Lake Toya with host family

13 augustus
2012

Today and tomorrow I go on a short vacation with my family. Short vacations are quite common in Japan. Japanese do not have many holidays that they not even want to use in order not to create extra work for the company! Japanese also prefer to have short trips instead of long vacations like in Holland. It is different for me but none the less fun!

We left home at 7:30 and drove in the direction of lake Toya. Mothers cousin, his wife and daughter and grandmother joined us. Her cousin lives near Nagano, and that is more near Tokyo… well, a little further but… Google it! He has a 2 year old daughter called Waka. Grandmother has an apartment in the same building where I live. It was pretty crowded in the car.

We first went to a seminary to put incense and flowers on the grave of grandmothers parents. Then we drove further to lake Toya.

The ride took ages. In Hokkaido there are three kind of roads. Ordinary roads with traffic lights and two type of express ways that you have to pay for. They are a sort of toll ways. They do not know highways like in Europe. You can go anywhere with the ordinary roads although it takes ages and so went our ride.

We had our first stop at a large lake surrounded by mountains! Beautiful! We looked around and there was a kind of mini museum  mostly about bears. Hokkaido has many wild bears!

Then, after driving for a long time, we passed a field with cows! COWS! You don’t see many around here. It felt like being in Holland, but then different!

The next stop was at lake Toya, near our hotel. We enjoyed the beautiful view and checked the local souvenir shops. You could also make a flight by helicopter and Otousan wanted to do that very much! He asked me too but I was a little affright so I watched from the ground!

In the hotel we went to our room. I shared a room with Okaasan and grandmother . The room was half western half Japanese. Western beds and low Japanese seats and a tatami floor.

We, Waka, the cousin and my host father went swimming. It was not big but none the less very nice with slides and artificial waves. This was the first time I went swimming in Japan. What surprised me that nobody wears swimming caps. What also surprised me that they were wearing dresses and cloth over their swimsuits. I was just wearing my bikini and felt rather… naked. But I don’t know these people so I don’t bother. After swimming I went for a shower in my room and the others went to the public bath in the hotel, the onsen. I wanted to join them but these onsen are so hot that I skipped them, and I also had enough from all these people looking at me.

That evening we had dinner in the hotel. They had a buffet and it was heavenly. I had everything that looked good. After dinner we chilled on our room and at 8 O’clock there was a big firework at the lakeside.

The firework was super nice! After the firework finished we went playing bingo. A bingo card was € 10.-!!! But the prices were very nice! Sound sets, Nintendo’s, bicycle, 10kg rice, etc! Unfortunately I did not win but at least got a free bottle of water, well free, a bottle of water for € 10,-

The next morning, a rainy one, we had a breakfast buffet with both Japanese and western food. They were all surprised that I choose Japanese over western food. After breakfast we went back home.

On the way home we stopped at an aquarium. Japanese like aquariums because then they can tell you which fish they like most. I am still not used to that, and can only smile about it.

Back home we had dinner at grandmothers place, she lives in the same building.
Kanji went to his parents, in another city in Hokkaido. I would have gone with him if I wasn’t on holiday but the holiday was very nice and funny.

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