Skip to main content

Ice cream in Otaru

Squid ink, sea urchin, sake, beer, wine, pumpkin, sweet potato, horseradish. Not your average dessert menu. But they were some of flavours on offer at Kita no Ice Cream Yasan in Otaru, along with the more normal lemonade, chocolate and white peach.


B ordered the black squid ink and sea urchin flavours, while Alex and I have a cone of the visually appealing lemonade and pumpkin. The verdict: Squid ink is okay, sea urchin disgusting, lemonade wonderful and pumpkin not so nice. I want then to try apple pie and white peach, but B won't let me. I suspect that some flavours are only tolerable after a high enough consumption of the beer flavour.


Otaru is a port city about 40 minutes by rapid train from Sapporo. It's the shortest amount of travel we've done in a day so far this trip - even the trip to the airport hotel in Sydney was longer! Once a major fishing port, Otaru has a large number of historic warehouses and a scenic canal still lit by gas lamps at night. Now it caters more for tourists and specialises in decorative glass blowing.



It is quiet a pleasant place for a stroll, though I think the canal would be nicer at some time other than the middle of a summer day. We probably got more out of trying the food on offer. Sadly the great range of seafood was too expensive for our budget after our meals in Hakodate. Instead we took samples of dairy, chocolate and cakes, all of which were mouthwateringly delicious (if you discount the ice cream flavours).

On our way back to the station we stroll along a preserved, but disused, railway line, Hokkaido's first. Alex was requesting that we take him to a shopping centre playground when an outdoor playground suddenly appears to our left. Saved again!


The local department store has a fair selection of Tomy railways, but we decide to wait until we reach a bigger city. No kids play area though.

The train ride between Sapporo and Otaru is very pretty, running alongside the coastline. But we sleep quite long on the way back, I wake just before Sapporo station.


Alex continues to sleep on my shoulder while B shops in Gap, then wants to still wants to play and buy some trains, so we explore the department stores of the station area. No luck. Nothing much at Loft and we resist buying anything at Bic Camera, with Alex complaining that we really wants to play.


Maybe some food will cheer him up, so we eat a dinner of pasta and pizza, which tastes very different (and nicer in my opinion) than much of the stuff back home. We purchase some desserts from the shops beneath the department store, then continue our search for toys.

At the Tokyu department store, luck! A Tomy railway set is on special and they have lots of toys for the kids to amuse themselves. But it is closing and we have to quickly make our purchase.

Still, Alex is happy now and so are we. We treat ourselves by watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on the hotel television. It is a rare treat to watch a movie. While the others were washing I watched a travel program about the Gonosen line. A simple travelogue in Japanese with beautiful photography, with a high definition picture it was like riding the rails with them. Much better than the focus on the reporter or crappy photography back home. Wouldn't mind that as a job!

Comments

barrych said…
Well, my friend, I am a blogger myself. I have been to Hokkaido before. The best time to visit Hokkaido would actually be between late November and mid-March, which is the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. Snow is especially beautiful in Hokkaido, of which, I have posted reports about it. You can access these links:

barrych.blogspot.com/2011/12/ and barrych.blogspot.com/2012/05/

Popular posts from this blog

A lazy day at the beach

It's 2am and somebody is still setting fireworks off on the beach in front of the hotel. I can't see the explosions as I have the window shuttered, but I can still hear them. I've wanted to have a lazy day and today was the closest I got. I woke up in the night from a very sad dream. Dreams follow crazy paths, but this one resolved itself as so. An entity had been causing disruption of computer systems around the world. It turned out that this entity had emerged from the computer networks and had been struggling to gain access to more computing power so that it could live. The entity had taken on the persona of a woman. The protagonist who had "defeated" the entity discovered that it was alive, spoke to it. Ultimately fell in love with her. But his prior actions would lead to its death. As a gift to her he downloaded his memories so that she could experience life even as she died. I know it sounds like a pulpy sf or technopunk plot, but dreams are about feeling

Ho Chi Minh to Hoi An

The easy way to get to Hoi An from Ho Chi Minh City is to fly to Danang then go via car for the final leg. Then there's my way. We had to wake at 5.30 am to get ready for a 6.15 departure from the hotel. A hotel car took us the few kilometres to the domestic terminal at the airport, where we checked into our Vietnam Airlines flight to the central Vietnam city of Hue. The airport was nothing flash, but it seemed functional. Alex had sandwiches (refused banh mi) for breakfast, then we went to the gate. Our blue Airbus A321 was parked at a remote stand, which necessitated a packed shuttle bus ride. It was nice to be aboard a full service airline again, even if the service was just a cup of water. We took off over the hazy skies of Ho Chi Minh City and for most of the smooth flight were cruising over a carpet of cloud. We descended over mountains poking their heads through the cloud, across lakes and paddy fields and over the beach. It was lovely scenery.

The sound of running water

We made it home from Osaka. There is a special feeling that comes when your arrive at your house after a holiday. It is utter relaxation. No longer do you need to worry about other language or customs. There is no need to look up directions, to plan out your day, to journey between sights. Then again, you now need to clean up your own mess, to make your own bed. Rather than eat out you need to cook your own dinner. The shower is weak and the toilet doesn't wash your bum. And you need to wake up early tomorrow morning in order to spend a day at work. You are back to your old routine. Looking back upon this holiday in Japan I've decided that the theme of running water has applied to each of the days. Sunday - Arrival in Osaka - washing ourselves Japanese style Monday - Matsuyama - water from the hot springs at Dogo Onsen Tuesday - Takamatsu - waterfall at Ritsuen-koen Wednesday - Tsumago - streams of water throughout the town Thursday - Takayama - the sounds of rushing water e