Show 194 Monday 13 November

Watch today’s show on YouTube.

The Road to Hokkaido Tour 2006
Day 13: Hakodate to Kuchan
Distance: 237 kms

Last night it was snowing in Hakodate.
As we braved the snow to search for food I saw from the all the big pictures of crabs and fish tanks everywhere that as I suspected Hokkaido is perhaps a kind of nightmare for vegetarians.
We headed for the Hakodate Brewery since I had spotted it when I glanced at a brochure. Unfortunately I had failed to check the opening times and we trudged all that way only to arrive just after last order. Oops.

We gave up finding an interesting place to eat and went into Warawara. Bad move. It only took a few minutes to realize that Warawara must be equally as bad all over the country. Warawara is a cheap, chain izakaya that I would recommend avoiding for many reasons. One of which being these terrible eda mame. I think I’m something of an eda-mame connoisseur since I almost always eat them when I go to an izakaya. And these get no stars. Not that all cheap chain izakayas are bad … I’m a Watami fan.

We decided to go home but then we spotted an interesting looking bar. It looked like it might have been a hostess bar .. but luckily there was a letter flap in the front door, so we could peek and check. Safe.
I thought it was a good bar. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the drinks. I’d only give it minus points for the tragic uniforms and the way the bar tenders shake shakers as if they are going to get fired if they don’t shake it exactly the same way as every other bow-tie wearing bartender in Japan.
But that is the norm in these kinds of bars in Japan … so maybe it’s just me. IMHO it doesn’t look cool.

We stayed at Toyoko Inn again. Wow, different picture. Toyoko Inn is cheaper on Sunday nights if you are a member, 5140 yen. To become a member it costs 1000 yen.

Today we drove from Hakodate to Kuchan.

I drove today for the first time today. I wanted to drive more but my boyfriend hates sitting in the passenger seat and he’s the owner of the car, so…. It was fun … you notice different things when you’re driving.

I decided to keep to the speed limit for several reasons. 1. It was raining. 2. I think driving slowly is an excellent idea and 3. being a foreigner the laws are always stacked against you so if I happened to be involved in a crash I think things would be easier for me if I wasn’t breaking the law.

It didn’t seem like anyone else was interested in sticking to the speed limit. Hundreds of cars and trucks passed me. The only time no-one passed me was when a police car also started following me.

We stopped at the Onuma Brewery and bought some beer.

We saw some people riding what looked like a series of large tricycles joined together. They looked like they were having a lot of fun.

We arrived in Kuchan at about 4:30.
Kuchan is our destination. Although the trip isn’t over until we find a place to live. That’s tomorrow’s mission.

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