Abashiri is located at 44 degrees north latitude, and the shores of the Okhotsk sea are the southernmost point where the ocean freezes. In Abashiri, drift ice sightseeing ” icebreaking ship Aurora is a popular leisurely cruise that will take you out to sea to see the ice breaking activity. That was the main aim when I chose to make the trip to Abashiri, but alas due to bad weather, all the ships had stopped operating. There is a weather alert of an impending blizzard around 4pm and poor are advised to stay indoors.
Yesterday, our train ride from Sapporo was supposed to take 5h20min but it was delayed for more than two hours due to an accident. So by the time we had arrived in Abashiri, it was already dark. Our nice host picked us up from the train station and welcomed us to her two storey wooden house atop a hill which offered nice views of the city. She prepared a nice dinner of Vietnamese spring rolls and hairy crabs for us.
This morning, we woke up to a snow covered landscape. Our host drove us around Abashiri town, such as Notoro Cape, the museum of northern people and a glass museum. The Notoro Cape was the site where a Chinese movie was filmed and we saw pieces of drifting ice. Next, the museum of northern people offered interesting insights of how people in the Nordic or Arctic countries lived and survived. The Ainu people are the indigenous people of Hokkaido, but sadly their numbers are dwindling and their culture is slowly being lost. As for the glass museum, we saw many nice pieces of handmade glass with colourful designs. Some of the glasswares are made from recycled glass such as from fluorescent light bulbs.
After lunch of Nepali curry and naan, we went back to the home to rest. Hopefully the blizzard will pass quickly and we would not be affected too much. For now let’s just admire the white scenery from the house.
|snow at Cape Notoro|
|I love this winter landscape|
|Museum of Northern people in Abashiri|
|heavy snowstorm outside, glad to be inside the warm house|