Whenever my children and I see an airplane in the sky, we would talk about how we wanted to take a trip and fly on one. We applied for the chance to receive gift miles after learning about this project. When we were notified that we would receive gift miles, we screamed with delight that we would be able to ride a plane.
When considering where we could go that the children would enjoy, I immediately thought of Asahiyama Zoo. We decided that the main part of our trip would be Asahiyama Zoo, but that we would also rent a car to visit Furano and Otaru and enjoy the delicious food in Hokkaido. Planning our trip was also fun and helped us forget about the earthquake and tsunami.
My children's first airplane ride was a thrilling and exciting experience, and they looked nervous but not nervous enough to keep them from enjoying the view from the window during our flight. We also took pictures as a souvenir after reaching New Chitose Airport.
In Furano, we enjoyed Mongolian mutton barbecue served at a Michelin rated restaurant, fresh seasonal melon, and fields of lavender and other colorful flowers. Furano satisfied both our stomachs and our hearts.
It was rainy on the morning of the day that we visited Asahiyama Zoo, but the weather gradually cleared up and we were able to leisurely enjoy the facilities. We were riveted by the seal exhibit that let us watch the seal swim up and down the glass tunnel. It was amazing that all of the exhibits were designed to allow the visitors to enjoy watching the animals. My youngest child, who seems to really like hippopotamuses, was looking forward to seeing the hippopotamus exhibit and could not get enough of Momokichi, the hippopotamus there. Even now, my youngest child wants to go see the hippopotamuses again.
In Otaru, we rode a rickshaw for the first time, learned about Otaru history, and enjoyed the conversation that we had with the rickshaw driver.
In Sapporo, the woman at our hotel's front desk recommended a Japanese style pub that offers unbelievably delicious food at reasonable prices. It was so good that we went there twice in two days.
As we are currently living and sleeping in a cramped temporary housing unit, the children also looked forward to the nights and excitedly played on the bed during our trip. I would like to thank all of the JAL Mileage Bank members and JAL staff members who made this wonderful trip possible.
(Yamamoto Town, Miyagi Prefecture / Age:30s / Gender:Female)