Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tuesday, Apr 17th, Noboribetsu, Japan


Another travel day aboard an express train and a local bus from Sapporo to Noboribetsu (Milky River), so named by the local Ainu for the mineral waters originating from geothermal underground springs (Hell Valley).

But we got in too late to see any of it, and had to settle for the public baths and pool on the third floor of the hotel.

But earlier in the day, we explored Sapporo.  From the 38th floor of the JR Tower to the center of the city (Odori Park), Miyuki showed us her city.  Growing up fast since the 1972 Winter Olympics, it has become home to Japanese seeking a colder climate and a wilder territory.  With Hokkaido containing 20% of Japan's land and only four percent of its population, Sapporo feels like it has room to breathe and opportunity to experiment.  Heeding the founder of its university (William S. Clark), who inspired his students "Boys, be ambitious", the city feels full of future dreams.

What it doesn't have are locations which display a thousand years of history.  No shrines or temples or castles that were built as statements of power.  In fact, the shoguns which came to Sapporo became civil engineers, like the one who built the canal through the city shortly after the Mejii Restoration in 1866.  What Sapporo showcases is the successes which occur when cultures are brought together to share ideas and energy.  It may not have much of a past, but it has a heck of a future.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Tuesday, Apr 17th, Noboribetsu, Japan.

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