February 10, 2006

RL is crazy and I also need some distraction from the whole Biblos thing ^^; so here comes the (again, very late) update on my travelogue. I’m moving at a very slowwwwww pace, heh. *thinks about borrowing Christy’s snowing icon for this snowy day, but somebody’s already snatched it* dang! *giggles and runs*

warning: lots of pictures behind cut ^^ including cute animals being naughty ^__~


COLD.

*giggles* Well, I admit that I had a very small set of vocabulary in the morning, and being waked up at 5am, I’d say that it was very early, eh? Anyhow, we left my friend’s mansion around 7am and arrived at Sapporo station to check in with our tour group. Today we bought a bus tour package for only JPY2,800, which included a round trip to Asahikawa and the zoo ticket.

Asahikawa was about 2.5 hours away from Sapporo. Snow started falling again around 9am and pouring harder by the time we arrived at Asahiyama zoo. ^^; Tough day for my mini Nikon, but nothing can stop me from taking pictures! *pets strong camera* We had only 2 hours to spend at the zoo, so we went straight to see the highlight of the day…

Penguin Parade!

These Emperor Penguin were sooooooooooo incredibly cute. (btw, if you haven’t watched “March of the Penguins” yet, I strongly recommend, you’d fall in love with them ^^) They walked faster than I thought though.

This furry one is a baby penguin, though it seemed to be bigger than some of the adults LOL.

Okay. Taking pictures of walking penguins on a snowy day was hard enough IMO, but try adding an oba-san who kept pushing and trying passed you to the front row while repeatedly screaming “Kodomo Kawaiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” on top of that -___-; Woman! I could hardly hold my camera still with a freezing hand, I didn’t need your push to make my pictures more blurry! ^^”

The penguin parade lasted about 45 minutes, but we didn’t wait for them to make their turns and came back since we kind of had a very limited time. So we headed to the Penguin Aquarium to see some other penguins there.

Supposedly, there should be penguin swimming in this place. Well, maybe they’re on lunch break, huh? ^^ Inside the aquarium, there’s a lot of information and pictures about different kinds of penguins, with real lived penguin in the controlled temperature room. It must have been my (perverted) fate that made me see this couple….

Instinctively, I took pictures of them before I even poked my friends to see. So they couldn’t see them doing *things* and said they don’t believe me. Oh well, I was about to show them the pictures, when the same couple…..

… did it again! ROFL! They must have been trained for this show! XD Yes, the picture was very blurry because I couldn’t stop laughing, and blame the ‘objects’ too since they also kept moving! *giggles* From now on, if someone says that penguin is a cute, innocent animal, I’ll have to show that someone these pictures! XD

Next, we went to Seal Aquarium. There’s a big tube like thing in the middle of the room that seals would swim back and forth and back and forth (or should I say up and down? ^^; forgive my Eng-rish) Anyway, despite how FAT they were, these seals were a very very good swimmer, they’re too fast, I either took pictures of it’s head or tails/feet ^^”

After a while, I gave up and went to a bigger glass window, and finally got it’s full body picture ^^

While trying to take a clean shot of jellyfish, I heard my friends say something about ‘looks good, yummy, delicious’, so I turned around and met this guy ^^”

Next stop is Polar Bear Aquatic Park!

Peek-a-boo!

They’re so cute and hyper during winter time. (my friend came to this zoo last summer, she said these bears did nothing but sleep ^^”)

Too fast for the shutter speed! They jumped into the water, and disappeared! XD

Lonely brown bear.

My friend kept calling this lion “Aslan” ^^ and surprisingly, he finally looked our way! XD

Facing Aslan was Mr. Tiger who was sooooooooo skinny! >_<” (he looked just like one of those the Dog products ^^”)

Walking around for a little while, buying some souvenirs, we reached our 2 hours limit and had to walk very fast back to the bus. Luckily, we’re not the last group to arrive. Most of the tour members were there already, I didn’t know that they’re 100% on-time, or they just couldn’t stand the cold! lol

Lunch time! Our bus took us to Asahikawa Ramen Village.

Asahikawa Ramen is is one of the city’s original food traditions, which was created in the early Showa era and came to thrive during the postwar period. The characteristics of the ramen are fair, wavy noodles with low water content, soy sauce-flavored broth that resists cooling due to films of oils on the surface, which is cooked with pork with bones and seafood stock, such as niboshi (small dried sardines).

taken from the village brochure

Very delicious indeed! I now totally believe that eating ramen is an art ^^ It’s incredibly HOT and Japanese people can eat the entire bowl in less than 10 minutes o_O” (when it took us more than half and hour!) After a nice hot ramen, we had a very rich soft ice cream for dessert, and now we’re ready to fight the snow and cold weather at Asahikawa Winter Festival ^__~

It’s a small festival compared to the one at sapporo, but the atmosphere was very nice ^^

If you’ve seen Sadako in ‘The Ring’ before, you’d know what my friend told me to do. *giggles* The guy in blue next to me was our volunteer guide, Toshiya-san ^^ He could speak English a little, so it’s fun trying to communicate with him without bothering my friend to translate every single thing ^^

Two cute little boys, whose mum was very nice and let us take their pictures.

duckies!

Toshiya-san took us around, and walked to another part of the park where another festival was held there. We couldn’t stay till the light-up time at night, so I took the picture of the festival promo poster instead ^^ *pets photoshop*

And that wrapped up our tour for the day. It took us almost 3 hours to get back to Sapporo. We went shopping afterward. One of my friends bought a new digital camera since her SLR was not made for cold weather ^^” it was almost dead a few times today. After having dinner, we went back to my friend’s place around 10pm, then she took me out again for a little walk to “Book-off”, a 2nd hand book store, only a few blocks away from her place, while my other two friends were busy doing their laundry ^^

On our way back, I was thinking about calling home, but with this phone booth? Nah, I believed my parents would be more happy not to hear anything from me ^^”

Almost every corner/crosswalk looked like this, very dangerous to cross the street, ne?

end notes:

Ha! It’s getting colder and colder each day ^__~ Hand warmers were still our life saviors~ LOL And oh! I took 427 pictures for this day, what a record!! XDD

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *