This is a recap of the Japan tour during Spring in Hokkaido-Japan with Apple Vacations. 

It's a continuation from my previous blogpost on my Japan trip, here's what I did for day 2:

buffet hotel mahoroba noboribetsu

Breakfast! I love the buffet at Hotel Mahoroba, Noboribetsu. Also, I figured that all the half-boiled eggs in Japan.. are served... COLD. BUT WHY? That might just be my first and last haha.

Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura

It was raining when we left Hotel Mahoroba Noboribetsu and we were headed to Noboribetsu Date Jidaimura, which is a historic village. Think ninjas and old settlements during the Edo Period. I had to Google this - Edo Period was a time in Japan when the country was under the military dictatorship but it was said to be a time of peace, political stability, and economic growth.

So the first thing here as soon as we arrived was to watch a Ninja show, which was... interesting haha. The whole show was in Japanese and I didn't understand a thing but alright, it was quite entertaining in some ways.

Then, we had the free time to roam around the village. It was fairly empty because people were watching other performances or shows. Thankfully the rain stopped and we took some pictures... before it drizzled again. 

Matsuga Pond

This is Matsuga Pond. Japanese garden, anyone?

We grabbed some snack from this store.

Also bought a seaweed rice cracker to try. Freshly baked!

After that, it was lunchtime at the Usuzan Ropeway area. View of the place:

Soon after, it was lunch time.

Kamameshi cuisine (traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot)

We had Kamameshi cuisine (traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot), steamboat, and tempura. We also had chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken). I'm not really a fan of udon as I personally prefer ramen, but this one we had was really good! The "steamboat" was basically putting pork into the udon soup, and it was great too. Plus the fragrant rice (the bottom item located on the bottom left of the photo), was cooked with scallops, I believe.

Usuzan gondola up to Mt. Usuzan

After lunch, we hopped on the Usuzan gondola up to Mt. Usuzan. Mt. Usuzan is an active volcano but it is predicted that there won't be any eruption for the next two to three decades or so.

I think the gondola could possibly fit up to 50 people or more. As usual, the windows are squeaky clean, so here are some photos taken from inside the moving cable car:

View of Lake Toya while we were in the gondola. Lake Toya is an ice-free lake. It never freezes even when temperatures fall drastically.

Sorry that the above picture is one of the more terrible pictures because I cropped myself out. Haha, anyway I just wanted to show you that we climbed up to the peak and had a nice panoramic view of Lake Toya and Mt. Showa Shinzan.

Probably spent about less than 10 minutes up there (we were busy taking some pictures while we hiked up, and we were the last to arrive, lol), and by the time we left, dark clouds were coming...

Shōwa-shinzan Bear Ranch

Next, we went to the Shōwa-shinzan Bear Ranch. Nothing really interesting here for me. There were a lot of big and fat crows and the place smelled awful. The place looked quite poorly maintained in my opinion, especially for the Japanese standards where they are known for their cleanliness.

Hey, there.

There were quite a lot of things to buy at the Bear Ranch souvenir shop. Some of the most popular things to buy here are the horse oil cream and horse oil shampoo. So while I was walking around, I saw these vending machines for cigarettes. Oh.

Anyway, we went out to take some pictures. STRONG WINDS. COLD! And yes, those are dark clouds again but it didn't rain.

Did some shopping here, and then we left to head to our hotel.

Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido

Initially, according to the Apple Vacations package we signed up for, we were scheduled to stay in a hotel called Jozankei but in the end, we stayed in this place called Rusutsu Resort.

Rusutsu Resort is huge - it's actually an ideal place for people to come here and ski. It's a nice place. However, it was quite a distance to walk from the lobby to the room. Not very old people-friendly. Also, the elevators are not very accessible. Essentially, all of us were carrying our luggage and had to use the escalators cause it was nearer like that. Just no.

The room was decent but it was smaller than we liked but it was nice and clean.

Each of us was given the option to either choose to have an international buffet, a Japanese set meal or a meal at the snack bar (like having yakitori etc) at Rusutsu Resort.

We chose the international buffet in the end. I forgot to take a picture of the buffet area, but it was smaller compared to the one at Hotel Mahoroba, and the selection was much less too. Also, the food was refilled and took longer than I would like. I felt like the staff here were a bit "lazy", somehow. Maybe they're just more laid back.

After dinner, again, we ain't gonna lock ourselves in the room and go to sleep of course. So, we decided to roam around the resort. There were shops connected to the hotel, but we weren't really interested.

We went out of the resort to a convenience store nearby. Turns out it was an ill-advised choice because we were freezing as cold wind blew, and it was drizzling again. Cold and underdressed. Again, I didn't take any pictures cause I was busy making sure my hands got some heat in my jacket.

Anyway, we went back and got ourselves an ice cream sandwich from a vending machine.

And passed by this carousel in the resort. We saw many students from the same school that day, they were playing at the arcade.

That's the end of Day 2! I'll blog about Day 3 in the next week. :)

You can read the recap of the Japan tour with Apple Vacations - Day 1 HERE!