After years of wanting to come here, I made it yesterday, late morning, on a flight from Itomi airport to Chitose that lasted just under two hours. A cup of beef broth in the air.
The car rental went as smooth as glass, and soon we were on the left side of the road along the Pacific ocean, driving past strip malls, refineries, and pockets of urban life, until reaching Noboribetsu, which is a village in a national park.
Takinoya, the ryokan we are staying in for about a week, is quiet and pretty much non-English speaking, so I have to use my basic Japanese to talk about the robes, baths, dinners, and breakfasts.
The room is tatami and our view is of a forest where the rain is now falling.
Reading, “The Gate,” by Soseki, and writing.
My latest, which appears in Travel + Leisure today: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/roppongi-neighborhood-tokyo