Archive | April, 2013

Otaru Music Box Museum

30 Apr

Otaru Orgel Doh or Otaru Music Box Museum, one of the largest museum shops of music boxes, in Japan, stands as a historic landmark to the Otaru City. This building stands out from it’s environment as it is made of  red brick walls and Renaissance style arch-top windows rather than Japanese-styled architecture. Just across the street of the museum are glass-shops that sell interesting ornaments and accessories – something the ladies might want to look at!

Look which famous dog Piggletino met in the Otaru Museum? Hmm… wondering what he is doing here in Japan too!


There is a huge range of music boxes in all shapes and sizes – some as a ferris wheel, musical photo frames or carousels. But Piggletino found his favourite – he loves this band of little bears!



Trip to Hell Valley!!

25 Apr

At the break of dawn, Piggletino saw some signs of snow up on the mountains!


The day was scheduled to visit Noboribetsu Jigokudani (登別地獄谷) or “Hell Valley”, a spectacular valley just above the town of Noboribetsu Onsen. No better name could be given to this amazing land-form, where steam and boiling water bubbled out of the frozen ground and the entire area was enclosed by tall intense forests and steep cliffs. Piggletino couldn’t come out because of the pungent smell of sulfur and bitter cold. Looks like the scout couldn’t go very far too because of the slippery grounds!



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They say this water from the ground feeds various onsens (hot spring baths) around the area, but Piggletino couldn’t understand why anyone would want to take a bath in waters that smell of sulfur when they can take a bath in sweet goodness of the Japanese glutinous rice desserts – green-tea mochi!


NOTE: It will be a worthy trip to visit the Jigokudani in fall, in order to hike through the wooded hills and enjoy the sights of hot rivers flowing through the red forests!

Wow! An award!

17 Apr

A nice fellow photographer wannabephotographer87 has nominated Piggletino’s blog for the REALITY blog award! Here’s a first for Piggletino! Do check out her site by clicking on the link!


So some of the rules include posting the picture above and linking back to the person who nominated you. Both are done.

Now to five questions that should be answered. Piggletino thought about it for awhile and provided these answers:

1. If you could change one thing, what would you change?
Piggletino: I would give my scout a lot more time and finances, a new camera and maybe some language training so that I can visit more places!

2. If you have just one book with you on a deserted island, what would it be?
Piggletino: I don’t know – I’m really not one who reads a lot. How about a camera so that I can take more photos of the island, and myself?

3. What is one thing that really scares you? 
Piggletino: Hmm … Insects and mould! Because they make a mess of my fur! Water maybe, I hate showers.

4. What is one dream you have not completed, and do you think you will be able to complete it?
Piggletino: I want to travel around the world, climb the highest mountains and walk the longest routes. But really, my silly scout won’t do it, so I probably wouldn’t get to do it too.

5. If you could meet any TV or movie star who is still alive, who would it be?
Piggletino: How about Piglet from Winnie the Pooh? Or Porky Pig from Looney Tunes? 🙂

Now to the nominations. I’m not sure how many the awards requires, so here’s my list of awesome sites!
Oh, the Places We See – check out these awesome hotels, gardens and everything that Rusha shares from her trip! And congrats on your blog’s 1st anniversary!

Baz – the Landy – he climbs the highest mountains and takes amazing photographs to share with those of us who are a little vertically challenged/unfit to climb. Hmm, how Piggletino wishes to visit these great sights too!

Bente Haarstad Photos – NORWAY!! Piggletino wishes to visit some day. But for now, look at those photos!

Geoff Shoots the World – great albums at this blog, where the committed world-wide wanderer shares his experiences through his lenses!

Hiking Photography – this is one place you must visit if you wish to learn about hiking. from landscape to equipment and weather, you’ll find some of the most holistic information and photos here!

Alright, that’s all for now. Thanks again to wannabephotographer87, and please check out the five sites above, I’m sure you will enjoy the read too! 🙂

Noboribetsu Bear Ranch

16 Apr

At the foot of Mt Usu, Piggletino entered the Noboribetsu Bear Ranch (昭和新山熊牧場) where huge brown bears and unique species of racoons are!


You could feed the bears with apples and hear bear-keepers share information on their lifestyles! Piggletino didn’t want to come out because he was afraid of these huge animals (and the occasional smell of poop!!)


After the trip to the bear ranch, Piggletino’s scout decided to immerse in some cultural activities – a traditional Taiko drum performance over a seafood dinner!

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Lake Toya cruise and Nakajima Island walk

9 Apr

Check out that awesome view right outside the room’s window!


A Lake Toya (洞爺湖) cruise was in place for the day! The ship Piggletino was taking looked vaguely like an old castle (it’s that bit of structure on the right of this picture) and Piggletino was keen to take off on this legendary lake that was second most transparent in Japan and which was known to never have turned into ice!


Piggletino had thought the mountain was Mt Fuji – but it’s NOT! It’s Mt Yotei (羊蹄山), once having had two volcanic eruptions. But Piggletino wasn’t too far off when he learnt that Mt Yotei was famously regarded as Ezo Fuji, or tiny Fuji, because of its close resemblance to the iconic landmark of Japan.

Crossing the lake would bring you to the Nakajima National Forest, where you could see various spruce trees and check out the “Eight views of Lake Toya” where you can see Mt Yotei and more scenic views of Hokkaido! Piggletino138  Piggletino137  Piggletino139Piggletino140

Take a whole day at Lake Toya / Nakajima Island to enjoy the leisurely lifestyle! Piggletino never thought there was so much to learn!

Ishiya Chocolate Factory: Shiroi Koibito Park

2 Apr

Heading off to the Ishiya Chocolate factory that has some of the most famous Hokkaido souvenirs – the Shiroi Koibito biscuits! The Shiroi Koibito Park is much like a museum and theme park combined, where visitors can see various chocolate exhibits, the cookie production process and even make their own cookies!


Upon arriving, Piggletino spotted very interesting sights before entering the compound:

Strange looking tree-houses…


Bakers pulling ropes and making a cookie wall and so much more!

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At the end of the day, Piggletino learnt that Shiroi Koibito got himself some famous Shiroi Koibito cookies, which consists of two thin butter cookies and a layer of white chocolate between….


…and a little can of white chocolate milk!


What a happy day for this little pig!