Most viewed - HOKKAIDO 北海道
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Toyako Onsen Spa is Lake Toya's main town and tourist base on the southern shore. It is a cluster of hotels and ryokans offering hot spring waters.524 views
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With buckets and water testing kits, they do their testing.451 views1 comments
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The 61st Sapporo Snow Festival was held during Feb. 5-11, 2010 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. Among the giant snow sculptures was Hawaii's Iolani Palace made of ice. It was the reason why I decided to see this festival again.394 views
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Yodobashi Camera store on west side of Sapporo Station.378 views2 comments
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JR Toya Station is the closest train station to Lake Toya. From this station, take a bus or taxi. There are also other buses going to Lake Toya from other places such as Sapporo and Date.365 views
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The Nishiyama Crater Trail (Nishiyama Kako Sansakuro) is accessible by car or bus from Toyako Onsen Spa or Toya Station. Get off at the Nishiyama Kako Kitaguchi which is in front of this former fire dept. station. 旧西胆振消防組合本部335 views
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Yodobashi, Hokkaido's largest camera and electronics store.333 views
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The 61st Sapporo Snow Festival was held during Feb. 5-11, 2010 in Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. The main festival site is at Odori Park anchored on the east end by this Sapporo TV Tower where I started exploring this site.301 views
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Hakodate's main attraction and landmark is Mt. Hakodate-yama, accessible by ropeway.285 views
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After bicycling through eastern Lake Toya, I continue my trip around Lake Toya as I head north, entering Toyako town.268 views
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Sapporo Station, morning train for Otaru.264 views
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Built in 1888, the former Hokkaido Government Office Building is one of Hokkaido's most famous buildings at the heart of Sapporo. With its red brick walls, it stands out among Sapporo's more modern buildings.252 views
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The Sapporo Ekimae-dori is the city's main drag running from Sapporo Station to the southern part of the city. This is what it looks like from Sapporo Station.251 views
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Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum opened in 1988. Facade is modeled after the Palace of Grassi.246 views
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Ticket gate and entrance to Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill (Hitsujigaoka Tembodai). 500 yen admission is charged so someone from the ticket office boarded our bus to collect admission fees.230 views
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Toya manhole showing the Ukimido temple and Nakajima islands. Hokkaido227 views
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The mannequin is a slightly larger-than-life likeness of Yokozuna Kitanoumi performing the Yokozuna Dohyo-iri (ring-entering ceremony). Yokozuna Kitanoumi Memorial Hall, Sobetsu, Hokkaido218 views
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Way to Ekimae Sambashi Pier at Toyako Onsen Spa. A short walk from the bus terminal.214 views
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Mt. Usu is on the left, Showa-Shinzan on the right. In the background is the conical Mt. Yotei. Between Usu and Showa-Shinzan is the tourist village and the Usuzan Ropeway terminal.212 views
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Tanuki-koji shopping arcade212 views
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Lake Toya lookout deck on Mt. Usu, near the ropeway terminal. Showa-Shinzan clearly in sight. 洞爺湖展望台211 views
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Mt. Showa-Shinzan is a lava dome which arose in the middle of farm land in 1943-45. Lake Toya, Hokkaido.208 views
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Road to Showa-Shinzan. That's the Showa-Shinzan Youth Hostel on the right. Best way to get to Showa-Shinzan is by bus from Toyako Onsen bus terminal.207 views
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New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido's main gateway, is the first place you see G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome signs. As we get off (or get on) the plane.207 views
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The new JR Sapporo Station is the definitely the city's most noticeable change in recent years. It is a huge complex, a far cry from the old train station.203 views
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Rickshaw service available at the canal.200 views
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In central Otaru, the Ironai-dori and Sakai-machi-dori streets are lined with numerous historic buildings. Architecture buffs will love this street. This is the Otaru Unga Terminal, formerly Mitsubishi Bank's Otaru Branch.200 views
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JR Toya Station is on the JR Muroran Line. There are express trains going directly to/from Sapporo.199 views
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1982 Sapporo Snow Festival Sayonara ceremony. Very low-key, with few people attending. Also see my Sapporo Snow Festival 2010 photos here.192 views
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Restaurant near Otaru Canal.191 views
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Entrance to the dome. 186 views
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Sculpture: Anthem of the Sun, by Machiko Kodera 小寺 真知子「太陽の賛歌」180 views
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It sort of looks like Kitanoumi...180 views
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Susukino Station subway train178 views
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Otaru Orgel-do178 views
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Sculpture: by Keiko Amamiya, 雨宮 敬子「洞照」. One problem with the outdoor sculptures, especially human figures, are the birds. Their droppings create unsightly white streaks down the body.174 views
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Hakodate Red Brick Warehouses at night. Photo by Hokkaido Tourist Organization.174 views
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Lake Toya is decorated with almost 60 outdoor sculptures along the shore all around the lake. This is the first one you will likely see. By Tando Saka. 坂 担道「湖渡る風」173 views
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Inside JR Toya Station.173 views
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Elevated train tracks on west side.173 views
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Inside Sapporo Community Dome, nicknamed Tsu-dome.173 views
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Toya Station platform and sign for outgoing passengers: "See you again!" (Mata no okoshi wo)167 views
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Sculpture: by Aiko Miyawaki, 宮脇 愛子「うつろひ」 This is at the western edge of Toyako Onsen. It was past 5 pm when I got back to Toyako Onsen by bicycle.166 views
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Near the Toya Mizunoeki is Toya High School whose Environment Club regularly take water samples from Lake Toya to test the lake's water quality. They go behind the Toya Mozunoeki and take water samples with plastic buckets.166 views
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Toyako Culture Center with G8 Summit flags164 views
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If you want to bicycle around Lake Toya, do it in the counterclockwise direction from Toyako Onsen where you can rent a bicycle. It's easier slope-wise and you can see the lake better on the left side of the road.164 views
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Stretching for about 1.5 km east to west in central Sapporo, Odori Koen or Park is the city's oasis in the urban jungle. This is the heart of the park.164 views
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Sculpture: Light of the Moon, by Igor Mitoraj. イゴール・ミトライ「月の光」162 views
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Warehouse along the Otaru Canal162 views
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Showa-Shinzan closeup. Still steaming.161 views
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Makomanai site: Snow slides with Arare-chan, anime character popular in 1982.160 views
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Mt. Usu's Ginnuma Crater, one of the largest. It was created during the 1977 eruption. 銀沼大火口159 views
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Sculpture: Recovery, by Rei Nibe 二部 黎「復活」157 views
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Kinkakuji Gold Pavilion in Kyoto, made of snow.157 views
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Wrecked car156 views
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Susukino Station sign156 views
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Entrance to Toya Station from the train platform.155 views
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Usuzan Ropeway terminal on the left.154 views
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Otaru Canal is a short walk from Otaru Station.154 views
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I could only wonder if these girls knew the significance of the sculpture they were performing in front of.154 views
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On approach to New Chitose Airport on an Air Do Boeing 767.152 views
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Tanuki-koji shopping arcade152 views
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Heading back. Remember that the trail is not open during the winter months. For more info call 0142-75-4400.151 views
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"Boys, Be Ambitious" This famous statue of Dr. William Clark was built in 1976 to mark Dr. Clark's 100th anniversary of his coming to Hokkaido, the 100th anniversary of Hokkaido University's founding, and the USA bicentennial.151 views
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Official logo of the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit on the Toyako Culture Center.150 views
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Sculpture: Anthem of the Sun, by Machiko Kodera. Lake Toya has many nude woman sculptures.149 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit merchandise: T-shirts149 views
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The summit welcome sign in front of JR Toya Station also lists environmental activities by local groups. Converting waste vegetable oil to diesel fuel, using snow for refrigeration, etc.148 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sticker on a bus window in Sapporo.148 views
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The ocean beach near Toya Station.147 views
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Passage at Fukuzumi Station, near Sapporo Dome147 views
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More dramatic terrain. There's no threat of further eruptions in this area, so don't worry about getting caught in a shower of hot lava and volcanic ash while walking around here.146 views
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Bus stop in front of Toya Station with Toyako town's slogan: Town of greenery, lake waters, and heartful encounters.146 views
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Odori Park's most photographed sculpture shows three ballerinas near a water fountain. Sapporo, Hokkaido146 views
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Inside Otaru Orgel-do, full of music boxes of all kinds. 小樽オルゴール堂146 views
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The new Toyako Onsen Bus Terminal144 views
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Toya Station platform and local train.144 views
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On the west end of Toyako Onsen are more sculptures and a park. Sculpture by Kan Yasuda. 安田 侃「意心帰」143 views
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Dinosaur snow sculpture at 1982 Sapporo Snow Festival.142 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Welcome banner on a building in Sapporo.141 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Welcome sign in front of JR Toya Station.140 views
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Usuzan Ropeway car holds over 100 people.140 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sticker on a bus window in Sapporo.140 views
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Ramen menu140 views
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Iolani Palace, a giant ice sculpture at the 61st Sapporo Snow Festival during Feb. 5-11, 2010. During the day, it has a translucent, blue look. It is the festival's largest ice sculpture. This block is officially called the Mainichi Shimbun Ice Square140 views
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The airport has a huge shopping area full of gift shops.139 views
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On the west side is Kinokuniya Bookstore.139 views
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Otaru Canal139 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit merchandise: Pins138 views
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Otaru Orgel-do (Otaru Music Box Hall) is one of the more famous buildings. Built in 1912. 小樽オルゴール堂、旧共成(株)138 views
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G8 Summit sticker in bus137 views
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Toyako Onsen bus stop. "Toyako" means Lake Toya, and "Onsen" means hot spring. Lake Toya is within the municipalities of Toyako-cho town and Sobetsu-cho town (east shore).136 views
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Inside Sapporo Station building136 views
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Sculpture: At the Lake, by Akihiko Kurokawa 黒川 晃彦「湖畔にて」134 views
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Distance-wise, Showa-Shinzan is not very far. But the killer slope will get you... At least the return bike ride was a thrill and very quick.132 views
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Toyako Town Hall, front side, festooned with G8 Summit flags.130 views
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Otaru Canal has a large walkway alongside.130 views
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The Yokozuna Kitanoumi Ki'nenkan or Memorial Hall looks like a miniature version of the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo. Although it's near Lake Toya, it's off the main tourist road. There is a bus stop nearby, but I rented a bicycle.129 views
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A tourist village called Kazan-mura (Volcano Village) has developed at the foot of Showa-Shinzan. 火山村129 views
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Former Hokkaido Government Office Building and tulips, Sapporo129 views
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Espoir is the name of this lake cruise boat shaped like a medieval European castle. Can't get more gimmicky than that.128 views
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The Usuzan Ropeway terminal has gift shops selling a variety of G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit merchandise. T-shirts, bags, candy, etc.128 views
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A short bus ride from Toyako Onsen is the Nishiyama crater trail. Highly recommended. A series of craters can be seen up close. More photos here.127 views
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East end of Otaru Canal127 views
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Good-looking girls in Hokkaido are really good-looking. They look healthy, thanks to Hokkaido's clean environment, wide-open spaces, and good food. It's a different kind of beauty from the superficial/artificial looks of big-city girls.127 views
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Signs in English near the bus stop.125 views
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Swan nesting. Photos continue here as I head to northern Lake Toya...125 views
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Ticket office inside JR Toya Station. Notice the G8 Summit flags.124 views
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Otaru Canal124 views
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Buses from Toyako Onsen don't run very often, so check the bus timetable beforehand. I opted to rent a bicycle and rode to Showa-Shinzan. Unless you like to push a bicycle up a very long slope for about 30 min., take a bus.123 views
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Neon lights of Susukino, at the main intersection.123 views
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Girl and Sheep sculpture at Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill, Sapporo, Hokkaido123 views
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Urinal with a view in JR Tower123 views
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The Nakajima islands in the center of Lake Toya. There are four islands. Most them have a conical shape.122 views
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Biodiesel fuel tank connected to a gas pump.122 views
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Behind the Date Kaitaku Kinenkan Museum is the former Mitobe house on display. It is a typical house of the first settlers of Date, Hokkaido. Based on Sendai-style (Miyagi Pref.) architecture. Important Cultural Property. 旧三戸部家住宅122 views
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Cherry blossoms and the Nakajima islands, Lake Toya. Early May 2008.121 views
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We cannot climb Showa-Shinzan.121 views
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This box of cookies show all the G8 Summit leaders bathing in a hot spring and scrubbing each other's backs. They also say, "Ii yu!" (great hot spring) which is pronounced "EU" as a pun.121 views
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The non-toxic auto exhaust smells like tempura.121 views
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Susukino Station platform121 views
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Next to the former fire station is this small pond, called Nishiyama Kako-numa, created by the eruption and blocking the road. 西山火口沼(西新山沼)120 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit merchandise: Confections sold at the train station kiosk.120 views
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Miyako shopping arcade120 views
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Lake Toya's bald spot.119 views
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Filling up the gas tank with biodiesel fuel.119 views
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Ekimae Sambashi Pier at Toyako Onsen Spa. The lake cruise fare is 1,320 yen for adults and 660 yen for kids. (Slightly more expensive during Nov.-April.) 駅前桟橋118 views
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Onna (Woman) by Chizuko Sasado. 笹戸 千津子「女」118 views
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Waiting area in Sapporo Station.117 views
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Toilet with a view in JR Tower117 views
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The Espoir returns to Toyako Onsen. The cruise takes 50 min. if you don't get off to visit the Nakajima islands. Otherwise, allow at least 30 min. for any island visits.116 views
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Usuzan Ropeway, Lake Toya.116 views
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East end of Otaru Canal116 views
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Otaru Unga. "Unga" means canal.115 views
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Some artists show their work here.115 views
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Another cruise boat. The cruise boats leave every 30 min. from 8 am to 4:30 pm during April-Oct. During Nov.-April, it operates every hour from 9 am to 4 pm.114 views
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Next to Toya Station is the Toyako Town Hall, also with a G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sign.114 views
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There's a large parking lot full of tourists.114 views
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Ramen at Ramen Yokocho in Sapporo114 views
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Give back the Northern Territories113 views
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With a very impressive carving of animals, this was clearly the crowd favorite. "Zoo of the Northland" features endangered animals at the 61st Sapporo Snow Festival.113 views
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Nakajima islands, Lake Toya112 views
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Welcome banner on train platform.112 views
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Waste vegetable oil collection box sign.112 views
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Local students from Abuta High School help beautify Toya Station.111 views
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Sapporo Station train platform. The platform looks dark (black) since entire station is covered. The ceiling is black. The roof is also a parking lot.111 views
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Inside train to Otaru. It takes about 40 min. by regular train, and costs a mere 620 yen.111 views
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Leaving the ropeway terminal.110 views
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Eastern Lake Toya, with Mt. Usu in the distance.109 views
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Swans along Lake Toya, Sobetsu, Hokkaido109 views
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Toyako lookout deck on Mt. Usu, near the ropeway terminal. 洞爺湖展望台109 views
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Construction sign showing how the new underground pedestrian passage is being built from Sapporo Station to Odori Park. It is a 4-year project, scheduled to be completed in June 2010. I wonder what they will call it. I propose "Snow Town."109 views
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Neon signs of Susukino, Sapporo109 views
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Miyako shopping arcade109 views
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Wrecked confection factory. A dramatic reminder of what volcanoes can do.108 views
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Windsor Hotel, G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit venue. It would've been great if it were shaped a like a mountain-top castle.108 views
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Lookout deck on Mt. Usu, near the ropeway terminal.108 views
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A cutie poses with a fake salmon in front of the Northland sculpture.108 views
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An impressive snow sculpture of Michael Jackson drew crowds.108 views
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Park at the foot of Showa-Shinzan which means "New Mountain of the Showa Period." Showa-Shinzan is adjacent to Mt. Usu.107 views
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The building was akin to Hokkaido's capitol where the governor's office was located. It was used for 80 years. Open 9 am - 5 pm, closed Dec. 29-Jan. 3. Free admission. Near Sapporo Station's south exit and visible from Ekimae-dori road.107 views
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Lake Toya and swan, Hokkaido106 views
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Some trains are decorated with G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sign.106 views
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Minami-Chitose Station105 views
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Entrance to Pole Town, an underground passage and shopping arcade between Odori Station and Susukino.105 views
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Ukimido pagoda, Lake Toya, Hokkaido 浮見堂104 views
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Sobetsu Park and plum blossoms overlooking Lake Toya, Hokkaido.104 views
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New Chitose Airport's Central Plaza104 views
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This is Minami-guchi or the South Exit. On the far right is the JR Tower.104 views
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Bottles showing the waste oil conversion process from left to right.103 views
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Train platform in Sapporo Station. Well protected from snow.103 views
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Sign promoting the Hokkaido Shinkansen to be built.103 views
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At the end of Chuo-dori is Unga Plaza which used to be Otaru Warehouse. Now find tourist info counter and gift shop.103 views
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The fire dept. building was damaged by the eruption, so it is no longer used by the fire dept. However, you can enter it and see some display panels.102 views
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Susukino102 views
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Sapporo Station, North Exit.102 views
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Daimaru Dept. Store on the west side. Notice the entrance sign celebrating the 5th anniversary of the new train station.102 views
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Tourist information office inside Sapporo Station. Very spacious with numerous racks or tourist pamphlets.102 views
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Inside Kitaichi Venetian Art Museum with a real gondola once ridden by Prince Charles and Princess Diana.102 views
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Another wrecked house.101 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome poster.101 views
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On New Year's Eve, a crowd gathers to hear the Clock Tower ring in the New Year.101 views
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Murals showing some history of Otaru's marine transportation.101 views
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北海道美人101 views
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The north entrance to the Nishiyama Crater Trail (Nishiyama Kako Sansakuro Kitaguchi). Open from April 20 to Nov. 10 during 7 am - 6 pm. Free admission, but donations accepted.100 views
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Dr. William S. Clark (1826-1886) was a professor from Massachusetts. The statue was made by a Japanese sculpturer and sponsored by the Sapporo Tourist Association. Hokkaido University has a bust of Dr. Clark which is also popular among tourists.100 views
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Road blocked by the pond. The Nishiyama Craters are part of Mt. Usu. They are on the west side of Usuzan and were formed by the March 2000 eruption.99 views
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Going toward the lake. On the right is where you can rent a bicycle for 1000 to 1500 yen. On the left is the tourist office.99 views
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Ticket office inside JR Toya Station with G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit flags.99 views
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Point Zero for Hokkaido's travel distances.99 views
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Along the road to the former government building are display panels about Hokkaido's hisotry. Here's one about the early foreigners in Hokkaido.99 views
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Aurora Town99 views
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Otaru in sight from the train window.99 views
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Giant aerial photo of Lake Toya.98 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit merchandise: Confections sold at the train station kiosk.98 views
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Statue of Masao Mimatsu, a post office worker who observed and documented the development of Showa-Shinzan. His records are valuable.98 views
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New Chitose Airport terminal98 views
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Right side of Ukimido pagoda, Lake Toya.97 views
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No. 1 Nishiyama Crater Lookout deck for the most conspicuous crater, still emitting steam.97 views
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Miniature golf course97 views
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A working clock97 views
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Bus stops on the north side of Sapporo Station.97 views
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Michael Jackson snow sculpture at the 2010 Sapporo Snow Festival. Coiled wiring is used for the hair dangling below his hat.97 views
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Toyako Onsen Spa96 views
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The ropeway distance is 1370 meters. It takes only 6 min. to reach Mt. Usu. The roundtrip ropeway fare is 1,450 yen for adults, 730 yen for kids.96 views
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Showa-Shinzan gets smaller.96 views
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Sapporo Ekimae-dori as seen from Sapporo Station, left side. "Ekimae" means "front of the station." "Dori" means road.96 views
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JR Tower lookout deck (temboshitsu) called JR Tower Observatory T38. JRタワー展望室96 views
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Inside Unga Plaza96 views
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Uroko fish market popular with tourists.96 views
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Lake Toya in early May95 views
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Toyako Onsen has a nice lakefront promenade for pedestrians. Cars no longer travel here so it's pleasant for a stroll.95 views
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This cruise boat, called Espoir, looks like a medieval European castle. It's a double-hulled boat. The lake cruise fare is 1,320 yen for adults and 660 yen for kids. (Slightly more expensive during Nov.-April.)95 views
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Statue of Masao Mimatsu.95 views
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Bye-bye Hokkaido...95 views
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Numerous flower beds in the park.95 views
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Inside Otaru Station95 views
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The former fire station in the distance. The building still looks quite new.94 views
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Hot spring foot bath is also popular with visitors.94 views
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Glass door with G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sticker.94 views
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When I got to the museum, the parking lot was quite full. It seemed that the museum was really popular. But most of them were there to play at the miniature golf course next to the museum.94 views
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After a long walk uphill with a bicycle, Showa-Shinzan is in sight. Showa-Shinzan is in the town of Sobetsu.94 views
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit welcome sign at Usuzan Ropeway terminal.94 views
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New Chitose Airport's Central Plaza94 views
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New Chitose Airport's beautiful Central Plaza.94 views
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This yosakoi soran group was from Hokkaido University.94 views
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My YouTube video of Iolani Palace at the Sapporo Snow Matsuri in 2010.94 views
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G8 Summit welcome sign near the museum.93 views
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Front entrance of the Clock Tower.93 views
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First floor corridor. Most of the rooms on the 1st floor are closed to the public.93 views
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Susukino Station93 views
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View of Sapporo Station's north side from JR Tower.93 views
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Otaru Station93 views
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Inside New Chitose Airport at the check-in terminal, more G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit Welcome signs.92 views
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In my seat. Calbee is a sponsor, selling potatoes and potato chips.92 views
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Sapporo Seibu dept. store. I think this used to be called Gobankan.92 views
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Pole Town92 views
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Water fountain and Sapporo TV Tower92 views
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View of Sapporo Station's north side from JR Tower. Admission to JR Tower lookout deck on the 38th floor is 700 yen.92 views
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Lake Toya and cherry blossoms. Shikotsu-Toya National Park91 views
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Going through the boarding gate at New Chitose Airport, Hokkaido.91 views
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Chuo-dori road looking toward Otaru Station91 views
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Unga Plaza inner courtyard.91 views
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