It is now time for a new country…a new beginning to a new adventure: South-Korea!
The HopTour in Japan was a great success. The island of Hokkaido is definitely a little paradise for all you nature lovers out there.
The two weeks in Iruka Hotel, located at the edge of the Shiretoko National Park, has been one of the highlights of our trip. The owners of the hotel, Miyuki San and her son, Yuzuru San, were incredibly warm and welcoming. They were considerate to our project, and very thankful for our work: general advice, business plan, photos and promotional video…We hope that these tools will be useful to them in the futur.
With its visitor centres and nature schools, Shiretoko park has been extremely rich to our knowledge. The park is a great model for conservation and education to the locals and the tourists who keep increasing each year.
The boat cruise, which took us up to Cape Shiretoko (the furthest point to the east of Japan), was one of the activities that stood out the most, with the possibility to spot brown bears, waterfalls, birds, beautiful cliffs and even the Russian islands! To all you adventurers out there, this incredible location has just been voted #1 destination in Asia for 2016 by Lonely Planet, and many tourists are gaining interest, so go for it before its too late!
The last week in Japan also held a few surprises.
After two weeks in Shiretoko, we took off for Akan Lake, known for its endemic algae balls that take more than 100 years to develop, its beautiful sceneries and its indigenous Ainu community.
We then got back on the road and directed ourselves towards Obihiro, a small village in the middle of the countryside. Upon arrival at the camping, we were taken by surprise… It had been destroyed by the last typhoon, and there was no way that we could stay there for the night. Once again, our Japanese friends took matters into hand and looked for a solution: two hours later, we were on our way for a small farm!
We woke up at 6 AM, put our boots on, and headed for the fields, a pair of clippers in hand, ready to start cutting pea roots all morning. We followed with another night at the farm, which included great moments shared around ultra-organic and vitamin-filled meals. The freedom of traveling with out planning can sometimes turn out complex, but these type of rewards demonstrate that a good star is looking down on us.
Arigatou gozaimas to the Japanese, who demonstrated genuine kindness, an impressive sens of hospitality, and an enriching culture…we would recommend the experience to everyone! It is with sadness that we leave this outstanding country.
Now, it is time to open our dictionnaire to learn a few basic of the Korean language!