08 April 2016

Update from The Land of the Rising Sun

I arrived in Japan on 29 October 2015, over 5 months ago... and I haven't written a blog post since. So, the most inconsistent blogger of the year award goes to yours truly. Sorry!

Within about 10 days of arriving in Japan, my iPhone, which I'd used to take photos for my blog previously, broke. It may or may not have fallen victim to an alcoholic soaking during a drinking game. I'd had it for a few years already, and had to have the screen on it replaced, so it was on its way out anyway, but I think being doused in fluid was sadly the final straw.

Without photos to show I didn't really feel motivated to blog. Plus, I got distracted with daily life, living and working in this resort, and getting waist deep in powder snow in my time off.

However, I did buy a new camera a couple of months ago. I bought a Canon Powershot G9X. It was expensive but actually takes some really decent photos, so it was a worthwhile investment. Now that I've built up a library of photos again, and as I'm about to embark on 6 weeks of travelling in Kansai and Kyushu regions of Japan, it seemed like a good time to revive the blog.

For now, I'm going to share a few photos that I have taken on my new camera.

Mount Yohtei

Mount Yohtei is an inactive volcano in Hokkaido, and it sits opposite the resort where I live/work (which is on Mount Niseko-Annupuri). Most days it's hard to see the top of Yohtei because it's too cloudy, but I got this shot on a rare sunny day. There was still a bit of cloud though as you can see! I love Mount Yohtei, and I think its beauty definitely rivals its better-known cousin, Mount Fuji. When I see a view like this, I know I made the right choice to leave London. How could you ever get bored of waking up to a majestic sight like this?

Gyu Bar

Hirafu is famous for it apres-ski scene. Although a lot of the bars aren't much different to anywhere else in the world, some of them are unique. Gyu Bar certainly is. It's nicknamed the Fridge Door bar, and I'm sure you can see why! The entrance is really small and you have to be careful to duck and avoid hitting your head. Easy enough on the way in, but after a few drinks you can forget to do the same on the way out! As well as having an impressive selection of spirits (in particular whiskies), they also do some amazing cocktails. They're often traditional cocktails with a Japanese twist, for example their yuzu mojito, which uses Japanese yuzu instead of limes - yum!

Sashimi platter at Hanayoshi

Now, a post from Japan wouldn't be complete without a picture of sushi or sashimi, would it?! The presentation of this sashimi platter at Hanayoshi blew me away: it's so delicate and beautifully arranged. The restaurant source fish from the famous Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, as well as from local fisheries in Hokkaido. As well as the usual suspects of salmon and tuna, this also had scallop, octopus, squid, prawns, abalone... and a few other things I couldn't quite work out! I personally love the delicate flavour of sashimi much more than that of cooked fish.

Attack on Titan ice sculpture

This year I made it to Sapporo Snow Festival, finally! Although I've been to Sapporo a couple of times before, I never came at the right time of year to see the snow festival. This year was the 67th edition of the festival, which features hundreds of ice sculptures, from the size of a snowman, up to monumental sizes. The above photo is part of one of the show's centrepieces (the sculpture is huge: the size of a building!) which is inspired by the manga series Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan). I'll write a separate post about the snow festival as it's one of the most popular events in Hokkaido: plus I took a lot of photos!

You have reached the end of my update post! Thank you for reading it, and I promise it won't be another 5 months before I post again!


  1. Fridge door bar looks awesome.

    1. I love that place. I recently bought some yuzu liquor in an attempt to make Fridge door bar style drinks at home :')