|Hakodate morning market|
|Er...that crab is trying to escape. Don't blame it...|
|How would you like your roe served?|
|This one please|
|Steamed hairy crab bun|
Walking along the water will eventually take you the Kanemori Redbrick Warehouses found in what is called the bay area. They are a series of red-brick buildings built around 1900 and once used as...warehouses! They are now home to a variety of shops including Royce's Nama Chocolate, Milkissimo ice-cream, and well-known patisseries like Pastry Snaffle's and Petite Merveille. We had to choose our choice of caloric intake and opted for Petite Merveille and Milkissimo. It could never hurt to ingest extra calcium. The gentleman giving us samples at Petite Merveille was so generous with the portions. After trying nearly everything...we bought the best cheesecakes ever (soft and melt in your mouth!) and pumpkin pudding. As the cheesecakes were mini, one did not feel so bad eating them. I personally loved the sweet potato cheesecake. And of course the thing to do when it was below zero outside was to eat ice-cream. The purple sweet potato ice-cream at Milkissimo wasn't bad! Other favourites included apple-pie and pistachio. Prices were reasonable at JPY520 for 3 scoops.
|Red Brick Warehouses|
|The boys bought rubber shirukens|
|Opa bought a photo of himself|
|Buying plenty of dairy at Petite Merveille|
|Punpkin puddings also a hit|
|The grate design for Hakodate. Squid!|
We skipped the Motomachi area and Fort Goryokaku as we were short of time. Opa managed to fall over three times in the snow on the walk to the warehouses and so we hopped on to the city tram to head back towards the station. Fortunately for us, the ride was free. We couldn't quite work out what the reason was but oh happy day we'll take it!
Next thing to tick off the list was shio ramen, Hakodate's specialty. The restaurant happened to be close to our hotel but we had to wait to get in despite being early. The broth was light but tasty. All meals served were finished in 9 minutes flat...
Warmed by lunch, we picked up our luggage from the hotel and made our way to the station for our 2.5 train trip to Noboribetsu. We were able to board the train half and hour early. Perhaps we didn't eat enough ramen but we finished all the snacks before the train left the station...
|The best shio ramen in town said Malcolm. We had wait in the cold for it!|
|Luckily it passed the Oma and Opa test|
|Scenery of the water from the train|
We were initially going to stay at Lake Toya for one night and Noboribetsu the next night. Instead we opted to stay 2 nights at Noboribetsu to reduce the travel and to make it our ryokan stay. Takinoya was lovely. Our rooms had views of the mountain and our baths and balcony all had unobstructed views of the Japanese Gardens below and the mountains in the background. Our dinner didn't disappoint and we were glad to have crab as part of the offering. The onsen of choice for the evening was the outdoor onsen. Having snow fall down around you whilst in a hot springs was simply magical! Looking forward to a slower pace tomorrow!
|This time it had a sitting area where Malcolm could extend his legs with ease!|
|Private dining room|