北海道之旅:計劃篇

我不算是日本通,但可以在這裏share一下這次我用的research和booking tools。

機票

去札幌直航機有國泰和香港快運,機票都不平,package就通常都包同一個地方多過一晚的酒店,我覺得不夠flexible,迫住要stay在同一city。ANA有自駕遊package,可選擇天天因應行程住不同酒店,住的酒店又不錯,幾抵。至於用Asia Miles換機票去札幌就最抵,但經常爆滿,要預早成年book。如果不怕轉機,可以分別book去東京,再加一程內陸機去北海道,用的里數一樣,較容易book到機位。

酒店

去日本book酒店很多時都是講個信字,不用落訂。為了不影響香港人的聲譽,book了就千萬不要no show。要找酒店,我會browse www.jalan.net,我覺得它最平和cover最多民宿和不同類型的酒店。因為jalan.net一定要有日本地址才可以book房,我會再去www.travel.rakuten.co.jp看看有無同一個deal。Rakuten雖然有英文版,但cover得好少hotel,我寧願用日文版估估下。估不到的我會用Google translation (http://translate.google.com/#)。在Rakuten訂房是不用預先付款,book完print個booking confirmation就得。如果Rakuten沒有good deal,我會試下直接打電去酒店book。不過一般民宿都不講英文,所以盡可能找個識日文的friend打去book。

租車

在香港可通過電話或上網book車。Toyota的website(http://rent.toyota.co.jp/top.asp)和call centre有最多英文support,不過去到的ground staff一樣一句英文都不會講,所以沒太大語言的advantage。 新千歲機場有很多租車公司的counter,可以去到才shop around 格價。淡季,用visa咭簽賬,生日等等都會有不同的discount,要格價就要有精明眼和耐性。

日本人喜歡開很小的車,細到在香港是很少見到的。去之前我們book了第二細的車,認為車大一點會舒服一點。但去到見慣全街都是細細的車仔,居然到我們取車時覺得我們book的車太大(其實在任何國家都依然屬於很細很細的車),要換細一款的車。揀車size時注意,不要貪大。

在日本差不多架架車都有GPS,入個電話號碼就可以找到目的地,幾小地方都找得到,連地圖都不用看,非常方便可靠。不過英文版本的GPS就不是每一個車款都有,租車前要問清楚。就算租不到英文版的GPS,記緊問職員拿英文instruction,其實加上日文漢字估估下,大約operate GPS 都不會有問題。

旅遊書

我一句日文都不懂,但都覺得日文的travel guide好有用,圖文並茂,看圖識字,有很多local資料很有用。在香港可以去Sogo樓上買,亦都可等到去到日本才買。中文書方面,長空自遊系列的內容夠comprehensive,幾好用。


Share

北海道之旅:新千歲機場(11月14日)

最後一天的早上,我特別眷戀於温泉。今日一別,不知何日可再浸温泉,何時可再有機會享受這一切。我依依不捨,有點感觸。就在這時,浴場內走了一個跟着媽媽婆婆的四五歲小男孩入來,我一見到他就想起蠟筆小新,覺得被他看蝕晒,所以唯有就快快離開我依戀的温泉。

最後一天無行程安排,開車4小時去機場返港。全無行程安排的日子,highlight是在機場shopping。機場shopping mall有賣北海道各地的名產,所有地方限定的東西都買得到。要呃老婆去了某地,其實偷偷去了另一地方,在這兒就可以買到「正確」的手信。各間小店亦有很多食品試食,等上機時最好入去食餐飽。有機場那麼comprehensive的shopping,便不需要在其它地方去visit各品牌的所謂本店,因為其實mass produce的東西,在那裏買都一樣。到到機場先買,起碼可省掉在旅程中將手信搬來搬去。

北海道七日遊告一段落,truly absolutely enjoyable!北海道,I will be back!!!


Share

北海道之旅:サロマ湖﹣石北峠﹣層雲峽温泉(11月13日)

船長之家的早餐又是一餐海鮮餐,雖然沒有晚餐般誇張,但份量都是大到沒可能吃得完的。煮蠔仔,好鮮味,比大蠔更好味。

民宿對面有個魚市場,去到我就知為甚麼我們的meals份量那麼多但民宿都不會蝕本。原來魚市場價錢非常之平,所有list的價錢,你以為是for 1 kg or 1條魚,其實全都是一箱箱為單位。成板海膽才980円,超抵[...]

Share

北海道之旅:知床﹣網走﹣能取岬﹣船長之家蟹大餐(11月12日)

在日本每一朝早我都會浸温泉,是最好的wake up call。在知床Daichi酒店的露天温泉,我終於達成在雪中浸温泉的夢想。我一直都很嚮往在天上飄雪的時候,浸在暖笠笠的温泉中,呼吸着冷冰冰的空氣,特別醒神。我坐在温泉,遠眺海景,好舒服好舒服好舒服,我想,到底我上一世做了甚麼好事,這一世可以這般幸運,有機會享受到這一情景[...]

Share

北海道之旅:硫黃山﹣屈斜路湖﹣知床(11月11日)

一起身望出窗外,全遍白茫茫,原來晚上下了一場雪, 連我們的車都cover in snow!我沒有預計11月已會下雪,十分喜出望外!路上的樹全部都好似聖誕樹,雪景非常漂亮迷人。
去到硫黃山,地下噴出熱騰騰的煙霧,四周則白雪片片,一冷一熱,好大contrast。不過因為下雪,所以不可走近看冒煙的出口,只可在外圍映相[...]

Share
Comments (1)

北海道之旅:阿寒町國際鶴類中心﹣阿寒湖﹣川湯温泉(11月10日)

阿寒町國際鶴類中心在11月至3月期間會有丹頂鶴飛到那裡。鶴在雪地上翩翩起舞,吸引國內國外攝影發燒友和熱愛自然生態的人慕名而前去。因為只是11月上旬,飛到中心的丹頂鶴並不多,而且都是遠離觀察中心很遠,用望遠鏡才可以勉强看得到,近距離可見的就只有飼養區的幾隻鶴。雖然如此,我都很enjoy參觀鶴類中心介紹有關丹頂鶴的資料,原來丹頂鶴有120cm高,和我小學一年班時一樣高呀[...]

Share

北海道之旅:札幌-帶廣(11月9日)

在北海道的第一個早上,一心打算開開心心去玩,點知Alan因為遺失了他放在銀包多年的相片,好depressed地話是凶兆。之前我又聽說下雪開車會有一定危險,令到我都真的有點驚。好彩奇跡地我們在之前一晚去過的105円店的垃圾桶找到張相,化凶兆為喜兆。Alan已寫了相關的blog,在這裡我不多說。整件事真的太神奇, 要是那間店舖會每天開舖前清理垃圾桶,那張相就已經被丟掉。 要是那間店舖繁忙多人一點,便會有其他人丟垃圾,摭着相張。就算無人用過個垃圾桶,要是張相不是面向上,我們也不會見得到。這件事證明了,屬於你的東西始終是你的,無需强求,世事往往都有着奇妙的安排。失而復得,令我們更加懂得珍惜所有[...]

Share
Comments (4)

北海道之旅:札幌(11月8日)

今次是我第一次以日記形式寫blog,會寫我上星期去北海道的行程經歴,share一下plan日本trip的一點心得。
由香港直飛札幌要五個小時,札幌比香港凍12度,未落機所有人都穿上大衣 [...]

Share
Comments (1)

A very little effort pays off in Sapporo

On a recent trip to Hokkaido, Japan I had what I described at the time as ‘Mark-six’ luck, or rather a ‘Mark-six’ mini moment, at least it was for me. This is what happened and believe me, it is all true and unexaggerated; the mini event can be verified by the lady in the photograph for those who might think I’m pushing the truth a little.

On the first morning in Sapporo while packing my things before checking out of my hotel I discovered that a small photograph which I have carried in my wallet for many years was not there – at least not where it was the night before. I always kept it in a small window section in the middle of the wallet which I realised wasn’t totally secure to hold a small passport sized photo. There was a reasonable chance of it slipping out should the wallet be opened and held at a particular angle. Needless to say, I was annoyed but calm. My first reaction was a negative one to be honest, thinking that it was a bad omen, some sort of sign, losing this particular photograph that I had carried for so many years in the same fashion. Naturally, I searched almost everything, looking in logical places like under beds, duvets, behind curtains, in my pockets, and around the hotel room floor. And I also looked in places where there was no chance at all of finding it – a wardrobe, a fridge, in a slim mirror-cabinet, pointless but makes you feel better because it feels like a better option than bawling your head off. I was disappointed and annoyed and knew deep down that it fell out of my wallet on the evening before, an evening where we covered quite a bit of ground in the city of Sapporo and an evening where I removed my wallet on several occasions to pay for things. “Okay, think logically and strategically”, I said to myself and I knew for sure that I wasn’t giving up without trying – it’s just not the right attitude.

So while checking out I asked the receptionist to write, in Japanese, “I lost a photograph. Have you seen it?”

The first two stops on my search for my lost photo were right across the road from the hotel and shops I visited just the night before, around 10pm. The first one on my list was a Lawson convenience store (a chain of stores competing with 7-i Holdings, Japan’s 7-eleven), and a Yen100 shop (the equivalent to a HK $10 shop but selling better quality stuff). While paying for my cold coffee in Lawson I asked the girl if she had seen my photo, well actually I mumbled something in English while showing her the note written by the hotel receptionist. A very positive left to right head gesture was enough body language to tell me they hadn’t seen my much loved photo. Outside I opened my coffee and took a sip while waiting for the traffic lights to change. Next stop the Yen100 shop just 2 crossings away. Anna went inside first while I finished my coffee. She waited in the checkout line to enquire. Moments later I entered the store, joining Anna in the quest. With people in line at the checkout I looked around hoping to see my photo on the ground behind the checkout or in the general vicinity of the area where I opened my wallet the night before. I was also granted an obscure glance at a little bin through people standing in line. Then it’s our turn, and with nothing to pay for, Anna presented the little note to the girl to ask if anyone had seen a photo. The girl was a bit confused as expected but just at that moment I was standing directly over the little bin and having a good vantage point and wishing like hell to see my little photo – it appeared, neatly placed and facing up on top of other papers and receipts discarded by other customers. All in an instant I bent down while saying “Here it is” with a wide expression of delight on my face; then rising up to eye level I could see the girl behind the checkout – me with photo in hand and her even more confused than before. A really happy mini ‘Mark-six’ moment for me, I think!

By the way, in case you’re wondering what is so special about this particular photograph and why I bothered to look for it – it’s a picture of my wife and just one of two pictures that I carry wherever I go. I don’t even wear a wedding ring, a well known fact. From the moment I found the little picture I put it safely in a new place, tucked in safely alongside my HKID! What are the chances of finding that 25 x 30mm photo in a small bin in a Y100 shop? You tell me… 

 

 

 

 

 

My precious photo

My precious photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (4)