John & Hiromi's Virtual Vacation to Hokkaido
Day 8th - September 3rd, 2001
Day 7 Day 9
Bulletin: We made it! Shiretoko Peninsula!!

Here's a preview of coming arrtractions (from the car!). This is "the Sea of Okhotsk" from the Shiretoko Peninsula! Can you hear the waves? Can you smell the ocean air? More tonight!
Love, John, Hiromio, and Yum-Yum

Welcome to Monday, we can guarantee a good day, because we've already seen it! We already know which stocks you should buy, and which horses will win. Too bad we won't tell!
Some folks have had trouble accessing the pictures on the website:
Here's how; Switch to English, if that is your preference, and click on the "FUN page"button. That should take you to the "Fun page". There is a "Hokkaido Trip" line there. Click on it and be patient while the pictures load. If any of the pictures don't load, after a couple of minutes, click on "refresh".
Please be patient. Most are receiving and seem to be enjoying the trip. What is a fox farm? We pulled up in front of one, and they had at least twenty mangy little foxes tied up on leashes in front of a souvenir store. (Those little foxes spoil the vine!). They wanted money to take pictures of the foxes, but I already had some good fox pictures, for free! As I started into the store, a Japanese redneck started yelling something at me, so I said, "Waukarimasen!", which means, "I don't understand"! He did what many do, just spoke faster and louder. Finally, Hiromi came to my rescue and translated. He just wanted to inform me that it was a souvenir shop!!

Driving around Shiretoko

Who is afraid of the big bad bear ?

Help! He's got Hiromi!

Farmers on side of hill

Oshin- koshin fall(Twin falls)

Today's scenery was better than expected. The coast of the Shiretoko Peninsula is huge and craggy in places. The waves were about 3 feet high, sounded wonderful. and smelled great.
We had big fat fish for lunch. I'm getting the hang of it ... Just eat the small bones and quit worry about it, and then ate plenty of Hokkaido Ice cream ... I can always diet later! The restaurant also served seal, deer, and bear meat. no thanks!
Hiromi drove like a champion through the mountains on great roads. On the south side of the peninsula we could see one of the Japanese islands that Russia is occupying. It looked bleak and uninviting. Having seen the mighty Shiretoko, we have started the long trek back home to Fujisawa.

Sea of Okhotsk


Russian held island in background

Beautiful eight-point buck

Seal head

Give us back our islands !

Beginning of westbound

We passed several herds of the famous Hokkaido "Dalmation" Cows. These cows are famous for hanging around firestations and riding on those big red trucks to the fires. This particular herd was manufacturing some more ice cream for me! We saw wildlife but no bears. Tonight, we are staying at Akanko Onsen, kind of east of center of Hokkaido. Very Japanesy. Couldn't find a good restaurant, and we weren't very hungry, so we went to Lawson Station, a Japanese Convenience store and bought obento boxes. That's a kind of Japanese TV dinner. Mine was yakisoba, a kind of fried noodle. For dessert, a piece of grape bread, and some Hokkaido ice cream! (Did you know that 7-11 is a japanese company?) There are lots of convenience stores over here.
At Akanko onsen town, almost every store is a souvenir store,all selling the same stuff, all atthe same price and noneof them are selling anything, as far as I can see. It is all Ainu stuff, handcarved bears holding a salmon, etc. Kind of like the souvenir shops in Arkansas. The big difference is that they try to make their monthly overhead on every sale. We see stuff in these souvenir shoppes for more than 1000% higher than you can get the exact same stuff in the Hyakuen Shops. (That's like "Everything's $1.00"). My opinion is that Japanese are really smart in business at the high end, but have a lot to learn on the small business end.
We have one more day and night in Hokkaido, and then we'll catch the ferry back to Honshu.
Love from your tourguides, John and Hiromi

Hokkaido Dalmation(Fire House)cows


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