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Sunday, 31 July 2016

Hell Valley

Perhaps you can understand the name: Hell Valley



The valley has a lot of geothermal activity, and it smells like sulfur.  Some of the water that boils up reaches temperatures of 90 degrees C.

The pics are a bit off because it was quite rainy at the time.

Ramen

A bowl of ramen at a small restaurant:


Replica Village

I went to a replica of a Japanese village and watched two shows; the weather was rainy but the experience was good . . .







The "Blue Pond" and the Lavender Farm

A picturesque mountainside pond has become famous, so, of course, our tour bus had to stop there.

You can see these by the dozens in Montana, USA, but only if you hike for a few hours.

Thus, I guess it was worth it, though I wasn't impressed by the tourist experience.


Then we went to the lavender farm, which was much more enjoyable and scenic, if a bit of a tourist trap . . .








This place is in the middle of Hokkaido, the northern Japanese island, and is a rich mixture of forests and farmland (wheat, corn, potatoes, etc. . . . introduced from the U.S.)

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Gender Battles in Korea

Read the news article:

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/07/29/487832991/south-korea-is-contending-with-a-gamergate-of-its-own-over-a-t-shirt

Sapporo Beer Garden

Located in the city of Sapporo, Japan, the official beer garden for the Sapporo brewing company is old, large, and crowded after 6 pm.

Fortunately we got there a bit early, mainly to try some of the lamb barbecue that Sapporo is famous for.

Delicious!

If you have the chance, go there, but go early:








Shiroi Koibito Park

This place in Sapporo is like a combination of Disney + confectionary:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5307.html

Cookies, candy, chocolate . . . toys and sports collections . . . and lots of creativity!




















Sapporo Ski Jump Hill

This was the setting for the 90 meter jump at the 1972 Winter Olympics (held in Sapporo); it is still in use today.

There are two entrances, one of which has a lengthy escalator that reminds me of Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. (where I went to get my visa to come to Korea):


 Overlooking the city of Sapporo



Want to give it a try?

Shinto Shrine

In Japan, Shinto shrines are places for worship and places of spirituality.

My guide told me that many older people go to this shrine every day, early in the morning.

Children also go there to do some exercise during their vacations, and there is a special parking lot to have newly purchased cars blessed.

Here are some pictures of one shrine in Sapporo: