Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 4 (Unkai, Mitsui Factory Outlet, Sapporo)

Date of travel: 2-12 Aug 2013
Unkai Terrace, Tomamu, Hokkaido
We had a mission this morning, and that was to take the gondola ride up 1100m above sea level, to the Unkai Terrace, in hope of viewing a blanket of clouds. It is a natural phenomenon based on the correct terrain and weather conditions, to make the clouds seem to flow like the sea. We set off from Furano at 4:30am! We eventually got there at approximately 6:00am, and we were blown away by the gondola ride itself. It was like riding into the abyss. This is a picture from a blog of what we could have seen.

Photo credit -

And here's what we saw. Still, a very nice morning out on the mountain.

The starting point was next to the 2 towers on the left

Many photographers are getting ready

You may choose to have breakfast here

With that settled, we made our way back to Sapporo. Since we still had use of the car, we visited the Mitsui Factory Outlet in Sapporo, and spent a good 2 hours shopping there! Very nice indoor factory outlet, with good discounts.
Mitsui Factory Outlet, near Sapporo, Hokkaido

There's even a food court. Time for some lunch!

Food court seafood don - 680¥ (RM22)

Now it's time to say goodbye to our cute cute Nissan March. We dropped off our bags at the Mercure Sapporo Hotel first, and then went to drop-off the car. On the way back, we did some shopping for snacks, then took the subway back to the hotel. And we were in luck, the hotel upgraded us to the Executive Floor, which meant that we got to use L'Occitane toiletries!
We traveled 606km, petrol paid was 4063¥(RM132) @ 154¥(RM5)/litre i.e. 26.4litre. That's 23km/L !! GOOD!!
A Taiwanese couple recommended this gel that will help to seal and heal cuts and scrapes. 893¥(RM29)

Mercure Sapporo Hotel, upgraded to Executive Floor. 6320¥(RM205) per night

Providing pyjamas is quite common in Japan. Still a nice touch.

Refillable toiletries by L'Occitane!

Our very own coffee machine! But, we don't drink coffee :(
HH's sister from Taiwan was coincidentally on holiday in Hokkaido, and for 2 nights, we got to meet up with them for dinner. We had a few planned restaurants, but did not pre-book as we couldn't speak Japanese. As we were searching for these restaurants, a very friendly businessman from Niigata offered to help us locate those restaurants. He found the first one, and went to speak to the waiter but it was fully booked for both nights. He says this restaurant has 2 other branches, and went on to take us to both of them. Unlucky for us, both were fully booked for both nights as well! So he gave us his personal recommendation for a seafood restaurant nearby, and we gladly thanked him and he went on his way. Japanese people are really friendly and helpful!

And here we have the seafood from this friendly chap's recommended restaurant.

This is my FAVORITE seafood in Japan. This started the ball rolling. Everywhere I go, I'd buy fresh scallops!

Plus lots more food, for 8253¥(RM268) for 4 persons.

Costing for Day 4:
Unkai Terrace 1800¥x2
Petrol 4063¥@154¥/L
Toll 3250¥
Soba tempura 760¥
Seafood don 680¥
Casio G-Shock 8400¥
Godiva hot chocolate 560¥
Montblanc Gloves 3980¥
Winter Hat 1500¥
Brooks brothers shirt 3150¥
Sashimi from supermarket 1280¥
Subway 200¥x2
Lawson water, drinks, corn 496¥
Lawson Pocky 158¥
Dinner for 4 persons 8253¥
Gel for finger 893¥
Hotel 3 nights 18960¥

Other days in this series:
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 1
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 2 (Furano)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 3 (Furano)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 4 (Unkai, Mitsui Factory Outlet, Sapporo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 5 (Sapporo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 6 (Otaru)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 7 (Sapporo New Chitose Airport to Tokyo)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 8 (Tokyo - Kichijoji and the best darn steak ever!)
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 9 (Tokyo - Asakusa & Tokyo Metropolitan Govt Building)  
Japan 2013: Tokyo + Hokkaido - Day 10 Final (Shibuya) 


Anonymous said...

Hi there, me and my friends are thinking of travelling to unkai terrace on may 11th. i understand from the website that the gondola is not open during that time, are there any other ways to get to unkai terrace other than the gondola? Are the gondola and the cable car the same thing? Also, will we be missing alot if we go there in the afternoon? is unkai quite remote? thanks and love your pictures, they were very informative!

Angie said...

Hi Anonymous. If you refer to this website
, yes it will be closed on May 11th. I believe it will only be open during specific times of the year for safety issues. There is only one way up, i.e. gondola/cable car/etc. And yes it is quite far away in the middle of nowhere, with the resort being the only thing there.