So, hope you had time to catch yr breath. Next stop is Abashiri, in far north Hokkaido, on the Sea of Okhotsk and not so far from Russia. FUCKING COLD.
The night bus was hell, stopping every hour or so for the driver to have a piss or a smoke, and me waing up AGAIN in my too-small seat and arriving at 5 in the morning to stumble out into the freezing cold. Everything was white.
All aboard the Aurora, where we cut through the ice in search of... actually, I don't know. But it was scenery I sure as hell don't see every day.
Next, the bus up to the old Abashiri Prison, famous for being one of the harshest in Japan. It was pretty tough just being a tourist there, but the free milky wine was a help. I came, happily, out of the prison after reflecting upon myself.
Next was the "Museum of Northern Peoples", which had exhibits and videos on Japan's native Ainu people, and indigenous people of Russia, Northeast Asia, and America. It was actually really well done and very interesting. Recommended.
In the afternoon we took the train across to Shiretoko National Park, on the northeastern peninsula of Hokkaido. It was real nice and cosy, with an oven that people were using to grill squid.
The hostel was miles away from anything else, surrounded by snowy mountains and icy seas. Took some terrible nature snaps before heading down to the light show in Utoro which was supposed to be a remake of the Northern Lights which were visible here 25 years ago. Corny in idea, but it was well done and spectacular.
Our hostel, behind the trees to the right.
This is a fox. I swear.
Alien attack force! ATTEN-TION! At ease.
A Japanese taiko drum troup came out and played before the lights show. FUCKING COLD! You might appreciate this one, Matt.
One day to go.