We woke up early in the morning to catch the JR train to Otaru. Knowing that we will be moving quite a lot, we packed light. My first ever 9 days trip with a cabin size luggage, 1 laptop bag and 1 30L backpack just for 2 person. Well, I consider it quite light comparing to all my previous trips 😝
We bought non reserved seat tickets which cost us 1280 Y for 2 person. Since it’s only a 40 minutes journey, we doesn’t mind to be standing for the whole journey if there are no seats available. But we were lucky as we manage to get seats (for a short period of time). Hubby gave up his seat for an elderly lady and have to stand for the rest of the journey. Before we reached our destination at Otaru, the elderly lady who sat with me, gave me some candies as a token of appreciation. Well, what a good way to start our trip for the day 😄
Once we reached Otaru, we went to pick up our rental car which we have booked in advance via ToCoo car rental. We rented a small compact Toyota car and the rental fees is about 7000Y for 1 whole day. The car came with full tank of petrol which we need to return with full tank of petrol as well. The car was equipped with built in GPS but I seems to have problem with the GPS. I ended up using Google Map with my phone which is so convenient. We have no trouble driving around in Japan as the driver seat is on the right hand side, same as Malaysia.
Once we got our car, we head straight to Rinkoso at Shakotan district, which is about 1 hour drive, for our lunch. It’s summer and hence it’s the sea urchin (uni) season now. The sea urchin season is from June – August where the government will lift the ban on sea urchin fishing. But unfortunately we found out that Rinkoso need reservation for lunch. So, we head to Misaki, another popular restaurant for seafood rice bowl. When we reached there, there’s already a long queue, but fortunately we did not wait for long before our turn.
I actually wanted to try the orange sea urchin, which they said is richer and creamier in taste than the normal sea urchin, but they were sold out for the day. And it’s not even 12pm yet. So we ordered one sea urchin rice bowl and one sea urchin+salmon roe bowl. I am not really a fan of sea urchin because of it’s texture but it’s still yummy nonetheless (especially with salmon roe) 😋
Once we filled our tummy, it’s time to move to another destination – Cape Kamui. It was only a short ride about 30 minutes from Misaki. The cape has a free parking and free entry. The opening time during summer (if not wrong) should be from 8am – 6pm.
It’s been a while since I have a healthy relationship with exercise. So the trail was slightly tough for me (it’s actually an easy trail) and I was out of breath by the time I reach the light house. But I love it there. The view was amazing and it was so windy 😄 .
We spent almost about 1.5 hours there before we decided to go to the hotel and check in. Along the way to the hotel, we actually stopped at a few places to enjoy the place and scenery. Shakotan is a beautiful and peaceful area surrounded by clear blue waters. So we just drove leisurely and stopped by places with views. But I actually forgot to stop by another beautiful place which is the Shimamui coast 😢😣
We stayed at Hotel Geinhinkan Otaru, located at Oishoro Bay and also very near to Otaru town, about 20 minutes drive. The hotel offer rooms with sea view, free wifi and also free parking. The owner is actually from Shanghai, China and has been in Hokkaido for more than 10 years. The hotel has about 5-6 rooms only and the room that we stayed in is a spacious family room, which come with 2 single beds, private bathroom, and a loft where additional guest can sleep in traditional futon bedding that is provided.
We rest in the room for a bit before we head out for dinner. We drove to Otaru town and because I did not plan for dinner, we just simply pick a car park and parked our car. We thought of walking along the street to search for good food to eat, but within the first 5 minutes of walking, we got too cold and we just jumped into a ramen shop nearby.
Upon entering the shop, there’s some sort of a vending machine at the entrance and the dining place setting is bar-like setting. This was our first experience of ordering food via the vending machine. It was cool. Once we got the order ticket from the machine, we handed it over to the chef who prepared our food.
After dinner, we took a walk to Otaru canal to burn off the calories before heading back to hotel.