Thursday, December 31, 2015

Recap 2015 - Hokkaido Family Trip Day 1 & 2 - Ikebukuro, Sapporo, Jozankei

We had so much fun from our trip to Hokkaido in 2014 that we decided to bring the whole family for another trip in 2015! And at the same time we managed to skip Chinese New Year altogether as we boarded the plane on the morning of the 1st day of CNY! Sneaky~

Considering the age of the traveling party ranged from 3+ to 70+, we decided against flying to Tokyo overnight or making the transit from Tokyo to Sapporo Chitose in the same day. Therefore we stayed one night at Ikebukuro Sunshine City Hotel. I would love for SIA to have a direct flight straight from Singapore to Chitose in the near future...

Baby J at the airport ready for take-off
Boarding soon

Just arrived at Haneda airport

All roaring to go!
2nd day morning we boarded the Airport Limousine in front of the hotel and went back to the airport. Haneda to Chitose is a little more than an hour away and soon we were in Sapporo!

On the bus to Haneda Airport
 The hotel had a bus which brought us from Sapporo city centre to the hotel entrance. It was the trip from the Chitose Airport > Sapporo JR Station > Bus Stop that had a bit of drama as time was really tight. Carrying huge luggages through Sapporo underground network, slurping ramen in record time and carrying said huge luggages up flights of stairs in (personal) record time with my elder son D was quite a feat~ My wife had to take care of her mum as the ground was slippery and wet, while my daughter N had to take care of my youngest boy J. Family bonding achieved~

On the hotel bus which will bring us to the resort @ Jozankei

 After another 50 minutes we reached the destination: Shikanoyu Onsen Hotel

定山渓温泉 花もみじ

We had a family room which was spacious enough to house all 6 of us. It was kind of fun to have everyone sleeping in one massive room. I guess that was the most important goal for this family trip, to have quality time together.
Checked into our family room and the 3 kids all bummed out from all the traveling.
We took a short break in the room before heading out to take in the sight of the neighbourhood before the sun sets.

Lovely evening glow
J's 1st encounter with snow. It took me nearly 30 years and here he was a month shy of 3 years old....
After the walk, we went for dinner. We had a private room to ourselves and thoroughly enjoyed the dinner with no distraction from other diners.
J in his yutaka

Dinner was fabulous!

No need to fight over food~

A beer for every meal in Hokkaido

Dessert in a cup
After dinner was a round at the bath. There were both indoor and outdoor baths to choose from.
It felt wonderful to have the cold air blowing at your face while soaking in the hotspring~

Nice looking onsen. (Image taken from the website.)
Before we head back to the room to rest for the night, we went to the front of the hotel to take in the fireworks organized by the local community. It was a great way to end our long and tiring first day in Hokkaido~

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)... 
Ikebukuro > [BUS] > Haneda > [AIR] > Chitose > [TRAIN] > Sapporo > [BUS] > Jozankei

Winter Fireworks in front of the hotel

Another can of beer while watching the fireworks~



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