Kanmangafuchi Abyss (and ramen!) – Nikko and Hokkaido, Japan

Last day in Nikko today. The weather had closed in so we got the umbrellas out and went for a stroll along the Kanmangafuchi Abyss. All the way along the abyss there are small statues of what they call ‘Bake Jizo’ or ‘Ghost Jizo’. Apparently the Bake Jizo is a Buddhist patron saint for the sick, elderly, deceased etc.

The river passing through the abyss was a raging torrent and looked awesome. Unfortunately it was only at the end of the walk that I realised that my lens hadn’t fully engaged on the camera and that the autofocus wasn’t working. Hopefully a few of them turn out OK…its a bit hard to tell on the tiny notebook.

We then caught the bus back to the train station and got the train back to Tokyo and Haneda airport.

These ones are from Nikko railway station.

Luckily we got to Haneda airport with plenty of time to spare because they had some issues with finding our booking in their system. Thankfully they were able to put a call through to Qantas and get it all sorts out in time!

The flight to Hokkaido was a.smooth one. Who knew that this is the busiest domestic route in the world? News to me!

I have to say that our first impressions of Hokkaido were quite amusing. The first things we saw in the airport were advertisements everywhere for their amazing corn and potatoes!! I guess we’ll have to try some while we’re here.

Checked into the Richmond Hotel Ekimae and then wandered the streets in search of something tasty for dinner (other than corn and potatoes!!).

Sapporo, and Hokkaido in general, also has a reputation for great ramen. So we thought we’d wander the streets and find one that was doing good trade. We were just about give up when we came across this fantastic little place that had a good variety of ramen dishes on offer. Karen had the house specialty of pork, clams, corn(!) and butter ramen, while I had a simple pork ramen with a miso base. Sooo tasty! We’re obviously not ramen experts though, as the locals were getting through their massive bowls of ramen at three times the rate we were!

At that point we were pooped so we took off back to the room and crashed for the night.