Winter Lavender, Hokkaido Japan

What to do in “Lavender Country” in winter? Smell the lavender! Tomita Farms is spectacular at the height of summer lavender season with seas of the purple flowers swaying with the wind. In the thick of winter with the barren treescape when snow covers the fields outside and the meandering mountain slopes beyond… …there remains…

Snowmobile Snowcapade, Furano Hokkaido

Snowmobile Tips: *Dress appropriately. They say there is no such thing as “too cold weather,” only “wrong clothing.” *Right handle = accelerate . *Left handle = brakes *Stay 100 meters away from other snowmobilers *Oops, did I say turn on the engine? Patrice and I on the snowmobile. I overcame my fear of driving it…

Snowshoeing at White Koala, Furano Hokkaido

Benefits of Snowshoeing: Nature Therapy Fitness Forest bathing Detox 2 things made Snowshoeing easier on my 2nd try: 1-Choose a snowshoe not too big 2-Use walking sticks (with snow basket) Biru-san, our snow forest guide, said: *use waterproof winter jacket & pants *waterproof winter boots only *mind the Left and Right snowshoe. *put boot far…

Kamifurano Lunch Stop by Miyamatoge Art Park: Hokkaidoo

We had a barbecue lunch by Miyamatoge Art Park.  We didn’t have time to go inside the museum but just went to the adjacent Yakiniku restaurant. The view is beautiful, the photo can’t quite capture the natural beauty of this poetic landscape. I liked the sausage for the yakiniku but the other meats were a little…

Hokkaido: Chateau Furano

Not far from the Furano Cheese Factory  is Chateau Furano in Hokkaido. They use local ingredients for their wine production.  A visit to the factory allows you to learn about how they make their wines with a walk-through to the wine cellar/ aging warehouse. Free wine samples are available. There is also a gift shop…