We were almost reluctant to leave the Toyoko Inn Sapporo because we liked the ammenities so much but we were up early and ready for the long drive ahead of us to the city of Kushiro.
Once we got used to using the bidet and butt washer, I'm thinking it would be a pretty neat thing to market in the U.S.
When we learned that we would be having rice balls and miso soup for breakfast, we were a little skeptical that it would satisfy us. We were delighted to find that the rice balls (mixed with salmon, sesame seeds or tuna) were delicious with various pickled veggies and the miso soup and tea. It was more than enought to sustain us until lunch.
We liked the Japanese heading to their newspaper. "Without fear or favor..." Lovely!
At first we found the Japanese traffic lights rather daunting and confusing. The red light would be on but there would also be green arrows.... and several of them....what to do...what to do. Art must have nerves of steel. He got into the car and after turning on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal several times, he was on his way. My mother sat next to him and translated what the GPS system was saying.
We stopped for lunch in a town called Shimuzu that must have a lot of bears. We saw bears in the shops but none on the road.
After watching Art drive for a while, Dennis offered to give it a try. He was a real trooper... hmmmm... even more daring than Art I'd say. Mom has nerves of steel too, sitting next to him.
These arrows over the road helped us keep to the left side of the road.
My dinner tonight was fish eggs over rice and miso soup. Very nice but I was hungry again an hour later.
Today was a long day of driving. Tomorrow, we'll be on our way to Utoro!
Here are some fun differences we've noticed about Japan so far:
1. No taxes on things you buy so most things are round numbered and you pay the price listed.
2. No tipping. We especially like this one. You never have to wonder how much you should be tipping, you don't have to.
3. Toilet seat wipes are provided in many toilets. But then again, there are often no soap to wash your hands with and no paper towels to wipe your hands with.
4. The service people are extremely kind and solicitous. I really, really like this. This is very impressive. I wish it could be this way all around the world. It would make for a happier, kinder world.
5. Many cars have a boxy shape to them and the colors are usually white or black or muted.