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Escaping the city heat (better known as summer vacation) VI

Day 7 - The trip to Biei


View Summer Vacation 2006 on agc_cwm's travel map.

We woke up the next morning and were able to take a bath and a shower. Most of the other places we stayed at the showers were only open from 16:00 until 21:00 or 22:00. This was a really nice change of pace. We had another Japanese breakfast, and headed out on our way. We decided we had enjoyed enough being out in nature and decided to head to some rural Japanese towns.

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We left and headed towards Biei which is about 30 minutes from our hostel. We made our first stop the information center. Actually, that was our second stop. The first was for ice cream. We got there and found a computer we could use to check our email and got an English map of the area.

On this map that we got there was a list of "taxi" tours. You could hire a taxi and he would drive you along 3 or 4 different scenic routes so you could take pictures at various spots. It's VERY Japanese. It also gave the price for the whole trip. We were sitting in the car deciding what we should do when Court said, "Hey, screw this. Let's drive this route ourselves!" (actually, I don't think it was like that, but this was a little more dramatic), which is what we did. We set off with the map and the list of good picture sites.

Biei is famous for its flowers. In the summer they plant flowers so that a different one in a different colour will bloom in the same field every month. We were there after the prime season, but it all still looked really beautiful.

These are a few flower fields we stopped at on our tour.

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We found this other field in our travels. We were talking to the Japanese staff at the hostel and they were saying that these flowers are very expensive and no wants to pay to seed a whole field. Basically she said that it is very special and rare to see any of these flowers in the wild. This made our trip. :)

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After we hit up these flower fields we headed towards this farm that supposedly has amazing steaks (which after eating there, we'd say it is true). At this farm they had a lot of different animals in pens outside. We went down and took a look at a few of the different animals, but we stopped when we started to realize these were all animals that we have at home. But, we got some nice pictures anyways.

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We went into the restaurant and basically said to the waitress steak, but then she handed us the menu and we realized that you could get $20 steaks or $60 steaks. We settled on the $20 steak. The only problem was it didn't come with potatos, just rice. Well, and a few vegetables, but the carrots tasted weird. They were still good though.

After we left the steakhouse we continued on our travels. Our next stop if we could find it was to head to the Asahiyama Zoo in Asahikawa. One of Courtney's students said that it was the best zoo in Japan. We got some nice pictures from our visit, but we came to two conclusions, one before entering and one after leaving. The conclusion before we went in was that we were going to stand back from the monkeys. The conclusion we came to after we left was, if this is the best zoo in Japan, we do not want to go to another zoo until we are back in Canada. Anyways, here are some good shots.

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We also saw this picture above the bathroom. We assumed it meant that you could take your kids in there, but we're not quite sure. That or Kangaroos pee standing up.

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After the zoo we headed back up into the mountains to our hostel. Once we got there we had supper and relaxed. We met a girl from Finland who was on a language exchange to Japan. She gave us same great tips for travelling around Europe.

After this we both took another onsen and went to sleep. The great thing about this hostel is the onsen was outdoors. Here's a nice shot of it.

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~A

Posted by agc_cwm 02:49 Archived in Japan

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