12 May 2015
In the morning we walked out to the vicinity of the hotel, it was seven in the morning but like the other places, the town was still in sound asleep. The hotel is close to a bus terminal. A few people were waiting there for a coach.
Today we were going to visit two flower parks. The first park we went to is called Taiyonooka Engaru Park. Unfortunately there were very few variety of flowers. The best time to visit the Park is in September for cosmos. We stopped to take some pictures and tasted an ice cream in the information centre. The ice cream was milky and silky.
After a brief stop at the Taiyonooka Engaru Park we headed for the ultimate pink moss park – Higashimokoto Shibazakura Pink Moss Park. It was a long drive so we stopped midway at a coach terminal for a toilet and lunch break.
Like other restaurants in small towns, staff there spoke little to no English but still tried their very best to explain to customers the different dishes offered on the menu. We could order easily by seeing the photos. The food there was the usual high Japanese standard and the price was really cheap.
By 4pm, we arrived at the park. It was magnificent even you have not entered it. We were lucky that the car park was not full. Although it was still early in the season, most of the park was already covered by a thick layer of pink and purple mosses. From 1 May 1 to early June, the Shibazakura (Pink Moss) Festival is one of the most unique and colourful festivals on the Hokkaido flower calendar.
Admission was again 500 yen per person with free WIFI provided in areas of shops, stalls and park facilities. We walked up the hills through the winding paths on foot. You can spend more than more than two hours if you walk slowly.
If you want to save some time, you could choose to take a small shuttle bus.
In the evening we checked in Kussharo Prince Hotel located by the Kussharo Lake. It is in fact a luxury five-star hotel. As it was in low season so we got a bargain price for our stay. The hotel is quite isolated on a quiet side of the lake. There isn’t any restaurant within walking distance so we took our dinner in the hotel.
However, the decision turned out to be the biggest mistake in this trip. We each paid 4200 yen for a buffet dinner with limited choice and average quality of food. There were less than 10 customers, including us four, in the restaurant. The number of customers they have in low season is just not enough to support a decent buffet. The hotel should have closed the buffet and offered set meals instead.