came night time and still it felt like we were so few in this industrial town of Obihiro, little did i know that the island of Hokkaido holds the record of having the highest rate of depopulation in Japan. it was so odd that even at night time despite all the lamp posts' on, you can almost count the number of people walking. ones energy can be drained by its silence. did i mention that it was still approaching seven in the evening?
the Obihiro Centennial Hall was all lights but seemed like there was no one performing. it indeed felt like i was Robert Neville for a moment. but this city is nestled by vast expanse of green fields with barns and few houses and in few miles the East Coast. it has a large agricultural sector of beans, wheat and potatoes.
finally it seemed like i finally found the place where people were gathering, the dining block which was just across the Obihiro Station. there were several food stalls with lanterns that lighted the small alley. they call the place "Kita No Yatai", popular as it holds foods from different countries.
Sashimi, Sushi, Miso soup at its best matched with the local beer Sapporo while enjoying Hokkaido's sweet climate. with a kimono served in the hotel room, just the way i wanted the nigth to end.
how to get there:
by plane: take a domestic flight from any Japan airport to Tokachi-Obihiro Airport
by train: take the JR line from major Japan train station to JR Obihiro station with scenic views of the mountains of Hokkaido.
city walk: 3.5
overall escape factor: 4.0
42^ 52" 22' N
143^ 12" 20' E