Hokkaido for the Holidays (or: Rejuvenating Abroad)

by Bridget — January 12, 2017

Hokkaido, pictorial map, map, art, Omoto Yasushi

The life force for creativity are new experiences and the easiest way to stay inspired is to get away! Break your routine, cultivate new experiences, explore new cultures, and let yourself be happy, amazed, and relaxed. Pleasantly surprised, I found that even my crazy family vacation to Hokkaido was able to tick all of those boxes.

Japan, silhouette, hokkaido

Over the Christmas holidays I got away from the concrete jungle to go to Hokkaido in northern Japan. However, it’s debatable whether I got much rest while I was away because I had a vacation with my in-laws–complete with my two nephews! A few days before we left, a massive snow storm hit Sapporo (100cm in one day!). They closed the Sapporo airport which caused huge flight delays for several days. The conditions were so bad, some flights couldn’t land and had to be sent back to HKG. You can imagine our concern when we received the message of doom: flight delayed 24 hours. On the upside we got to spend Christmas Day in Hong Kong until we received notice that our flight was delayed yet again.

Hong Kong Kids vs. Sapporo Snowbanks (Sapporo, Hokkaido)

HK, kids, snow, Hokkaido, snowbanks, Japan

Bridget–ski instructor for the day–with her Pupils (Kiroro Resort)

skiing, Hokkaido, Japan, slopes, bunny hill, learning, instructor

Thanks to the bargaining genius of my sister-in-law, all 8 of us flew away on the red eye to Tokyo on Christmas night (only 12 hours behind our original departure time). Landing early in the morning, we wrangled tickets, ate a quick meal, and then took the train north to Hokkaido. Twenty hours & 3 trains later, we finally made it to our destination while our original flight was still being delayed. Not surprisingly, Sapporo displayed a winter wonderland of giant snowbanks, icy streets, and big fluffy snowflakes persistently falling!

Glorious Sashimi Bowls at Sankaku Market (Otaru, Hokkaido)

sashimi, sankaku market, Otaru, Hokkaido

Lake Toya & Shōwa-shinzan, Good Health Demon in Noboribetsu & Hell Valley

Shōwa-shinzan, Hell Valley, Demon, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan

Our fully packed schedule had us driving around Hokkaido from place to place, never even sleeping in the same hotel twice. Zipping between beautiful towns & cities with hot springs, skiing, hiking mountains, shopping, eating crab, steak, bento boxes of delicate delights, and the best sashimi bowls known to man. We experienced a wealth of adventures, thanks again to my sister-in-law, our designated travel agent. Five days of inspiration, refreshing cold air, and the cleanest toilets on the planet. It’s marvelous how travelling makes me feel rejuvenated, satiated, and creative. Visiting countries with fascinating cultures is such a gift. I plan to fondly cherish my fun Hokkaido experiences and express a new found energy in my future designs.

An Amazing Meal in Sapporo, Hokkaido

Sapporo, Hokkaido, crab, personal chef, Japanese food

A Map of Japan for Your Viewing Pleasure (click to enlarge)

Map, Japan, Japanese, Hokkaido, topographical

Credit for First Image: Hokkaido Map by Omoto Yasushi

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