Japan - October 13th
On Wednesday morning we left the hot springs and drove to Lake Toya, about an hour away. Once there we boarded a boat shaped like a castle (still haven't figured that out yet) and took an hour tour of the lake and the scenery. To the left is Kevin and Eurie on the boat. The lake is like a big donut with an circular island in the center. It was a nice and peaceful boat ride and we got to enjoy the fall scenery. After the ride it was back on the bus for a long, scenic drive through the mountains. The road was very curvy and made for lots of turns.It made us all a little tired and sick since we hadn't eaten lunch yet. But, along the way we did get to see some beautiful scenery. After that long ride we finally arrived in the town of Otoru. Here we finally got to eat lunch! We went to a local sushi restaurant and enjoyed a relaxing lunch with the family. After lunch we strolled through the streets of Otoru and did a little shopping. It was good to get out and walk a bit after sitting in the bus for so long. In the late afternoon it was back on the bus for the drive into Sapporo.But, before we could get to the hotel we had one more stop.We weren't entirely sure what the next stop was but it turned out to be a Chocolate Factory!?!? Not sure that any of us was excited about this portion of the tour. But, we dutifully got out of the bus and hurried our way through the Shiroi Koiboto Park, which houses the Shiroi Koibito Factory where they make chocolate. We were told it was a famous attraction but we didn't buy it. At this point in the day we were all tired and just wanted to get the hotel before dinner. A bus full of tired people is dangerous! We finally made it to the hotel and got about a hour of rest before it was back on the bus to head to dinner. We decided tonight we were going to celebrate Grandpa's birthday so we went to a nice, traditional Japanese restaurant and ordered the local specialty, crab! We each chose how many courses we wanted and just started eating! So much food came out that we got really full pretty quickly, but everything was so good! We ended the dinner with eating a cake we bought for Grandpa's birthday. We even took a nice group photo.