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Friday, December 20, 2013

Hokkaido Winter 2013 北海道冬季之旅 - Abashiri JR Station 网走駅, Posta Collect 郵便局のポスタルグッズ


Abashiri JR Station (A69), on Senmo main line and Sekihoku main line.
Limited Express Okhotsk serves between Sapporo and Abashiri.
In winter (February to early March), the following sightseeing trains can be boarded from Abashiri JR Station:
(1) Ryuhyo Norokko Train, commutes between Abashiri and Shiretoko-shari.
(2) Ryuhyo Express Okhotsk-no-kaze, commutes between Sapporo and Abashiri.

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What's nearby?

(1) Bus stops
Map depicting bus stops located outside train station: http://www.abashiribus.com/noriba.html#noriba2
Tourist Facilities Bus (Mount Tento Line, 天都山):
- Bus Stop 1: to Michinoeki Drift Ice Breaker Terminal.
- Bus Stop 2: to Abashiri Prison Museum, Drift Ice Museum and Hokkaido Museum of Northern People.
Memanbetsu Airport Bus: Memanbetsu Airport (女満別空港) is about 30 minutes bus ride away from Abashiri JR Station.
- Board the bus at Bus Stop 2.
Airport bus schedule: http://www.abashiribus.com/en_Memanbetsu_Airport_Line_Timetable.html

(2) Hotels
Two popular business hotel chains, Toyoko Inn and Hotel Route Inn, are located just in front of the train station.

- Left: Caramel candies; Right: Postcards exclusive to Hokkaido! -
(3) Lawson convenience store, located on the right when you exit from the train station.
A good place to grab your travel essentials and late night snacks. Do keep a look out for snacks such as caramel candies (with Abashiri Prison and sea angel printed on their packaging) produced by and sold only in Abashiri.

(4) Post office, located on the left when you exit from the train station.

Do you know? Posta Collect introduced a set of regional collectible postcards, each representing one of the 47 prefectures in Japan. Each postcard highlights the unique landmark/attraction and famous food/produce from respective prefecture. Collecting these beautifully designed postcards is not so simple after all, since the postcard can only be purchased in the region that its representing, thereby elevating its exclusivity! A total of five sets are available since its introduction in 2009 (1 full set per year). Each postcard is priced at 180 yen.

Hokkaido is considered a prefecture as a whole, therefore these postcards can be found in any of its post offices. Visited the post office in Kushiro's MOO Fisherman's Wharf previously, but could only find 2 out of the 4 designs (only 4 were introduced during my time of visit). Tried my luck again in this branch located outside Abashiri JR Station and was fortunate enough to find all 4 of them! Looks like there are more souvenirs/collectibles to bring back on future Japan trips!
All Hokkaido postcards from Posta Collect: http://www.postacollect.com/gotochi/area01.html
All prefectures postcards from Posta Collect: http://www.postacollect.com/gotochi/

- Sapporo iconic Clock Tower: the first postcard introduced by Posta Collect in 2009 -
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Commemorative stamp: 

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