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2014.09.08 | 北海道夏(5A)

[Volume 9 Issue 9, #1939]
Hokkaidō Trip Summer 2014 - DAY 5A of 8
Exploring Hakodate (函館) by Tram
中文讀者請注意: 因為篇幅問題, 這一系列日本遊記只有英語版本, 敬請見諒..
the garden hopping in Furano (富良野) and driving along the Patchwork Road in Biei (美瑛) on day 4 marked a beautiful end to our stay in the northern part of Hokkaidō.. on day 5, we again rose very early in the morning to catch the first train out of Asahikawa (旭川) and off we headed south to Hakodate (函館) in the southern region of Hokkaidō..
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Asahikawa Japan - JR Station
#5A-F1 ■ ■
when i said very early in the morning, i really mean it.. the first train departs Asahikawa (旭川) at 5:18am and so we woke up at 3:30am(!!!), took turns to wash-up, did final packing, munch a little snack, checked out and by the time we reached the station, it was 4:45am.. you see the clock on the building?? yes, it said 4:45 in the morning, but because it was summer so you thought it looked like afternoon instead.. we're way ahead of the departure time, and that's the problem - the station wasn't opened yet!! no wonder so quiet, no choice we gotta wait outside until the station was opened at around 5:00am..

Lesson learnt always check the station's operating hours and don't assume they operates 24x7.. we might be worried about missing the train, but don't have to be so kiasi also lah.. :D
Hokkaido Japan - From Asahikawa to Sapporo to Hakodate by Train
#5A-F2 ■ ■
the journey offered beautiful views we could enjoy from inside the train.. from Asahikawa (旭川) to Sapporo (札幌) was greens which Fing-Fing enjoyed very much, see his happy face as if he would be able to spot some bananas from those trees (@.@").. me though, enjoyed the view from Sapporo (札幌) to Hakodate (函館) more as the rail was built on the coast just by the sea, it was amazing to have such nice seaview and it didn't felt like a 4-hour journey.. if you want to know what sea i was looking at, Pacific Ocean and Uchiura Bay (内浦湾 Uchiura-wan)..
Hakodate Japan - Streetcar/Tram One Day Pass
#5A-F3 ■ ■
we arrived at Hakodate (函館) 4-hour later at 11:35am and the first thing we did was to get the One Day Streetcar Pass, from the Foreign Tourist desk at the information center in Hakodate Station (函館駅 Hakodate Eki).. Streetcar is what they call their city tram (市電 shiden or 路面電車 romen densha), the most convenient way to travel between tourists attractions (nope, there is no subway in this city)..
Hakodate Japan - Salt RamenHokkaido Japan - Ramen Grand Slam
#5A-F4 ■ ■
we crossed the road to our hotel which is just opposite the station (check their website here).. since we were too early for check-in, we left our luggage with the hotel and went to the shop next door for lunch.. what you are seeing here was my salt ramen (塩ラメン shio ramen), another version which completed my so-called "Ramen Grand Slam" (see here)!! very different from the pork marrow, miso and soy sauce i had earlier, the salt ramen looked plain but tasted clear, lighter and rather more refreshing, just sea salt to enhance the flavor of the soup - this bowl of mine (¥750) was chicken broth if i'm not mistaken.. simple but very nice, this would be another recommendation.. i think i will rank this type above the rest, of course based on my own taste buds..
Hakodate Japan - Around the City
#5A-F5 ■ ■
after the simple but delightful ramen lunch, we still had about 1½ hour to spare before we could check-in.. since we have already bought our one-day tram pass, why waste?? so off we went to explore the city by tram, referencing the tourist map attached to the pass booklet, how thoughtful right?? with the pass on hand, we just hopped on and off many stops we without worries, of course doing so we had our instant ROI, haha!! didn't quite know where we were going or have been, that's not important since we were just exploring.. in general, Hakodate (函館) is more like a town if compared to her other big sisters, more "humble" and of course one feels more relax there..
Hakodate Japan - Posing with Statues on the Street
#5A-F6 ■ ■
we got back to our hotel at 2pm to check-in and after a brief rest, we took the Yunokawa Line (湯の川線 Yunokawa-sen) tram to our first planned destination of our itinerary, the Goryōkaku (五稜郭).. okay, it's not what you are seeing in this photo, i kind of "side-track" a bit, haha!! we had to walk like 15-minutes from the Goryokaku Park Front tram station (五稜郭公園前駅 Goryōkaku Kōen-mae Eki) to where we wanted to be, along the way, we saw some interesting sculptures on both sides of the road.. in order to forget the destination is still far ahead, we stopped and posed together with the sculptures, i like that cunning fox but how was i to imitate it?? ah, i think our eyes are equally small, haha.. :D
Hakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku Park
#5A-F7 ■ ■
after 25-minutes (half of the time wasted taking photos though) we arrived at the Goryokaku (五稜郭), formerly a fort and now a public park.. we took the bridge to cross the moat [2] and entered the fort, not actually a big place (or more precisely, area that we could explore) but i would say this place was beautiful [3] i felt sorry to myself if i didn't take a photo [6], haha.. i was especially captivated by the trees planted in the park, they were all so beautiful and even some of which that carried "fake looking color" [5] were "looking handsome" too.. in the center of the fort stood the Hakodate Magistrate's Office (箱館奉行所 Hakodate Bugyōsho) [4], which was established at the port in 1857, and since then gone through a series of moving, dismantling, rebuilding and finally only opened to public in 2010 for a fee of ¥500 [website]..
Hakodate Japan - Goryokaku ParkHakodate Japan - Goryokaku Park
#5A-F8 ■ ■
the term goryo (五稜) as in Goryokaku (五稜郭) means "five edges/corners" and refers to the shape of a star.. hence what you are seeing on this monument [1] is actually Goryokaku (五稜郭) itself which is built in a star-shaped designed by Takeda Ayasaburō (武田斐三郎) [2] 150 years ago, and was Japan's very first western-style fort.. of course, one will not see the star-shape while inside the park, but the outline could be seen very clearly from a higher location, that would probably awe many beholders [website], especially during spring when the 1600 cherry trees surrounding the moat blossom - imagine that!!
Hakodate Japan - Goryokaku TowerHakodate Japan - Souvenirs Stamps
#5A-F9 ■ ■
and the best place to see the star-shaped outline of Fort Goryokaku (五稜郭) from the top is this 50 year-old Goryokaku Tower (五稜郭タワー Goryōkaku Tawā) that is adjoining the park.. of course, standing at 107-meter tall, the city of Hakodate (函館), Mount Hakodate (函館山 Hakodateyama) and the further Yokotsu Mountain Range (横津岳 Yokotsu Dake) can also be seen, all for just a fee of ¥840 (enjoy 10% discount with tram pass) to get up to the 2-storey observatory platform on the tower.. and common to all tourist attractions, there is a huge souvenirs shop at the foot of the tower specially for shopaholics, hehe.. of course no harm browsing inside and enjoy free food samples, and if you have brought yourself some papers, do not forget to collect some tourist stamps (see here), free one lah~~ :p
Hakodate Japan - Yummy Milk and Melon Ice-Cream
#5A-F10 ■ ■
why suddenly showing food already?? no photos taken from top the tower?? uncle being uncle, of course i didn't pay to go up - the fees, and because we were planning to climb up somewhere later and thought we would be able to see the same thing.. hence we just "lingered" in the souvenirs shop at the foot of the tower enjoying this extra rich and creamy bottled milk (¥140) from Yamakawa Farm (山川牧場 Yamakawa-bokujyo) [website], as well as the very mouthwatering Yubari melon (夕張メロン Yubari Meron) and milk swirl ice-cream (¥350).. i gotta say, they made me a very happy person for that moment, and gave me energy to continue to the next stop!! :D
so we kind of explored the city for half a day and did i mentioned we were climbing up somewhere later?? yes, another highlights of this trip, which is going up Mount Hakodate (函館山 Hakodateyama) to have a bird's eye view of the city, claimed to be one of the world's best night views!! stay tuned for the second half of day 5 in the next post.. :)

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  1. 5A good can then wait till 5Z hahaha

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    1. mana ada 5 Z la.....day 5 Part A la....

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    2. Good Afternoon Bloggers! LOL.. What's these 2 sotongs rambling about?

      Bananaz is saying that from 5A, we all can enjoy many posts until 5Z. Forgive this hungry kitten.

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    3. I think there is only 5B and no more or at most 5C.

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    4. A or B or Z...dont care la.....hentam only

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    5. A, B, C, D, E or whatever, as long as not ZZZZZZZZZ... then it's good already lah~~ :D

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    6. You put ZZZZzz then I will angry ah....:p

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  2. 3.30am in the morning, that's very early!! Guess the night before you guys should slept quite early, if not then how to wake that early woh, not choice wat, have to rush for the train...

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    1. But the place is so bright... I wonder if they can sleep!

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    2. They don't sleep under the sky so with the window curtains closed and the lights off they won't know that it is daylight outside. Wake up early, can make up the sleeping hours by sleeping in the long train journey.

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    3. i guess 3+ or 4 in the morning started to get bright lu.. yes, like what mun explained.. of course there is something called curtains which when you draw closed the sunlight will not come in, and you could still sleep in a log inside the dark room.. :D

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  3. Got wrong 'prediction' thought you would stop at 4D but 4C instead. So for 5 series probably end at 5C too?

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    1. 5 or 5 C for something special?

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    2. Adoi..!! The special post will be coming up at 5-CB !!!!

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    3. TM - what's 5 cb ??

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    4. actually why so concern about 1,2A,2B,3,4A,4B,4C,5A,5B etc?? just read on lah.. i might as well just use running number 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.. 100,101,102,103... etc and you all shall not be able to guess when i will stop!! or probably everyone's keep counting when i will stop exhausting you with the series??

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    5. pengsan...now become so confusing liao....piak all your heads,......sampai pulak 5CB,....nanti 5KNN , 5DNS etc etc *cham...out of topic* better run and hides

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  4. Oh 3.30am and we keep hearing going on group tours its like refugees haha. Agree, to get the max got to be early no such thing as see first lah wake up early for lunch then go sight seeing.

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    1. well, at least i planned this "refugees" trip myself and i have no complaints because i knew the schedule inside-out.. unlike group tours, everyone's complaining why wake up so early every morning and got back to hotel so late every night, spending so much time in souvenirs shop~~ :p

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  5. I scrolled right to the bottom to look at that Yubari melon and milk swirl ice-cream! Aiyo....I want to eat ice cream suddenly hah..hah... But the extra rich and creamy bottled milk? No thank you. Milk send me to the toilet in less than 5 minutes. Lactose intolerance!

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    1. I'll come back later to savour your Day 5A of 8 in detail.

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    2. me too would love a tast of the ice cream...LOL...your no thank you sound like someone :p. Alamak...you have Lactose intolerance...have to careful bit with food then

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    3. I don't like milk but I like to eat ice cream.. how come geh? So I think I will thank you instead of no thank you...
      I remember when I went during winter to Japan, I ate ice cream too... it was a green tea type of ice cream.. very nice and creamy too! But after that, shivered like mad... so coooolllldddd!! :)

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    4. I think it's summer there now, so not so cold. The swirling ice cream really looks good.

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    5. I like to eat ice cream too. The most memorable ice cream I ate in Kyoto is the pumpkin ice cream and very, very delicious too! I also can't drink milk now, will get a lot of gas when I do.

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    6. hahaha, ice-cream is made of milk but why some do not like or cannot drink milk, but can eat ice-cream so much?? haha.. something to be thought of huh?? :)

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    7. i think ice-cream have some kind of magic leh. no matter how ones wanna resist sure will want a taste...with or without milk

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  6. Morning bloggers.. Happy Monday (blue).. I’m not happy, but have to act happy la, if not, very hard to pass the day, huh.. Eh, I love the orange colour background, very refreshing leh.. Makes me think of fresh orange juice for breakfast..

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    1. Wah, wokeup at 3.30am to prepare huh.. Good wor, I like to prepare early, and I’m always early in everything, really.. My motto is simple: I don’t like people to wait for me, and I don’t like to wait for people too. And I don’t like to be late.. I will always set my alarm to the earlier time, before the morning call (if I’m following a tour)..

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    2. 4.45am and the sky is so bright liao.. Errr, call me blind, actually I didn’t realize that clock in the building.. After you mention only I squinted my eyes and try to look out for that clock ahh..

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    3. I like the travelling journey photos, looks like postcards..

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    4. Oh, the journey to Hakodate is 4 hours huh.. Eh, I very phobia taking long journey one, be it by train or bus or even flight. I always think of my tummy one.. No, not scared of being hungry.. Scared lausai lah !! This is my very main concern when I’m travelling.. Scared lausai and need to find toilet, very mafan one ler..

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    5. Salt ramen? First time I hear la.. Direct translation or what? When you say salt ramen I think of ramen with (ABC) soup with lots of salt only, haha..But I see a piece of meat inside la.. Looks ching-ching-dei, ok la, I can accept la..

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    6. Wah, I like your picture, posing with the (dog) statues.. Like very “ngai sut” wor.. Like thinking of something deeply.. Oh no no no, like enjoying or fantasizing something.. Hmm, I think no also, like smelling the clean wonderful wangi air.. Yes, this looks more like it, haha..

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    7. Wait, I spotted that milk and ice cream, so forgive me, I scrolled down immediately to your milk and ice cream, and I skipped the middle part.. I’m honest hor.. Wah, extra rich and creamy timm... I like.. But i’d be worried if I take milk when I’m travelling, again lor, scared tummy upset..

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    8. But I don’t mind that melon ice cream.. I hope I can lick some of it la...Can ahh?

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    9. Your mojo is not back, but you act like your mojo is back? Zzz it feels like going to work leh, sounds so depressing...

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    10. Wah you very liu gai me.. Yep mojo not back100% but have to act like I'm alrite la.. 'Paan hoi sum', 'paan kin keong'.. Wat to do.. If not I'd feel very depressed leh.. And you are not here for me.. How?

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    11. I think when pretend to be happy, slowly will become happy for real.

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    12. okaylah though woke up at 3:30am but then still can get back some sleep inside the train mah.. muahahaha!! you are so funny lah, you know what?? you made me think that your world is all about ABC soup only, whatever soup you cook is ABC and whatever noodles you cook is with ABC soup.. there are more than ABC in this world lah..

      ooopsss!! i am putting myself at risk, because i said something similar to another blogger and straight away all my comments deleted, link removed from blogroll and never being visited anymore.. but i think Princess Ribbon is sporting person, can play one right??

      errr, i am not surprised that you just look at photos, only when you see something interesting that you mind to read a bit of the words lor.. everyone does this to everyone lah, i believe~~ :D

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    13. SK,
      I read ALL your posts tau!

      Of course sometimes I have the tendency to skip other blogs that had just repetitive photos. LOL

      I like post with words and stories like yours and occasionally simple but thought provoking posts.

      We are all adults. Must read more, and more than just std 1 level writing. hehehe

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    14. Eh!!!

      Got such bloggers who deleted other people's comments ah? Wow!

      I mean, I delete spam lah. But comments - be it good or bad, I leave alone.

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  7. Interesting Goryokaku shall wait for your next post to see the fort from bird's eye view as currently seeing stars only.

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    1. if you can't wait then i have actually provide a link to the website that you can see~~ :)

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  8. It would be awesome to dress up like Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X) and run around the fort with a katana XD
    If I go with a girl, will definitely go up the tower, and also climb the hill.

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    1. I like the movie Rurouni Kenshin acted by live Japanese actors and I have watched all the anime series and movies. Next time you go, you can dressed up like RK. Why if go with a girl, must go up tower but go with a boy, then no need?

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    2. Go with a boy no need to be romantic, and no need to act generous ma. Aiya, draw picture no need to draw out the intestine la XD

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  9. Good morning SK and all

    travelling again ya today.

    #5A-F1

    so early in the morning already so bright liao. Got get dizzy by the time zone change or not

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    1. 15 minutes wait for the station to open is okay la. at least got there early than late. no need to worry about being late lo. can sempat snap photos also mah

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    2. Yes, I think 15 minutes wait is ok too. Not that long.

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    3. Japan is just an hour ahead of our time, so cannot feel the difference one lah.. i think waited for more than 15 minutes lah, it was a bit chilly so early in the morning leh but then also very refreshing so won't feel tired and sleepy..

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    4. when excited and traveling sure wont feel tired. One hour earlier than our time yet so bright

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    5. It's not called the "Land of the rising sun" for nothing. LOL

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  10. #5A-F2

    Fing Fing sure looks like he enjoying his ride very much. Lucky he pandai tag along with Daddy else might forgot to get off the train

    wow..the train track is so near to the sea. I wonder if got big waves, the water will flood the tracks or not. Here if raining hard, KTM will "jam" in seremban coz track banjir. cannot go through.

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    1. Thanks for the detailed travel infor and travel trips in the blog post. useful information for those who wanted to know more. no wonder use so much time to write the travelogue. bravo!

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    2. hahaha...travel in a group good right? can "divide and conquer". One go queue for the ticket one go buy food...and maybe one go check out where are the correct platform

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    3. haha, Daddy also happy to have Fing-Fing accompanying him mah.. errr looked near but then still got some distance and also the track is built higher, shouldn't be a problem gua i guess.. yalor, that's what we planned, we bergotong-royong so that we can catch the train on time also also got things to eat in the train mah~~ :)

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  11. #5A-F3

    when you mention Streetcar, i thought kereta. oh it's tram. Yeah for tourist think it's better to get day pass instead one by one ticket. can simply hop on one place and get off...look see and get on again

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    1. yeah, quite cute they called it "streetcar".. actually very convenient to go from one place to another by the tram also, somemore bought the one-day pass, no worries lah~~ :p

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    2. no traffic jam also leh.

      used to have those whole day bus ticket here but no longer liao :(. That one saves a lot

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  12. #5A-F4

    I see this Ramen is clearer than what you ate earlier post. something of a change la. If always eat the thick broth ones also will be boring leh. Hmm...the pink color thingy...is it fishball or something...that one taste "sweet" or not like those over here punya. I did not like the ones over here coz taste sweet and kinda wear...coloring la i guess. Maybe the ones you had there have a nicer taste

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    1. yeah, that was why i actually like this salt ramen, more refreshing and the taste is "simpler".. that pink color thing?? it's Kamaboko (蒲鉾), made of fish paste lah.. just like our crab stick..

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    2. like that sure Kamaboko not suit me. If i should order this , will ask them not to add coz i dont like crab stick. too sweet

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    3. kamaboko not sweet la... it's really fish cake one

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    4. Since you say like that. .next time must try a bit...then if not ngum taste baru ask them omit

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  13. #5A-F5

    wah song song hopping here and there. So nice hor. no need to think of Bus Bandar bus tempatan and etc...

    No photo of the tram? How was the sitting like? got place to sit or just standing only.

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    1. yalah, got one-day pass for unlimited ride, sure cannot waste mah.. oh, didn't take photo inside woh, paiseh lah, got other passengers packed inside mah.. both seating and standing, just like a bus on its track..

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  14. #5A-F6

    left photo....aiyo...i thought you in pain coz the facial expression .

    Hmm....both pic also not really manage to imitate the expression la but i like you right hand side photo. Can see you smiling happy face. Like very relax jor.

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    1. hahaha.. that says i am not good in acting!! kekeke :p

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    2. can i put "tsk tsk tsk" comment? :p

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  15. #5A-F7

    pic 1...hahaha....i saw the sign..."wu XXX" tu aje i know to read :p

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    1. Pic 2. Was it very hot there? saw the place like very dry like that. hope you guys no kena sunburnt. Hmmm....this place like not well upkeep. Saw the railing color peeled off

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    2. Pic 3...am picturing ninja flying here and there...teringat Anay's blog post .

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    3. Pic 6...yikes....i baru say ninja...one ninja come out...or is it the what-his-name from Matrix movie ah?

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    4. Pic 5...LOL....confirmed not out tele-communicatetion tree towers. These have more branches and leaves.

      I imagine the threes have been planted many years ago. But the top nof the trees looks like patches of cloud or like those special trimmed bonsai plants. Guess these trees are "trimmed" by nature

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    5. Pic 4....guess you all did not go into the Hakodate Magistrate's Office ? If Anay he might spend half a day there

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    6. yes, it was hot that day actually, i think well over 30°C like what we have here.. but those trees really very beautiful lor, i also think the same, must be hundreds of years old already leh.. kakakaka, you know me so well lah, yes, i didn't go in lah~~

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  16. #5A-F8

    Just went to the website link. Oh wow! amazing leh when all the cherry blossom blooming.

    Hahaha...i was going to comment about how nice it is if they build a tall tower in the middle of the park so that people can climb up and see whole park...then i scroll down saw that there is a Goryokaku Tower Observatory next to it. :p

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    1. yeah, imagine 1600 sakura trees booming at the same time, lining the star-shaped fort in bright pink colors.. awwww, so beautiful right?? maybe will be nice to go up the Goryokaku Tower then..

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  17. #5A-F9

    wahhhhh....got the stamp!!!

    wei...should have bring few more paper and get the stamps for your readers leh....muhahaha

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    1. wow...50th anniversary chop...the tower look so modern with its design and it's 50yrs old. The designer really have "vision" leh . Like that the tower must have been built a few years after WWII. That time the country just recovering from war and they already have this futuristic vision. amazing

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    2. ya woh, so happy found the stamps there, not just one but three!! luckily i got paper with me so can chop chop here and chop chop there, actually they also give free printed papers for people to chop..

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    3. eh like that their tourism punya planning very good leh. Good promotion of their service. We should follow their example

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    4. How come SK didn't chop extra and give me one? I go sulk lah... LOL

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    5. "Tsk tsk tsk" go la and visit...kan you planning for marathon there..detour to this place la . You never been here before , right?

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  18. #5A-F10

    what a sweet end to this post with ice cream...yummy....milk and ice cream ...sure now full of energy

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    1. to eat and to rest is to walk a further journey later mah~~ :p

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  19. Looking forward to part 2 of this post.

    love the new script you put there. not boring insteadnof just list, we get a drop downlist. make the post looks neater. otherwise if you have 10 blogpost about this trip, each time have 10 link at the bottom pulak. a bit messy

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    1. yes, great minds think alike!! haha.. that was exactly what i thought.. the list is too long, so i think better to make them into a drop down list lah, looks neater..

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  20. Auntie being auntie, I also won't go up... hahaha.. I will linger in the souvenir shop or will take pictures of the surrounding area. Look at the postcards there and it is done! :) Sometimes when it comes to traveling, I am not into the "detailed" type.. so most of the time when I come back, I cannot remember the names of the places I have been... that is one disadvantage of being "touch and go" kind of trip, I touch and then I go without remembering the names... hahaha...

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    1. yalor, unless that is a place that must go up lah, else i always treat them as "optional excursion" only, haha.. i am also not a detailed type lah, been there seen it take some photos, then i am happy, haha.. but then of course, not to the extent of group tour style lah, get down for 3 minutes to take 2 photos and then go back the bus again.. :D

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    2. hahaha else you can go find the signboard that reads the history of that place. snap photo, then come home and slowly "enjoy", Claire. That way sure wont be like me when comes to blog post....something something dish..LOL....I pandai cakap only but when wanna do...forgot...

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  21. Does anyone of you write the name of the places when you go traveling overseas? I never done that before till only recently... I know how "good" my memory is so from now on, I will jot down the name of the places especially the food outlet names and where it is so that when I put them up in my blog, I will be able to name the place/area as well... unless I don't blog anymore, then it is will be different story.. :)

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    1. No I don't. That is why I marvel at how some people like SK can remember the names of the places, the buildings, the stations etc. I just go, see, come back. So blur after that can't remember where I snap the photo hah..hah...

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    2. I think if you plan your own itinerary you will remember all the names of the places that you have been because you would have researched all about them to create your itinerary.

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    3. I am like Phong Hong... I also go, see, take pictures and back on the bus. (if follow tours)... but nowadays due to blogging, I make it a point either to remember (which is very hard) or jot down somewhere.. go take the brochure home with me.. or "bribe" my kids to remember the name for me.. hahahaa.

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    4. yeah, mun has said what i wanted to say, she read my mind?? i was the one who planned the itinerary for this trip, so of course i know where i am going, haha!! that's one pros of DIY trip lah, you researched and then you know where you are going.. of course the pre-trip research is more on where to go, and came back from the trip, i will have another post-trip research, to look for more info and facts about the place, so that i can write more in the blog.. :)

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  22. Good afternoon bloggers! Wah...wake up so early at 3.30am to catch the train? You sure got enough sleep or not or planning to doze off in the train ? Just curious, what time the sun rises ? It's so bright there at 4.45am!! Alamak ... I wonder how the people going to sleep! Anyway, it must be very rush for you guys.

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    1. i guess the sunrise like 3+ in the morning.. errr, why cannot sleep?? there are things called curtains in your room mah..

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  23. Yeah, it seems really like a scenic journey since you flash a pix of the sea. Fing Fing must be dreaming if he could land a kawaii monkey there. hahaha....
    It was early morning and I guess the train is not crowded while you guys enjoyed a nice peaceful time enjoying the sceneries from the train.

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    1. yeah, Fing-Fing was daydreaming a kawaii beruk betina eating banana on the tree!! hehehe.. oh, you are wrong, the train was quite packed already that hour~~ :p

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  24. So, I guess the one day street car pass will last you guys for all public transport in Hakodate or just the city tram? The city tram looks cute! How fast does it travelled?

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    1. that was a tram pass and of course only valid for tram rides.. errr, how fast it travelled?? no idea, and also depends if the driver has to stop at stations or not, depending if anyone ring the bell..

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  25. I tried the Shio ramen before if I am not wrong but forgotten how it taste. Yes, its indeed looks very clear in the broth and something healthy for you guy, except the cha shu. Well, it's really different types of ramen in different places in Japan.

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    1. In KL, the santouka japanese eatery in Pavilion has shio ramen on its menu.

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    2. before this trip, i didn't know there are actually so many kinds of ramen, all i know was only the tonkotsu (pork marrow) type, so jakun!! :D

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  26. Yeah, it seems more quiet in Hakodate compared to your earlier places. More like a town a you mentioned. Anyway, it's nice to see the lesser known places rather than the popular ones at times, like Tokyo , Sapporo and etc.

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    1. yeah, Hakodate is actually very different from the other big cities in the north.. it's more like a town, quieter and actually more western i felt..

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  27. hahaha... You indeed having fun with the sculptures. I wonder if that place's mascot is a cat as there are so many sculptures around. Your eyes bigger la... hahha

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    1. hmmm, that was not a cat but a fox i guess.. and nope, the cat is not the mascot of Hakodate, if not mistaken, the squid is, haha!! :D

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  28. The Goryokaku Park looks very quiet and serene and surrounded with beautiful trees. yes, in fact, the first thing I noticed from the pictures are the trees. They looks so majestic and I guess it should 100 years old. Was that building a fort too or a temple?

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    1. oh yeah, those trees are so beautiful right?? easily 100 years old i think.. the building?? read what i have written below the photo lah..

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  29. ahhh...there was an historical magistrate office too there and needed to pay to enter !! I guess these are for historians and good you guys give it a miss.

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    1. hahaha, well, cannot be so absolute if we have not entered inside to have a look before mah.. right?? :p

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  30. A star shape fort.... sounds very interesting. I wonder what are the advantage of having such a shape besides fostered better feng shui ? hahaha.... just joking. The building looks more like an astronomy observation lab rather than a fort. LOL

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    1. very good question indeed!! the fort is built in a star shape for military strategy lah, because they can place the canon at the tips of the stars which will not create blind spot.. got it?? :)

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  31. wah .... the ice-cream really looks so good! And, yes ,since you are climbing, it's better you have more nutrient like milk to give you the energy. Eh ... where's the Yubari melon?

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    1. yeah.. like babies need to drink more milk to gain energy huh?? hahaha.. errr, didn't buy the Yubari melon lah, it's mroe expensive there leh..

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  32. Ok, looking forward to your next post on Mount Hakudate. How tall is it?

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    1. i have drafted the post and you will be told how tall it is.. :)

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  33. Now it is on to Hakodate! Waking up at 3:30am does not shock me at all. I am an early riser. When you get up early, you have more time. Actually reaching the station 15 minutes before it opened is not that bad. I would have gone early anyway even if I knew it only opens at 5:00am. It is always better to arrive early than late.

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    1. i do agree on waking up early during holiday, i hate to waste the morning in the bed and when you are ready to go out, it's lunch time, i mean half day gone already, many things have been missed, haha!!

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  34. So the train travels from Asahikawa to Sapporo first and then take another one from Sapporo to Hakodate. Yes, Fing Fing looks so happy and relaxed. That must be the effect of the greenery. So soothing and calming.

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    1. yeah, need to take two trains to go to Hakodate from Asahikawa, two different types of scenery too..

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  35. To me a 4 hour journey is long. I am not a god traveller. But having the seaview may change the way that I feel. As you said, the sea made you forger that it was a 4 hour journey. I love looking at the sea too. Reminds me of travelling by the coastal road back to Kuala Terengganu. The moment I see the soothing blue sea, I am immediately refreshed. Also it tells me that home is near already. Alamak! From Japan deviated to Kuala Terengganu pulak!

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    1. oh yeah, the nice view from the train and most importantly some intermediate dozing off (since we woke up so early) actually helped to make the journey felt shorter~ ~ :p

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  36. It was quite a rush at Sapporo train station to catch the train to Hakodate. Good thing you guys could get your tickets and oh my, so expensive! Hmmm...you are very good at saving costs huh? Did all the calculations and concluded that the One Day Street Car Pass is the most economical one. Good for you!

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    1. yeah, it was surely not cheap but then the trains were punctual and comfortable, so still okay for me lah.. and the one day tram pass, surely a must-have!!

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  37. So convenient that your hotel was just across from the station. And just next door you had ramen for lunch. Now I get it! Shio means salt. I remember there is a seasoning called Aji Shio. And Saba Shio is Salt Grilled Mackerel. Sometimes the simplest ingredients make for very good food. But this Shio Ramen looks far from plain. I see some nice ingredients in there. A lot of spring onions, I like! The only thing that I don't like is that pink thing.

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    1. i was a little surprise too when i realized how near it is from the station, because when i booked the hotel and look at the map, it says it was a 5 minutes walk, but the fact is that, it's just across the road.. yeah, the shio ramen actually was nice, a good change from those more heavily-flavored ones we had earlier..

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  38. I see that you do not want to waste a single minute of your tram pass. Return of investment in just 1.5 hours is pretty impressive hah..hah...

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    1. haha, of course i have done researched earlier, and never waste that 600-yen but use it to the max!! :p

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  39. So you took the Yunokawa line tram to the Goryokaku Park Front tram station and then walk another 15 minutes before you got to Goryokaku. Oh yeas, I can see some similarities between you and that cunning fox. It is not just the eyes but the colour of your tee shirt nearly matches the fox too :)

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    1. haha, i was just kidding and didn't actually wanted to imitate the fox lah.. just aje-aje wanna take some photos :D

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  40. What do you mean by "fake looking colour"? They all look normal to me.

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    1. errr, maybe the photo came out not so "fake" looking but when you see them with your eyes, they are more reddish in color..

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  41. So this Goryokaku was formerly a fort which has been converted into a public park. It looks very serene with lots of trees. I guess the authorities have preserved architecture of the Hakodate Magistrate's Office in spite of the many series of moving, dismantling and rebuilding. I don't suppose Uncle would spend the Y500 to go inside the building :) Just see outside enough lah.

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    1. yes, everything was very well maintained and the authority tried their best to preserve all the heritage of their culture and history, this is what i like about Japan.. haha, you are right, of course i didn't pay 500yen to go in~~ :p

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  42. I tend to associate the term goryo which means five with the Hokkien word Gor which also means five. It is amazing that the fort was built in a star-shaped design.I am trying to imagine how it looks like when the 1600 cherry trees surrounding the moat blossoms. That would be a breathtaking sight!

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    1. actually 5 in japanese is "go" and that "ryo" means edges or sides.. yeah, it would definitely be breathtaking to see the 1600 sakura booming and give the star a "pink lining".. :)

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  43. I more or less expected that this Uncle would not want to go up the 50 year old Goyokaku Tower. Why pay when you can climb up Mount Hakodate or even the Yokotsu Mountain Range for free to check the view? hee..hee...hee...

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    1. haha, i have actually been to a few towers in Japan but none that i have paid to get up~~ kikiki :p

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  44. Got food samples at the souvenirs shop? Ah, that I won't mind sampling and collecting the free stamps too.

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    1. yeah, so much can be done just in the souvenirs shop, haha!! :D

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  45. I am looking forwards to your Mount Hakodate episode. So shall I expect awesome photos from the mountain top?

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    1. errr, high expectation huh?? i hope you won't be disappointed :p

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  46. So you guys had loads and loads of fun at garden hopping in Furano! I just wonder whether we have such thing as garden hopping in our country! I can only think of Putrajaya as the only vicinity with few landscaped gardens and pretty lakes with beautiful bridges. This name Patchwork Road sounds unique and funny to me.

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    1. errr, of course we have.. just driving along Sg Buloh area and you will have lots of them by the sides of the road dei~~ :D

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  47. #5A-F1 ■ ■ What a tough trip having to wake up at 3:30am and only to get disappointed for arriving too early. Well, better early than late or never! I was aware that the skies in Japan were bright early in the mornings during the early spring but yours was really shocking to anay!!! No wonder the folks are so hardworking as they start their days earlier than the world elsewhere!

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    1. not actually disappointed but rather surprised we were too early, haha!! anyway, it was a nice chilly morning to enjoy the very quiet Asahikawa in the morning mist.. :)

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  48. #5A-F2 ■ ■ What a lucky Fing Fing to get the chance to visit Japan thrice!! Did he go to Tokyo? I think he is the luckiest monkey in the world today! He could sit on trains to watch the greens and pretty sights of the Pacific Ocean and not inside the cage or pet's box! Muahahahaha

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    1. yes, Fing-Fing has been to Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka and Hokkaido~~ how lucky he is compared to many in the cage!! :D

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    2. Fing Fing is also luckier than Yannie in Taiping. Yannie never been to Japan. I long for a Japan trip so so so much.

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  49. #5A-F3 ■ ■ I love their street cars! They are so slow and airy to allow me to snap photos of the whole city. I must remember their names as 市電 shiden or 路面電車 romen densha. Thanks for sharing Thambee.

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    1. #5A-F4 ■ ■ Anay also have this habit to leave luggage in hotels for not hours but days while darting off to other towns. I won't dare to eat this "Ramen Grand Slam" unless I wanna be like that Tuapui blogger! I have never heard of salt ramen or shio ramen and this is very interesting for a change! I know that I can trust your taste and choices as we can hentam Roti Tisu the same manner! I often wonder why they don't sell them here in KL. Maybe the restaurants will loose business if their ramen has no pork inside. I cannot wait to visit Japan again soon. My last visit in April 2014 was like 10 years ago.

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    2. #5A-F5 ■ ■ What a bunch of smart travelers! I would also do the same to visit the city and explore even if I have 1 hour to spare. That's what I did in Nanjing while waiting for my bus to Anhui.
      I love the street views and neat buildings in Hakodate. They look like a mixture of western architecture with modern Japanese touch! I would love to sit in a cafe and do people watching! Did you know that Japanese are very crazy with anything American? That's what my Japanese room mate told me so.

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    3. #5A-F6 ■ ■ OMG!!! Thambee you really resembled the fox in some cunning ways!! No wonder you so cunning to get Anay to pamper you!! Hey I am always impressed by these sculptures which are so common now in China, Japan and the West since many eons ago! They always have these interesting cultural meanings. I guess you are aware that many Japanese worship the foxes for some lustful wishes...!!! In olden days of China, the concubines worshiped them.

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    4. #5A-F7 ■ ■ Wow! Look at your slides!! The last one was Shah Rukh Khan!! So handsome and macho! I like your quote of gone through a series of moving, dismantling, rebuilding and finally only opened to public!! This reminds me that japan has many historical sites with similar patterns esp their castles while this is unheard of in China. In Malaysia, the old attap warrior's house only had the roof changed to zinc and hand relocated to another place by lorry! LOL.

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    5. #5A-F8 ■ ■ The star shaped plaque reminds me of the Hollywood's Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.
      Anyways, I was amazed that the Japanese knew how to draw star shapes for the Ninja's weapon darts since centuries ago. Oh well, Anay studied a lot about colours, patterns, motifs and designs of foreign countries since ancient times during the Art History lesson in US. (Show off la)

      I will take note of this smart Takeda Ayasaburō and google a bit about him later on. I like to learn about the inventors and smart scientists in Japan who brought so much success to their development today.

      Wow! There are 1600 cherry trees!!! I would be picking up the fallen fruits to eat and put inside Letchumy's salad! Wakakaka

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    6. #5A-F9 ■ ■ Walau-eh! 107 meters tall is about 35 floors of a building! Well, that is very so haiiiii!!! Definitely you can command a panoramic view from atop! Hey you sounded like you didn't go up to snap the photo of the star shaped fort and the Yokotsu Mountain Range yet you could brag so much details! Adoi. So cunning Thambee!!! So you save 840 YEN to eat ice cream!!!!!!!!!!

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    7. #5A-F10 ■ ■ How can you call yourself uncle being uncle? You are just my Thambee who was thrifty and not foolish like Anay who spends like no tomorrow! Wakakaka
      I appreciate the souvenirs you bought back and I nibbled the candies bit by bit so precious like eating pearls! I love the Japanese milk anywhere & any brand. Their tastes is unique and really richer to give us the oomph! The same goes with their yummiest yoghurt which could easily wipe out all the deadliest constipation!

      I am eagerly waiting for your post of Mount Hakodate! Shoot!

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    8. why dare not have the ramen grandslam?? i mean i didn't eat all of them in a single day lah.. just in different cities i tasted different styles of ramen.. nice experience actually.. you should try that Anay!! it's like tasting the different types of curry in different parts of our motherland dei~~

      true, why waste time if we can spend them efficiently to see more of the city?? i surely will not spend most of my time in the hotel.. and even the parks are so nice, that gives no excuse for one to not go anywhere to see the beautiful place..

      yes, the Goryokaku is actually a very unique structure, star-shaped and i guess that is probably the only one in the world?? and yes, have you managed to read more about the designer Takeda Ayasaburō?? the 1600 sakura trees will be magnificent if the booms during spring, giving the fort a pink outline..

      muahahaha, will Thambee saves all entrance fees for food, Anay would have spent all the money to pay for entrance fees into museums and towers and temples!! maybe Thambee cannot go travel with Anay together huh?? :D

      you are most welcome with the souvenirs, you deserve it for such a loyal supporter of my blog!! and ooopsss, high expectation of Mount Hakodate huh?? i hope i'll not disappoint you later~~ :D

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  50. I sure love the ice-cream the most. The milk looks tasty too. Japan really has lots to offer. Hope I can make it to Japan next year.

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    1. yes, the ice-cream was very very nice, i am starting to miss it now :p

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  51. So syiok and relaxed lah Fing Fing on the train. Sit by the window and enjoy the scenery. :)

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    1. because Daddy woke up too early and dozed off in the train, nobody to play with Fing-Fing so he can only look at the scenery.. :p

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    2. the train is sure nice to spend time to sleep. Hahaha

      But sometimes pity also, because then cannot enjoy the scenery.

      But train rides are so comfy, right? :)

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  52. Uncle... so you fully utilised you tram pass ah? Hihihi

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    1. of course!! at least taken twice the value of tram rides already~~ :D

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  53. Auntie Lina would have skipped going up any tower that needs entrance fee too. LOL

    And if it's park/temples - only selected few that can't be missed. Must have valid reason to fork out money, right? Teeeheehee

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    1. ah, like that probably we make good travel buddies.. we rather go hunt for free stamps than to pay to get up to towers huh?? :p

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    2. Auntie Lina and Uncle SK are two smart fellas, Auntie Yannie will follow the same, what ever need to fork out money, Yannie must think many times.

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  54. Good evening or rather good night everyone, I saw this post early in the day but only now I have the time to come here and leave some comments. Fing Fing really looks very satisfied sitting by the window, not afraid of falling of. SK's remarks about being similar to the fox is very funny. If the shio ramen is not salty then it will be like our local "ching tong" noodle, right?

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    1. ah, yeah, something like or "ching tong" but the flavor would be more "heavy" a bit.. errr, you can say it's like having the Mee Maggi Ayam, but of course that is not instant one lah~~ :D

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  55. I think it is nice to travel in summer because the days are long with daylight starting very early and darkness comes very late into the night. Can see more and do more in a day.

    I am also like that, very afraid of missing the train or bus so I will always be as early as I can to the chagrin of my travel companions. I always say to them, you all can take as much time as you want but I am leaving now to go to the train/bus station and meet you all there later.

    Once I was tagging along on my spouse's business trip. He was still sitting in the airport main area after checkin working on replying his business email while I went to the boarding gate. When they announced that we could board the plane now and my spouse was no where in sight, I started to think - should I board the plane without him since it was his business trip after all. What if he was late and could not make it to board the plane and I boarded the plane so I would arrive in the foreign country without him. Hahaha, so funny at that time I have this dilemma. Luckily he ran all the way to the boarding gate and made it just in time.

    So I think it is better to be early rather than sorry. Therefore I will still be very early to bus/train stations and airports. For those who like to do last minute just in time strategy, then they cannot travel with me, hehehe.

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    1. yeah, i do not like to laze until late morning or even afternoon then only prepare to go out.. it would be such a waste of time, half day already gone if by the time you are having lunch as your "breakfast".. there are so many thing to see in the morning, and i try to do as much as i could if i go travel.. haha.. great!! maybe if we travel together, we can meet our buddies later in the afternoon somewhere~~ :D

      BTW the day/night thing was not too extreme in Hokkaido.. starts getting bright since 4am but sunset was at 7pm while we were there.. so quite okay.. i've been to places where it was still bright like afternoon past 9pm, haha~~

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  56. I noticed whenever people write travelogue, there is a very essential thing that they leave out and that is do they plan their rest room stops before hand or just search around when the need arises. This is a very tricky part when planning our own travelling. Some people resort to only sipping water in order not to need to use rest rooms.

    So SK, do you plan your rest room stops before hand or just find one when the need arises and if in someplace where there is absolutely no rest rooms, just go anywhere or only sip water so that there is no need to use rest rooms?

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    1. Since I am here now, I answer your question first before SK.. hahahaa..
      Part of my worry is nature call when it comes to traveling. Nowadays, auntie Claire here has to answer calls quite frequently... so instead of drinking glasses of water as per normal day, I sip them when I go traveling. Taking small sips will not have the urgency to go to the restroom often.
      Before I go up the train/bus, I go and have a visit to check the loo first normally. And when I reach the destination or hotel, I will replenish back the water as much as I can...
      I remember one time when I went to Beijing, I dare not drink water too much during the day but upon reaching the hotel, I gulped down what I should be thinking daily...
      Do you all do this? :)

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    2. Easy access to toilets in Japan, clean toilets is what's helpful for any tourists so don't worry.
      Auntie Lina help answer also. :)
      Anyway, SK can just "siram" some pokok by the roadside if it's urgent! MUAHAHA

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    3. There was once I can not find a toilet in the outskirt of Kyoto. So pitiful.

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    4. I heard so many people told me that Japan toilet is the cleanest out of all, this is so nice.

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  57. So cute, your eyes equally small, hee hee

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  58. hehe, i wish to travel there one day~ =D

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    1. you can either give in, give up or give it all!! :)

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  59. 4:45am so bright??? wow. Ok, I never experience real summer yet on northern hemisphere. And does it gets dark at 7pm?

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    1. yes, it was already bright starting 4am and yes, the sun sets at 7pm while we were there..

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    2. You go to US during winter, 5pm already dark like midnight. It is very depressing to be there at that time.

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    3. yeah, you are right, it's very depressing when the sky gets dark so early.. 5pm still not too bad, i've experienced 3+ in the afternoon and it's already dark.. :(

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  60. Wah! How will I ever catch up with your Japan travel posts? I am so behind!!!!

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  61. OK I will just read this post for today. It's like reading a storybook from the middle part of the book!

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  62. Hahahaha!! Imitate that cunning fox? Yes yes, your eyes almost as small as that fox's eyes! LOL!

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  63. Wah! I want that Yubari melon and milk swirl ice cream!! Yum!

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  64. SK wrote Hokkaido trip with so many information. Yannie has no date to visit any where of Japan. If there is a day, Yannie will definitely refer to all SK's Japan travelogue.

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    1. SK can remember all the details during the trip, Yannie has no gut to write about Yannie's Taiwan trip in last December until now, because Yannie has forgotten almost everything except their night markets. Paiseh!

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    2. I have to praise SK. your interactive post is second to none now. I have lost in word to describe the presentation of the pictures and those hidden information and pictures with links/buttons. My boss will love you if you work for him.

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