Friday, October 19, 2007

Au Revoir Hokkaido

SEPTEMBER 19 - Part 3
After the visit to Memorial Ship Mashumaru and Classic Cars Museum, we went to have our late lunch at 回転寿司まるかつ水産 (Revolving Sushi Marukatsu Marine Products).
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It is a revolving sushi restaurant managed directly by fishmongers where the fruits of the Hakodate and Hokkaido seas can be enjoyed. This kaitenzushi restaurant is just next to Hakodate Factory.
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At this area, you can get just about everything.
  • 函館海鮮市場 (Hakodate Seafood Market) - A food market where all the famous flavours of Hokkaido and Hakodate are gathered under one roof. A wide range of delicious food is provided here.
  • 函館西波止場 (Hakodate West Quay) - Many shops themed around the concept of "Harbour town" are gathered here.
  • 函館明治館 (Hakodate Meiji Hall) - A romantic, sepia-coloured corridor surrounded by sparkling glass and music boxes.
  • 函館ビール (Hakodate beer) - The only Beer Hall adjoining microbrewery in Hakodate.
  • Others included seafood restaurants and souvenirs outlets, which unsurprisingly see the stuff the offered at rather high prices.
Back to the sushi restaurant, the interior environment itself was already enough to make us realize that it was some high-class restaurant. The lowest plate of sushi starts from 130yen (RM 6) and it could go all the way until 680yen (RM23). This will be our last meal in Hokkaido, and although I had made that mistake in that sushi restaurant before this, I still try to get the best out of it. Here starts my sushi feast.

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Saba or mackerel
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Ikaage (deep fried squid)

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Ebimayo (prawn with mayonnaise)

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Namaika (raw squid)

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Tottori (flying fish roe)
As you might not noticed it, the design and colour of the plates are different - indicating the different price of each plate of sushi. The more golden it gets, the more expensive it will be.
We later walked back to Hakodate station to catch the bus to the ferry terminal. But before we reached the station, we somehow managed to find this.
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Ika is squid, and odori means dance. Sotong dance you might think. But it is called Ika Odori. In fact, we have been trying to locate it since the day we were in Hakodate, only to come across it coincidentally when we were leaving Hokkaido.
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Ika Odori is painted on the street, about 50 meter long.
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To be honest, I wanted to try it, but I had to idea at all on what or how we should be dancing it.

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After taking our 15-minute bus ride to the ferry terminal, we reached Hakodate Port.
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If you still remember this entry, when we first stepped our foot in Hokkaido, that HAKODATE thing we saw that night looks a bit different this time. It was under some repair works when we were on our way back. We were supposed to take this ferry back. A ship with a name - Veina.
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But before I leave Hokkaido, I took one last pic near a huge anchor at the port.
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Just give me a break to camwhore, can? And the ferry took off, from Hakodate in Hokkaido and headed for Aomori in Honshu.
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That mountain on the left is Mount Hakodate, where we went that night to catch the spectacular view from the top of the mountain.
This is the inside of the ferry, where we spend our 4 hours journey. It wasn't as luxurious as you might think.
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But nevertheless, it was just about all right for a short journey. There was nothing much to do, as the wind was blowing so strongly outside and I did not think like going out. Afterall, there was nothing much to see, except blue sea 360 degree. Instead, I took my time playing with my laptop. Guess what I did with my laptop.
Finally, after almost 4 hours inside the ferry, we reached the mainland of Honshu. Aomori Port it was.
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From the port, we actually got to walk for 2 kilometers until Aomori station - all because there wasn't any bus operating already by that time. You see, they have a ferry arriving at the port at 8pm and the last bus of the day is around 4pm. Doesn't make sense at all, right?
Our initial plan was to overnight at the station, but before that, we were trying to locate the McDonalds to have some light dinner first. But it was closed and we sat there for sometime until Jonathan suggested that we go to karaoke as he had spotted one along the way.
After asking for the package and found out that the price was okay, we went there. You might be laughing away, as it was my first time going to karaoke in my entire life. But it was not bad. In fact, it was great. We really had fun singing like mad. I sang until I fell asleep. So, that should suggest how high we got karaoke-ing almost the whole night.
We check-out from the karaoke place at 4am, and walked to the station.
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We waited there until the station opens at 5.30am. Without Seishun 18 ticket, this is the price we had to pay.
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7,980yen (RM266) for a 10-hour train ride from Aomori back to Nagaoka.
At one of the station where we were supposed to make the train exchange, I could not hear clearly which platform we were supposed to take. So, I went and asked the train attendant.
Me: あのう、すみません。新津行きなんですけど乗換は何番線ですか?(Excuse me, I'm heading for Niitsu, so what platform should I take?)
Train attendent: 新津ですか?ゼロ番線です。(Niitsu? It's zero platform)
Me: えええ??(Ehh??)
Train attendent: ゼロ番線、分かる? (Zero platform, you know where is that?)
Me: 分かりません。(No, I don’t)
Train attendent: ええと。。。*He explained how to get there*
Even I have gone to the biggest station in Japan at Shinjuku, I have never came across such bizarre thing. I thought he might have made a mistake. In the end, he was right. But when I got there, I still wasn't really convinced that zero platform is a real and working platform.
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But there were zeros everywhere.
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And I reached Platform #0, where we should be taking that red train.

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From now onwards, whenever people tell me about Platform #0, the first thing that will come to my mind will be this;
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Sakata Eki.

This is the last entry and concludes my entries for my 10-day trip to Hokkaido, which mark the end of my summer trip this year.

10 comments:

kokhong said...

kyoto station has platform #0 also ler...

that nama ika is ntg...

you should check out nama ika in kyushu... saga ken... called yobuko no ika...

they slice the body into pieces... then lay it back on the squid's head... serve it ... with the eyes still opened and the tentacles still moving around...

calvin said...

@ kok hong:
i didn't know ma...

that yobuko no ika, nice onot? not geli meh?

tkc said...

no platform 1/2?? haha..what song did u sing at karaoke??

kokhong said...

you were in kyoto...

anyway.. i wont eat that thing la... so kesian the squid...

calvin said...

@ tkc:
so far, i haven't come across platform 0.5 =)

i sang what song? you guess la. i give you a hint. utada hikaru.

DO NOT LAUGH coz we got the highest rating for that song. even english and chinese song (yes, we actually sang chinese song!) also not that high. you can ask jonathan if you don't believe me =P

calvin said...

@ kok hong:
yes i was in kyoto - for merely less than 48 hours.

i know you have sympathy towards your friends a.k.a sea creatures, especially that starfish, right? =P

ns29 said...

U actually can use gakuwari to buy the tic...
At least got 20% discount if not mistaken...
Even me from ibaraki go tokyo also I use that..Got 500~600yen discount!!

calvin said...

@ ns29:
i know there is that gakuwari thing, but didn't apply for it earlier. i guess next time must make a more proper planning. anyway, i thought it's 30% discount. perhaps it's different, depending on the place and kosen.

健司 said...

We have about 40 platform #0s in Japan. I introduce you my website in which I present all of them. I hope you enjoy it.
http://www.orcaland.gr.jp/kaleido/No_0line/

calvin said...

@ 健司:
thank you for the info :)