My second stop was actually the next station from the Swan Lake – Mashu.  It’s a famous lake area in the east of Hokkaido, but the place I stayed was in the middle of nowhere, far from the lakes.  There is this English-style manor house/hotel.

My close friend recommended this place to me, and I scheduled my trip around staying here for a few nights.  It’s a bit pricey if you stay on your own, but considering the place I am staying in Otaru, the quality of the food and services, this manor totally worth every yen I paid.

The day of arrival was snowy. It snowed through late in the evening.  I was very lucky, because until 3 hours prior to my arrival, there was no snow in this area at all.  Now, as you see, it’s completely white all around. 

The ground floor of the manor was a living room with fireplace and a dining hall with a view to a field.  The upper floors house 8 guest rooms, but only 2 were occupied including by myself.  So, it was quite tranquil and perfect.
After settling in, I took a walk around in the snow.  I walked down to a brook, then took a big turn within the property.  The innocent snow turned into a bit like a snow storm, so I could not venture out of the site.

I came back in, warmed up in front of the fireplace, and read a little before dinner (I will write about the book in a separate post).  The other guest was an American/Japanese couple who live just 10 minutes from my place in Tokyo.  They were quite nice, and we chatted throughout our stay.
As it turned out, the owner of the hotel is a doctor (or I should say an owner of a hospital) near Tokyo.  He did his internship in the north, became friends with a local hunter, and decided to have a manor house there.  He also has a restaurant in Tokyo, to which I had been to many times.

Before going to bed, I looked out of the window and found the sky was completely clear and starry.  I couldn’t resist going out into the snow.  It was close to full moon, and with the snow, outside was quite bright for a night.  Another magical moment.  Very very quiet, the only sound was the strong wind withering.
The moon was so bright.

The second day at the manor, I took a long walk in the snow. This day was sunny, sub-zero, and the most beautiful day.   There were lots of animal foot prints on snow, which turned out to be foxes’.  Snowy mountains were gorgeous against the blue sky.  Saw 5 swans flying south.

I just spent the day walking around, taking pictures, and tried a horseback riding (the manor has stables too).
I stayed at the manor for full 2 days.  I will go back there as soon as I get a chance.