Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The 250 Yen Furano Melon @ Farm Tomita [Hokkaido, Japan]

Every time i walked past the imported melon section at a Japanese supermarket in Singapore, i couldn't help getting shocked by the pricing as it could cost almost S$100 for just one fruit! 

Hence, when i saw the rows of readily-sliced and cut Furano melon in the glass display at Farm Tomita shop; i told myself i should get a slice simply to taste the difference between Japanese melons and non-Japanese ones. In comparison, the latter may cost only S$3 in the little red dot. 

Orangey flesh that glistened under the sunlight; i delicately picked up one piece and popped it into my mouth. 250 yen is converted to more than S$3 (technically one slice of Japanese melon is equivalent to one whole non-Japanese melon) and i chewed slowly to savour the flavour. 

Obviously, i had to scrap clean the flesh off the skin! Okay, verdict would be - it tasted sweet and juicy although honestly speaking, i didn't feel that the cost differential is justifiable for me to grab the Japanese melon! Maybe i should check out the holy grail of Japanese melon next time; the Yubari King. 

Most of us would have just trashed the melon skin into any dustbin but this is Japan! Recycling is part and parcel of their lives and i see one dustbin reserved for melon peel and another one for corn cobs! 

When in Japan, do as the Japanese do.


Within Farm Tomita,
Furano, Hokkaido, 

Furano Melon - 250 yen a slice.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Irodori Field & Forest Field @ Farm Tomita [Furano, Hokkaido, Japan]

I was done checking out the main fields at Farm Tomita but i couldn't help noticing some visitors venturing towards the left side of the road; asking my travel mates to wait for a while, i decided to follow them.

The picture honestly didn't do the field any justice as i was simply in awe by what was in front of me. Okay, i exaggerated slightly as Shikisai-No-Oka (四季彩の丘) was by far the most breathtaking flower field in my life; not that i have visited a lot though. 

As an amateur photographer who tries to seek a better spot for photography, i saw an elevated platform and assumed it would give me a great view of the surrounding.

There were plenty of outdoor seating if you wish to spend a lazy day in the open. Want food and drinks? No problem as there's a cafe called Forest House. Need the washroom? It's nearby too!

Only issue? Not much of a shelter if the rain comes. Oh, please also note that the Forest House doesn't operate all year round; only in July although i thought it was open for business when i was there in August. 

The elevated platform was surrounded by native trees known as the Japanese Larch and they provided much shade in the hot, late morning. 

In most places, the trees would have been cut to make way for the convenience of humans; here at this place, the man-made structures were built around existing trees! 

View ahead of us.

There are numerous flower fields within Farm Tomita and this particular one is known as Irodori Field and said to be the most famous as it showcases seven colours down a gentle slope! 

It honestly didn't seem like much in the above photo and surprisingly, this would be one instance where an elevated angle is not an advantage. 

Especially when a certain section was still undergoing planting. The blooming season was said to be from early till end July and i am unsure if i was too late (in August) as my friend who went in July mentioned that the fields were not in full bloom. 

A lot of people were taking photos down there than up here! 

Main flower fields near the coach buses parking bay and the mountains at the back belong to the Tokachi Volcanic Group; tallest of which is Mount Tokachi at 2,077 meters.

Walking back as i still needed to meet up with my travel mates! To the left is actually a separate flower field known as Forest Field. 

Said to consist of lavenders and poppies; i am just seeing a lot of greens. According to the website, "the dried lavender flowers from Farm Tomita are exclusively from this field".

Down on solid ground.

View down here was definitely way better than up there and from this specific angle, the flower fields looked nicer with a deeper contrast of colours across the different flower plots. 

Name of the flowers in Japanese, English, Korean and Chinese. 

There's a Tomita Melon House and you wouldn't miss the floating melon balloon; pity we didn't have sufficient time to check it out as we needed to drive to Otaru which was over a 2-hour drive away. 

More photos of the Irodori Flower Field - last one was the two-rowed barley and even though i don't know what it would be used for; the Chinese words on the plaque indicated it was used for beer making. 

Pretty view of the elevated platforms (that looked like a tree house) with the Japanese larches and the large plot of Lavender flower field.

Trying to tear myself away as my travel mates must be wondering where i have gone to! That's the responsibility when travelling with more than two friends; i can't just pull them with me as everyone has different agendas and objectives. 

Lavender flowers; as i probably have mentioned before, the lavender flowers were not as purplish as the many pictures that made them out to be, until you take a closer shot. 

My travel mates came to look for me! Frankly, i am not too sure about that as their expression when they saw me was more like "how come you are here also"? Damn! 

I absolutely love this photo; a seemingly perfect spread of colour that was marred by tiny splashes of blood red. It reflects life where nothing is perfect and sometimes, it's that tiny bit of imperfection that sets you apart from others. 

These orange flowers are known as California poppies. 

Baby's breath even though they don't appear to be the same one we often see in flower bouquets as the flowers here appeared much larger. The baby's breath i know has a Chinese name that's translated into "the sky filled with stars (满天星)".

Truck, truck and truck. Unlike Shikisai-No-Oka (四季彩の丘), the trucks were purely for farming uses and you don't see instructions asking visitors to buy tickets for a tour around the fields on a truck.

A farm boy setting barricades that would hopefully deter inconsiderate visitors from stepping deeper into the flower plots and reduce the risk of them destroying the flowers. 

No tripod allowed! 

The Forest Field looked like patches of cow grass and i can so imagine a herd of cows leisurely ingesting the grass. I actually didn't step closer to the field so i could have been wrong. Our travel mate was quite focused on what he saw though.

Weather got quite hot and my throat was getting parched! Time to go back to the car and grab my large bottle of mineral water.



Kisen Kita 15-go, Nakafurano-cho, 
Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido 071-0704,

Location Map
Check out my google map here.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Sushi Zammai Japanese Restaurant @ Otaru [Hokkaido, Japan]

I kid you not; our group was totally indecisive when it comes to dinner at Otaru as there were way too many choices yet the popular ones were either commanding a long queue or closing for the day.

We eventually came to this standalone restaurant with a big plastic fish plastered on its signboard. Menu looked pretty extensive, just like Japanese restaurants (e.g. Sushi Tei) in Singapore and exhaustion had rendered us pretty much resistant to walk any further.

This cut-out of a man with a tuna seemed quite familiar although i couldn't quite recall where i had seen him before. It didn't take me long to realise this is the same man who has been winning the top bid for a blue fin tuna at the annual New Year auction in Tokyo's Tsukiji market!

So this is his restaurant! Not that it matters to me since publicity stunt can only do so much to help the restaurant if the food were to turn out less than favourable.

Good thing for English speakers - the menu provided English translation and the summer special for bluefin tuna five nigiri shall be my meal! Otaru is known for its fresh seafood and i guess there's no better location than in Otaru to get the best quality! 

Soup - this was passed to us for free and even though it was just filled with prawn heads, the broth was insanely rich and flavourful yet noticeably thin on the texture.

Chawanmushi - surprisingly, the taste didn't wow us despite the hefty price tag of more than S$6; you get your normal ingredients in the smooth egg custard, topped with fish roes.

Clam Miso Soup - the colder weather that evening made one crave for hot, soupy stuff and this was ordered as i remember how good the mini pack of instant clam soup sold at Daiso Singapore was.

This was obviously much better and the clams (six of them) were so meaty! It tasted hearty and i loved the addition of shredded spring onion which added a layer of freshness!

California Roll - Alex's key order in any Japanese restaurant would be the California roll and it's no exception even though we were in the country of sushi.

Simple, nice and in a smaller 4-piece portion. From Alex's expression, i know he was thinking of the fusion sushi roll from Singapore's rollie olie!

Bluefin Tuna Five Nigiri - it would be a big disrespect if i don't even attempt one piece of sushi in my first visit to Japan and i have been hearing from the Great Kon that i die die must try the fatty tuna!

Tuna has never been my favourite choice when it comes to sushi and the set i got totally blew me away! Every piece tasted so fresh and yummy; i almost wanted to go for seconds....

Fatty tuna, in particular, was a literal melt in the mouth. It's amazing, especially given the fact that Sushi Zammai wasn't even the best sushi restaurant in Otaru. 


1-3 Sakaimachi, 
Otaru 047-0027, 
Hokkaido, Japan

Location Map 
Check out my google map here.

Soup - Complimentary
Chawanmushi - 500 yen
Clam Miso Soup - 400 yen
California Roll - 580yen
Bluefin Tuna Five Nigiri - 1,280 yen
(Subject to 8% Tax)

Share This Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...