My Japan Holiday Diary (Part 1) : Hakodate, A Quiet & Beautiful Town!

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My husband and I have recently enjoyed one of our most unforgettable holiday in Japan. Yes yes I know, why now? Everyone has advised me to avoid Japan at all cost! “Oh please don’t go to Japan at this time, but if you wanna die early, then go ahead!” Japan nuclear crisis and radiation issue have scared the hell out of us with many foreigners living in Japan desperately getting out of Japan and no tourist will willing to take risk to enter Japan.

Strong wind at 3º @ Hakodate

Well two clowns (myself and hubby) couldn’t care less and instead of canceling the whole trip like most people do (Japan earthquake @11 March 2011 & our departure @15 April 2011), all we did was making minor itinerary amendment by replacing our Tokyo stop to Noboribetsu (Hokkaido’s most famous hot spring resort). To be precise, the four places (Hakodate, Noboribetsu, Otaru and Sapporo) we went are not anywhere near the Fukushima nuclear plant or Sendai. We were just basically touring around Hokkaido island itself, a separate island in northern part of Japan.

We have already planned this free-and-easy holiday two months (Feb 2011) prior to our departure and all hotels, international and domestic flights have already fully paid even way before the Japan disaster occurred. Most hotels and domestic flight were booked and paid via online except international flights which was booked through local agent and the one-way AirDo domestic flight (to Hakodate) was booked and paid through international phone call to their Japan office. We have incurred a few hundreds (in S$) cancelation fees for canceling the Tokyo stop.

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Our Flights Were Terminated Few Days Before Our Departure…………..ARHHH!!

Barely less than a week before our departure, I received a bad news from my travel agent that Singapore Airlines has decided to terminate all night flight to Haneda Airport in Japan with immediate effect due to the bad response that was affected by the nuclear crisis.

The rest of the following days were maniac! They totally screwed up our schedule! Our initial plan was to take the SQ NIGHT flight and to arrive Haneda Airport at 5am in order to catch our first domestic flight to Hakodate at 6.45am. SQ suggested to us to take the DAY flight a day earlier so that we could arrive at Haneda at 11pm in order to catch our early morning domestic flight the day after. But what are we going to do between 11pm to 6.45am? We were fighting real hard for a compensation from them cos we purposely forked out extra $200 per pax just for the night flight.

After marching to SQ office @ ION Orchard several times, they managed to compensate us to our favour at the eleventh hour (less than 24 hours before our departure). They compensated us with free hotel stay @ Haneda Airport, refunds for fare differences and in-flight vouchers.

Singapore Airlines have provided a free night stay at Haneda Hotel located at Haneda Airport.

Breakfast with a nice view.

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Our Second Free-&-Easy Trip To Japan!

When my hubby suggested Hakodate as one of our destinations for this second round trip to Japan, I was actually skeptical and not keen at all. Hakodate?? Which part of Japan? Is it boring there?

After some researches via online, I realized the place is pretty quiet and there isn’t much interesting places of interest to explore except the famous Hakodate morning market. I was so worried I will feel bored at this place but to my surprise, we actually enjoyed our 2 nights stay at Hakodate and we swore to visit this lovely town again!

Hakodate, we will be back real soon!!!

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A Tour To Hakodate Starts Here….

It was raining heavily upon arrival at Hakodate Airport.

Checking in to La Vista Hotel @Hakodate.

A spacious room with a great view.

In the room, there are 2 sets of black robes (can be worn out of the room to hot spring area), white shirt & pants pyjamas and 2 baskets that contain a big and small towels for hot spring.

The hotel room looks out over the famous Mount Hakodate and Red Brick Warehouse.

A busy fishing port is located on the right side of the hotel.

Hakodate is a lovely quiet town and it reminds me of San Francisco.

The tram also resembles San Francisco, don’t you think so?

This cable car brings us to Mount Hakodate (the city mountain of Hakodate).

A spectacular night scene viewing down from Mount Hakodate.

Here’s my husband and myself. ;-)

It was barely 8pm and the street was already so quiet.

A night shot of Hakodate Red Brick Warehouse.

Hugging a big teddy bear at Red Brick Warehouse.

It’s not a sleeping buddha, it’s a sleeping bear!

Some beautiful decorative items that are made of glasses can be found at Red Brick Warehouse. Love the miniatures and flower stalks.

The night view from the room window.

It was a relaxing holiday so I didn’t even bother to apply any makeup at all except for lipstick.

Can you believe this picture was taken at 5+am in the morning? Look at the sun reflection on the buildings. It was so funny that we thought we have overslept after looking out from our bed!

The life at Hakodate is back to normal and the people didn’t seem to be afraid of the radiation at all.

In fact, Hakodate was affected by the Japan Tsunami that happened on 11 March 2011. Some areas were actually affected by the strong wave. I will be posting “My Japan Holiday Diary Part 2″ on next week and I will reveal more about Hakodate Morning Market, seafood and the Tsunami. Stay tuned. ;-)

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