After Continental Airlines merged with United, we found out that I had enough miles for 2 round-trip tickets to a domestic destination.
Satoshi immediately decided that we were going to Hakodate.
So we checked availability and booked our flights to Hakodate.
It is about an hour and a half from Kansai to Hakodate.
Hakodate is quite spread out, so to get around the first day, we used an all-day bus pass.
Near the Hakodate airport is a Trappist convent which we went to check out.
Unfortunately, they don't allow you to tour inside the buildings, but there is a photo gallery which you can see what kind of lifestyle the nuns lead.
They also make a lot of cookies and madeleines with butter that they make. These were delicious.
It was still early to check-in, so we left our bags with the front desk of the Loisir Hotel and went to look for lunch.
We checked out Lucky Pierrot, a local fast food chain.
I tried their number 1 seller, Chinese Chicken Burger...the chicken is deep fried then dipped in a sweet-salty sauce. It reminded me of something I had in Hawaii before...delicious.
Satoshi had their hotate (scallop) burger.
I was impressed by their sesame seed buns! lots of sesame seeds on it.
Lucky potato are their fries topped with demi-glace sauce, white sauce and cheese...seriously bad for you but very delicious.
After re-fueling, we went to check out the West Area and saw a cemetery for foreigners. Hakodate was one of the first foreign trading ports, because of this, there was also a foreign community here.
There were also some Japanese historical sights that Satoshi was interested in checking out.
We also saw the outside of the old Russian consulate. Apparently the inside has not been refurbished, so they only let you view it from the outside.
Since it was a holiday, the buses weren't running too frequently, so we walked to the Jyujigai area. Satoshi wanted to check out the Sakamoto Ryoma museum.
This tower is called a "switch tower" and was used to control the trams.
I was fascinated by the low-rail trams that they had, they are celebrating 100 years of operation, impressive!
This particular one had the character, Domo-kun on it.
Dinner was at a little bar next to our hotel called Gaya. We weren't too impressed with their frozen fish dishes, though this grilled squid was quite tasty.
By the time we finished dinner, there was a small blizzard making for walking around after dinner a bit difficult.
Dessert was this meru-cheese, a fluffy cheesecake by Petit Merveille, a local sweet shop which had a small counter in our hotel.
It was quite a long day, but we got to see quite a bit despite the weather.
Petit Merveille (UPDATE: 2016 this location no longer in business)