Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Hokkaido Mountain Huts

There are dozens of shelters scattered about the mountains in Hokkaido, some at trailheads, some by hot-springs and others deep in the backcountry. I wrote this introduction to Hut Hiking Hokkaido while snowbound in a the Mt. Ashibetsu cabin on April Fool's Day 2006.

  • The Last Festival

  • "Tim from Sleeping in the Mountains has written a really good piece about Hokkaido, my home from home from home. It really captures what's happening to the ghost towns of Japan's Wild North frontier...The Alex Kerr-esque stuff Tim describes with the public works and the mascot and the record-breaking, ridiculous grand-scale European immitations and the empty museums and rest of the pork-barrel tourist attraction extravaganzas, and how things were before and after the bubble, and how Hokkaido was in the war all rings true." - thanks Setsunai!

  • The Sapporo Snow Festival

  • The Snow Festival is world famous, but is it really the best time to visit Sapporo, one of Japan's most appealing cities? Go against the grain, avoid the high prices and crowds, and choose another weekend to come slurp miso ramen, hang out in Odori and wander the streets of Susukino.

    Benzo is a 91 year old farmer who lives in a house that he built himself using wood from trees that he planted himself over 60 years ago. He spends at least 10 hours of every day outside and is always smiling.


    Failure to properly unwrap a riceball in a Hokkaido bus station last summer earned me a one-way trip to the Central Sorachi Center for the Mentally Ill. Can I make like the Chief and escape from a place that, in many respects, is the opposite of the Institute from Ken Kesey's classic novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?

    Cape Erimo Campfire

    "Below the bluffs and out of the wind, a protected cove with four fishing boats drawn up on the sand, piles of driftwood dry-as-a-bone: you pitch the tent and I’ll get a fire going..."

    The indefatigable Muff Richardson offers a boozy take on the trials and tribulations of ex-pat life in Asia .


    Blogger # said...

    I'd like to have an adventure like that#

    10:57 AM  

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