Wintery blasts and recovering in Southern Hokkaido

We have four full days to play in Sapporo. While P2 remained in the weather, I received leave permission to return to the snow shoe site known as Hokkaido warning in Nopporo, a safer choice for crossing the mountain.

The train to Shinrin-kooen was filled often and quickly that morning with locals, young and old. Now an expert in knowing the park’s entry point, I have snow boots ready to climb Nopporo within fifteen minutes of coming down. Yesterday’s cross-country skier track (the owner of the track was an older Japanese couple I met) remained, as well as our messy frozen contribution.

Snow in the forecast that day, which will likely cover everything. The increasing height of the city makes a difference in the depth of snow in Nopporo. After walking fifteen kilometers, I saw a frozen lake, followed in the footsteps of several others (sometimes) up many steep snow steps, and passed several older Japanese men walking up in their boots. The undulating landscape is beautiful, and certainly an interesting alternative to walking on the river bank in the city, as I tried the day before.

P2 is still not much after lunch when I return. The snow began to fall heavily and I hoped to see Otaru in a storm above the station area, one of the many sights on Otaru from a high place. I drove through the hilly road. This decided for me that being closer, and in softer snow, far safer.

‘Eat in’ (thanks for the discount hall Japanese food hall) for the next few nights says everything – Recovery of P2s happens quite slowly and some plans have to wait until the next trip.

Otaru has been suggested as a snow boots location but without being available on the web to provide guidance, I planned several options, starting with Shioya or Otaru. Of course there was some leg work along the tedious road to get to where I had to start, finding a tunnel and some cool residential and industrial roads to get me to point A.

After an hour of walking from the …