Day 3 was "warm". Instead of the minus temps, we were in single digits, which meant, the snow was melting and we were walking around in slush...
Breakfast was buffet-style, which Satoshi always goes overboard on. He ate 3 bowls of rice and lots of tsukemono...someone is supposed to be watching his salt intake...ahem!
After breakfast, we walked through the asaichi (morning market) and to the Mashu Maru, a ferry that linked Honshu to Hokkaido for 80 years.
Apparently, ships in Japan attach "maru" to the names of their ships because they thought of their ships as castles and to have a circle (the meaning of maru) is like having a barrier (like the moats for castles) around to protect it.
One of the interesting things was the blanket origami. Apparently, this art-form was done for the upper class passengers to commemorate special events like anniversaries, even the New Year.
The stewards would learn from the elder stewards how to fold the blankets. Unfortunately, this tradition was stopped in the 60's because it hindered the amount of time it took to prepare the rooms for the next passengers.
We then went to drop off our bags at the hotel we would be staying at called the Winning Hotel.
Down the street from this hotel is the 1st cement electric pole in Japan. It stands 10 meters (about 33 feet) tall.
I was intrigued by this old liquor store, which turned out to be a sweets shop called Kin no Kokoro.
It was here that we picked up some of their delicious cake donuts.
We then walked up the hill to check out the old British consulate.
I was amazed at how big these older buildings were. It was hard to believe that we were in Japan.
And then we came back down for lunch at California Baby, another local establishment. This place has a concoction called Cisco Rice...buttered rice, topped with meat sauce and 2 grilled frankfurters.
Really filling and a taste of Hakodate's B-kyu gurume.
I was bummed that their meat sauce was a store-bought type, but was happy that I got to try this.
Satoshi had their meat sauce spaghetti, and after eating 3 bowls of rice at breakfast, he was quite stuffed.
So we walked around a bit and saw the area where foreigners 1st stepped onto Hokkaido soil. And then we checked in at our hotel.
After putting our things away, we then headed to Tachikawa Cafe where we shared this tarte Normandie (apple tart) and had some coffee.
A common sight were these buildings that had Japanese style architecture on the bottom floor and Western style on the top floor.
I think it was about this time that the winds starting whipping rain and sleet at us and when my folding umbrella's shaft snapped like a twig.
We made it back to our hotel, a bit wind blown and lots wet.
It was still early for dinner, so we watched the Spring high school baseball tournament and took a little nap.
Dinner was at Ika ika tei.
We both had the isaribi set, which came with assorted sushi and miso soup which seemed to have ogo (red seaweed) in it.
I was bummed that my uni (sea urchin) had something crunchy in it...ew!
Despite the weather, it was another day of great sights and eats.
Kin no kokoro
Ika ika tei
12-12 Toyokawa-cho Hakodate Kaisen Ichiba