Today I am in Tomakomai, Hokkaido Japan
Close to the Ocean, no-nonsense, clean lines and friendly people! Great place to visit!
I flew into Chitose Airport in Hokkaido and was awed by the expanse of Fall color I witnessed below.
Tomakomai city (population about 170,000) is a coastal town featuring beautiful golf courses, ice hockey rinks, no-nonsense buildings and lots of great food!
Being here reminds me a bit of when I visited my best friend's fraternity house during my time at Tufts. There was lots of activity, gruff voices and lots of fun and laughter. Testosterone was prevalent to say the least :)
As an industrial town and home to many world renown automobile parts manufacturers as well as a center for Oji Paper, a lot of people here are working hard and enjoying friends.
I would not say the architecture is particularly fancy but since you can see the bright blue ocean from pretty much wherever you are, and the mountain ranges in the distance, you know this is a town where nature rules. I can imagine the whole place covered in snow as I am sure it will be in a few weeks.
Tomakomai is an Ainu word and I feel a spiritual connection similar to life in Hawaii where you know that just under the surface of the modern feel and bustle in this town lies a deep, rich and unrivaled history. If I had a few more moments here, I would definitely explore and try to learn more about our brothers and sisters who found called this fertile, relatively safe area home, so long ago.
If you are coming through Chitose airport and have a day to spare, I recommend the Grand Hotel New Oji (upper floor ocean facing corner room) for a taste of rustic and truly historic Hokkaido.