Saturday, September 30, 2017

Winter in Hokkaido Self Drive Travelogue Part 2 - {Day 4: Lake Toya x Lake Hill Farm, Noboribetsu - Sobadokorofukuan x Onsen Kyo Takinoya} & {Day 5: Niseko - Milk Kobo x Prativo x One Niseko Resort Tower }

I AM BACK. With the (very lag) part two updates on my Hokkaido trip!
You can read
of my Hokkaido Winter Self Drive Itinerary and the summarised trip fares there and here's part two!~

Here's the promised morning view of Lake Toya from our hotel - Granvillage Toya Daiwa Ryokan Annex - we had night stopped for, from the previous night in part one!

Its easily one of the best views I have woke up to from any hotel I have ever stayed.

I don't think this is a pigeon (?) but its super huge, then one of its friends got stuck in our balcony and couldn't get out.

Decided to take a morning stroll along the lake just located behind the hotel with my fam!

Lake Toya, Toyako - an ice-free lake which never freezes even in winter where the temperature can fall very drastically. Thus you can admire its beauty at any time of the year!

the back view is so stunning it looks like a green screen pic hahaha

My attire was supposed to be nice but ended up looking atrocious because it was so cold I had to wear thick layers of socks and clothings. #nevertrytolookgoodinwinter 

Using Kylie Cosmetic's liquid lipstick in Spice, makeup fit for an ice queen ^^

Lake Hill Farm
Japan, 〒049-5724 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, 洞爺湖町Hanawa, 127

Before our drive to Noboribetsu, we went to a gelato farm in the vicinity for breakfast!

snow was so THICK everywhere william had to go outside to lie in it and asked me to take pictures of him doing that. 
Later he couldn't find his phone and the phone ended up being outside covered in thick snow cos it had slide out from his pocket hahaha.

Some cheese platter from the farm's produce

Milk from the farm's milk cows hahaha who were all out of sight that season cos its too cold.

Had a Hawaiian pizza and potato cheese pizza which was not too bad!!

creamy custard pudding just the way I like to pile up my calories taken in for winter season. 

Definitely could not give their home made limited seasonal flavor gelato ice-cream a miss before we left the farm!

One of us prolly had a pure milk flavoured one and the other was soy milk (the white scoops). I had berry sherbet (left) and I can't remember which william had but yay, I love eating ice-cream in the cold weather hahaha

Cheap thrill, snow flakes was piling on our icecreams :P

Off to the famous area for onsen - Noboribetsu!

And we arrived! 
Noboribetsu Onsen (登別温泉) is one of Hokkaido's most famous hot spring resort. 
As we drove through the town to get to the spectacular Jigokudani ("Hell Valley") located above,  we can see many different onsen resorts after one another. 

Jigokudani ("Hell Valley")
 A spectacular tourist attraction valley which displays hot steam vents, sulphurous streams and other volcanic activity. 
It is a main source of Noboribetsu's hot spring waters.

Took this picture cause I thought the demon icons at the toilet there was cute HAHA

It snowed again and this time I actually went to catch snowflakes in my hand and looking really carefully, the snow is indeed in a snowflake shaped hahaha!! 
Fact: No snowflakes have ever been exactly alike. The number of ways that the water molecules can be arranged into six sided crystals is astronomical~

Look at the Hell Valley behind us :O



took a photo with the demon figures before we left!

Sobadokorofukuan (そば処 福庵)
30 Noboribetsuonsencho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture 059-0551, Japan

Had lunch at one of the top ranking Soba restaurant in Noboribetsu!

Its really easy to order because they have an english menu!

Teuchi Tenseiro (1450 Yen) 
Cold handmade soba with tempura on the sides~

Ebitendon Set (980 Yen) 
A bowl of rice topped with shrimp tempura and sauce. And small size cold or hot soba.

Oyakodon Set (980 Yen)
Rice topped with chicken and onions that are simmered in soy sauces and mixed with egg. 

Kamonanban (1450 Yen) 
Hot soba with duck and leeks in duck soup

The texture of the noodles are really different!

Flowing out of the Oyunuma pond in Noboribetsu is a river called Oyunumagawa
Still hot, the river flows through the forest and it is possible to follow the river for several hundred meters and enjoy a natural foot bath along the way at the Oyunumagawa Natural Foot Bath.

Which was unfortunately closed perhaps due to the cold weather :( 
Too much ice and signs of danger of slipping can be seen when we went there!

Should be at the bottom part here where tourists will flock to catch a footbath in the area.

It was time to check into our onsen ryokan (Japanese style inn) for the day. 
My parents were super hyped up about staying at a famous onsen resort at Noboribetsu. Initially I was contemplating to either stay at Noboribetsu Onsen Dai-ichi Takimotokan or Noboribetsu Grand Hotel - two of the more known and value for money onsen ryokan in Noboribetsu.

But.. mom made the decision to splurge a little. We decided to stay at one of the grandest ryokan in the area. 
The stay itself is so popular and exquisite I highly recommend you to book at least a year in advance. I painstakingly translated every Japanese instruction into English and booked straight from their website so that I could better confirm my kaiseki meals.

Noboribetsu Onsen Kyo Takinoya
162 Noboribetsuonsencho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido Prefecture 059-0551, Japan

We stayed in their Deluxe Scenic View Semi Japanese Style Room which includes a breakfast and dinner kaiseki (popular way of having traditional japanese multi course meal in a ryokan).
Paid around 1500 SGD (300++ SGD per 4 pax) for the room for a night's stay which was pretty worth it for the whole experience and two meals.

walking into the lobby of the estate.

Super private onsen resort where you'll have to remove your shoes to be kept at the lobby.

After checking in, we were directed to this lounge-y area to have our welcome snack (?) 
Some red bean pastry jelly cube thing accompanied by thick green tea latte or some sort.

Our room!

Living room area

the toilet

which comes with a mini indoor onsen bath tub

the room has a balcony as well

And we are off to discover the other onsen spots of the ryokan!

This was taken in the private female dressing area on the top floor of the ryokan.

Me and my mom had our girl time in the private open air rooftop onsen before our dinner that night.
It is a must to soak naked at onsens in Japan so I have no suitable pictures of us soaking in the onsen :P
Btw the girls (my mom and I) and guys (my dad and william) usually has to go into separate gender areas at onsens.

Another public bath onsen (with even more facilities) located at the basement of the ryokan!
We went to the basement one the very next morning.

another open air onsen (but on ground) this time round 
(picture taken the next morning)

indoor onsen facilities

In the casual kimono provided by Takinoya. 
Spot the cute colourful bags in the picture which were given to guests to easily throw your belongings in when visiting the onsen.

attempted to find photogenic spots at the ryokan since we were wearing the chummy clothings hahah

Time for my favourite part of the stay - our kaiseki in room dinner!!
Spot my name outside our private dining room hahaha so cool!

kings and queens

dad is happy

Part of the appetizers. 

Finely crafted Japanese appetizers.

Sashimi appetizer

There were two choices of mains that night. 
You could either have the super succulent braised wagyu beef dish or the alaskan king crab dish.

Our mains accompanied by the grilled miso salmon platter

More sides accompanying the mains.

Some super awesome soup rice connoction.

Ended dinner with a sorbet dessert note.

When we returned to our room, our beds was already set up.

As the night was still young, William and I decided to walk around the vicinity of the ryokan.

look at all the cool flavour of choya in Japan

so many hideous barefaced selfies in this post

Early morning soak for the sake of photos
(because clearly mornings were freezing in winter and I'll rather not have bathed LOL)

I am wearing my swim wear in these!!

The open air onsen was still the prettiest sight in the morning *.*

Kaiseki Breakfast

extremely hearty breakfast fit for royalty lol

fruits and yogurt

Definitely not sponsored but had a wonderful wonderful experience at Noboribetsu Onsengo Takinoya
Really an excellent resort if you're looking for a rejuvenating night's stay.

Mom loves it. The customer service in Japan is 100/100 as well. Super dedicated staff. 
This Japanese lady farewell bowed to our car until we were totally out of sight...

After the hearty breakfast and the rejuvenating stay at Noboribetsu, it was time for another drive to the next town - Niseko (Approximately 1 hour 30 mins drive)

Niseko is a town in northern Hokkaido which comprises of dormant volcano and is famous for their light powered snow and ski resorts in that area. 
Thus I decided to do a night stop there since its winter season and we could attempt to ski!

But did you know that they are famous for their milk products as well?
So our first stop in Niseko was at their yummy Milk Kobo with produce made from the Niseko Takahashi dairy farm next door!

Niseko Milk Kobo
Japan, 〒048-1522 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, ニセコ町曽我888−1

whatever mainstream Japanese pastries, you name it, they have it.

niseko cheese tarts

Tried their 100% milk ice-cream, yummyyyyyy

& many other dairy products hahahahaha,
but if I were to recommend one thing among all their products, I will choose their award winning yogurt drink (on the most right) 

My glutton life has to stop asap

w my fam featuring my horrid pose LOL

the cold weather makes me so lazy to apply makeup lol

Lunch was settled at Prativo restaurant, also located in the Milk Kobo complex.

888-1 Soga, ニセコ町 Abuta District, Hokkaido Prefecture 048-1522, Japan

For a reasonable price of 1550 Yen per person for their vegetable lunch buffet - 
Includes a variety of vegetables dishes + A main course
Operated by the same owners as Milk Kobo, Prativo makes use of the same milk from the Takahashi Farms and vegetables grown around the district.

Salad bar spread

The best thing of the buffet has to be having free flow award winning milk kobo yogurt drink~

The first main we had - Bacon and mushroom tomato pasta

White baite olive pasta

Sauteed salmon

Pressed chicken terrine with tar tar


One Niseko Resort Towers
Japan, 〒048-1511 Hokkaido Prefecture, Abuta District, Niseko, 字ニセコ455−3

Our humble accommodation for the night in Niseko!

The room we booked has two rooms (one with bed & one is the traditional mattress kind), a living room and a mini kitchen!

Without even knowing prior to my booking, this Niseko hotel has a recreational onsen for its guests as well which we went in the evening :P 

Niseko's ski resorts are all located on Mount Niseko-Annupuri
Three major resorts, Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri, mostly cover half of the mountain with a few smaller resorts around their perimeter.

Decided to go with Niseko Annupuri among all of the ski resorts because their ski slopes are beginner to intermediate level, which means not as steep, but sadly we went slightly earlier than their ski season, so the ski resort was not operating for any activities yet.

Here's a link and guide for some of their ski resorts operating seasons in Niseko if you are keen on visiting!

Since we came all the way here, have to capture some photos of us lying in the thick snow hahaha

Drove to Hirafu Town Center of Niseko to grab some dinner before heading back and sadly the famous Niseko Potato Ramen I planned in my itinerary was closed for the day as well! 
Omg this town hates me or smth hahahaha

Sooo hungry already so we randomly settled for this restaurant nearby 
(I have no frigging idea what it's called cos its in Japanese)

and we can just pray that the food is alright haha. 
Even though usually walking into any rdm restaurant in Japan will never ever fail you. 
But Niseko was rly quite the deserted town!!

okay la normal jap hotpot n shitzz hahaha

Started our day with complimentary breakfast from the hotel!

quite meh spread la hahaha

got some breakfast set which consist of pathetic scrambled eggs and the whiney looking winer sausage HAHAHA

view is nice tho dining at the highest floor of the hotel hoho

mumsies and me

and yup! finally off to the city of Hokkaido - Otaru & Sapporo in the next part 3 post~

checkout my NYX blue vivid liners which burns my eyelid lol never using them again hahahahahaha


  1. Great post as usual. I would not live without traveling. Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.
    Travel early and travel often. Live abroad, if you can. Understand cultures other than your own. As your understanding of other cultures increases, your understanding of yourself and your own culture will increase exponentially.
    Did you know that you can print favorite photos of your work and hang them on the wall as canvas prints?


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