We finally managed to exit Wakkanai this morning. It wasn't snowing to start with but visibility was poor with wind blown snow drift. It didn't take long to start snowing heavily again & several times I wondered if we'd get through to Ohmu. We moved between beautiful valleys with heavily laden trees that looked like it was my ideal of a northern hemisphere Christmas and less interesting areas where you had to follow the posts to see the road. In one place the conditions were so dodgy the marker poles had flashing lights on them. It's very disconcerting for people who are not used to driving in heavy snow but the locals (like everywhere) are used to it and drive too fast. Yesterday the temperature was -6 with wind chill of -21, today is -8 / -18 (less wind). We stopped at the northernmost tip of Japan just out of Wakkanai and unlike yesterday, we could actually see it.
We are now in a lovely Scandinavian themed hotel, on a bluff over looking the sea on the opposite side of the peninsula. looking to the east. I have been doing it hard over the past 3 days without an onsen and was delighted to find this hotel's is the most lovely I have come across in a large hotel. The decor is black stone with flecks, like marble. It has 3 indoor pools ranging from 40 to 42 degrees. I must be acclimatized now as I found the 40 & 41 degree pools too cool. The food here is also really lovely, a nice blend of Japanese and Western. The local scallops here are the best I have ever tasted, sweet & juicy and just fabulous whether raw or cooked.
I don't have much to report today. It was a long drive with only a couple of stops.