Saturday, August 23, 2008

day 235 - visiting volcanoes

This seagull approved of our room at the Toya Kanko Hotel as much as we did. (Nakajima and Lake Toya behind.)

Nishiyama. We set out to find the uninspiringly named West Mountain. After losing our way we eventually found the walking trail to the hill which has only existed for 8 years. The photo shows one of a number of structures which didn't survive the birth of a new mountain.

Showa Shinzan. This huge hunk of rock grew from a flat field to 400m in 1 year 7 months in 1944-45. It still smoulders, too hot to support plants or snow.

Why we hate bear parks. We were promised a place where we could observe families of bears in their natural habitat, where "the humans are caged and the bears are free." It turned out to be a very depressing concrete bear-pit where the inmates beg for "cookies".

We generally like to taste all the local produce, but we passed on the packaged Hokkaidan deer, seal and bear.

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