Hanami literally means "flower viewing" in Japanese. And that was what Missbunny decided she wanted to do in spring this year. Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom in spring of enjoying the beauty of flowers, and the "flowers" in this case is usually the sakura or cherry blossoms. So where did Missbunny go for hanami earlier in March? Not too hard to guess (actually you can enjoy the cherry blossoms viewing in other countries like Korea or cities like Washington D.C., but I am digressing).
Missbunny's first stop was the island of Hokkaido, and the city of Sapporo. Before Missbunny got to enjoy the spring weather and flower watching, she went straight to cold winterland. Sapporo in March is not exactly the middle of winter, but the temperature can still go below zero on some days and when the sun disappears. There is the occasional light snowfall, but the snow at the sidewalks is thawing as Hokkaido enters spring season.
By the time Missbunny arrived in Sapporo, it was night time. She couldn't fall asleep straight away as she was very excited at having arrived in Hokkaido, so she tried to calm herself down by enjoying Sapporo's city lights below her.
"Oh, hello Sapporo", Missbunny thought when she looked out the window the next morning and could see the city properly in the daylight. After exploring Sapporo, Missbunny travelled the next day to Otaru, a small port city about half an hour from Sapporo.
Missbunny posed in front of the Otaru Canal. The Canal used to be the city's busy port where goods were unloaded from ships and stored in the warehouses along the Canal. Now the warehouses are used for museums, shops and restaurants, and the path along the Canal makes for pleasant stroll which was what Missbunny did even though the temperature was minus 3 degrees (Celsius).
After a few days in Sapporo, it's time for Missbunny to move on to her next destination for some serious snow activities. Niseko is a popular snow resort town in Hokkaido, and Missbunny couldn't wait to join in the things that the locals and the tourists like to do best in Niseko.....
Missbunny skied. She made snowmen. When the snow fell thick and fast, she stomped on the fresh snow and laid down to make snow angels. Yeah! She had lots of fun.
She also got to taste the local produce and the best of Hokkaido's dairy. Missbunny had milk, cheese, and ice cream everyday.
Missbunny made new friends with some of the local critters. She met the Snow-Warren white rabbits when she got a little lost while skiing. Nigel Snow-Warren helped Missbunny find her way back to the hotel. His daughter, Lisa Snow-Warren, even let Missbunny tried her new red snow sled.
After all the fun and play she had in Niseko, it's time for Missbunny to have some R&R. We headed to Noboribetsu, Hokkaido's most famous hot-spring town, to meet Missbunny's auntie and relax for a bit.
When Missbunny had enough of the cold weather, we travelled to Tokyo. It was a warm spring day in Tokyo, such a contrast to all the snow and cold in a matter of a few hours travel.
The next day, we went to the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Missbunny saw the beautiful cherry blossoms at last. We caught the tail end of the cherry blossoms season as the flowers bloomed earlier this year due to the unusually warm weather, but better late than not at all.
Missbunny was joined by her aunt. They had a picnic underneath the blooming sakura tree, and afterwards strolled around the park admiring the flowers. It was a special experience for Missbunny and she was very glad she took the trouble to stopover in Tokyo before heading home. Check out more of Missbunny's hanami outing below:
I like to experiment with photography and dabble in crafty things. I started collecting Sylvanian Families in 2009 and hope that someday my little daughter will enjoy playing and collecting Sylvanian Families as much as I do.
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