To the land of endless snow, delicious food, impeccable cleanliness and tons of joy.
The food ate there were simply great. We ate renowned delicacies, traditional cuisine, to neighborhood eateries. With unlimited servings of hot pots, sukiyaki, ramen and fresh sashimi, no wonder everyone gained weight. The beauty in their food is more than it's taste but they take into consideration its aesthetics too. With fat evenly distributed, no wonder it melts in your mouth. It's like the only time where I actually enjoy eating fats.
Highlights: Japanese crab, toro sashimi (tuna belly) and kobe beef. Kobe cows drink beer, get massages, and are not allowed to run otherwise their meat won't be soft and tender.
Learning more about the Japanese culture, living the Japanese way (slept on tatamis). We went for onsen (hot springs) almost every night. We will change into our yukatas, strip naked and go for our public bath to scrub ourselves clean before dipping in the onsen. All you can bring in is a small towel which you can use to cover anywhere you wish (face, boobies or down under). It's quite an experience. Nithe loved it so much that he bathed 3-4 times daily! The hotels all provide good quality facial wash, soap, shampoo, treatment, body lotion, moisturizer etc. (Shiseido)
Highlight: Open onsen where the water is 40+ degrees, the surrounding temperature is sub zero, and snow falling gently on our shoulders.
Now to my absolute favorite part of the trip. SNOWBOARDING! The ski resort we went to was fabulous. One of the biggest and best in Hokkaido. Their equipment were top class and slopes piled up with sufficient snow for a comfortable fall. Nithe actually somersault and crashed into the trees alongside the slope. The snow was chest deep and he had to slowly crawl out on fours the army style. hilarious. After some warming up, we decided to attempt a higher, tougher, and steeper slope. OMG it was scary. It was over 700m above sea level. Parts of the slope were so steep that you can't see what's ahead until you are there. It was really a long way down but it was BEAUTIFUL. It's a pity we had so little time there. I'm gonna make sure my next trip will be a purely snowboarding trip and we can hit the slopes morning till night.
Of course a holiday isn't complete without some shopping. Seriously, Singaporeans can't survive without shopping. Every single site we visit, people are sure bound to buy stuffs. Unlike what people say, the stuffs there are not exorbitantly priced. It's more like comparable to Singapore or maybe slightly more expensive. Bought myself a pair of Rock and Republic and a pair of 7 for all mankind. Since Japanese are small sized, they do stock up on size 23 and 24. But for guys shoes, 10.5 is the largest they have. Even though Nithe is a giant, he has really small feet so he managed to buy Nike and Adidas shoes for a real good price. My mummy bought a coach which I'll probably use more than her. hahahah. Factory outlets no longer belong to USA. It has made its way to Japan.
Bought alot of Royce chocolate too! And apparently, Ishiya chocolate is a must buy in Hokkaido. People queue up daily for fresh chocolate and buy them in cartons.
Food on the other hand totally isn't cheap. People buy rockmelons and watermelons which cost over SG$70 to display at home as a symbol of wealth. It's supposedly specially cultivated to have symmetrical prints on its shell. We bought a box of strawberries from a local supermarket which cost SG$18 for 8 pieces.
Like Nithe said, there's nothing you can't do in Japan.