Show 185 Saturday 4 November

Watch today’s show at YouTube or grouper.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 4: Nasu to Shirakawa
Distance: 30 kms

By the time we finished the onsen it was about 8pm. Then the next mission was to find a hotel. Unfortunately since it was a Friday night and a long weekend, hundreds of other people had the same idea. I lost count of the number of hotels we checked. We followed the same cars in and out of hotel car parks – then finally we found a love hotel with empty rooms available. Love hotels are reasonably cheap if you check in after 10. There were about 10 rooms still empty and it was 9pm and we hadn’t eaten, so we thought we’d go to a nearby convenience store and have something to eat and wait til 10 o’clock.

We went back to the hotel at 10 and what do you know – it was full. Other people obviously had the same idea as us.
So we were back to square one … driving up to hotels only to see a full sign: manshitsu, manshitsu, manshitsu.
Finally, at 11pm we finally found a hotel with empty rooms. It looked completely dodgy from the outside – but it was fine and it was really cheap. 4500 yen. Wow. The room was nice and clean too.
It was classic old school love hotel style. Red vinyl couch. Brown velvet walls. Purple velvet bed.
The only downside was no internet. But love hotels usually don’t have an internet connection. 4 stars.

Yesterday’s hard-core sightseeing and hotel-finding mission was pretty tiring, so we decided to take it easy today.
We found a hotel nearby in Shirakawa and had lunch at this restaurant where we drank soft espresso and saw Miyazato Ai’s signature. She’s a professional golfer and one of my favourite Japanese celebrities. I don’t like golf, I just think she’s cool.

We hung out at this beautiful lake called Nanko.

Then we bought some petrol. And went shopping. I bought a new hard disk. My last one was a Buffalo so I decided to buy a different kind this time. I hope it lasts a bit longer than the last one did.

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