One of the highlights of our Hokkaido trip was our visit to Niseko. :)
We took the train from Otaru station, and the ride took about 1 and a half hours.
This is the view of Mount Yotei from the train.:
Mount Yotei is the “Mount Fuji” of Hokkaido. :)
It was a comfortable ride. :)
Outside Niseko station:
I arranged for a complimentary train-station-pick-up from our hotel (One Niseko Resort Towers). They were there on time, at 2 p.m.: :)
The views en route to our hotel:
This is the front desk:
The hotel’s sundry shop:
I booked a 49-square meter studio for 2 nights (April 2-4), including breakfast. :)
It was already off-season so we got a really good rate. We booked through Booking.com.
When we entered the room, we were floored! We loved it so much! It was huge, but very cozy; well-appointed, and very clean! :)
Sorry for some of the dark photos, but this is how our room looked like.:
The one-bedroom apartments had washing machines and dryers. We didn’t have one and I had to do some laundry, so I went back down to the lobby to look for the washing area. I took photos of the lobby area.
This is the Gallery Cafe where guests can lounge and read.:
Look at those awesome book/ magazine shelves! :)
The main lobby:
Hubby wanted to take a walk outside, but Julian and I wanted to just stay in and enjoy our room. Before he left I told him to watch out for bears. :)
Below are hubby’s photos from his walk:
The hotel’s facade:
Moiwa Ski resort was just walking distance away from our hotel.:
Back in the hotel:
Part of the lobby:
Back in the room: :)
(Photos were taken on April 2, 2015.)
This was the day of my birthday! :)
It was raining cats and dogs outside; and I loved it! Thank you, Lord! :)
This was breakfast:
There was a buffet set-up that had salads, cereals, salmon, breads, fruits, and fresh jam.
We thought that was it. We were surprised when we were served this plated dish of eggs, bacon, beans, and sweet potatoes!: :)
The food was sooo good! :)
Our hotel was in the middle of nowhere, and there’s really not much going on around so we took the hotel’s free shuttle service and went to Hirafu Village.
We were dropped off at the Hirafu Welcome Center, and we walked from there.
It was freezing!
That small, quaint, brown box of a place has a restaurant on the first floor and a souvenir store at the second floor.:
We looked for a nice place to eat. :)
We ended up back here: :)
They had the best Ramen that I’ve ever tasted! Even better than the one in Sapporo!
The souvenir shop on the 2nd floor:
The Hirafu Welcome Center:
Our ride back to the hotel:
The view from our balcony:
This has been one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had! :)
Thank you, Lord! :)
(Photos were taken on April 3, 2015.)
This was our last day in Niseko. We started the day with breakfast at Tura, the hotel’s restaurant.:
The view from our table:
Excuse the dark photo, but this was our table.:
I had the best-tasting potato salad and smoked salmon here!: :)
The day’s plated dish:
More photos of the hotel:
The weather was perfect that day so we decided to go back to Hirafu.:
Perfect view of Mount Yotei:
We loved the Ramen in this restaurant so much so we went back here… but they were already closed for the season! :(
The souvenir shop upstairs was still open so we just went there.:
The station seems to be located in a residential area.
Here are photos outside the station:
And there’s our train!: :)
(Photos were taken on April 4, 2015.)
Otaru was developed in 1870 as an entry point to Hokkaido. It’s a small harbor city with a port at its center. It has a beautifully preserved canal where you can see old warehouses and office buildings.
For a while there, we felt like we were in Europe! :)
Here are some photos:
It was a long walk from Otaru station to the Canal area. When we got there, we were tired from walking! Good thing there was a canal cruise! Julian was so excited! He loves boat rides. :)
We bought tickets for the 1 p.m. cruise. (Sorry I forget how much they cost.)
There was a short briefing before we took off.:
The tour guide spoke in Japanese, but they gave us this English guide.:
Here are photos of the cruise.:
The cruise took about 30 minutes.
I took the photos below while walking back to the station.:
We had a late lunch then we went back to our hotel.
This is the JR Otaru station.:
This Ferris wheel is located right outside our hotel. :
The night view from our room.: :)
(The photos above were taken on April 1, 2015.)
The next day, before leaving for Niseko, we killed time in the hotel’s restaurant.
What I like about this hotel is, you get the snowy mountain view on one side, and the ocean view on the other side. :)
The view from the restaurant:
We left for Niseko around noon. :)
(“Next-day” photos were taken on April 2, 2015)
On our third day in Sapporo, we took it easy in the morning, and checked out of our hotel at 12 noon. We then took a 30-minute train ride to Otaru. :)
People, usually, just do a day tour of Otaru. But I figured, since we were going to Niseko, and we have to change trains in Otaru on the way there, might as well stay a night. Otaru is also one of the recommended places to see while in Sapporo.
I found Otaru quite charming! :)
Our hotel is located beside the Otaru-Chikko station.
This is right outside the station:
We booked a room at Grand Park Otaru and it is connected to a mall, which is connected to the train station. It’s so convenient! :)
We booked a twin room through Booking.Com and we paid 7,680 Yen for the night.
Our room was really spacious! :)
After settling down, we headed back to Otaru-Chikko station to go to Otaru Canal. To get to the Canal, we had to take a train ride to Otaru station. It was just one train stop away from our station.
Outside Otaru station:
We just walked from the station to Otaru Canal. It was a long walk.
Here are some sights.:
(Photos were taken on April 1, 2015.)