Friday, 4 July 2008


Distance traveled: 16.307 km

I arrived in Asahikawa by the Soya line, Japans northern most railway, from Wakkanai - it was an interesting train ride, as the landscape outside the windows looked nothing like the Japan i know, rolling hills with farms and expansive fields, that even didn't grow rice! at times i looked like it was Switzerland whooshing by the windows.

I had decided to rent a car in Asahikawa, to really be able to get around Hokkaido, and this was no easy feat as i turned out - high season - In the warm summer months the Japanese flock to Hokkaido, to escape the rainy season which bypasses Hokkaido, and more importantly to escape the smouldering heat of the southern cities, as Hokkaidos climate are much more temperate than the rest of Japan. Everywhere i tried on the Internet the message was clear, all sold out!

So while I was waiting for something to come up, I was absorbing the first large City of Japan, and getting into the Rhythm and mindset of the bustling metropolises to come, a compact city center made, and Aarhus size population, makes Asahikawa an easy city to get into tune with, although there is not much in the way of sights around. There was a famous zoo though, so i went there to pass some time, didn't find it particularly interesting, but an outstandingly cute baby Orangutan, and a Chimpanzee who spend his whole day posing (I mean really, seriously, it posed for the cameras!) made it all worth while :-)

Next day i had a car coming up, so i went there in the Morning and sorted out the paperwork - and tried to set of into the National parks of Hokkaido, but this was a bit more complicated as such, the car was an automatic which Ive never tried before, and on top of that, it was left hand drive - meaning brakes and accelerator was reversed, so was the indicator lights and windscreen wiper controls. So after figuring out how to get the damn thing started, I was so preoccupied with working the damn thing, that I proceeded to drive out in the wrong lane of a busy street - amazingly not a single driver honked their horn! And I got to my destination in one piece. :)

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