Went to "Marukoma Onsen", a secret hot spring in Lake Shikotsu. The lake and the open-air bath seemed connected, like an infinity hot spring.
Marukoma Onsen was a popular day trip hot spring. It was just the right amount of crowded.
Looking back, saw Mt. Eniwa, an active volcano with an elevation of 1320 meters. It was named from the Ainu word e-en-iwa (meaning "sharp") because of the sharp lava dome at the top. During the Sapporo Olympics half a century ago, a ski downhill course and ropeway were set up on the southwest slope of Mt. Eniwa, the national park area, because there was not good course in Sapporo City that met the elevation and distance requirements for downhill skiing.
Further on, saw Mt. Yotei with its peak covered in clouds.
Stopped by "Cave de Bambou" in Niseko, as the Sessione's chef told about. It's a wine store with a wide selection of natural wines, and the owner was kind and very knowledgeable.
Niseko Mountain Resort Grand Hirafu. Ski season was coming soon. If the next Olympic Games are held in Sapporo in 2030, Niseko will be the venue for the ski courses, as there will be a Shinkansen train station nearby.
View of Mt. Yotei from Hirafu.
On the way back to Sapporo, stopped by OcciGabi Winery, about an hour's drive from Niseko.
The usual doggie greeted. He was hungry and restless in the evening and didn't sit up very well.
Two wine tasting flights for a passenger. The white label was for purchased grapes, the black label was for homegrown grapes and the both vinifications were by Ochigabi.
The first wine tasted was Kerner, a variety typical of Hokkaido, with a clear taste. Compared the Chardonnay of black and white labels. The homegrown grapes were more aromatic, fruity and complex. Totally different.
For the red wine, compared Acolon and Pinot Noir. The unfamiliar variety, Acolon, was the backbone of OcciGabi Winery. It was bred in Germany to ripen early in cold climates and to have a fuller, rounder flavor. It was said a "dream new variety" that was released for public cultivation in 1996. Its parents were Limburger (mother) and Dornfelder (father), both were the best varieties at the time of breeding (1971).
The staff who served us gave us a detailed explanation. Bought Kerner and Chardonnay, which enjoyed. Departed for home and the sun was setting.
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