Sunday, October 12, 2003

Oct. 4, 1993.

Daisetsusan National Park. Rented bicycles early and rode around most of the day. Went to O-dake and Ko-dake, two narrow gorges at some distance from the resort complex. Ko-dake was the best -- a bike path runs through it, while the road, a little crowded with cars, is diverted through a tunnel. The gorge walls are reams of gray rock, bristling with all-color foliage like a wild beard. Saw an assortment of waterfalls en route, including a multi-stream cascade.

Ate roasted corn on the cob and ice cream, two regional specialties, at the wayside shacks of O-dake. Returned the way we came, stopping to climb a moderately long trail to an observation point. The fall colors from this vantage, and in fact all throughout this part of Hokkaido, equal in variety and mass anything I've seen in autumn excursions in East Tennessee or New England.

Oct. 5. Spent the day in transit -- Sounkyo to Kamikawa to Sapporo. Had about three hours in Sapporo, which was enough to walk to the TV tower and take a look-see from its observation deck. Sapporo is a sizable city, spreading out like all Japanese cities, but with the difference that it actually has the space to do so without immediately butting up against a mountain range.


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