Thursday, May 21, 2015

(Japan Jan 2015) Day 11: Noboribetsu to Tomamu. Visit Tomamu. Stay at Tomamu

Day 11 (2 Feb): Noboribetsu to Tomamu. Visit Tomamu. Stay at Tomamu

This day's itinerary:
(Day 10 of our 14 days JR Railpass)
0840-0850 Took a cab from our hotel at Noboribetsu to Noboribetsu train station 
0913-0955 Noboribetsu to Minami-Chitose via Ltd Exp train
1046-1210 Minami-Chitose to Tomamu via Ltd Exp train
1215-1220 Tomamu resort's bus shuttle from Tomamu station to the resort.
Had lunch at Tomamu resort
3 of us went skiing, 1 went snow mobile, 1 had a relaxing coffee break.
Evening visited Ice Village at Tomamu

Woke up early to have buffet breakfast at our hotel at Noboribetsu. Since we had already made arrangements for taxi (we informed the hotel the previous evening and they made taxi reservations for us) so by the time we checked out of the hotel, there were 2 cabs waiting for us (since we were 5 adults). It was just a short 10mins journey to Noboribetsu station and we had a nice chat with the taxi driver (in our limited Japanese).  Forgot how much was the costs though, but it was about 2000yen (per cab) I think.

At Noboribetsu station, waiting for the train.

There are no direct trains from Noboribetsu to Tomamu, therefore we had to transfer to another train at Minami-Chitose station. It was snowing pretty heavily by this time and it was really cold standing at the platform.

Since we had nearly 1hr to spend at the station before our train arrives, therefore we hanged out at the station to escape from the cold platforms.
Minami-Chitose station

Some coin lockers for luggage storage at Minami-Chitose station.

Waffle vending machine at Minami-Chitose station

Hot food vending machine at Minami-Chitose station. 
 Finally we managed to board our train towards Tomamu.
This would be my (and my husband's) 2nd visit to Tomamu. 
I liked Tomamu because it is conveniently located really near the train station, really lovely views from The Tower hotel, and also there's a Ice Village during winter season too!
Nice scenery along this route. 

Upon arriving at Tomamu station, they usually have Tomamu resort's shuttle buses on stand-by just outside the station. It's just a short 5mins bus journey to Tomamu resort.

Cousin's room

Nice views

Nice view from the room
 Since my room is not ready yet, therefore we left our luggage bags in my cousin's room while we headed out for lunch.
There are a small clusters of restaurants located just behind The Tower hotel at Tomamu resort that's linked to the hotel building via covered walkways.

By the time we were done with lunch, our room is ready. 4 beds in our room :)

panoramic view of our large room.

View from our room

The other tower

looking down...
 For the afternoon, my brother went for snow mobile, I took a nice coffee break at a cafe, while the 3 of them went for skiing.
Oh, did I mentioned that it was minus 18 degrees celcius on this day?

Anyway, I walked with my brother towards the snow mobile area, which was just a short 5mins walk from our hotel.

During our trip, snow mobile was 2600yen for 3km, 4800yen for 6km, and they have options for longer courses too (I forgot their rates for those).

Helmets for snow mobile

Snow mobiles
 Since I've already tried snow mobile on my previous trip, and I have no interest in skiing, so I decided to head for a nearby cafe near the snow mobile area for a nice cup of coffee while reading my e-book and enjoying the lovely snowscape from the warm cafe.

After my brother's done with snow mobile, we walked back to our hotel.

 Went to the small shop at our hotel to look for some snacks.

Bought these from the shop for our tea-break in our hotel room while waiting for the 3 of them to be done with their skiing. 

After the 3 of the return from their skiing (with complains of being cold and frozen butts), we all head out to the Ice Village.
I realised that for this year, the Ice Village was different from the one I went a couple years ago, and it was on a slightly larger scale too.

They cast a video projection onto this bridge which made it look like a frozen bridge (like Elsa's bridge in Frozen) whenever it sense that someone's walking towards it. Really cool!

To enter the ice village this year, there is a long slide where we have to go through...which was really fun!!
Brother went down first...

My turn...

Ice skating

Souvenir shop

Ice Bar

Igloo house

A real couple having their wedding at the Ice Chapel

 There's also a workshop room at the Ice Village where they hold sessions for a few different activities like making Ice Cups, or Snow flakes mobile phone strap...etc... 

Ice Cup
Snow flakes mobile phone strap. The white specks inside are real snowflakes which was preserved with some sort of liquid.
We went for the snow flakes mobile phone strap workshop. 

Using a black cardboard to head outside to catch snow flakes

Then choose the pretty snowflakes to be placed on this plastic disc

Once we are done, the staff will add some sort of liquid over the snowflakes which will preserve the shape of our snowflakes.

Had a quick visit to the Ice Chapel before we left the Ice Village

Bye bye...see you again next time...

Dinner time! We had dinner at a Ramen shop near our hotel.

While we were having our dinner, we saw a group of Japanese who looks like they were drunk, and 1 of the guy kept trying to take off his pants. 
The restaurant staff did tried to take control of the situation but not long after the staff went away, that group became rowdy again.
Well, that guy eventually did flashed his bare butt but luckily by then, we were already about done with our dinner and were just leaving the place. 

Go to previous blog entry: Day 10 Visit Onumakoen. Hakodate to Noboribetsu  / 
Go to next blog entry: Day 12 Tomamu to Sapporo