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Trip in 4 days..

California
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Trip in 4 days..

Hi,

?I just registered to join a hong kong tour to hokkaid next week. Just have some questions.

1) Heard seafood is good there but is it really expensive? Tour agency said expect to pay U.S$200 for a whole king crab? Is this resonable?

What types of seafood would you recommend?

2) What kinds of things are must do while there?

3) We will be staying at a couple of hot spring hotels. Heard men on one side and women on another and everyine has t be naked.

I want to dip with my wife in a private one, are there any? Or even if one with swimwear on is ok too.

Any advice is much appreciated!

California
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1. Re: Trip in 4 days..

The two hotels we will staying at are Mount Racey and Mahoroba.

Sapporo, Japan
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2. Re: Trip in 4 days..

Dear Hgly,

Good weather for coming next week.

I'll try and answer your questions

1. 22,000Y sounds not unreasonable for a whole king crab- though its possible to try cheaper I'm sure. In fact if you're staying at the Mahoborba hotel (onsen hotel btw) then they have a buffet with all three hokkaido crabs for you too try, included- king, snow and hairy(?) so you can get yr crab fix there, much cheaper.

I recommend trying Sea urchin (uni in Japanese), its really delicious (though it doesn't look nice at first). Its super fresh in Hokkaido (it lives all round the coast). All the seafood is good in Hokkaido really, but crab and uni are especially famed in Japan.

2. I"m not sure how much free time you get, The two hotels you're staying at- Mahoborba is in Noboribetsu- hot spring central, there are some interesting walks (hells valley and volcanic lakes), cheesy theme park (old Japan- samurai, ninja etc- probably more for kids). The other place is in Yuubari I think. Which is famous for its melons, I can't really tell you what to expect, cause I haven't been there yet- but it should be very nice country side- keep an eye for fox's and deer.

If you have lots of free time- you can go shopping Sapporo and visit the ski jump etc, maybe head to Otaru for half a day- its a historic town, with lots of chocolates and music box shops. Or Furano with its flower fields (which should be in full bloom).

3. Onsen, most onsen (if not all) are naked and often seperated its true. Its hard making that first plunge into onsening naked- but the rewards are worth it.

As to private onsening- you could ask at the hotel whether they have a room you can use (I know there are private onsen rooms in the Mahoroba, you pay much more for them) or if they can reccommend anywhere, often smaller places may let you reserve an onsen for private bathing for an hour or so- Please ask either the tour or hotels to help you with that one.

I hope you enjoy your trip

Sapporolite

Hong Kong, China
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3. Re: Trip in 4 days..

Are you on a guided tour or a self-tour? If you are on a guided tour, then most things will be decided for you and you will hardly have any free time and you won't get to choose hotels or where to eat.

Anyway, if you can make your own choices:

1. Good quality crab meals are indeed expensive. The specialized crab restaurants have sets that start at 5,000 Yen (about $50) and up to 10,000 Yen ($100). It is not as expensive as $200. The crab is very very good though, and a good set will include sashimi, crab cakes, bbq, hot pot, crab congee, etc. Different types of crabs have different prices as well.

2. For what to do, you may wish to read up on some travel books or do some research online first. It's hard to give you advice without knowing where you plan to go or what your interests are. Here's a helpful link:

http://www.japan-guide.com/list/e1101.html

3. Just about all hot springs (onsens) require you to be naked which is really no big deal once you get used to it. They are in just about all cases, separated by gender. There are private onsens available. The cheaper alternative at the hotel is the short term rental kind (usually costs around 3,000 Yen for a 1-hour block). The more expensive ones have a private bath attached and can cost two to three times the regular room rate (starting at 20,000 Yen per person).

The ones that allow swim wear usually have a feel more like a waterpark than a hot spring.

California
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4. Re: Trip in 4 days..

thanks for the info.

We ae joining a tour based in k and I believe that everything is planned out for us. We have maybe 1 freday to explore. I guess we will go with the flow since everyting will probably be planned out. I believe we will go to the chocolate factry and the place where you can see multi-color flowers.

As for the onsen, the tour company told us there will not be any private ones.. I will check with the local guide or hotel to see if there's a private one.

I don't mind paying more money for private one. Our tour includes 2 night stay at onsen resorts. I'm guessing the cost to use the onsen is already calculated into the price.

I feel like this trip should be fun and relaxing. Even if i can't get a private onsen i might just jump into the one at the hotel. But it'll be last resort lol..

I will try th sea urchin and maybe crab. In the US we have alaska king crab and dungeness crab so i don't really want to sepnd $200US for a king crab unless you guys can vouch for it...

I heard that there are awesme cantelope as well.US$5 a piece! I hope that it will be some awesome cantelope! And heard that there are really god raw white corn that are must tries!

Hong Kong, China
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5. Re: Trip in 4 days..

Out of curiousity, which company is the tour operator?

Cantelope is good but not unbelievably great. If your tour group go to a market, buy one from there. Don't buy the overpriced ones from the department stores. Those may cost several thousand Yen on average!

Sapporo, Japan
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for Sapporo, Hokkaido
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6. Re: Trip in 4 days..

and just a side thing of interest...Yubari is the town which went bankrupt! the whole city finances were in a terrible mess - covered up by the late Mayor etc...

Yubari is a Poster Child for Civic Financial Mess.

many people have moved out in the past 3 years...try to get outside your hotel and spend some money in local shops because the local people really REALLY need your business...

not much to see there really...most of the tourist attractions were closed down vecause they didn't make any money and were actually costing money - which is better spent on the local hosptal and schools - some of which have closed...

I think Yubari is just used as a convenient (cheap) place by the tour companies to put guests...

but you'll have a good time elsewhere in Hokkaido!

amanda

California
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7. Re: Trip in 4 days..

icic.. i will remember to use spend some money in yoburi..

i dunno the english name of the tour group but th cinese name is

"Chung Wan Yau"

heard that they are a good cmpany... hope it'll be fun.. our first trip.. some recommended tokyo and others hokkaido.. hopeflly we made the rght decision for our first trip.

8. Re: Trip in 4 days..

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