Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rausu/Yoroushi: 26th Feb 2015

Again, our alarm clock did not fail us and we did not disappoint ourselves. We woke up punctually at 4am, got ready by 430am and set off to board our boat to catch the intense action of the Steller's sea eagles!

Today, the sunrise was really beautiful. You could see the sun slowly approaching upwards, with very nice shades of gold, yellow and orange creating beautiful light in the sky. The eagles were already on standby, awaiting for food. I found a good seat this time and I desperately needed it. Reason being on the previous day, I was on my knees and in the end, had much bruises on them that I could not bend my legs well :( So a seat was much needed this morning!

Some tango among the eagles

Crow on the left, Steller's sea eagle on the right.

No crow/eagle is going to catch its fish!

Trying to perfect its landing

Close-up photo of the Steller's sea eagle

3 hours of intense shooting and I saw much action that day. We were anticipating what we saw yesterday. We were all trying to get better shots than the previous day haha. In fact, today I ditched my tripod in the car as it was so tough juggling both the tripod and myself on balance on the boat.

All of us felt pretty satisfied and we made our way back to hotel for our breakfast. So looking forward to a hot bowl of miso soup at that instant!!

After breakfast, we packed our stuff, rested a while, before meeting Takashi-san to drive to Yoroshii. I went to say farewell to Kuma-san, the dog in the hotel. He was just too adorable and I gotta take a last look of him :)

We took a brief stop at a museum which showcased the various wildlife that one can catch at Shiretoko Peninsula. A pity we didn't manage to see the seals. We thought we saw one..but end up it was a Stellar's sea eagle :( Talking about daydreaming -_-

The beautiful landscape outside the museum

We set off for Yoroushi and along the way, we spotted so many deers! Beware of the photos below..nothing but the deers!

They spotted us and ran away! 

Luckily, we spotted more deer as we drove towards Yoroushi. Some battle happening real-time!

Taking huge heaps of fresh air

Father and child : Connection

Then, we drove past along the coastline and saw few wandering deers, looking through for some food in the midst of snow and debris.


I love animal photography. One of the reasons is that I learn the animal instinct from them. Many times, man will think that he is the smartest living being on earth. But animals do have their intelligence as well. Just like how they signal to each other whether there are vehicles coming along their way and making sure it is safe before crossing the road. It is through animal photography that I practice patience so that I can capture and witness these priceless moments of communication between the animals. 

And so the whole herd of deers quickly made their way across the road. Safety is the utmost importance.

Drift ice along the drive

It was already 2pm by the time we had lunch. Time just passed when you are busy snapping away haha..and we didnt really felt the hunger. What shocked us is the huge servings of food served at that particular restaurant. 

The food was oishii but the amount was too much for us to take in. A single meal could be a better choice for 2 person sharing haha.. Then we learnt from the guide that people staying around this area are all farmers who work very hard, and they have big appetite. Hence, the food serving size is usually big to cater for them. Now we appreciate the reason haha.

After lunch, we slowly made our way to our hotel at Nakashibetsu town. There is only one road to this hotel. It is pretty secluded. The hotel is known as Yuyado-Daiichi
I can tell you this is the most posh onsen/ryokan accomodation I have ever stayed in. I will go visit again in the future!!It is so much better than in Kinosaki and Shibu onsen area haha. This I believe is the splurge factor of the trip!

The spacious lobby which we did all our shooting

We hoped to see some martens at the area. An excellent place for photography as the hotel lobby is facing large window panels, which faces the forest outside. So you could witness any animal action and photograph them while in comfort and warmth!
And our guide informed us that the onsen at this ryokan was the top best! It is a must try and of course I would not miss the chance!

Upon reaching the hotel, I changed and marched straight to the onsen hahaha..and it was just about the rotenburo(outdoor onsen) offered spectacular views of the forest! It was a luxury as you immersed in the hot onsen while enjoying snow falling on your head :)
Something which I always envy while watching Channel News Asia's Japan Hour haha
And after freshening up, I headed to the lobby to meet the rest of the gang. We were awaiting the sight of any wildlife right outside the hotel window. After waiting for 1h or so, suddenly there was a big commotion at one corner. A Blakiston's fish owl was spotted! 

It was our first encounter and we were overwhelmed at this sight! The boss of the hotel commented that we were very lucky to spot this owl right in front of the hotel!
If not, we might be spending hours in the snow awaiting the arrival of this owl!
Everyone were so excited. Any slight movement of the owl was accompanied with heaps of camera clicks haha.. well I guess the owl must be very proud to have captured such an attention!

You can see how happy the owl was, savoring its catch!

And then, another person alerted us to another owl, which was hidden above the branches in the trees! Goodness! Two owls that night. It's likely the martens would hide though, as they knew there were the owls around... too bad , we did not spot any martens :(

With that owl-watching for 1.5h, we were famished and headed off for our long-awaited dinner.
The total number of dishes served was astonishing! We almost could not finish every single of them. But, it was real whole luxury for all of us! I didn't take any pictures as I was too famished but the food quality was really good!

To celebrate a wonderful night, some of us headed off for onsen again before resting!
It's my first time doing onsen at night. A memorable experience too :)

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