Yoichi, Shakotan and Otaru

Yoichi, Shakotan and Otaru

Thursday 11th August 2005

A busy day - the morning visiting the famous Yoichi distillery, followed an afternoon walk by the coast on the Shakotan peninsula, and then an evening in the port of Otaru.

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07:47:35 We were up bright and early to walk over to Sapporo station, from where we got a bus to Yoichi.

09:52:54 The gatehouse entrance to the Yoichi distillery complex.

09:55:26 Perhaps the most often photographed building (actually the maltings) in the Yoichi distillery.

09:55:35 The same again - I think I was trying to get the "10" sign out of shot, but failed.

10:07:51 One of the stills.

10:07:57 The furnace under one of the stills.

10:08:10 A line of stills.

10:21:57 Some barrels.

10:22:20 More barrels.

10:23:08 A view through the archway into one of the maturing rooms.

10:55:29 Taken from a viewing tower within the complex - interesting how the red distillery building rooftops poke out from the trees.

10:55:54 More distillery buildings.

10:57:55 This is a photo of the son of Taketsuru - the founder of the Yoichi distillery - with Koizumisan (the Japanese prime minister).

11:04:59 Me, very much enjoying the tasting - I think this was the "Salty and Peaty" drawn straight from the barrel - marvellous.

11:37:17 One of the other buildings was selling some rather special single cask bottlings. There was also a nice photo in here of Rita - Taketsurusan's wife, who incidentally was Scottish.

11:45:13 Me and Chie with the Nikka Whisky sign.

11:46:05 Those buildings again.

11:46:27 Me and the famous barrels.

11:53:31 Bizarrely next door to the Yoichi distillery is some sort of space museum thing.

11:53:46 I think the cut-out on the right hand side here in meant to be Noguchi-san - the Japanese astronaut who recently went into space.

14:01:52 In the afternoon, we thought we'd go for a nice relaxing walk along the coastline of the Shakotan peninsula. 4.7 KM - now that can't require any real effort, can it...?

14:11:04 To start off with the walk was through this very cool and breeze woodland, very pleasant.

14:15:49 By the time we got out of the woods though, our pleasant walk had turned into a hellish inferno. I don't think I have ever sweated so much in my life...

14:26:04 ...however the lovely scenery did at least partly make up for it!

14:26:14 Lovely green hills, and very little sign of anything man-made.

14:33:50 I think this rock, seen through the trees, is called the candle or something.

14:38:24 The same rock again.

14:39:28 Chie wasn't suffering from the hear quite as much as me, but still it was getting to her nonetheless.

14:50:57 More cliff shots...

14:52:04 ...and more.

14:53:39 A sign, which gave me some reassurance that the end was in sight.

15:00:02 Being a cliff path, there was lots of up and down, which made it really hard work.

15:00:50 Yet more coastal views.

15:04:01 Not really much one can say about these!

15:20:35 ...still more of the same...

15:20:56 ...and more.

15:30:31 A lighthouse.

15:40:06 At the end of our walk was a rather nice beach - if only we'd bought our swimming things, a dip in the water would have been fantastic at this point.

15:41:42 the beach was quite a nice spot in itself, with very clear water.

15:46:32 Chie on the beach.

15:46:51 Me on the beach - you may be able to get an inckling from this picture of just how hot and sweaty I had got.

15:46:59 Nice rocks and stuff.

15:47:04 Very clear water!

18:54:47 After our walk around Shaoktan, we stopped off in Otaru on our way back to Sapporo. This is a port city, and pleasingly seems to also have its own beer.

18:55:18 This izakaya type place in Otaru also had its own live entertainment which was a little... odd.

18:59:43 Beer, etc.

19:34:42 I think the beer was brewed on the premises.

19:41:54 Elsehwere in Otaru, on a bridge over the canal.

19:42:43 Stupid foreigners, tsk, tsk.

20:28:20 Dinner in an Italian restaurant in Otaru - a minor celebration was in order as I'd received a job offer today.

20:31:10 ...although we didn't want to overdo it!