Day 6. Yunokawa Onsen ̐쉷



Yunokawa hotels and the beach

A bird floating in the sky


more birds

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I was wondering if I should continue to push my way into the vast wilderness on the east side of Hokkaido, but the train schedule posted in Furano station helped me made up my mind: the trains to Kushiro H or Kitami k are very infrequent, whereas the train back to Sapporo comes very often. In my pace it would take another week or so to finish the eastern Hokkaido but I don't have that much time. On the other hand since I haven't seen Hakodate yet, I decided to hop on the train back to Sapporo. The next train was leaving in one minute, and the friendly station clerk let me run through the gate without checking my ticket.

Next time you go to Hakodate, make sure to stop by the Yunokawa ̐ Onsen area. Located only about 10 minutes by taxi from the Hakodate JR station, it provides a great alternative to the boring city hotels downtown. Quite a few hotels are built along the coast and have a nice view of the Tsugaru Strait ÌyC. I remember at least on enka that mentions this Strait and I suppose it is a romantic place. The illumination from the fishing boats is supposingly a famous scene, but it was raining that night.

The hotel that I checked in was decent and came with a window looking out to the sea. For onsen they had 2 indoor and 2 outdoor spas. But for couples visiting this area, I would highly recommend the Prince Hotel Nagisa-tei . For only 20,000 yen per room per night, you can get a spacious room with open air onsen on your balcony facing the ocean. Another place called Heisei kan also looked very nice and reasonable.

I found out about the price and room facility of those hotels by visiting the hotels directly. I have a habit of wondering around the neighborhood that I am staying to check out other lodges. This is because the information provided by guidebooks are never good enough in neither quantity nor quantity, and as a result the place I picked from the guidebook is usually not among the best. Some good hotels are not mentioned, and the short description in the guidebook usually doesn't capture the real selling point of some good hotels, and vice versa never point out any problems that people should be aware of. Someday I want to compile a list of lodges with detailed and objective description.

My kind of walk-in visit is not a common practice in Japan, and the reaction I get from hotel staff varies. Inevitably some of them didn't want to deal with me. I don't blame them because after working in the financial industry for almost 7 years I still prefer to dress like a poor student when I travel with my backpack. This is a society that respects organizations, corporations and look down upon individuals and entrepreneurship. A friend told me that for private travels she usually books hotels by her company's name. Even though the clerk handling the reservation probably doesn't know that company's name, my friend can usually get a good discount because she sounds more authoritative with the endorsement of a proper company. In contrast I always walk in just like a bum. Not having an advanced reservation makes things even worse, it violates every rule of being proper in this country. However I have no intention to change my style. I want people to like me because who I am, not what I am. From my previous travel experience I have learned that throwing away money doesn't necessarily get me anywhere; on the other hand even with a tight budget and a lowly appearance I still managed to met quite a few really kind people, and I treasure them dearly.

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