It has been suggested that Hokkaido is like Canada and that as a result I would like that part of Japan. Hokkaido has a number of features which make it more like Manitoba, Canada than other parts of Japan. But it is still a jungle like the rest of Japan and overall has a warmer climate and mountains. Speaking of jungle, if I had to sum up this trip to Japan in one word I would say 'jungle'. Since I had never been in Japan in summer before I was unable to appreciate how things grow here and how farmers have to beat back the jungle to grow crops.
The first thing I saw upon exiting the under ocean tunnel to Hokkaido was the presence of birch trees which I had not seen before. The roads and freeways tend to appear more spacious, organized and drivable than the rest of Japan. In case I have not mentioned this before, the side mirrors on many cars fold against the car with the press of a button. I wonder why ;) Some of the scenery we saw of forests or rivers reminded us of Manitoba. The trees were not as tall as other areas of Japan and the rivers were not all controlled with concrete.
The farms and farm yards are a bit like Manitoba, but where in Manitoba would you see large solar installations? Shame on our government for not encouraging wind and solar power in our back yards. As well in Manitoba we would not see greenhouses as we do here. Some of the crops are similar and the fields in Hokkaido are quite large. A shame that we use cane sugars in Manitoba when we used to grow sugar beets. Sugar beets are a major crop in Hokkaido.
Click on Canada Or Hokkaido to see photographs on Picasa.