Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Combined Christmas Winter Vacation to Hokkaido, Japan and South Korea in December 2013 ~ Section 2

Welcome to the second section of my really special combined Christmas winter vacation in Hokkaido, Japan and South Korea in December 2013. There will be a total of just two focus topics that will be covered up in this segment. They will mainly be my myriad train journeys towards New Chitose Airport and the northern suburban port city of Kushiro.

Part 1 ~ My Regional Train Journey Towards New Chitose Airport

The next morning, which was Saturday (14 December), I woke up at around 8.30 a.m. after having a well-earned good night's sleep. Feeling rather bored, I decided to do my own stuff on my laptop quietly since the rest of my family members were still fast asleep. The view of the Toyohira River, especially at this time of morning, was quite beautiful.

Checking my belongings at the same time, I was very lucky since I had gotten my Hokkaido Rail Pass Exchange Voucher to be exchanged for a Free 4-day Green-type Hokkaido Rail Pass. This would be a wise choice, since I knew that we would be gambling most of our time away in Furano. I knew then that for our first couple of days in Hokkaido, I had plans to go to New Chitose Airport for Christmas Shopping and towards Kushiro the next day.

The beautiful view of the Toyohira River from my hotel room in the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo on a clear and bright winter's morning

The view of my Room No. 1136 during the mid-morning hours

The view of the indoor swimming pool in the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel from my hotel room

After preparing all of my necessary belongings for the day, the clock was finally showing 11.15 a.m.. Putting on my boots and winter jackets, I left my room at around 11.25 a.m. and went towards the main elevator lobby, where I took the elevator all the way down towards the first level from the eleventh floor. Arriving at the main hotel lobby at 11.30 a.m., I went out towards the hotel entrance to inform the hotel butler to hail down a cab for me towards Sapporo Station.

Soon enough, the hotel butler finally managed to flag down a nearby cab for me, and before boarding the cab, I informed the driver that my intended destination was Tokyu Department Store near Sapporo Station. Once I had all of my belongings on board the cab, I finally left the compound of the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo in Toyohira-ku by 11.35 a.m. for a short journey time of just 10 minutes towards the Tokyu Department Store located in downtown Chuo-ku, Sapporo.

The main hotel lobby of the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo during the early afternoon hours

The interior of the hotel gallery hall near the main hotel lobby in the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the early afternoon hours

The white cab that would soon take me to Sapporo Station

Finally departing the compound of the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

Crossing the Toyohira River in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo

About to bypass an Eneos petrol station in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo

Bypassing some old shophouses in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo

The view of the Sapporo TV Tower between Toyohira-ku and Chuo-ku, Sapporo

Finally approaching the area around Chuo-ku, Sapporo near Sapporo Station

After a short 10-minute taxi ride from the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel, I finally arrived at the main entrance to the Tokyu Department Store at 11.45 a.m.. Ensuring that I had left none of my belongings behind on board, I paid the cab driver and thanked him for his services prior to crossing the road towards Sapporo Station. Once I had arrived at Sapporo Station by 11.50 a.m., I immediately headed over towards the Twinkle Plaza Travel Service Center.

There, I exchanged my Hokkaido Rail Pass Exchange Voucher for a Free 4-Day Green Car (first class) Hokkaido Rail Pass to be used within a 10-day period between 14 December and 23 December. At the same time, I made my Green Car (first class) seat reservations for Kushiro (15 Dec), Obihiro (18 Dec) and Wakkanai (23 Dec). The third sector would remain empty until further notice, whereas, I made a separate payment for New Chitose Airport.

Sapporo Station (札幌駅) is a large railway station situated between Kita-ku and Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan. It is the central railway terminal serving the hustle and bustle of the city of Sapporo, and the largest transport hub in Hokkaido. The station serves as the starting point for all limited express trains operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido).

The station also houses Daimaru Department Store, Stellar Place, Bic Camera and the JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo, which cater to the accommodation and shopping needs for all travellers passing through Sapporo Station. As of 16 March 2013, there are a total of five island platforms serving ten tracks for the JR Lines, and two island platforms serving two tracks each for the Sapporo Municipal Subway Namboku Line and Toho Line.

Finally at the Tokyu Department Store Sapporo

The overall exterior view of Sapporo Station on a clear winter's afternoon

The exterior view of the JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo on a clear winter's afternoon

Looking towards the Daimaru Department Store just outside Sapporo Station

The main entrance to Sapporo Station at Stellar Place on a bright winter's afternoon

The entrance to the main station concourse in Sapporo Station

The main ticketing gates in the busy station concourse of Sapporo Station

The exterior of the Ticket Office and Twinkle Plaza Travel Service Center in the main station concourse of Sapporo Station

The interior of the Ticket Office and Twinkle Plaza Travel Service Center in the main station concourse of Sapporo Station

After exchanging my Hokkaido Rail Pass Exchange Voucher and making all my necessary seat reservations, the clock was finally showing 12.45 p.m.. Thanking the receptionist for her services, I grabbed my belongings and left Twinkle Plaza. For the in-bound segment to New Chitose Airport, I would catch the Rapid Airport train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport, which would be scheduled to depart Sapporo Station at 1.25 p.m., and arrive at the New Chitose Airport terminal station at 2.01 p.m..

I then went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Rapid Airport train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport would depart from. According to the departure information signboard, the Rapid Airport train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport would depart at 1.25 p.m. from Track No. 5. With that, I went through the manned ticket gate and took the escalator up towards Tracks No. 5 and 6 in preparation for my journey.

Airport (エアポート) is the name of a dedicated rapid train service operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) between New Chitose Airport, Sapporo, Asahikawa and Otaru. The service mainly runs over the Chitose Line and the Hakodate Main Line over its route, and is capable of reaching a maximum top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).

The service commenced operations on 1 July 1992, in collaboration with the opening of New Chitose Airport, using 4-car 781 series EMUs, 5-car 785 series EMUs and 6-car 721 series EMUs. The 781 series EMUs and 785 series EMUs were frequently used on Lilac and Super White Arrow limited express services between Sapporo and Asahikawa until the former was retired from revenue service on 30 September 2007.

From 1 October 2007, enhanced 5-car 789 series EMUs were introduced on these services, with the Super White Arrow services being re-named as Super Kamui. These sets operate alongside the existing 785 series EMUs, with both sets operating as Rapid Airport services between New Chitose Airport and Sapporo, and as Super Kamui limited express services between Sapporo and Asahikawa. These trains also reverse direction at Sapporo Station.

Green Car (first class) is not available on Rapid Airport services, though reserved seats ("u" seats) are available in Car No. 4 on each service. These seats are available at a cost of just ¥300 (S$3.66), and at ¥150 (S$1.83) for children under the age of 12 years old. There is no extra charge required for the Rapid Airport service for foreign tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass and / or a Hokkaido Rail Pass.

The main station concourse of Sapporo Station as I make my way towards the main ticketing gates

The main ticketing gates at Sapporo Station just as I approached it

The station concourse of Sapporo Station leading to the platforms during the mid-afternoon hours

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 5 at Sapporo Station in the main station concourse during the mid-afternoon hours

A 6-car 721 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 126 bound for New Chitose Airport, on Track No. 6 at Sapporo Station

Tracks No. 5 and 6 normally served by the Chitose Line Rapid "Airport" trains bound for New Chitose Airport at Sapporo Station

An out-of-service 6-car KiHa 261 series DMU pulling out of Sapporo Station from Track No. 7. This train had previously arrived from Wakkanai as the Limited Express "Super Soya" No. 2 bound for Sapporo

A 5-car KiHa 261 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Tokachi" No. 5 bound for Obihiro, on Track No. 4 at Sapporo Station

A 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Kamui" No. 19 bound for Asahikawa, on Track No. 5 at Sapporo Station. This train had arrived from New Chitose Airport as the Rapid Airport train No. 123 earlier

The view of the station platforms of Sapporo Station facing the direction towards Chitose and Asahikawa

The view of the station platforms of Sapporo Station facing the direction towards Otaru

721系 普通列車 手稲行き 札幌駅から出発シーン

After spending approximately 35 minutes of anticipated waiting along the station platform, a 5-car 785 series EMU finally arrived at Sapporo Station at 1.26 p.m. on Track No. 5, six minutes behind schedule. The train had arrived as the Limited Express Super Kamui No. 22 from Asahikawa late due to icy tracks on the Hakodate Main Line, and was to undergo a change of direction at Sapporo before becoming the Rapid Airport train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport.

Once the doors were opened, I boarded the train through Car No. 4, which was the reserved seating ("u" seat) car and settled down into my assigned Seat No. 2A for the short journey of just 36 minutes towards New Chitose Airport. At 1.31 p.m., six minutes behind schedule, all the train doors were closed, and the Rapid Airport train No. 132 finally pulled out of Sapporo Station for the remainder of its run towards New Chitose Airport. I was then on my way for a short train hop of just 36 minutes towards New Chitose Airport located in the suburban city of Chitose.

785系 快速エアポート132号 新千歳空港行き 札幌駅から入線シーン

The interior of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car of the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport, during the boarding process at Sapporo Station

A view of my seat, 2A, during the boarding process at Sapporo Station

Awaiting departure from Sapporo Station

785系 快速エアポート132号 新千歳空港行き 札幌駅から新札幌駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-sapporo Station

The view of the relatively snow roads in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, shortly after departing Shin-sapporo Station

My reserved seat ("u" seat) ticket for the in-bound segment between Sapporo and New Chitose Airport

Passing several housing areas located in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, near Kami-nopporo Station

Passing through Kami-nopporo Station without stopping

Bypassing a snowy plot of land in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

The view of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car of the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport, from my seat between Shin-sapporo and Kita-hiroshima Stations

The view of the entire city of Kitahiroshima from the train between Sapporo and New Chitose Airport

Making a brief stop at Kita-hiroshima Station

Bypassing a snowy plot of land between Kita-hiroshima and Eniwa Stations on the Chitose Line

The view of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car of the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport, from my seat between Kita-hiroshima and Eniwa Stations

Bypassing another snowy plot of land between Kita-hiroshima and Eniwa Stations on the Chitose Line

Crossing a river bridge on the Chitose Line located near Eniwa Station

Making a brief stop at Eniwa Station

785系 快速エアポート132号 新千歳空港行き 恵庭駅から終着新千歳空港駅間

After a short train journey time of 36 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Sapporo, I finally arrived at the New Chitose Airport terminal station at 2.07 p.m. on Track No. 2, six minutes behind schedule. Ensuring that I had all of my belongings with me, I alighted the train and proceeded up towards the main station concourse, where I exited the station through the manned ticketing gate.

Once I was in the station concourse, I took the elevator all the way up to the third level of the domestic passenger flight terminal. Upon arriving at the third floor of the domestic passenger flight terminal, I took the escalator up towards the fourth floor of the terminal building, where Oasis Park was located. There, I decided to look through the various shops on the fourth level to see which shop would suit my tastes and preferences the most.

New Chitose Airport Station (新千歳空港駅) is an underground railway station located in the suburban city of Chitose, Hokkaido, Japan. The station is located just beneath the domestic passenger terminal building of New Chitose Airport, and serves the Chitose Line (Airport Branch Line). As of 16 March 2013, there is only one island platform serving a total of two tracks. The station is equipped with a JR Visitors' Information Desk, where foreign tourists can exchange their Exchange Vouchers for their Hokkaido Rail Passes and / or Japan Rail Passes.

The 5-car 785 series EMU, which I had taken from Sapporo as the Rapid "Airport" train No. 132 bound for New Chitose Airport earlier, on Track No. 2 at New Chitose Airport Station

The station platforms of New Chitose Airport Station shortly after I had arrived from Sapporo

The station concourse leading to the underground platforms at New Chitose Airport Station

The main ticketing area crowded with travellers at New Chitose Airport Station

The main station concourse of New Chitose Airport Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The ticketing gates at New Chitose Airport Station crowded with passengers heading down towards the platforms for their train journeys

The view of the shopping and meeting concourse in the domestic flight terminal at New Chitose Airport

The view of the entire shopping area in the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport

Climbing up the escalator towards Oasis Park on the fourth floor

Bypassing several shops selling goodies near Oasis Park on the fourth floor

The interior of Oasis Park on the fourth floor of the domestic flight terminal building at New Chitose Airport

Finally stumbling upon Flyers hobby shop in Oasis Park on the fourth level of the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport

After looking at all the various shops available in Oasis Park located on the fourth floor, I finally stumbled upon a well-known hobby shop, which was known as Flyers (フライヤーズ). This hobby shop mainly specialises in the selling of model aircraft and other aviation-related articles, making itself suitable for people who are avid aviation fans. I know this hobby shop very well since December 2010 and December 2011.

While shopping at Flyers hobby shop, I purchased six brand new Herpa Wings Scale 1:500 commercial aircraft models, which were made up of five Airbus aircraft and just one Boeing aircraft. Upon purchasing my models, I headed over towards a nearby cafeteria, known as Pronto Cafeteria for lunch. There, I had a nice glass of iced milk tea and a mouthwatering dish of spaghetti alla carbonara.

As for the new models I had purchased from Flyers, they were, as follows:

1) Aeroflot - Russian Airlines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (517522-002)

Aeroflot - Russian Airlines Airbus A330-343X Herpa Scale 1:500 (517522-002)

2) Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-223 Herpa Scale 1:500 (524254)

Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-223 Herpa Scale 1:500 (524254)

3) Edelweiss Air Airbus A330-243 Herpa Scale 1:500 (504782)

Edelweiss Air Airbus A330-243 Herpa Scale 1:500 (504782)

4) Etihad Airways Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523998)

Etihad Airways Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523998)

5) KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus A330-303 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523158)

KLM - Royal Dutch Airlines Airbus A330-303 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523158)

6) Swissair Boeing 747-357 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523356)

Swissair Boeing 747-357 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523356)

Stumbling upon Pronto Cafeteria in the fourth floor of the domestic terminal building at New Chitose Airport

The food and beverage menu on display outside Pronto Cafeteria

The outer seating area at Pronto Cafeteria

The inner seating area at Pronto Cafeteria

A nice, cooling glass of iced milk tea for myself

A nice, mouthwatering plate of spaghetti alla carbonara for myself with poached egg and bacon

The view of the entire shopping area in the domestic terminal building at New Chitose Airport from Pronto Cafeteria

After having a sumptuous lunch at Pronto Cafeteria on the fourth floor of the domestic flight terminal building, the clock was finally showing 2.55 p.m.. Since I was in the mood for some dessert, I took my used tray back to the tray clearance counter and headed down towards the third floor of the terminal building to see what good cafeteria was there, where I went to the entrance to the passageway linking towards the International Terminal.

Soon enough, I finally stumbled upon a notable ice cream parlour, by the name of Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlour (バスキン・ロビンス). There, I decided to purchase two scoops of Chocolate-Holic flavour ice cream for myself in a cup. Upon finding an empty seating area by the Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlour, I sat down to enjoy my nice and sumptuous ice cream dessert at New Chitose Airport. Upon finishing my dessert, I headed over towards the indoor observation deck to do some plane-spotting.

Several restaurants and cafeterias located by the entrance to the passageway connecting towards the International Passenger Flight Terminal

The entrance to the passageway connecting towards the International Passenger Flight Terminal

The Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlour situated in the passageway between the domestic passenger flight terminal and the international passenger flight terminal

Some of the many ice cream flavours at the Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlour in New Chitose Airport

A nice cup of two scoops containing Chocolate-Holic flavour ice cream for myself

The view of the cafeterias situated within the passageway between the two terminals at New Chitose Airport

The view of the entire domestic flight terminal shopping concourse from the third floor in New Chitose Airport

A food court located adjacent to the domestic flight terminal observation area in New Chitose Airport

The passageway towards the outer observation area in the domestic terminal at New Chitose Airport

The entire view of the airport tarmac near the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport

A Japan Airlines Boeing 777-246, registered JA8984, being serviced at Gate No. 11 in preparation for her late afternoon domestic run towards the Japanese capital city as Japan Airlines flight JL 518 bound for Tokyo (Haneda)

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 777-281, registered JA8968, about to be serviced at Gate No. 8 in preparation for her late afternoon regional domestic run towards the Japanese capital city as All Nippon Airways flight NH 070 bound for Tokyo (Haneda)

An All Nippon Airways Boeing 747-481D, registered JA8966, about to be serviced at Gate No. 8 in preparation for her late afternoon regional domestic run towards the Japanese capital city as All Nippon Airways flight NH 072 bound for Tokyo (Haneda). These aircraft are due to be retired from active service on 31 March 2014

The interior of the Sky Museum in the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport

Two All Nippon Airways aircraft being serviced at their gates for their evening runs towards Tokyo (Haneda)

After spending approximately 1 hour 30 minutes of shopping and plane-spotting at New Chitose Airport, the clock was finally showing 3.45 p.m.. Though it was still early before my train back to Sapporo, I decided to take the escalator all the way back down towards New Chitose Airport Station, since the elevator was a bit too long to wait for, and wanting to have a rest in the passenger waiting room in the station itself.

For the return journey back towards Sapporo, I would catch the Rapid Airport train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, which would be scheduled to leave New Chitose Airport Station at 5.19 p.m., and arrive at Sapporo Station at 5.55 p.m.. The train would also be undergoing a change of direction at Sapporo Station before becoming the Limited Express Super Kamui No. 33 bound for Asahikawa.

With that, I took the escalator down towards the second floor of the terminal building, where I stopped at a souvenir shop to purchase two boxes of Shiroi Koibito (白い恋人) cookies as Christmas gifts for my parents. I then headed back down to New Chitose Airport Station, arriving there by 3.55 p.m., where I headed towards the passenger waiting room to have a brief rest.

At the same time, I went to check which platform the Rapid Airport train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa would depart from. According to the departure information board, the Rapid Airport train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa would be scheduled to depart at 5.19 p.m. from Track No. 2. Upon resting in the passenger waiting room, I headed down towards the platforms at 4.35 p.m. in preparation for the return trip back to Sapporo.

The view of the shopping concourse in the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport just as I begin to make my way back down towards New Chitose Airport Station

One last view of the shopping concourse in the domestic passenger flight terminal at New Chitose Airport on the second floor as I head back towards New Chitose Airport Station

Finally arriving back at New Chitose Airport Station

The main station concourse of New Chitose Airport Station during the early evening hours

The interior of the passenger waiting room at New Chitose Airport Station

A beautifully-decorated Christmas Tree located in the station concourse at New Chitose Airport Station

The station concourse leading to the platforms at New Chitose Airport Station

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 2, which serves the trains bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, at New Chitose Airport Station in English

The name plate of New Chitose Airport Station on the station platforms

The station platforms of New Chitose Airport Station shortly after I had arrived back at the station

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 2, which serves the trains bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, at New Chitose Airport Station in Japanese

721系 快速エアポート171号 札幌経由小樽行き 新千歳空港駅から出発シーン

Track No. 2 at New Chitose Airport Station shortly before the Rapid "Airport" train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa arrived at the platform

After spending approximately 35 minutes of anticipated waiting on the station platform, a 5-car 785 series EMU finally arrived at New Chitose Airport Station at 5.11 p.m. on Track No. 2, 10 minutes behind schedule. The train had arrived from Asahikawa via Sapporo as the Limited Express Super Kamui No. 30 and Rapid Airport train No. 162 earlier, and was to undergo extensive cleaning before forming the Rapid Airport train No. 173 and the Limited Express Super Kamui No. 33 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa.

Once the cleaning process was finished, all the passengers were allowed to board the train. I then boarded the train through Car No. 4, which was the reserved seating ("u" seat) car, and secured my assigned Seat No. 6A for the short 36-minute hop towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Sapporo. More passengers began to board the train as 12 minutes went by.

At 5.23 p.m., all the train doors closed, and the Rapid Airport train No. 173 finally pulled out of New Chitose Airport Station for its regional journey time of 2 hours 06 minutes towards the suburban city of Asahikawa, four minutes behind schedule. I was then on my way for a short train journey time of just 36 minutes back towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Sapporo.

721系 快速エアポート173号 札幌経由旭川行き 新千歳空港駅に入線シーン

The interior of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car of the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, during the boarding process at New Chitose Airport Station

A view of my seat, 6A, during the boarding process at New Chitose Airport Station

The view of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car on the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, from my seat during the boarding process at New Chitose Airport Station

Awaiting departure from New Chitose Airport Station

721系 快速エアポート173号 札幌経由旭川行き 新千歳空港駅から恵庭駅間

Making a brief stop at Eniwa Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Eniwa at night

Etihad Airways Airbus A340-642 Herpa Scale 1:500 (523998)

Travelling through the Chitose Line between Eniwa and Kita-hiroshima Stations at night

The view of the reserved seating ("u" seat) car on the 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Rapid "Airport" train No. 173 bound for Sapporo and Asahikawa, from my seat between Eniwa and Kita-hiroshima

My reserved seat ("u" seat) ticket for the return segment between New Chitose Airport and Sapporo

Making a brief stop at Kita-hiroshima Station

721系 快速エアポート173号 札幌経由旭川行き 北広島駅から新札幌駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-sapporo Station

721系 快速エアポート173号 札幌経由旭川行き 新札幌駅から札幌駅間

After a short 36-minute routine train journey from New Chitose Airport in the suburban city of Chitose, I finally arrived back at Sapporo Station at 5.59 p.m. on Track No. 5, four minutes behind schedule. Ensuring that I had all of my belongings with me, I alighted the train and headed down towards the main station concourse, where I informed my family of my slightly late arrival.

I then proceeded over towards Sapporo Esta (札幌エスタ), where my family was doing their shopping, and met them just outside the entrance to the mall. My parents also informed me that we would be going towards a familiar barbecue restaurant, called Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant (朴然) located in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, for a family charcoal barbecue dinner. I readily agreed with them since I was in the mood for some charcoal barbecue on our first day in Hokkaido, Japan.

With that, we proceeded to a car parking area located just across Sapporo Station, where my family had parked our rented car earlier. Once we were all on board, we finally departed the hustle and bustle of downtown Sapporo by 6.15 p.m.. The entire journey between downtown Sapporo and Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, took no more than 1 hour 20 minutes, stopping at a electronics and necessity convenience store along the way.

The station platforms of Sapporo Station in the early night shortly after I arrived back at the station

Taking the escalator down towards the main station concourse of Sapporo Station

The relatively busy station concourse of Sapporo Station during the early evening rush hour

The exterior view of Sapporo Station at night

The exterior view of Sapporo Esta located adjacent to Sapporo Station at night

The large car parking area located just across Sapporo Station in downtown Chuo-ku, Sapporo

Travelling along the crowded roads of Chuo-ku, Sapporo, at night

Crossing a river bridge between Shiroishi-ku and Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at night

Driving along the roads of Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo at night

Travelling adjacent to a river in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

Finally making a brief stop at Yamada convenience mall in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

The escalators towards the second level of Yamada convenience mall in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

The car parking area at the Yamada convenience mall in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

Turning back onto the roads of Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

Finally arriving at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

After a road journey time of 1 hour 20 minutes from the lively hustle and bustle of downtown Chuo-ku, Sapporo, we finally arrived at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at 7.35 p.m.. While my dad went to park the car, I followed my mum and younger brother to the restaurant, where we requested for a table for the four of us. Just adjacent to the entrance to the restaurant, there were shoe compartments where diners can place their shoes prior to entering the restaurant's dining area.

Once we had placed our footwear in the lockable shoe compartments, we were directed to a window table facing the car parking area, and were left with the food and beverage menus to make our reviews prior to placing our main meal orders for dinner. Upon making all of our reviews, a waitress came by to take down our main meal orders for our huge upcoming charcoal barbecue dinner.

We then ordered a majority of meat dishes off the menu, including beef intestines and pork, since they would always be suited for our tastes and preferences. Later that evening, we had a very large and sumptuous charcoal barbecue (yakiniku) family dinner at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant. At some points of the meal, we ordered second rounds. This was a very enjoyable meal, especially on our first day in Hokkaido, Japan.

The main entrance towards Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

The interior of the main reception area at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

The interior of Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo from our dining table

The view of the outer snowy surroundings at night as seen from Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant

The charcoal barbecue griller in the centre of our dining table at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant

The cover page for the food and beverage menu at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant

Reviewing the food and beverage menu at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant

The self-service beverage corner of Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant

A nice glass of white wine for myself to start off with

A medium-sized bowl of white rice with my glass of white wine

A nice, mouthwatering platter of pork jowl ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

A nice, gooey platter of beef intestines ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

A large platter of assorted cuts of different types of beef tongue

Five pieces of pork jowl and a pan with buttered scallops being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

A large platter of assorted cuts of beef, pork and mutton ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Several pieces of beef tongue and pork jowl and the buttered scallops being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Several cuts of beef tongue, beef intestines and pork jowl grilling on the charcoal barbecue griller

More meat cuts being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Several cuts of beef karubi and mushrooms being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

More cuts of beef tongue and gooey beef large intestines being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Several large cuts of pork, beef and mushrooms being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

More cuts of beef tongue, beef loin and pork karubi being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

Another nice, gooey platter of beef large intestines ready to be grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

More cuts of beef tongue and beef large intestines being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

The last of the gooey beef large intestines being grilled on the charcoal barbecue griller

One last view of the interior of Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, from our dining area

After having a nice, large and sumptuous charcoal barbecue dinner at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant, the clock was finally showing 8.45 p.m.. Feeling rather exhausted already, my brother and I decided to head back to the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel. My parents also obliged to drop us off at the hotel along the way before going off to buy some medicines and other necessities along the way.

Without wasting anymore time, we proceeded towards the main cashier to pay our bill and went over to the shoe compartment to reclaim our footwear prior to leaving the restaurant. Soon enough, once we reached our rented car, we finally departed the snowy compound of Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at nine o' clock, with the journey back towards the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel taking no more than just 45 minutes.

The car parking area outside Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

One last look at Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, shortly before we left

Our rented car at the car parking area of Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

About to turn into the main road of Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at night

Travelling along the roads of Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at night

Bypassing an arcade centre in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, at night

Travelling along the roads between Atsubetsu-ku and Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, at night

Bypassing a medicine store somewhere near Toyohira-ku, Sapporo

Driving along the roads of Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, at night

Finally arriving back at the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

After a 45-minute drive from Boku-zen Yakiniku Restaurant in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, we finally arrived back at the main entrance to the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel at 9.45 p.m.. As soon as my younger brother and I took all of our belongings with us, our parents drove off to purchase some medicines and other necessities before returning to the Renaissance Hotel Sapporo.

Entering the main hotel lobby, I went to the reception counter to arrange for a wake-up call at five o' clock, along with a cab to come and fetch me to Sapporo Station at 6.15 a.m. the next morning. The receptionist at the main hotel reception counter then agreed to give me a wake up call at five o' clock the next morning after I had told her my intentions to travel to Kushiro the next day.

Once my brother and I took the elevator all the way up towards the eleventh floor, we had a nice, hot shower and changed into our pyjamas before settling down for the night. Setting my alarm on my mobile phone to five o' clock the next morning, I finally turned in for a good night's sleep at 11.30 p.m., with my parents arriving back much later.

Part 2 ~ My Long Train Journey Towards Kushiro

The next morning, which was Sunday (15 December), I woke up at precisely five o' clock after my mobile phone alarm blasted off and receiving a wake-up phone call from the hotel reception. Leaping out of bed, I had a nice, hot shower before changing into my attire for the day. After that, I packed all of my necessary belongings into my baggage, which included all battery chargers for my electronic devices.

At the same time, I was also quite lucky since I had arranged for a cab to come and fetch me to Sapporo Station at 6.15 a.m. the night before the trip. Since it was still early before my taxi bound for Sapporo Station, I prepared my winter jacket and laid my belongings near the doorway carefully and quietly before deciding to do a bit more personal stuff in my room, as most of my family members were still fast asleep.

My itinerary for the in-bound journey towards Kushiro would be to catch the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 1 bound for Kushiro, which would be scheduled to depart Sapporo Station at 7.02 a.m., and arrive at the Kushiro terminal station at 11.01 a.m.. I was very lucky since I had made my Green Car (first class) seat reservations when I exchanged my Hokkaido Rail Pass Exchange Voucher at Sapporo Station the previous day.

The beautiful view of the Toyohira River from my hotel room during the wee hours of the early morning shortly after I had a shower and prepared my baggage

The view of my Room No. 1136 during the wee hours of the early morning

The view of the Toyohira River from my Room No. 1136 during the wee hours of the early morning shortly before I left for the main hotel lobby with a pending snow storm coming

After preparing all of my necessary belongings for the day, the clock was finally showing 5.50 a.m.. Knowing that my pre-arranged cab bound for Sapporo would arrive in 25 minutes' time, I carried all of my necessary baggage and took the elevator all the way down towards the main hotel lobby, arriving there by 5.55 a.m.. I went outside towards the main entrance to the hotel, where the driver of my pre-arranged cab met me.

I then informed the cab driver that I had baggage with me, so he offered to load it into the boot of his cab. Once everything was loaded into the cab boot and I was on board, I finally departed the compound of the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel at 6.10 a.m., with the entire journey taking no more than just 10 minutes. The sky was filled with dark clouds, and snow started to fall throughout the journey towards Sapporo Station.

The interior of the main hotel lobby at the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the wee hours of the early morning

The interior of the hotel gallery near the main hotel lobby in the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the wee hours of the early morning

The miniature footbridge connecting the hotel gallery with the main hotel lobby in the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the wee hours of the early morning

The black cab that would soon take me from the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel to Sapporo Station

Finally on the snowy roads of Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, in the wee hours of the early morning

Crossing the Toyohira River in the wee hours of the early morning

Bypassing some old shophouses in the wee hours of the early morning

Bypassing the Sapporo TV Tower in the snowy wee hours of the early morning

About to make a left turn into Chuo-ku, Sapporo, near Sapporo Station

The overall view of the snowy roads of Chuo-ku, Sapporo, during a snow storm in the wee hours of the morning

The exterior view of the JR Tower Hotel Nikko Sapporo during the wee hours of the early morning

Finally arriving at the taxi stand by the main entrance to Sapporo Station

After a short cab ride of just 10 minutes from the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, I finally arrived at the taxi stand located just outside the main entrance towards Sapporo Station at 6.20 a.m.. Ensuring that none of my personal belongings had been left behind on board, the cab driver offered to help unload my baggage from the boot of his cab. Upon payment of my fare, I thanked the cab driver for his kind and warm services before entering the station.

Once I was in the main station concourse by 6.25 a.m., I went over to check the departure information board to see which platform the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 1 bound for Kushiro would depart from. According to the departure information board in the station concourse, the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 1 bound for Kushiro would depart at 7.02 a.m. from Track No. 7. Without anymore hesitation, I went through the manned ticketing gate and took the escalator up to Tracks No. 7 and 8 in preparation for my long train journey towards Kushiro.

The Super Ozora (スーパーおおぞら) is the name of a limited express train service operated by Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) between Sapporo and Kushiro in Hokkaido, Japan. There are a total of six daily return services running in each direction, with the fastest journey time taking approximately four hours. The service operates at a maximum top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).

The service commenced operations on 22 March 1997, using KiHa 283 series DMUs, with a maximum top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph) and at seven daily return workings. Services are normally formed of six or seven cars, but may be occasionally lengthened between eight to ten cars on certain days and months. Green Car (first class) accommodation is provided in Car No. 3. There is no extra charge required for the Super Ozora for foreign tourists travelling with a Japan Rail Pass and / or a Hokkaido Rail Pass.

On 27 May 2011, the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 14 service, operating from Kushiro to Sapporo, was stopped in the Niniu Tunnel in the village of Shimukappu, Hokkaido, after Car No. 2 of the 6-car formation became derailed, which eventually resulted led to the train catching fire. All the 245 passengers and crew on board evacuated the train safely, though only 39 people required hospital treatment for smoke inhalation and minor burn injuries. The damaged train was removed from the tunnel on 29 May 2011, and was eventually withdrawn and scrapped on 30 June 2011.

On 15 July 2013, the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 3 service, operating from Sapporo to Kushiro, was brought to a stop on the Chitose Line shortly after departing Shin-sapporo Station, after a power circuit fluctuation occurred in Car No. 3. This eventually resulted in certain limited express train services bound for Hakodate and Kushiro in Hokkaido being suspended until further notice, while maintenance works were carried out on all rolling stock used for limited express services.

From 1 November 2013, with the introduction of a revised timetable by JR Hokkaido, the maximum top speed was reduced from 130 km/h (80 mph) to 120 km/h (75 mph), resulting in the fastest journey duration being increased from 3 hours 35 minutes to four hours. The total number of daily return workings running within both directions were also reduced from seven to six from the same date.

The exterior view of Stellar Place Sapporo during the wee hours of the early morning

The passageway towards the main station concourse in Sapporo Station

The station concourse of Sapporo Station in the wee hours of the early morning

The main ticketing gates located in the station concourse of Sapporo Station during the wee hours of the early morning

The station concourse leading up towards the station platforms at Sapporo Station in the wee hours of the early morning

An out-of-service 6-car 711 series EMU on Track No. 7 at Sapporo Station

A 7-car KiHa 281 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Hokuto" No. 2 bound for Hakodate, on Track No. 4 at Sapporo Station

A 5-car 785 series EMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Kamui" No. 1 bound for Asahikawa, on Track No. 8 at Sapporo Station

The view of the station platforms of Sapporo Station in the wee hours of the early morning

A 3-car 731 series EMU, operating on a Chitose Line local service bound for Tomakomai, on Track No. 7 at Sapporo Station

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 7 at Sapporo Station

Tracks No. 7 and 8 at Sapporo Station shortly before the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro arrived at Track No. 7

After spending approximately minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, an 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 1 bound for Kushiro, finally entered Sapporo Station at 6.56 a.m. on Track No. 7. Once the train doors swung open, I immediately boarded the train through Car No. 2, and went into Car No. 3, which was the Green Car (first class) carriage.

Upon entering Car No. 3, which was the Green Car (first class) carriage, I accidentally and unknowingly took up Seat No. 5D by mistake. I didn't really realise this until the train was pulling out of Sapporo Station when I went towards my assigned Seat No. 6D for the long journey time of four hours towards the northeastern port city of Kushiro. More passengers began to board the train as time went by.

At exactly 7.02 a.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 1 finally pulled out of Sapporo Station for its long journey time of approximately four hours towards the northeastern suburban port city of Kushiro in Kushiro Subprefecture. I was then on my way for a long train journey time of approximately four hours towards the northeastern suburban port city of Kushiro.

I was quite lucky since I had all my electronic devices with me to keep me company during the long journey. Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido) also refurbished the Green Car (first class) cabins on board the KiHa 183 series DMUs used for Hokuto services, KiHa 281 series DMUs and KiHa 283 series DMUs. Some of these improvements include large sliding tables, reading lights, ticket holders, drink holders, and AC power outlets for each individual seat to allow passengers to charge their electronic devices on longer journeys.

Kushiro (釧路市) is a northeastern port city located in Kushiro Sub-prefecture, Hokkaido, Japan. Located along the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most important port cities serving Hokkaido, with a population of approximately 180,014 as of 1 December 2013, making it the most populous city in eastern Hokkaido. It is known for its marshes and seafood markets.

The city is served mainly by Kushiro Airport (釧路空港), which mainly caters only to limited domestic flights bound for Tokyo, Sapporo and Hakodate. The Super Ozora limited express service also connects the hustle and bustle of Sapporo with the northeastern suburban port city of Kushiro six times daily via the Chitose Line, Sekisho Line and Nemuro Main Line.

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら1号 釧路行き 札幌駅に入線シーン

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, during the boarding process at Sapporo Station

A view of my supposedly assigned seat, which I though was Seat No. 6D by mistake, during the boarding process at Sapporo Station

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, during the boarding process at Sapporo Station

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the in-bound segment between Sapporo and Kushiro

The front view of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, while awaiting departure from Sapporo Station

Awaiting departure from Sapporo Station

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら1号 釧路行き 札幌駅から新札幌駅間

Making a brief stop at Shin-sapporo Station

A view of my seat, 6D, in its fully reclined position shortly after departing Shin-sapporo Station

Bypassing several housing areas in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo, during sunrise

Passing through Kami-nopporo Station

Bypassing a snowy plateau located in Atsubetsu-ku, Sapporo

Writing up my draft essay report about my journey on my laptop. Helvetica is the core typeface used for this blog report

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Shin-sapporo and Kita-hiroshima Stations

The view of the suburban city of Kitahiroshima during sunrise

Passing through Kita-hiroshima Station

Travelling past a snowy plot of land along the Chitose Line between Kita-hiroshima and Eniwa Stations

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Eniwa

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Kita-hiroshima and Minami-chitose Stations

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Kita-hiroshima and Minami-chitose Stations

Two cups of orange juice for myself

Passing through Eniwa Station

Passing through Sapporo Beer Teien Station

Watching "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern: Japan" on my laptop during the trip

Bypassing some housing areas in the suburban city of Chitose during sunrise

Passing through Chitose Station

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the in-bound segment between Sapporo and Kushiro

Making a brief stop at Minami-chitose Station

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら1号 釧路行き 南千歳 (発車) ~ 追分 (通過)

Bypassing a large, snow-covered plateau along the Sekisho Line between Oiwake and Shin-yubari Stations

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Oiwake and Shin-yubari Stations

Bypassing a snow-covered forest along the Sekisho Line between Oiwake and Shin-yubari Stations

A nice packet of Jagariko potato sticks (じゃがりこ) and a box of almond chocolates for myself purchased from the on-board trolley refreshment service

Crossing a river bridge along the Sekisho Line between the rural towns of Abira and Kuriyama

Crossing a very large river on a trestle bridge during a heavy snow storm on the Sekisho Line

Bypassing another road bridge crossing a river on the Sekisho Line near Yubari

Bypassing a forest by the roadside in the sparse, rural city of Yubari

Passing through Shin-yubari Station

The view of the sparse, rural city of Yubari during a heavy raging snow storm

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat in a rail tunnel on the Sekisho Line between Shin-yubari and Shimukappu Stations

Bypassing a snowy and quiet settlement situated between Yubari and Shimukappu

Crossing underneath a roadbridge in the sparse rural city of Yubari

The mobile phone use area on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Shin-yubari and Shimukappu Stations on the Sekisho Line

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Shimukappu and Tomamu Stations on the Sekisho Line

Bypassing a snowy forest along the Sekisho Line in the rural village of Shimukappu between Shin-yubari and Shimukappu Stations

Watching a fan-made railway movie in 2010, known as Gordon's Christmas Carol, with this photograph depicting the scene where the Mallard offers her deepest condolences to Sir Topham Hatt after Henry's fatal accident on the viaduct

Continuing with my essay report on my blog during the in-bound journey towards Kushiro

Bypassing a hillside snow forest on the Sekisho Line between Shin-yubari and Shimukappu Stations

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Shin-yubari and Shimukappu Stations on the Sekisho Line

Passing through Shimukappu Station

Bypassing a beautiful snow-covered landscape in the rural village of Shimukappu

Bypassing several lush, snowy forests between Shimukappu and Tomamu Stations on the Sekisho Line

Crossing a small stream on a high-rise bridge on the Sekisho Line near Tomamu Station

Crossing above a secluded expressway in the sparse, rural village of Shimukappu

Bypassing another snow-covered landscape by a forest as the train approaches Tomamu Station

The view of several snow-covered mountains as the train approaches Tomamu Station

Travelling adjacent to a snow-covered road just as the train approaches Tomamu Station

Making a brief stop at Tomamu Station

A small river flowing gracefully by Tomamu Station

Another nice packet of Jagariko potato sticks and a bottle of Coca-cola for myself

Bypassing a snowy landscape with sparse vegetation between Tomamu and Shintoku Stations

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Tomamu and Shintoku Stations on the Sekisho Line

A scene in Gordon's Christmas Carol (2010), where in the future of Sodor, Smudger begs not to be scrapped

A cutscene where the Mallard chides her sister, Bittern, for her unbecoming behaviour of an A4 class engine in Gordon's Christmas Carol

Bypassing another snow-covered landscape as the train approaches Shintoku Station

Making a brief stop at Shintoku Station

The view of the rural town of Shintoku shortly after departing Shintoku Station

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Shintoku and Obihiro Stations

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Shintoku and Obihiro Stations

A view of my seat, 6D, on the Nemuro Main Line between Shintoku and Obihiro

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Shintoku and Obihiro

Bypassing a snow-covered field on the Nemuro Main Line between Shintoku and Obihiro

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら1号 釧路行き 芽室 (通過) ~ 帯広 (到着)

Making a brief stop at Obihiro Station

The view of the suburban city of Obihiro shortly after departing Obihiro Station

Bypassing a snow-covered plateau located near the Satsunai River

Crossing the Satsunai River between Obihiro and Ikeda

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Obihiro and Ikeda

Bypassing some housing areas in the rural town of Satsunai

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Obihiro and Ikeda

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Obihiro and Ikeda

Crossing the Toshibetsu River near Toshibetsu Station

A view of my seat, 6D, between Obihiro and Ikeda

Stopping briefly at Toshibetsu Station to allow another train to pass through

Another packet of Jagariko potato sticks and two cups of water for myself

Crossing another river between Toshibetsu and Ikeda Stations on the Nemuro Main Line

Making a brief stop at Ikeda Station

Bypassing a snowy plot of land between Ikeda and Urahoro Stations on the Nemuro Main Line

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Ikeda and Urahoro Stations

Bypassing a road level crossing along the Nemuro Main Line between Ikeda and Urahoro Stations

Bypassing a relatively snowy and dry field in the rural town of Urahoro

Passing through Urahoro Station

Bypassing another relatively snowy and dry field between Urahoro and Shiranuka Stations

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Urahoro and Shiranuka Stations

Crossing a small river on the Nemuro Main Line between Urahoro and Shiranuka

Travelling alongside a coastal road by the Pacific Ocean between Urahoro and Shiranuka on the Nemuro Main Line

The beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean between Urahoro and Shiranuka on the Nemuro Main Line

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Urahoro and Shiranuka

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, between Urahoro and Shiranuka

Crossing over a small river that flows into the Pacific Ocean on the Nemuro Main Line

Another beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean between Urahoro and Shiranuka on the Nemuro Main Line

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, from my seat between Shiranuka and Kushiro

Bypassing a dry field in the rural town of Shiranuka on the Nemuro Main Line

Passing through Shiranuka Station

Bypassing some houses in the rural town of Shiranuka

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら1号 釧路行き 庶路 (通過) ~ 釧路 (到着)

After a relatively long train journey time of 4 hours 04 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Sapporo, I finally arrived at the Kushiro terminal station at 11.06 a.m., five minutes behind schedule. Ensuring that none of my belongings has been left behind on board, I alighted the train and decided to shoot some pictures of it on the platforms and a video of its departure back towards Sapporo as the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 6 bound for Sapporo.

Upon doing some train-spotting on the station platforms at Kushiro Station, I was beginning to become rather hungry. Exiting through the manned ticket gate, I went towards a tourist information office to get a map about the city of Kushiro. Upon getting a map, I headed out of the station and walked along the streets of Kushiro, eventually stumbling upon a nearby local seafood market, by the name of Washo Fish Market (和商市場).

This local seafood market is open daily from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., and is located quite near Kushiro Station. Feeling very hungry already, I went into the market and saw that there were lots of stores selling various types of seafood such as fish, molluscs and prawns. Even though it was a Sunday, the market was very lively with a lot of patrons looking around the entire market. I also looked around to search for a good restaurant to eat at for lunch.

Kushiro Station (釧路駅) is the main railway terminal serving the northeastern port city of Kushiro, Hokkaido, Japan. The station serves as an interchange station for the Nemuro Main Line (Hanasaki Line) and Senmo Main Line. Though the Senmo Main Line officially begins at Higashi-kushiro Station, all Senmo Main Line trains start and terminate at Kushiro. The station also serves as the eastern terminus for the Super Ozora limited express service, which runs between Sapporo and Kushiro six times daily.

The LED destination panel of the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 bound for Kushiro, shortly after arriving at the Kushiro terminal station

The LED destination panel of the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 6 bound for Sapporo, at Kushiro Station

The logo of the 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 6 bound for Sapporo, at Kushiro Station

The 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU which took me to Kushiro as the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 1 from Sapporo earlier

Track No. 1 serving the "Super Ozora" limited express trains at Kushiro Station

Taking the escalator down to the underground passageway towards the other platforms

The underground passageway leading to the platforms at Kushiro Station

Tracks No. 2 and 3 serving the Senmo Main Line and Nemuro Main Line trains to Abashiri and Nemuro

The 8-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 6 bound for Sapporo, awaiting departure from Kushiro Station at 11.20 a.m. from Track No. 1

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら6号 札幌行き 釧路駅から出発シーン

Tracks No. 2 and 3 being rather empty during the early afternoon hours at Kushiro Station

Climbing back down to the underground passageway towards Track No. 1

The passenger waiting room adjacent to Track No. 1 and the ticketing gates at Kushiro Station

The main station concourse of Kushiro Station shortly after I had exited the platforms

The exterior view of Kushiro Station on a clear late winter's morning

The beautiful afternoon view of downtown Kushiro as seen from outside Kushiro Station

Walking along the streets of the northern suburban port city of Kushiro

Finally stumbling upon Washo Fish Market (和商市場)

Walking past the many food stalls in Washo Fish Market

After looking carefully through the various stores and restaurants available at the Washo Fish Market, I finally stumbled upon a small restaurant, by the name of Rofu-an (露風庵). Feeling very hungry already, I requested for a non-smoking table for myself and was then ushered to an empty table by the bar by a waiter. I was then left with the food and beverage menu to make my reviews before placing my main meal orders for lunch.

Upon making a good review through the food and beverage menus, a waiter came by to my table to take down my main meal order for lunch. I ordered myself an à la carte dish of deep-fried oysters, along with a lunch set consisting of several deep-fried oysters with rice and soup. That afternoon, I had a really sumptuous lunch meal of deep-fried oysters in the Washo Fish Market in the northern suburban port city of Kushiro.

The logo of Rofu-an Restaurant at Washo Fish Market in Kushiro

Some of the many miniature food items on display at Rofu-an

Another food store selling fruits and vegetables in Washo Fish Market

A nice, mouthwatering lunch set of deep-fried oysters with white rice and miso soup for myself

A nice, mouthwatering platter of deep-fried oysters for myself

The view of the kitchen area at Rofu-an in Washo Fish Market

After having a hearty and sumptuous lunch of deep-fried oysters at Rofu-an in Washo Fish Market, the clock was finally showing 12 noon. Feeling stuffed to the brim already, I paid up my bill and decided to explore the fish market slightly more before heading back to Kushiro Station. I then left the market by 12.15 p.m. for a short 10-minute walk back towards Kushiro Station.

Upon walking along the streets of downtown Kushiro for approximately 10 minutes, I finally arrived back at the main entrance to Kushiro Station at 12.25 p.m.. For the return journey back towards Sapporo, I was originally scheduled to catch the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 10 bound for Sapporo, which would be scheduled to depart from Kushiro Station at 4.17 p.m., and arrive back at the Sapporo terminal station at 8.19 p.m..

However, I suddenly had a change of plans and decided to catch an earlier train. Entering the JR Ticket Office, I made the necessary changes for my seat reservations for the return trip back to Sapporo. As for the new itinerary for the return trip back towards Sapporo, I would catch the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 8 bound for Sapporo, which would be scheduled to depart Kushiro Station at 1.33 p.m., and arrive at the Sapporo terminal station at 5.44 p.m..

Once I made the necessary changes to my seat reservations, I went to check the departure information board to see which platform the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 8 bound for Sapporo would depart from. According to the departure information board located in the main station concourse, the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 8 bound for Sapporo would depart at 1.33 p.m. from Track No. 1. Without wasting anymore time, I went through the manned ticket gate and went over towards Track No. 1 by 12.35 p.m. for my return trip.

The exterior view of Rofu-an Restaurant in Washo Fish Market in Kushiro shortly after I left

Several freshly-caught fish for sale at the Washo Fish Market in Kushiro

Several food stores selling freshly-caught seafood at Washo Fish Market in Kushiro

The main entrance to Washo Fish Market in Kushiro

Walking along the streets of downtown Kushiro back towards Kushiro Station

About to cross the road leading towards Kushiro Station

Finally arriving back at the compound of Kushiro Station

The entrance to the Twinkle Plaza Travel Service Center and JR Ticket Office at Kushiro Station

The interior of the JR Ticket Office in Kushiro Station

The main station concourse of Kushiro Station during the mid-afternoon hours

The station platforms of Kushiro Station shortly before the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo arrived at the station

The departure information board for trains departing from Track No. 1 at Kushiro Station

After spending approximately 25 minutes of anticipated waiting on the platform, a 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU finally arrived at Kushiro Station at 1.01 p.m. on Track No. 1. The train had arrived as the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 3 from Sapporo earlier, and was to undergo extensive cabin-cleaning before becoming the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 8 bound for Sapporo. The entire cleaning process took approximately no more than 10 minutes.

Once the entire cleaning process was completed, the cleaners allowed the passengers to board the train. I then boarded the train through Car No. 3, which was the Green Car (first class) carriage, and found my assigned Seat No. 3D for the expected long journey time of 4 hours 11 minutes back towards the hustle and bustle of Sapporo. Though more passengers began to board the train, the seat next to me would remain empty throughout the journey.

At exactly 1.33 p.m., all the train doors were closed, and the Limited Express Super Ozora No. 8 finally pulled out of Kushiro Station to take me back for a relatively long journey time of 4 hours 11 minutes back towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Sapporo. However, at some points of the return journey, the train had to stop at certain area and reduce speed due to passing trains on the Nemuro Main Line and some icy tracks on the other lines.

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら8号 札幌行き 釧路駅に入線シーン

The 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, which would soon take me back towards the hustle and bustle of downtown Sapporo as the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, on Track No. 1 at Kushiro Station

Track No. 1 at Kushiro Station with the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo being cleaned at the platform

The LED destination panel of the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, on Track No. 1 at Kushiro Station in Japanese

The LED destination panel of the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, on Track No. 1 at Kushiro Station in English

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

Another front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

A view of my seat, 3D, during the boarding process in Kushiro Station

Another rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

One last front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat during the boarding process at Kushiro Station

Awaiting departure from Kushiro Station

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら8号 札幌行き 釧路駅から白糠駅間

Making a brief stop at Shiranuka Station

Two cups of orange juice for myself

Continuing with my rough essay report on my blog for the return trip, using Helvetica as the main font

Bypassing a dry field near the rural town of Shiranuka

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Shiranuka and Urahoro

My Green Car (first class) limited express ticket for the return segment between Kushiro and Sapporo

A scene in the fan-made railway movie "Gordon's Christmas Carol (2010)", where James instantly knows that Gordon is the one who caused Henry's fatal accident

Another scene in "Gordon's Christmas Carol (2010)", where Thomas rebukes Gordon for not listening to Sir Topham Hatt's orders of removing a loose caboose on a viaduct, which leads to Henry's fatal accident

The beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean along the Nemuro Main Line between Shiranuka and Onbetsu

Passing through Onbetsu Station

Crossing a river which flows into the Pacific Ocean by a road bridge on the Nemuro Main Line

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Onbetsu and Urahoro

Bypassing some farming areas on the Nemuro Main Line near Chokubetsu Station

Passing through Chokubetsu Station

Another beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean along the Nemuro Main Line between Shiranuka and Onbetsu

A nice bottle of Coca-cola, a box of almond chocolates and a packet of Jagariko potato sticks for myself, all of which were purchased from the on-board trolley refreshment service

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Chokubetsu and Ikeda

Bypassing some dry hillside forests on the Nemuro Main Line between Shiranuka and Ikeda

Passing through Kami-atsunai Station

Bypassing a snow and dry land in the rural town of Urahoro on the Nemuro Main Line

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Onbetsu and Ikeda

Bypassing another snow and dry field near the rural town of Ikeda

The mobile phone use area on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, between Urahoro and Obihiro Stations on the Nemuro Main Line

A view of my seat, 3D, between Urahoro and Obihiro

Continuing with my essay report on my blog between Urahoro and Ikeda

The view of the rural town of Ikeda as the train approaches Ikeda Station

Making a brief stop at Ikeda Station

Crossing the Toshibetsu River between Ikeda and Obihiro on the Nemuro Main Line

Bypassing a snow field along the Nemuro Main Line between Ikeda and Obihiro

About to enjoy my box of almond chocolates on board

Bypassing a housing area in the rural town of Satsunai

Crossing the Satsunai River between Ikeda and Obihiro on the Nemuro Main Line

The view of the suburban city of Obihiro as the train approaches Obihiro Station

Making a brief stop at Obihiro Station

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら8号 札幌行き 帯広 (発車) ~ 芽室 (通過)

Bypassing a snowy field located in the rural town of Memuro as dusk starts to fall

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Obihiro and Tokachi-shimizu Stations on the Nemuro Main Line

Bypassing a cemetery in the rural town of Shimizu on the Nemuro Main Line

Bypassing a snow field between the towns of Shintoku and Shimizu on the Nemuro Main Line

Crossing the Shintoku River in the rural town of Shintoku

The view of the rural town of Shintoku just as the train approaches Shintoku Station

Making a brief stop at Shintoku Station

Crossing a small river in the town of Shintoku shortly after departing Shintoku Station

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat shortly after departing Shintoku Station

The entire view of the town of Shintoku as the train enters the Sekisho Line upon leaving Shintoku Station

Bypassing a snow-covered field in the rural town of Shintoku

Crossing a bridge on the Sekisho Line over a large snowy forest between Shintoku and Tomamu Stations

Bypassing a snowy field and forest between Shintoku and Tomamu Stations on the Sekisho Line

Travelling through a tunnel between Shintoku and Tomamu Stations along the Sekisho Line

Bypassing a snowy forest along the Sekisho Line during dusk

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Shintoku and Tomamu Stations on the Sekisho Line

My most favourite scene in Gordon's Christmas Carol (2010): The Mallard rebukes her sister, Bittern, in the future of Sodor, for her unbecoming behaviour of a true A4 class engine

Bypassing a hilly snow forest in the rural village of Shimukappu just as the train approaches Tomamu Station

Making a brief stop at Tomamu Station

Meeting up with another KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 7 bound for Kushiro, at Tomamu Station

The placard on how to use the seats on the front seat tray table

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Tomamu and Shimukappu Stations on the Sekisho Line

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, between Tomamu and Shimukappu Stations on the Sekisho Line

The rear view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, between Tomamu and Shimukappu Stations along the Sekisho Line

Crossing a small river in the rural village of Shimukappu during dusk in very snowy weather

Bypassing a snow-covered field during a heavy snow storm between Tomamu and Shimukappu Stations

Passing through Shimukappu Station

About to cross underneath a road bridge on the Sekisho Line between Shimukappu and Shin-yubari Stations

Travelling through the sparse rural city of Yubari at night

Passing through Shin-yubari Station

Bypassing a snowy field somewhere in the sparse rural city of Yubari at night

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Shin-yubari and Oiwake Stations on the Sekisho Line

Travelling past a road bridge that crosses a river along the Sekisho Line

Passing through Oiwake Station

Bypassing the Toyota Rent-a-Car Station located near New Chitose Airport as the train approaches Minami-chitose Station

Making a brief stop at Minami-chitose Station

The view of Chitose Outlet Mall Rera at night shortly after departing Minami-chitose Station

Passing through Chitose Station

The front view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, between Chitose and Eniwa Stations on the Chitose Line

Travelling through the suburban city of Chitose at night

Passing through Osatsu Station

Passing through Eniwa Station

Travelling through the suburban city of Eniwa at night

Passing through Megumino Station

Passing through Shimamatsu Station

The view of the interior of the Green Car (first class) cabin on board the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo, from my seat between Eniwa and Kita-hiroshima Stations on the Chitose Line

Travelling between the suburban cities of Eniwa and Kitahiroshima at night

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら8号 札幌行き 北広島 (通過) ~ 新札幌 (到着)

キハ283系 特急スーパーおおぞら8号 札幌行き 新札幌駅から終着札幌駅間

After a relatively long journey time of 4 hours 17 minutes from the northeastern suburban city of Kushiro, I finally arrived back at the Sapporo terminal station at 5.50 p.m. on Track No. 8, six minutes behind schedule. Ensuring that I had all of my personal belongings with me, I alighted the train and proceeded to a nearby washroom in the platform concourse for a brief washroom break before exiting through the main ticket gates.

Upon exiting through the main ticketing gates, I immediately headed over towards the taxi stand located by the entrance to Stellar Place, where I was dropped off earlier that morning. From the taxi stand, I managed to flag down a nearby cab, and informed the driver to take me back towards the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel, knowing that I had baggage with me.

The driver then understood and offered to load my baggage into the boot of his cab while I boarded at the rear. Once my bulky carry-on baggage was loaded into the boot of the cab, I finally departed the lively compound of Sapporo Station by 6.05 p.m., with the entire return journey between Sapporo Station and the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel located in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, taking no more than just 15 minutes.

A 6-car KiHa 261 series DMU, operating on the Limited Express "Super Soya" No. 3 bound for Wakkanai, awaiting departure from Sapporo Station on Track No. 7

The 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, which took me back from Kushiro as the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo earlier, resting at Sapporo Station on Track No. 8

The logo of the 7-car KiHa 283 series DMU, which took me back from Kushiro as the Limited Express "Super Ozora" No. 8 bound for Sapporo earlier, resting at Sapporo Station on Track No. 8

Tracks No. 7 and 8 at Sapporo Station during the evening rush hours

The station concourse leading up towards the platforms in Sapporo Station during the early evening hours

The busy station concourse of Sapporo Station during the early evening rush hours

Looking towards Daimaru Department Store on the other side of Sapporo Station

The exterior view of Stellar Place above Sapporo Station at night

The cab stand located just outside Sapporo Station

The white taxi that would soon take me back to the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel from Sapporo Station

Finally departing the very lively compound of Sapporo Station

Travelling along the snowy roads of Chuo-ku, Sapporo, at night

Making a turn towards Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, at night

Travelling along the snowy roads of Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, at night

Crossing underneath a pedestrian footbridge covered in a heap of snow in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo, at night

Crossing the road bridge over the Toyohira River in Toyohira-ku, Sapporo

Finally approaching the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

Making a turn around the rear compound of the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

Finally arriving back at the main entrance to the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

After a short 15-minute journey from the lively hustle and bustle of Sapporo Station, I finally arrived back at the main entrance to the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel at 6.20 p.m.. Ensuring that I had all of my belongings with me, I paid my cab fare while the hotel butler offered to assist in unloading my carry-on baggage from the boot of the cab. I then thanked the driver for his services once I had all of my belongings with me before he left the hotel.

Entering the main hotel lobby, I went towards the hotel elevator lobby and took the elevator all the way back up towards my Room No. 1136 located on the topmost eleventh level of the hotel, eventually arriving back at the entrances towards Rooms No. 1134 and 1136 before 6.25 p.m.. Upon entering my Room No. 1136, my family was still out, so I simply had a well-earned rest in my hotel room before they returned home.

The miniature footbridge connecting the hotel gallery with the main hotel lobby in the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the early evening hours

The interior of the main hotel lobby at the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel during the early evening hours

The view of my room, Room No. 1136, shortly after I arrived back at the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

The snowy night view of the Toyohira River from my Room No. 1136 at the Renaissance Sapporo Hotel

After having a well-earned rest in the hotel room from my long train journey from Kushiro, my family finally arrived back at our hotel rooms at around 8.30 p.m.. This time, my parents had brought back some McDonald's take-out meals for my brother and I since we were all feeling to exhausted to go out anywhere for dinner.

Upon having our in-room fastfood dinner, we had a nice, hot shower and changed into our pyjamas for the night before packing up some of our baggage in preparation for the road journey towards Furano the next day. Since I was feeling very tired from my long train trip towards Kushiro, I went to bed early at around 10.30 p.m. for a nice, long sleep.

This officially brings the second section of my really special combined Christmas winter vacation in Hokkaido, Japan, and South Korea in December 2013 to a conclusion. The remaining four segments of the report will be published once I have chosen the best quality videos and photographs. With the high quality photographs and videos, this blog report will be worth reading!

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