The journey to experience extreme cold, fun activities and fantastic seasonal foods.

The destination we chose for some grown up fun was Lake Kanayama in the winter.

Lake Kanayama is a man made lake which was made at the same time the Kinzan Dam was constructed.
Each season brings an opportunity for different activities;
in the summer you can canoe on the lake, enjoy the lavender in the area, and in winter you can enjoy smelt fishing and camping.
Since we have been all about sports and outdoor activities from when we were students, we chose to experience the winter season.

First we decided to dine on exquisite French cuisine at a relaxing and fashionable hotel.

We arrived in Minami Furano before evening, and headed to Larch, a log hotel and cottages overlooking Lake Kanayama.
Just like its name suggests, Larch was a log house built from Hokkaido larch,
and proved to be a warm and healing space surrounded by thick and peaceful forests.
For dinner we dined on exquisite French-based creative cuisine at the hotel restaurant, which is highly reputable among the locals.
Conversation flowed as we dined in a setting that was most elegant.

We set out on a night picnic after dinner, and everyone was excited about experiencing so many new things.

On a night when the temperature drops to minus 10 degrees Celsius, it's time to bundle up and go out!
Put on your snowshoes and head lamp, and follow the nature guide to a tent set up on the frozen lake.
No sooner than we arrive, we are hanging from a hammock, gazing up at the starry sky.
The skies are clear this evening, so the stars appear within reach! Beautiful!
Though the severe cold is not a joking matter, it is a lot of fun.
We warm our bodies with Cafe Royal the guide has prepared for us, and enjoy a night of excitement despite the extreme cold.

Daytime on Lake Kanayama also proves to be exciting with smelt fishing, a typical winter activity.

The next morning we headed out again down to Lake Kanayama and tried our hand at smelt fishing.
A hole is drilled in the ice on the lake that is 65 centimeters thick, and the line with bait is lowered into the hole.
Then we wait.
Within five minutes my friend's rod got a pull, and the smelt were on the line! From then on, we reeled in fish after fish!
We were told that depending on the location and the weather, that some days the catch wasn't very good.
After we were done fishing, we had our smelt deep fried Tempura style and enjoyed that sweet flavor of the fresh fish.
Everyone had a smile on their face.
Through this journey, our friendship extended to a deeper level.

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Lake Kanayama Log Hotel & Cottages [Larch]