Wednesday, December 31, 2008

DEC 2008 Japan Family Holiday

Singaporeans love to travel. Despite the current market situations where many are tightening their purse strings and spending only where necessary, Singaporeans when polled, still say they will save up and still travel, albeit less or to nearer places. My family and I decided we needed a well-earned trip and Japan called out to us (somewhat influenced by the Japan Hour programs we watched over the weekends and the raving reviews from our working colleagues)

We travelled early december over 8 days and 6 nights with ANA tours. The trip itinerary was pretty punishing to say the least. Picture this: Singapore - Tokyo to Osaka (domestic flight after 3 hour lay over) Universal Studios - Chitose - Sapporo - Lake Akan - Noboribetsu - Chitose - Tokyo Disneyland - Singapore! But heck, the experiences were sweet and memorable - See the pictures for some highlights.

Elijah and I also enjoyed our snow mobile ride up the hill and down, and played with the soft cotton-like pristine snow. He did not even bother to put on his gloves, throwing all abandon in moulding a ball of snow into his little palm and whoosh ... yeah tossing snow balls at this "hapless" dad.

I personally felt the magic of Hokkaido under the fairy tale like snow landscape with ambient music box music tinkling in the air ... beautiful. See the video below:

Elijah was also enthralled by the swans who flew in from Russia to the Lake here in Akan area to bathe in the nice warm hot spring water as well as getting free food! Have a look at the video on the swans.

My main gripes for this holiday: the early morning calls, the daily change of hotels, the rushed schedules, the commercialized and not as tasty food (we had frozen and rather lean salmon sashimi!)

If I were to go again, I would probably go free and easy, plan my routes, stay longer at Otaru (languish on its cheese cakes, caramel cream, soft Hokkaido ice cream) and visit the famous port at Hakadote (for its fresh seafood, sashimi).

Click here to get more details on photos and annotations from my Hokkaido Holiday Channel.

Nelson Wee signing off for 2008~
Til 2009 ... Happy New Year to all!

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