The last 6 months have been pretty hardcore, with overlapping projects meaning no time for a break. However, we did finally manage to take a few days off (3!) and get away to Hokkaido, one place I’ve been wanting to get back to since the summer of 2002 when I spent three months there working at a Bed and Breakfast.


ハロー北海道 Hello Hokkaido

Day 1 saw us catch a flight from Tokyo at 6.30am, arrive Sapporo about 75 mins later, drop our stuff off the at the hotel before heading into the city centre for sushi and sightseeing. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Plane lands in potato field_3703

Sapporo Odori Koen_3115
Odori Park marks the heart of the city

twinkle, tulips and pepe_3196

Joseph in Odori Koen_5817
Eating a jacket potato with butter – one of Hokkaido’s ‘traditional’ foods, being a huge potato producer.


The clock tower_5842
Japan’s oldest clock tower, featuring a 19th century clock bought from the US that continues to keep time to this day.

After jumbo ramen, how about a ¥12,600 (£100) dessert?
A ¥12,600 (£100) dessert! Apparently, this display has been here for over 10 years.

The following day we headed up to Asahiyama Zoo. Now, I’m not usually a big fan of zoos, having seen too many with tiny enclosures and bored animals pacing the same route over and over. When it comes to Japanese zoos however, this one seems to be doing things right – a bit like London Zoo in the UK. They’ve gone to a lot of effort to make the enclosures more comfortable for the animals, whilst also making it an unforgettable experience for human visitors. Additionally, there’s strong emphasis upon educating the public about the problems the animals are facing in the wild, and what we can do to help.

It’s not ideal of course – two of the polar bears and one of the brown bears were showing signs of intense boredom, pacing back and forth.

Whilst there I took quite a few photos…

hello boys_3594


don't argue_3509



Woops, I woke the pussy cat_3527





asahiyama_zoo-penguins _5982


asahiyama_zoo-penguins _5910

appreciate freedom_6154


On our final day we hired a car and headed out to Lake Shikotsu. very peaceful, just beautiful. We rented a duck and went for a paddle.


On a boat_3741

Ducks can wear bowler hats too_3724







Peddle-powered voyage_3789



Twinkle Self-Portrait_3795
Twinkle’s self-portrait (above, not below!)





Hokkaido River_6432


Whilst the holiday was too short to truly relax, it served as a good taster for Twinkle who’d not been there before, and I was happy to have to check my emails for a few hours!

…and I thoroughly enjoyed taking all these photos!