Asahikawa Snow Festival also closed on February 11(Mon.). Speaking of the visitors, citizens of Asahikawa City and adjacent cities and towns accounted for the most. Compared to Sapporo Snow Festival, it can be said that the festival is hand-made and domestic.
I think Kazu will come back soon with his face sun-tuned too much.
Please come back, Kazu !
I am running out of the photos and articles to post on this blog site.
Binge drinking on the ice seems to be allowed in Russia but as in Japan, so called "zero tolerance" is implemented for driving a car, very few anglers sipping alcohol on the ice.
As Kazu has not come back from overseas, I introduce the ice candles in Shimokawa town.
It is so easy to make the candle covers made of ice. Just pour the water to the specific vessels and put it outside of the houses. It costs only a few hours.
It may be too tough to see the beautiful scenery without friends or a partner.
Now that Kazu is away to Bangkok or Phi Phi Island in Thailand, I jot down some articles and post it with photos.
This is Sounkyo Area where ice fall festival is held. It is extremely cold in this area, so the river water is used to make the ice statues and sculptures.
Just pumping up the water from Ishikari River and pouring water to the skeletons of the ice sculptures again and again leads to fantabulous art in the canyon.
Enough preparation for the cold weather is required to walk around the venue of the festival even if comfortable hot spring spas are in the hotels around this area.
Akabira City is the center of raising moth orchids in greenhouse in Hokkaido. This greenhouse was run by the public corporation before but as the company had been in red for long time and a hectic amount of money from the budget of Akabira City was poured into the company, the facility was sold to the private company.
The flower can keep its beauty for a while with so simple care that it is bought as a present to the important persons and guests in Hokkaido.
If anybody is interested in importing these orchids, please do not hesitate to contact me at]
Even in Iwamizawa City, such kind of beautiful illumination called the citizen's attention as well as the people's of adjacent cities and towns. The photo was taken in 2009.
I am not sure if the illumination of this area continues to be arranged and to attract the people even now.
For the reason of security, "projection mapping" on the wall of snow statue of Houheikan which had been a guest house of Sapporo City cancelled on February 9(Sat.) after too many visitors swamped to Odori site in Sapporo Snow Festival 2013.
I told to my wife that we should visit there on February 10(Sun.) but on Saturday, after the projection mapping started, the steering committee of the festival decided to cancel the program because too many people gathered in front of the snow statue to keep their safety. Talk about the bad manner of the visitors ?
No. Every visitor was informed by TV program and Internet on the projection mapping beforehand and were so looking forward to the new attraction of this festival. It's a pity that we could not see the performance but could see on TV.
Will the program revive next year? I will ask the promotion company !
I've posted the article on the Railway Village before but this is the first time to post the photo of the locomotive in the village.
The first railway in Hokkaido was built in 1882 to connect Horonai area in Mikasa City and Otaru City to carry the coal produced in Horonai area.
But after the coalmine industry nosedived and was abolished, the railway from Horonai area to Iwamizawa City was also abolished.
I am not a train mania but it is worth visiting.
Have a nice weekend!
This photo is a wee bit different form the one I posted yesterday.
Where is this?
Please send your guess on the name of the municipality where the mountain is and the name of the mountain to
The winner of the quiz will get "Pan Forte made by "Food Palette a.i.u.e.o." in Nanporo Town.
This photo is also a wee bit different from the one I posted yesterday.
I will leave Sapporo tomorrow. I will be looking forward to reading the right answer after I come back from overseas.
Running out of the budget for this quiz, this time I post the quiz for February and March.
Where is this?
Please send the name of the municipality where the mountain is and the name of the mountain to
Is it too difficult ?
Have you ever heard of the movie film "Yellow handkerchiefs of happiness" 幸せの黄色いハンカチ before?
It is very famous movie film featured by Charismatic Japanese actor Mr. Ken Takakura.
It is the story of a man who got out of the jail. He sent the letter from the jail to his wife. "If you allow and accept me after I get out of the jail, please put a yellow handkerchief on the roof of the entrance or somewhere so that the handkerchief can be recognized from the outside.
When he came to the place where he could see his home, so many yellow handkerchiefs were tied with the rope in front of his house and he met his wife weeping and held her tightly.
The story is very simple but most of our nation love the movie.
Even now, the house is preserved by the municipality of Yubari and many tourists visit this area.
I am wondering if my wife would allow and accept me
"Hokkaido Heritage" is the tangible and intangible treasure to be handed down to the next generation in Hokkaido and designated by Hokkaido Government.
This is not the occidental remains of ancient times but has the taste of that.
It is the seawall dome in Port Wakkanai, the northern end of Hokkaido Island. It was designated as one of the Hokkaido Heritage in 2001.
The design of this area looks a little bit different from the works of traditional Japanese public work and some commercial films have been taken there.
Japanese bistro "Take-chan" is one of my favorites in Wakkanai City.
Drift ice reached to the coast of Okhotsk area of Hokkaido Island. Ice-crushing ship that has drill-like ice crushers for tourists may be in full use in Monbetsu Bay in Okhotsk sub-prefectural area.
Some people may expect ice bergs on the sea as my wife had done before she actually saw the drift ice off shore of Abashiri City.
The sightseeing train for enjoying enough the coast of Okhotsk area in winter started to carry the tourists and the "Welcome Event" was held by the tourism-related entities including Okhotsk Tourism Association in Abashiri JR station on February 1(Fri.).
The passengers getting off the train named " Ryuhyou Norokko" from Shiretoko Shari JR station were received with heartfelt hospitality and given hot drinks such as Japanese Amazake, "Ryuhyou-ame" which means "drift ice candy" and pamphlet for sightseeing in Abashiri City on the platform of the station where the banner "熱烈歓迎！" (Welcome!) was set.
One of the image characters of Okhotsk area, "Tsuku Tsuku Okhotskun" appeared on the platform and kindly took photos with the passengers.
The fantabulous scenery of drift ice on the sea can be seen from the window of the train "Ryuhyou Norokko" which runs on the rail comparatively slowly. A rotund stove is set in the train as it was many years ago and the passengers can warm up the dried squid "Surume" on the stove and savor it. That is recognized as the things of this area.
The seasonal train "Ryuhyou Norokko" is available for a month until March 10(Sun.)and connects Abashiri City and Shiretoko Shari twice a day. Details are at the web site of JR Hokkaido Kushiro Branch Office at http://www.jrkushiro.jp/
but only in Japanese.
Coming back from Iwamizawa City to Sapporo City, I jogged around Hokkaido University. The passers by on the premises are so different from those of 25 years ago. So many international students were passing by on the main street. I hope they can get sweet and good memories in Sapporo City as I enjoyed life in the university.
After I invited my friend from Nigeria to Hokkaido, many international students from Africa seemed to have increased so much.
My friend Kunmi from Lagos State addressed to establish the relationship between Africa and Hokkaido University and the special training course arranged by JICA in cooperation with Embassy of Japan in Nigeria.
I wish I could help the international students and the trainees of JICA enjoy their stay in Hokkaido to the maximum.
I do not use my stove in Iwamizawa City any more.
This kind of sticky snow covering the branches of trees are the sign of getting warm.
I am selecting the photo for the quiz of the month for February. I have not had enough time to take photos for this blog these days and I will have to visit Thailand this month. So Gen in Kamikawa Sub-prefectural office of Hokkaido Government will post the photos of his area during my visit to Thailand. Before my departure, I will post the quiz of the month.
Besides, I am contemplating what should be the present to the winner of the quiz for February. I fretted about the arrival of the present to the winner in this month. If anybody has a comment in this regard, please post it on this blog or email me.
I will check my email once a day.
I hope no business contacts will swamp on the beach of Phuket.
Have a nice weekend!
It is still cold albeit it has already been the beginning of spring on lunar calender. Take care and stay fit by wearing mask for hygiene, washing your hands and gargling because flu and cold are rampant now.
Takikawa Winter Festival to enjoy enough the season is held on February 16(Sat.) and 17(Sun.) . Precise information on the festival is at「2013たきかわ冬まつり (1,296KB)」 but only in Japanese. Snow chutes are built by the Self-defense Force of Japan in the Fort Takikawa and snow sculptures made by the citizens are exhibited on the site.
If you want to attend in the Dodge-ball game tournament of Hokkaido, please apply beforehand to Takikawa Sigtseeing Association （TEL0125-23-0030）.
On 17:00 of February 16(Sat.), The 11th Takikawa Paper-bag Lantern Festival will start. The flame of candles are swaying in the wind as shown above. Please be invited to the world of illusion in Takikawa City with your family or friends.