Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Hokkaido self drive experience 6 北海道自驾假期体验

Self drive holiday is fun.

We needed an International Driving Permit in order to drive in Japan. It was rather simple to apply through JPJ (Road transport department). Filled up a form, two copies of photo and RM150 (valid for one year), photo copies of IC and valid Malaysian driving license ( validity not less than one year), all done in less than 10 minutes.

Pun and I had applied for the permit.

Mr and Mrs Pun are restaurateur. They sold off their famous restaurant business in Kajang and retired about 3 years ago.

They are simple and accommodating, compatible companions. With Pun driving, I could do more video and photograph taking.

The sixth day (232/7/2011) proved to be an exciting and adventurous day.

We left Wakkanai, the northermost city , early morning and heading towards the northermost point of Japan - Cape Soya.

On the way, we visited one seaweeds (Kombu in Japanese) farmer's house and saw the drying of seaweeds up close. The farmers are very friendly, and allowing us to have a feel of laying the seaweeds on the floor.

Cape Soya is the most northern tip of Hokkaido. Across the Soya sea, is the island of Sakhalin which Japan ceded to Russia during WW II.

Around the Cape, there are many statue and memorial marking the many tragic events happening around the region.

A memorial called Tower of Prayer was erected in memory of Korean Air flight 007 downed by Russia in 1983, all 269 passengers and crews were killed.

A Monument of Peace was erected to remember 80 crew members of USS Wahoo sunk by Japanese about 30 kms from Cape Soya in 1943, as well as 5 Japanese merchant ships sunk with 690 people, attacked by USS Wahoo.

It was noon after seeing many places around Cape Soya. We bid farewell to the northern most city of Japan and heading south towards Asahikawa. Enroute, we stopped by a park to have our picnic lunch ... Rice with Japanese herbal and seaweeds seasoning.

We felt safe at any park that we stopped for picnic. But sorry to say we do not feel the same in our own country.

Half way through our journey, we stopped by a farm to satisfy our curiosity of how hay bales were being made.

The friendly machine operator and owner saw us and stopped the machine to greet us.Mr. Togashi was so friendly, he invited us to his other farm to see how hay was being cut and the process that followed.

Language was no barrier at all. We communicated through signs and writing ... plus some humour which Mr. Togashi was bundled with.

We felt sad to say goodbye to the most friendly Japanese we met in our journey. He and his worker kept waving to us until out of sign. It was such a wonderful experience!

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我们需要拥有国际驾驶准证才能够在日本驾驶,这可以向陆路交通局申请。程序是填妥一份表格,两只照片,费用马币150令吉 (一年的有效期),两张照片,身份证及驾驶执照复印本(驾照有效期不可少过一年),十分钟内就办妥了。





我们很早就离开稚内市区,要到北海道,也是日本陆地最北点 - 宗谷岬。

途中我们停在一家渔人的家,参观晾晒海带(日文为昆布)的过程。我们看到应该是一家人正忙着把刚收获的海带,铺放在地上晾晒。他们非常友善,还邀请我们请自下手,感觉铺放 海带的滋味。只可惜我们不会日语,沟通就不便,很多问题不能获得答案。不过,我们很感谢这家人的热情及接纳。



祈祷塔碑是纪念在1983年,苏联发射飞弹击落的南韩航空 KAL 007 班机,机上269名乘客及机组人员全部罹难。

另一座和平纪念碑,是纪念在1943年,美国战舰 USS Wahoo,在离开这里大约30公里的海域,连同80位海员被击沉,以及五艘日本商船,690 位海员,被 USS Wahoo 摧毁沉没的事故而立。




拖拉机的驾驶员兼老板,见到了我们,停下来和我们打招呼。Mr. Togashi (日文打不出来)非常的友善,和我们一起拍照,还邀请我们到附近他另一座牧场,去看看饲草是如何收割的。

语言不是沟通的障碍。我们用手势,写字,驾驶 Togashi 先生充满的幽默感,大家都相处的很愉快。




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