Tomodachi Tour III

October 24 - November 6, 2017

This is the third tour to Japan by some members of the Combined Class of '69.

Thirty-nine alum of RHS'69, Kalani'69 and McKinley'69 are taking in Northern Japan this time.

RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim is your tour reporter...

Sad to say we are leaving our hotel, Royal Century. The best were their morning buffet.  Three mornings and I could not try all what they were offering.  

So much unusual goodies to try and too small a stomach to fit it all.

Go directly to:

Because of the time change from Hawaii - you get up early and hungry.

So you head for the restaurant. It's not open yet.

So, pull up a seat. And wait.

With full tummies, our group checks out of the hotal. Is this great, or what?

The bus trip to Noboribetsu includes a stop at Lake Toya.

Lake Toya is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. In addition to the lake itself, the region has hot springs and an active volcano, Mount Usu, which last erupted in the year 2000. It also looks very cold.

There is no explaining this.

After that, a stop at the Sobetsu Fruit Village to pick apples and grapes. Yes, they really did that and here's the proof.

Then they ate them afterwards.

After that - it was time for lunch. One needs to understand that the goal is not only to visit Japan but to eat their way from one end to another.

They are doing a great job.

A stop at Ainu Museum.

The Ainu, the indigenous people of Hokkaido with their own culture and language, had lived in Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan's Tohoku region, southern Sakhalin and ChishimaI Island before those areas were developed by Japanese and Russians settlers.

Several tens of thousands of Ainu still live in Hokkaido and other areas.

Somewhere, Michael Jackson's Thriller is playing.

Wendy Yim discovers Sapporo's unique manhole covers.

October 28 - Day 4

Sapporo to Lake Toya to Shiraoi to Noboribetsu. First is a bus to Lake Toya and some sightseeing and lunch. The lake is a volcanic caldera lake in Shikotsu-Toya National Park.

On the schedule is a visit to an apple orchard to pick and eat their own. On the last trip it was a strawberry farm.

Back on the bus to Noboribetsu for the first onsen (hot springs bath) and furu (bath that you clean yourself before using) opportunity.

And of course, lots of eating.