream and Furano Melon. You can spend hours just sit down and admire these flowers.




(Day 5)

This was at Sapporo Factory where we stopped for lunch. During the summer, there are lots of festival in Hokkaido. This was one of them at center stage. They had more than 40charactors who represent each district, county and village’s selling points. It is cute and there wouldn’t be a chance to see them all at once. We are excited to see it.




(Day 6)

This was one of festival (matsuri) in Sapporo city.  “4ban gai matsuri”. We saw a mikoshi float, yatai food booth and lots of people. This was a very hot day in Sapporo, it went up over 80degree. Since it was a free day at leisure, I took everybody out to explore the city.

Nice walk to 2jyo fish market from our hotel, another major interest of everybody was 5story 100yen store close by from fish market. Yes, we shopped out.

Lunch is at nice cozy restaurant, they serve local foods to popular donburi, teishoku style dish with reasonable price. Most of us tried “hokke fish” teishoku. Under the price of $8, it comes with a big grilled hokke fish, miso soup, rice and small side dish. Some of us didn’t miss out on fresh Sapporo beer classic (it is only available in Hokkaido).

Our venture in the city continued to Tanuki koji arcade, Daimaru dept., UNICLO and so on.



(Day 7)

Sapporo to Otaru and Yoichi.

First stop was to visit Nikka Whiskey-where first whiskey was made in Japan. The whiskey named after a Founder Taketsuru is one of most knwon whiskey not onloy in Japan but thru out the world. Some of our member tried sampling to compare different aged whiskey – aged 17,20 and 25yrs. What is taste like???



Yoichi has veraety of fruits thru our the year, this time we snjoyed cherry picking. ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT. It is like a wonder world, we were tree hopping from one by one. Each cherry tasted different by diferent tree. We just kept walking, picking and eating at the same time!!

At the end, we had some free time to stroll around Otaru city, some of us run to “drippless shoyu bottle” store and some went to this music box shop.


In Noboribetsu. We caught gondla up on  the mountain to Noboribetsu Bear Park.

This is baby bear cage, since it was a hot day, all of them staying in shade. One is completely sleeping on the edge of their play ground. I just worried for him not to go over the edge….; (



(Day 8)

After the very hot day, it is a good idea to indulge on some cold sweets!

It’s called “shirokuma” direct translation is “white bear”. timely, right?!

Different convenience stores carry “shirokuma ice” but the best of one is at the one in seven-eleven store. Shave ice with condensed milk, it has some topping of fruits. You have to try it. I encourage our tour member to at least try once during the tour. Some of them had a chance to compare with this sone and the ones available at different convenience store.  You should be the one to judge! Visit Japan and try some!

white bear

Posted by Linda Okabe

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