Sunday, February 18, 2018

Fukidashi Park - Ice Cold Kyogoku Spring Water & Others @ Hokkaido [Japan]

The drive from Otaru to Lake Toya was expected to take us more than two hours without any stopover and as i was just running through the route on google map before the trip, i noticed a place that was mentioned in my friend's itinerary; fukidashi park at the foot of Mt Yotei.

Known for its natural spring water, i decided to pencil it into my own itinerary and check it on the third day of our Hokkaido trip! From the cartoon map on site, there appeared to be a lot more to do but due to limited time, i am afraid i can only cover so much.

There's a row of shops near where we parked the car and even though we already had drinks and snacks at Road Station Akaigawa about an hour ago, we could never resist seeing what else would be available for sale.

Initially thought to be bottles of milk, i realised afterwards that they were empty bottles of varying sizes for visitors to purchase to fill up with spring water! I understand that there were chefs who would purposely drop by as the spring water is one of the key ingredients for their recipe.

Vegetable stall with no one manning it.

Prices for your comparison; i thought the vegetables were reasonable whereas the beans seemed to be on a high side. But to be fair, pricing for Japanese products has always been on a higher side given their perceived quality.

Oh, a self-serviced stall where you take what you want and pay for them by putting the money in the box; similar to what i saw at Lake-Hill Farm. I have seen in Singapore before actually; in a convenience shop at Satay by the Bay a few years ago.

Please bring exact change and don't inconvenience the neighbouring shops!

Next shop; different types of coffee powder with prices ranging from 920 yen to 2,160 yen. I am a coffee snob as i still prefer our cheap, local Singapore coffee!

Coffee / hot beverage for takeaway was available too with interesting flavours like maple, cherry blossom etc. Alex was craving for hot chocolate and decided to step in to order a cup; i can guarantee you that he can't finish it.

Shop was darn squeezy; i actually took the above picture from the other end! Most people would have to queue outside for their hot beverage and while it was okay in summer, i guess it would be another ball game in winter.

Let's check out the spring water next.

It didn't elicit that much of an excitement among us although the weather was cooling and there's a layer of relaxed atmosphere that made the walk terribly comfortable.

Small, peaceful lake; what it really lacked would be music although Japanese in general seems to enjoy the quiet and frowns upon distraction and inconsideration. Bad news for someone who has a loud voice.

Outlets for the spring water - i guess so since many people were filling their water bottles!

An altar up a flight of stairs next to the spring water.

It's actually a Bodhisattva and from google translate, which didn't do a good job, i can vaguely infer that this slab of statue has been worshiped for more than half a century and appeared to have been moved here from the mouth of the spring water in 1993.

No idea where was the exact mouth of the spring water but next to the altar was where the spring water would congregate before flowing down to the outlets for visitor to take.

Nifty to have these PVC pipes to draw out the spring water as they made it easier for people to fill up their bottles! Many of us would just use our empty mineral water bottles but there were some who brought like a dozen of those durable 10, 20-liter plastic bottles!

Another outlet which was visually appealing yet i am not recommending that you fill up your water bottles from it unless you are collecting it from the upper end.

Reason is simple, some, kids especially, would just touch the water with their bare hands, put it in their mouth and then stretch out into the water again. For hygiene purpose, take the water from the PVC pipes unless you are prepared to boil the water before use. 

Mini waterfall which came from the same water source.

A round stone disc on the floor of the lake and it's humans who decide to make it into a wishing tool; those who manage to throw a coin and have it rest on the stone would have their wish come true.

Spring water gushing from a pile of rocks!

Prefer to throw your money elsewhere for a better purpose; i.e. general upkeep of the park? Look out for the above wooden structure with an owl on top and a bell on the side!

Pathway leading up to somewhere; i like to find such things as we never know what to expect. p.s. it's on the map but as usual, i wouldn't waste time running through it when time is of essence.

It's quite a sight when i reached on top; it was dotted with many pine-like trees although the more interesting thing would be the rows of stones on the ground.

From the back, i of course thought i had chanced upon a cemetery of some kind but back in my mind, they did appear somewhat familiar to what i saw earlier that morning at Mt. Tengu.

They were indeed Buddhist stone statues - similar to the ones at Tenguyama Shrine at Mt. Tengu, the ones here were more exquisitely carved.

Pyramid structure near to the Buddhist sculptures but i didn't venture forward to explore as i didn't tell my travel mates where i was and they might be looking for me.

Back down to the natural spring again!

Shit, couldn't find them; knowing they wouldn't abandon me and would likely be somewhere in the park, i walked around the lake where there's another path! So confusing right?

Quite nice photo.

Reached the other end where there was a bigger lake; after a while, the fact that it's eventually just a park kicked in and you wonder why you were wasting so much time when there were as many parks in Singapore.

Climate is of course a major game-changer but i am a person who gets bored easily and loves new things to excite my hyperactive mind.

Like the above scene; our dear Alex and our travel mate decided to remove their shoes and soak their feet in the water. As the water hailed from Mt Yotei, you can imagine the high pitched shrills that resounded in the air shortly after. Hahaha.

Unsure what this building was for although a search on google map revealed an ice cream place.

Decided to cross the bridge as i noticed something hanging above us!

Worn out carpet on the ground; a bit strange and i don't think the grip is helpful as the carpet has been relatively smoothed by the feet of many people.

That thing hanging over us was the suspension bridge! Click here for more pictures.

Other end of the bridge; like some kind of memorial i guess?

Path eventually led me to the row of shops near where we parked the car! So nice to see people just sitting on the ground and enjoying the company.

Before leaving the park, we should of course fill up as much water as we could; Alex's expression was exaggerated, as always, yet i must admit the water was icy cold!

Look at how the water condenses on the outside of the plastic mineral water bottle. It's as if we have just taken it out from a fridge!

And coming to the main reason why i would strongly recommend a stopover at Fukidashi Park; the natural spring water was a thirst quencher and it's extremely refreshing to have! Both of us actually cleared about half a bottle immediately and needed to refill it. My regret? I should have purchased the durable plastic bottle that has a larger capacity!

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Location
45 Kawanishi, Kyogoku-cho,
Abuta-gun 044-0131, Hokkaido,
Japan

Location Map
Please use the google map i generated for the trip and refer to Fukidashi Park under Lake Toya (06-07 Aug). 

Park Map
As above.

Admission
Free


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