A bean says "I love you forever"

Treasure every encounter, for it will never recur.

At the counter of Noboribetsu Gateway Center, we sincerely treasure every encounter everyday. This pretty bean with the Chinese word "I love you forever" was given by a Taiwanese lady whom I assisted with choosing a day spa in the heavy rain. It was such a small thing I assisted, however, the lady appreciated and carefully choose this one and gave it to me with "Thank you very much".

We hugged each other as if we were old friends when we said goodbye.
Hope I left the lady at the place with her heart warmed up a little in a cold rainy day, because her smile made my heart warm.


Meet the origin of Hokkaido

Last night was the night you did not want to sleep.

One of our hotels, "Daiichi Takimotokan" (http://www.takimotokan.co.jp/) has its 151 years anniversary and held the Ainu's traditional performing arts at the foyer. The hotel has many programs to entertain the customers for 151 days from 1 June.

Here's me with Yamamaru-san, who is a symbolic figure of the local Ainu people. With the extremely strong feature and a gorgerous traditional outfit, he is very charismatic.

At 9pm, the hotel foyer was crowded with many audience who wore "Yukata" (After-bath cotton kimino) and the group of performers greeted with their own language and musical intruments.
Ainu is the indigenous people in Hokkaido and has a sad history similar to Australia aborigines, and try their best to pass their tradition down to the next generation.

They demostrated some different kind of dance and songs. Their musical instruments are made with bamboo and strings and the function is just so simple. However, it is very difficult to make a sound but once professionals can make any sort of sounds and tones. I know that because I have started practicing myself and can tell it'd be a long way!

The highlight of the night was at the very last when audience were invited to dance with them.
There is no rule to get funky!

You can meet them at "Shiraoi Porotokotan" (Ainu Museum): http://www.ainu-museum.or.jp/


Arrival at "10th Avenue of Hell"

Let me "brag" in my blog about what I have just achieved today.

I made it to the 10th Avenue of Hell and I am sooo proud.


One of our "Ramen" noodle shops, "Aji no Daio" on "the Heaven Avenue (Gokuraku Dori)" has an unique menu setup. Their standard Ramen noodle is yummy enough, however, if you want to show off your bravery, you must challenge this...There is a step from Zero Avenue to 10th or maybe more according to how much spice contains in your soup. You get 10 big scoops of chili powder in your soup to reach to 10th Avenue of Hell !!

no modesty, no mercy....just working hard

The rule is simple. You have to empty your bowl. No reward or refund even if you achieve 10th Avenue, however, you are eligible to receive lots more valuable thing....honor!! And your name is up on the wall and you would become legend.

Very tempting, hey?!
Look at the color of the soup!!!!!Let me tell you, the thickness of red color really hurt my eyes and brainwashed me that there was no way I can even have one sip. When I first put my chopsticks to scoop some noodles, I could feel the heavy weight of chili powder in my soup!

"OMG! What would I do to myself? This is an absolute suicidal." was what I was mumbling.

But I have a pride too. And I also had my supporters, Abe chan and, to hold my hands.

I was starved to death and was ready to eat anything anyway. However, the thickness of red color made me sick to my stomach just looking at it and the soup is not liquid, it is actually close to paste.

Surprisingly I enjoyed the first 1/3 of it. The soup is far too thick but the taste is quite good.
I was confident and optimistic for the first 5 minutes and I was sooooooo wrong!
It gradually became difficult for me to slide the food down to my throat, I even felt nausea.
Then I felt my body system was shut down and I reached the stage where I could no longer keep going. This is the first time I really felt the limit. Had a cold sweat...

BUT!!! I am a big girl and a big girl would never surrender!Ever! Also Abe-chan next to me was supportive and very patient....

well...took me about 40 minutes, because I had to rest for at least 10 minutes.....And with the last sense of "Ganbaru" (best effort for the achievement) spirit all finished!!!! "Gochiso sama!!"

I think I really saw the HELL and came back to this life. And this is the proof of how crazy I am...Now my tummy is burning!!!

Abe chan's favorite, Miso Curry Jigoku (= "hell", one scoop of chili powder) ramen noodle is also recommended.

Huge Thanks to you, Abe-chan. Without you, I could never ever make it....Seriously...

This may sound stupid to call this a challenge. It was a challenge to win over my limit and I did it!!

Wanna beat me or test your braveness? Come and try to reach to the 10th Avenue of Hell!

Ramen Noodle Restaurant: "Aji no Daio"
Address: Noboribetsu-onsen cho 29 (On "Gokuraku" Dori)
Phone: 0143-84-2415

if you need a help to find the restaurant,
come ask us at Noboribetsu Gateway Center!