Today's my last day in Hokkaido. The past week has been filled with what seems like countless landscapes and climates.
Everything from touching the sea to being in the mountains can be found in this prefecture.
While I didn't understand why you wanted me to start my trip here, initially, the views of the past week have quickly re-assured your rightful decision in the starting destination.
To round out this first week in Japan, I'm going to check out Mt. Hakodate in the southern tip of Hokkaido.
I found a deal on a hotel tonight, so I'm going to take full advantage of their laundry services. As you can imagine, a week on the road has not been kind to my clothes.
With the city about an hour away from the campsite, I should have an easy drive today.
With the ever-revolving motion of loading luggage onto the bike taken care of, I head off to Hakodate. The weather today is warm, with a bit of wind.
The feeling on the road is that it should be May 7th. The fresh spring air is at my back, helping to propel the DZed and me towards the edge of Hokkaido.
Rides like today remind you why an adventure on two wheels is unbeatable.
Unlike flying or traveling by train, I can take in every sight of the country, at my own pace, with the fresh air at my side.
The travel set in motion is all decided by my ability to ride and maintain this 400cc bike.
As simplistic as it sounds, I relish the idea of relying on myself, and only myself, to make this trip happen.
With the help of the breeze at our back, we managed to arrive in Hakodate within the hour.
The hotel isn't too far from the city limits, as I was able to get checked in and pause for a mid-day nap in no time. A few hours later, I was off towards Mt. Hakodate.
It appears that the main road up to Mt. is closed, so I'll have to take a cable car up from the base.
There's a lot of parallels between the scenery of this Mt. with that of Mt. Moiwa. Both located on the edge of their respective cities, fairly wooded, not motorcycle-friendly...
Having said that, I'm eager to get a different mountaintop view of a city in the daytime.
I know that Hakodate is known as a big port city, so I'm eager to see how much activity I'll be able to see from elevation.
As I reach the top of the rail line, an immediate pallet of faded color meets my eyes.
Perhaps it's the middle of the afternoon and we have a partially cloudy sky, but the landscape of Hakodate looks faded.
The color, the texture, everything about the city just looks like a pastel painting.
Despite the waning interest in this elevated attraction, I snapped some obligatory tourist photos and found my way back to the center of the city.
As the sights of Mt. Hakodate spent most of my afternoon, I found myself back in the early evening... And with an appetite. I found a run-of-the-mill ramen shop to fuel up.
Around the corner from that shop was a popular soft serve ice cream shack. As much as I resist it nowadays, my inner sweet tooth has me curious to try this local specialty.
I've been told that the soft serve in this region is famous, thanks to their prosperous dairy farms. I opted for a chocolate cone.
The swirling texture of this ice cream is ridiculously exaggerated. It's twice the size of any regular cone I've had back home.
The preposterous shape of the cone is fortunately backed up by a delicious, smooth cocoa-flavored texture.
Like an amused child, I became more enthralled with the treat than anything else I was doing. The time spent eating the ice cream overrode my attention span on the walk back to the hotel.
Now that I've sampled the best of what Hokkaido's dairy industry has to offer, I pulled out the guitar and finished the first melody you wanted.
I don't want to give much away but when you listen to it, find a nice landscape to look at while listening.
With my clothes cleaned and tasks for the day taken care of, I'm off to bed. Tomorrow, I'll be driving through the Seikan Tunnel and into mainland Japan.
As good as Hokkaido has been, I'm ready to see a different region. As I like to say, it's upward and onward...
Have a good night and see you soon!