Wonderful Japan – Hokkaido

Sep 16, 2017 | Views: 566

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Hokkaido is the northernmost of Japan’s four main islands. It is also the least urbanised, famous for the volcanoes, natural hot springs (onsen) and snow fields that dot its landscape.

At 32,221 square miles (83,457 sq. km), representing over 20% of Japan’s total land mass, Hokkaido Island is the country’s second-largest island, while Hokkaido prefecture itself is the country’s biggest prefecture.

It is home to almost 6 million residents, and more than 1 million travelers from within Japan and around the world[1] visit the island every year. They are drawn to the beauty of Hokkaido’s blue skies, its untouched wilderness of rolling hills, open fields and powdery snow, all of which are the perfect backdrop to savour its delectable local cuisine.

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History

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The indigenous people of Hokkaido are the Ainu, a race that also inhabit the Aomori region in the north of Honshu Island. The Ainu (which means ‘human’) have also been known as the Aynu, Ezo, Emishi and Ebisu.

Their roots can be traced back to the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin and Russia and it is believed that they migrated to Hokkaido and northern Honshu at a time when a frozen land mass connected the island to the Russian mainland. Their ancestry goes as far back as the Jomon period (c. 14,000–300 BC)[2]. They have called the country we know today as Japan home for tens of thousands of years.

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Matsumae Takahiro, a Matsumae lord of the late Edo period. (December 10, 1829 – June 9, 1866)

The first recorded economic interaction between the Ainu and the ethnic Japanese was sometime between 710 and 1185, when the natives of Hokkaido developed trade relations with Dewa Province, an outpost of the Japanese central government. However, tensions arose when larger numbers of ethnic Japanese started to migrate from Honshu to the southern part of Hokkaido.

Several revolts took place as the Japanese attempted to assimilate the Ainu into their own culture. The first of these occurred in 1456, during the Muromachi period (1336 – 1573). That year, Koshamain’s Revolt was crushed when Takeda Nobuhiro killed the Ainu leader, Koshamain. Ironically, it was Nobuhiro’s clan of descendants that were given exclusive trading rights with the Ainu by the central Japanese government.

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Ainu are Hokkaido’s indigenous people

The last large scale uprising by the Ainu was Shakushain’s Revolt which lasted from 1669 to 1672. There was a smaller rebellion against Japanese influence in 1789, the Menashi-Kunashir Rebellion, but it was swiftly crushed.

Hokkaido was ‘stolen’ from the Ainu and made part of the greater Japanese empire in 1869, which marked the beginning of the Meiji period. This was characterised by extensive Japanese settlement of the island and it was then that the territory, which had historically been known by the names Ezo, Yezo, and Yeso or Yesso, was renamed Hokkaido (“North Sea Province”). (北海道) (Japanese: [hok̚kaidoː].

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The Ainu are eager to retain a discrete, dignified identity

From the start of the Japanese and Ainu political and social upheaval, it took 672 years for the Japanese government to formally recognise the Ainu people as indigenous to Japan. A parliamentary declaration on June 8th, 2008 finally gave the Ainu the right to officially practise their way of life again and to halt all discriminatory acts against them.

It is estimated that there are only around 25,000 of the Ainu people left in Japan and Russia but some say there could be as many as 175,000. Regardless of that number, there are less than 10 Ainus left in the world today who still speak their native language.

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The Ainu culture has been passed down from generation to generation

The unfortunate history of the Ainu people has startling parallels with that of the American Indians. They were animists who prayed to nature and believed that all things, from plants to animals and even inanimate objects, had a spirit or god within them.

Hokkaido was originally called Ezo by the native Ainu. In 1869, one year after the Meiji period began, the new government changed its name to identify Hokkaido as a Japanese controlled land mass. 30 years later, the Japanese government passed a law/act that labeled the Ainu people ‘former aborigines’. This immediately made them legal Japanese citizens but denied them the claim of being indigenous.

 

Location

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Located at the northernmost end of the Japanese chain of islands, Hokkaido is by far Japan’s largest prefecture.

It consists of the entire island of Hokkaido and its surrounding islets.

Hokkaido is cooler than the rest of Japan, and the merciful lack of Japan’s muggy summers and rainy season makes it a very popular domestic destination.

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Most of Hokkaido was settled by the Japanese within the last 100 years, compared to the thousands of years of Japanese history and pre-history. Before that it was only inhabited by the hunter-gatherer Ainu culture.

As a result, its architecture and cities are much more modern, and mostly arranged in grid layouts so common in the West.

However, Hokkaido is also the least developed of Japan’s four main islands and its untamed wilderness is home to several major national parks.

 

Prefectures

Hokkaido is the only Japanese island not divided into multiple prefectures. Instead, there are four circuits, which are in turn split into subprefectures.

1. Central Circuit, home to much of the mountainous interior.

Subprefectures:

  • Sapporo is the capital and the largest city in Hokkaido. In 1972, Sapporo became the first Asian city to host the Winter Olympics.
  • Ishikari is situated at 0 meters above sea level and is famous for its seafood.
  • Shiribeshi is a subprefecture in the Central Circuit of Hokkaido.
  • Sorachi is a district divided between Sorachi and Kamikawa subprefectures.
  • Hidaka is a mountain range in southeastern Hokkaido.

 

2. Eastern Circuit, the largest and remotest part of the island.

Subprefectures:

  • Abashiri
  • Tokachi is famous for its wealth of natural attractions, including unique hot springs.
  • Kushiro is the capital city of Kushiro subprefecture and is the most populous city in eastern Hokkaido.
  • Nemuro is a port city and capital of Nemuro subprefecture. Much of the city lies on the Nemuro Peninsula.

 

3. Northern Circuit, which covers the northern peninsula but extends down toward the centre.

Subprefectures:

  • Kamikawa is the most popular winter festival destination.
  • Soya is the northernmost point of Japan and home to a number of ‘Japan’s Northernmost’ facilities like its northernmost filling station and elementary school.

 

4. Southern Circuit, which covers the western and central parts of Hokkaido.

Subprefectures

  • Hakodate is Hokkaido’s third largest city, located at the island’s southern tip. It is a convenient gateway for Hokkaido, a laid-back kind of place with a historical heritage. The summit of Mt. Hakodate-yama offers spectacular views across the city, day or night.
  • Oshima is the largest of the Izu Islands, a group of volcanic islands in the Philippine Sea.
  • Hiyama is historically known as the first place in Hokkaido where Wajin (mainland Japanese) settled in the Heian period (794 – 1185).

 

Population

Hokkaido has a population of 5.5 million and Sapporo, its capital, is its only ordinance-dedicated city. Sapporo has a population of 1.91 million, making it the island’s largest city.

 

Climate

Hokkaido is the northernmost and, thus, the coldest region in Japan. Most of the island falls in the humid continental climate zone. The average temperature is between 6 and 10°C, and the average precipitation is around 800 to 1,500 mm per year. Its climate is marked by relatively cool summers and icy/snowy winters. With its cool climate and low humidity, Hokkaido has no rainy season and few typhoons.

The average winter temperature in Hokkaido varies from location to location but it is not uncommon to see places where the temperature dips below zero so make sure to bring warm winter clothes. Spring usually comes in early May and the colourful wild flower blossoms make the island a very popular destination for tourists from Asia.

 

When to Visit

Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan, is an ever-popular holiday destination that drives tourism all year round. Much like the rest of the world, Hokkaido splits its year into four distinct seasons:

  • Spring – March to May (Average Temperature: 1°C – 12°C (34°F – 54°F)
  • Summer – June to August (Average Temperature: 16°C – 23°C (61°F – 73°F)
  • Autumn – September to November (Average Temperature: 5°C – 16°C (41°F – 61°F)
  • Winter – December to February (Average Temperature: -4°C – -1°C (25°F – 30°F)

Each offers its own pros and cons, and when you visit will depend upon what you are looking for from your holiday.

 

Culture & Customs

The world is a wonderful tapestry of varied cultures and customs, and each is a delight to discover in its own right. Of course, you can learn them the easy way or the hard way, but knowing the basic rules of etiquette before you leave home is perhaps the best way of making friends and making a great impression wherever in the world you might travel.

Japan has a very distinct culture and one that is greatly admired and held in high esteem across the world. The Japanese emphasis on humility, mutual respect, societal hierarchy, self-sacrifice and personal, familial and community honour have endeared it to people from very different backgrounds.

There is a great deal of decorum maintained in social interactions and there are myriad rules of etiquette that must be upheld. Here is a brief guide to some of the most important ones that will endear you to your hosts and ensure you leave a great impression of both yourself and your own culture and country.

 

1. Bowing

Japan’s culture of bowing is perhaps its most instantly-recognisable trait. The bow is a highly regarded greeting to show respect and is appreciated by the Japanese. It is also simultaneously the easiest and most important thing you can learn to blend seamlessly into any social situation. Most Japanese are well-aware that many other cultures greet by handshake and do not expect foreigners to know proper bowing rules.

However, the rules are simple: males bow with their hands at their sides while females do so with their hands folded in front of them; adults do not bow to children. The inclination and the duration of the bow will depend on the circumstance and the status of the individuals.

 

2. At Japanese-Style Inns

In Western countries, walking around hotel public areas such as lobbies or hallways in pyjamas is frowned upon. However, that does not apply to Japanese-style inns with big common bathtubs. You can walk around freely in these inns and onsen resort areas wearing Japanese-style pyjamas (‘yukata‘). In Japan, this is a popular custom and a welcome taste of tradition that adds to the atmosphere.

 

3. Shoes

Visitors are expected to take off their shoes at the entrance of a house, business or temple. When entering a Japanese-style inn or room, be sure to remove your shoes. It is a major taboo to step on a tatami mat with your shoes so be aware when you enter a tatami-matted room, often seen in Japanese-style eating establishments, including sushi restaurants.

 

4. Common Baths and Hot Springs

There are several rules you have to keep in mind when using a public bath tub or visiting a hot spring facility. Remove your shoes when you enter a changing room. Do not wear your swimsuit in the bath. You must wash and rinse before entering the hot water. Do not scrub your body or swim in the hot water. When bathing with your friends, avoid talking in a loud voice. In the sauna room, avoid twisting a wet towel or taking up too much space.

 

5. Izakaya: Informal Japanese Restaurants

When you are first seated in an izakaya, you will be served a small dish called ‘otoshi‘. It is served to all customers even if you don’t order. This is a Japanese custom and the otoshi is not free; it is considered an entrance fee and the cost is automatically added to your bill. The price of otoshi varies among izakaya restaurants, so check with the staff. Your bill will be placed on your table and you are expected to bring it to the cashier counter to pay.

 

6. Using Chopsticks

You will be given chopsticks instead of a fork, knife and spoon in most Japanese restaurants; it’s best to brush up on your chopstick-wielding skills before you leave home. There are some important points to note while using chopsticks.

  • Do not use your chopsticks to pierce your food or rice.
  • Do not cross your chopsticks when you place them on the chopstick rest.
  • Do not wave your chopsticks around or use them to point at anything.
  • Do not place them on top of your bowl after you have finished eating.

 

7. Mobile Phone Usage

The use of mobile phones is prohibited on trains and many other public places, including restaurants. It is also recommended that you turn off your mobile phone or switch it to silent mode in movie theatres or museums before you enter. Talking loudly on a mobile phone in front of others is considered rude so try to watch your tone of voice. Be mindful while in public places and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to yourself.

 

Visas

Any foreign visitor who wishes to enter Japan must have a passport valid for the period of stay. In order to enter Japan, visitors must comply with the conditions of their visas and authorisations of resident eligibility. Currently, citizens of 66 different countries may enter Japan without a visa, provided that the duration of their stay is less than 90 days and they do not engage in paid employment. Please check the Visa section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan website for the latest information on visas and related matters. International passengers transiting through Japan do not require a visa.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/visit/visa/index.html.

 

Food

Hokkaido is known for its variety of fresh seafood and agricultural produce, earning itself the moniker ‘The Kingdom of Food’. From a variety of popular local favourites like ramen and ice-cream, to its freshly-caught bounty of crabs, fish and sea urchins; different areas in Hokkaido offer different local specialties. However, there are a couple of dishes and products that you shouldn’t miss while visiting the island.

Hokkaido is said to offer some of the best seafood in the world. Hokkaido is also known for its garlic, potatoes and Japan’s largest grow area of corn. Hokkaido’s residents have been able to grow crops on soil said to be difficult because of volcanic activity and the huge amount of volcanic ash that is in the area.

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 1. Ramen

Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish, with wheat-based noodles served in soy sauce or miso flavoured broth. It is usually served with slices of pork, seaweed and bamboo shoots. Ramen is a specialty of Hokkaido, and the most popular version is the miso ramen that is mainly found in the capital of Sapporo. Kamikawa district is famous for the special Asahikawa soy sauce ramen.

There are tons of ramen shops all over Hokkaido and while every restaurant serves excellent ramen, the best ones are clustered in both the Ramen Village in Asahikawa and the Ramen Yokocho in Susukino, Sapporo.

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2. Crab

The cold waters surrounding Hokkaido create the best conditions for high quality, fresh seafood and the island is known for its succulent crabs.

There are four kinds of crab found in the region – hanasaki crab, king crab, horsehair crab and snow crab. The king crab is so huge that restaurants offer just the leg on its own as a dish! Hokkaido crab meat is sweet, tender and succulent and served so fresh that the meat just falls out of the shell.

Those with bigger appetites can opt for crab buffets in Sapporo, where you can sample as much as you want of a large variety of crabs.

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3. Uni and Ikura Donburi

Besides crab, the other must-try seafoods are the uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe). The best way to sample them is in a donburi (rice bowl) for breakfast. There is no better place to get a donburi than at a fish market, where there will be no shortage of small restaurants serving this dish.

Donburi is usually topped with fresh uni, ikura and salmon but there are choices of other fresh seafood like hotate (scallop), ika (squid) and even crab meat.

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4. Curry Soup

Curry is very popular in Japan and the local Sapporo specialty is curry soup. This curry is an eclectic combination of sweet and spicy flavours, served with a choice of meat (chicken or pork) and Hokkaido’s fresh produce of broccoli, melon, carrots, aubergines and mushrooms with additional cheese and egg toppings. It is usually eaten over rice.

There are a few steps to follow when ordering – start with the choice of ingredients, then specify the level of spiciness, move on to the optional toppings and the size of the rice.

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5. Genghis Khan (Jingisukan)

Genghis Khan never made it as far as Japan but there is a dish named in his honour anyway. Pronounced ‘Jingisukan’, it is a grilled mutton (either fresh or frozen) dish prepared with vegetables and grilled over a dome-shaped metal skillet in the middle of your table. Once the meat is done, it is dipped in flavoured soy-sauce and eaten straight off the grill.

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6. Soba Noodles

Soba is the Japanese name for the superfood buckwheat, but we know it as Japanese thin noodles. It is famous both in Japan and all over the world. Hokkaido is the biggest producer of buckwheat in the country and it is said that soba noodles from the northern island are the most flavoursome. Soba is usually served cold with a tsuyu (sweet soy sauce) dipping sauce topped with an egg.

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7. Yubari Melon

Hokkaido’s green produce is as synonymous with Hokkaido as its dairy products. With extensive farmland, quality soil and a favourable climate, the region is known to grow the freshest wheat, corn, potatoes and asparagus. Hokkaido melons are some of the sweetest melons found anywhere in the world.

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8. Sapporo Beer

Beer is popular in Japan and the birthplace of Japan’s beer is Hokkaido. Sapporo Beer is the oldest and most popular beer brand in the country, first introduced and brewed during the Meiji period in 1877.

Head to the Sapporo Beer Museum for an introduction to the history of Japanese beer and the brewing process, as well as a taste of Sapporo beer straight from the tap. At the end of the museum tour, visitors can sample the three kinds of Sapporo beer – Kairakushi, Black Label and Classic.

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9. Ice-Cream

Hokkaido is famous for its dairy products so do not miss an opportunity to sample fresh locally-produced milk, yogurt, cheese, and especially the soft serve ice creams. They are smooth and creamy, and made from raw milk and pure fresh cream. Ice cream stalls can be found almost everywhere on the island, and is popularly served on top of half a yubari melon.

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10. Hokkaido Snacks

Hokkaido’s popular agricultural and marine products have also been made into delicious confectioneries and snacks. Make sure you get your hands on the local Shiroi Koibito, white chocolate cookies, Royce chocolates, Jaga Pokkuru potato chips, Yakitokibi corn crackers, as well as yubari melon-flavored jellies and snacks. They make for excellent snacking and are the best souvenirs to bring home for family and friends.

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10 Great Places to Visit in Hokkaido

1. Daisetsuzan

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Ten times as big as the bustling Japanese city of Osaka, Daisetsuzan National Park is Hokkaido’s biggest protected park with an area of over 2,000 square kilometres. It is a haven for nature lovers and animals alike, with brown bears and deer sharing the landscape with hikers. Daisetsuzan’s lush forests, three volcanic mountain groups, and wilderness that is home to rare species of flora and fauna have been unmoved by Japan’s march to modernisation.

It is one of the few places where you can find stratovolcanoes – volcanoes piled one on top of the other. 16 peaks here each tower above 2,000 metres. Hikers and adventure-seekers in Daisetzusan National Park can also find soothing respite in the park’s stunning hot springs.

How to Get There

By Train
Take the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (4 hours) and transfer to the Hokuto limited express to Noboribetsu Station (2.5 hours). The entire one-way trip costs around 26,000 yen and takes around seven hours. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass. Note that seat reservations are mandatory on Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto. Please check with the rail station for the latest information.

Accommodation

Daisetsuzan is a popular tourist destination and a variety of accommodation choices to suit a range of budgets is available in its vicinity. Below are two examples:

1. Hotel La Vista Daisetsuzan
Overlooking Asahidake mountain and surrounded by forest, this rustic-chic hot spring hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Asahidake Ropeway aerial lift line, and 39 km from Asahikawa Airport.

Address: Asahidake Onsen, Higashikawa, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido Prefecture 071-1472

Phone: +81 166-97-2323

Fax: +81 166-97-2345

Website: http://www.japan-ryokan.net/lavistadaisetsuzan/

2. Asahidake Manseikaku Hotel Bearmonte
Just a three-minute walk to Asahidake Ropeway and 47 km from central Asahikawa, it is one of the most famous spots in this area. The hot spring offers special relaxation, especially after outdoor activities like hiking, sightseeing, or skiing. It is located near public transit and the train station.

Address: Asahidake-onsen, Higashikawa, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido Prefecture 071-1472

Phone: +81 166-97-2321

Fax: +81 166-97-2324

Website:  http://www.hamano-hotels.co.jp/lang/hotel_bear_monte/en/

 

2. Shiretoko

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Shiretoko National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was granted that status in 2005 for its importance in sustaining the biodiversity of the regional ecosystem.

This park is one of the most remote parts of Japan. This isolation is part of the reason it has become home to Japan’s largest population of brown bears, as well as a natural sanctuary for foxes and deer. In the wintertime, large blocks of drift ice drift gently past the park’s coastline, making it the southernmost point of the northern hemisphere that is witness to this phenomenon.

How to Get There

By Air and Bus
The domestic airport closest to Shiretoko National Park is Memanbetsu Airport, which hosts direct flights to and from Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Sapporo. The airport is about 100 kilometres west of the national park.

There are a small number of direct bus services between the airport and Utoro throughout the year. The Japanese public transport system is quite efficient but bus services in this area are infrequent, particularly in winter, so rental cars are the most convenient means of transportation by far.

There are bus services between Shiretoko Shari Station and Utoro all year round. In summer, infrequent services connect Utoro with the Shiretoko Five Lakes and with Rausu via Shiretoko Pass. During the peak summer period, the unpaved access road to the Kamuiwakkayu Falls is closed to private traffic and shuttle buses operate instead. The Shiretoko Peninsula receives a lot of snow during winter, and many of the park’s roads are closed from late November to late April, including the road over Shiretoko Pass and to the Shiretoko Five Lakes and the Kamuiwakkayu Falls.

Accommodation

As with all popular Japanese tourist destinations, you are spoiled for choice in terms of accommodation in the Shiretoko area. The hotels here are all relatively clean and a little research will throw up a range of choices perfect for your budget and requirements. Here are two popular options:

1. Hotel Kifuuclub Shiretoko
Set across the Shiretoko National Highway from the Sea of Okhotsk, this secluded, casual hot spring hotel is 14 km from the Mount Rausu volcano, which is in Shiretoko National Park.

Address: 318 Utoro Higashi Shari-cho, Shari District, Hokkaido

Phone : +81-152-24-3541

Fax : +81-152-24-3550

Website : http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/yado/main/91318

2. Utoro Onsen Hotel Shiretoko
In a building with a redbrick entryway, this modest hot spring hotel is 9 km from the Oshinkoshin Waterfall and 17 km from the summit of Mount Rausu.

Address: 37 Utoro-kagawa Shari-cho, Shari District, Hokkaido

Phone : +81-152-24-2131

Fax : +81-152-24-206

Website:  https://travel.rakuten.com/hotel/Japan-Hokkaido-Shari-Utoro_Onsen_Hotel_Shiretoko/31099/

 

3. Rishiri and Rebun

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Forming the Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park, these two islands which dot the northern tip of Hokkaido are home to peaceful fishing villages. Each features distinct but equally breathtaking scenery.

They are popular hiking destinations with wildflowers and the slow-paced life close to nature is the primary draw. Rishiri Island is dominated by its namesake mountain, which locals describe as “shy” by way of its refusal to emerge from the clouds and mist. Rebun is longer and flatter than Rishiri and most famous for its wealth of alpine flowers found at sea level due to the harsh climate.

How to Get There

By Ferry from Wakkanai, Hokkaido
Heart Land Ferry (formerly known as Higashi Nihonkai Ferry) operates the following ferry routes:

  • Wakkanai – Rishiri (Oshidomari Port),: 100 minutes, about 2100 yen, 2-3 round trips per day
  • Wakkanai – Rebun (Kafuka Port): 115 minutes, about 2300 yen, 2-4 round trips per day
  • Rishiri (Oshidomari Port) – Rebun (Kafuka Port): 40 minutes, about 800 yen, 1-2 round trips per day
  • Rishiri (Kutsugata Port) – Rebun (Kafuka Port): 40 minutes, about 800 yen, 1 round trip per day (in summer only)

Rental car reservations should be made at least one day in advance. Exact fares vary depending on the fuel surcharge.

You can travel from Sapporo to Wakkanai by train in 5.5 hours, by air in 1 hour, or by bus in 6 hours. It is also accessible from Tokyo via a 2-hour direct flight. Wakkanai Airport is a 35-minute bus ride from the city centre.

Accommodation

There are many clean and beautiful hotels in the vicinity of the National Park, ranging from the basic to the luxurious. Here are two examples:

1. Rishiri Fureai Onsen
From Oshidomari Port: Take the Soya Bus B Route bound for Kutsugata and get off at Kutsugata Bus Stop (approx. 40 min). The hotel is about seven minutes on foot from there. It commands an unfettered view of Mt. Rishiri, as well as the spectacular vistas of the sunset over the Sea of Japan and the fires lit on fishermen’s boats to lure fish. Guests can look forward to enjoying the large onsen as well as traditional kaiseki course meals prepared with delicious local seafood.

Address: 90 Aza-Fujimi-cho, Kutsugata, Rishiri-cho, Rishiri District, Hokkaido 097-0401

Phone: +81 163-84-2001

Website: www. Hotel Rishiri.com

2. Mitsui Kanko Hotel
From Kafuka-ko Port: About 10 minutes on foot, or 2 minutes by taxi. Located within the seaside park, this hotel offers magnificent views of the lake. Guests are invited to enjoy freshly caught seafood such as sea urchin and various types of fish and shellfish.

Address: 277-2 Kafuka-mura, Rebun-cho, Rebun-gun, Hokkaido

Phone: +81 163-86-1717

Fax: +81 163-86-2035

 

4. Noborbetsu

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Noboribetsu is a hot spring resort town that is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The town’s 11 kinds of thermal waters are considered the most soothing and healing in the whole country. Many of the hot springs in Noboribetsu are in ryokan (Japanese-style inns) appointed with traditional amenities and services.

How to Get There

By Train
Take the JR Tohoku/Hokkaido Shinkansen from Tokyo to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto (4 hours) and transfer to the Hokuto limited express to Noboribetsu Station (2.5 hours). The entire one-way trip costs around 26,000 yen and takes around seven hours. It is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Rail Pass. Note that seat reservations are mandatory on Hayabusa trains between Tokyo and Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.

JR Noboribetsu Station is located in the city’s urban centre close to the coast, while the hot spring town and Jigokudani are a 15-minute car, taxi or bus ride from the station into the hills. A taxi ride costs around 2000-2500 yen, while a bus ride costs 340 yen one way.

Accommodation

Both luxurious 5-star hotels and more economical options abound in the area around Noboribetsu. The two hotels listed below are within walking distance to the Noboribetsu Bear Park and Hot Spring area. However, you may want to do your own research to find the best accommodation for your needs.

1. Hotel Yumoto Noboribetsu
A 14-minute walk from Noboribetsu Hot Spring, this casual inn is 2 km from the steam vents and sulphur pools at Jigokudani (Hell Valley) and 6 km from Lake Kuttara.

Address: 29 Noboribetsuonsencho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido 059-0551

Phone: +81 143-84-2277

Fax: +81 143-84-3988

Website:  http://www.yumoto-noboribetu.com/

2. Hotel Oyado Kiyomizuya
A 5-minute walk from Noboribetsu Hot Spring, this understated hotel is 3 km from Lake Kuttara and 8 km from the Noboribetsu train station. It is wonderfully located for both shopping and sightseeing, and is easily accessible by car.

Address: 173 Noboribetsuonsencho, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido 059-0551

Phone: +81 143-84-2145

Fax: +81 143-84-2146Website:  https://www.kiyomizuya.co.jp/english/

 

5. Furano

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Furano is known for its pleasant and picturesque rural landscapes. The best time to visit is July, when the lavender fields are in bloom. During winter, Furano turns into a popular downhill and cross country skiing resort.

How to Get There

By Train
The journey from Tokyo to Furano by trains involves transfers at Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, Sapporo and Takikawa, takes about 10 hours, costs around 29,000 yen one-way, and is fully covered by the Japan Rail Pass.

Because attractions are spread over the entire region and public transportation is rather poor, a rental car is the recommended means for getting around. There are several rental car outlets around Furano Station.

Accommodation

There are many accommodation options to choose from, ranging from simple hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are just two examples, and we recommend you do further research to find the right accommodation for you.

1. Resort Inn North Country
Located 1.5 km from Kitanomine Gondola Terminal, this hotel is about 3 km from JR Furano Train Station, and a bus from the station stops at the hotel. Furano Cheese Factory is a 10-minute drive away while Asahigaoka Park and Garden of the Wind are about 1.5 km away.

Address: Shimogoryo, Furano, Hokkaido 076-0017

Phone: +81 167-23-6565

Fax: +81 167-23-6009

Website: http://www.northcountryinnfurano.com/index.htm

2. Hotel Sunfuraton
A 5-minute walk from Furano Station, this unassuming redbrick hotel on a relaxed street is 5 km from Torinuma Park and 6 km from Furano Ski Area. Hotel Sunfuraton is the perfect place to experience Furano/Biei and its surroundings. Easily accessible.

Address: 1-1 Wakamatsucho, Furano, Hokkaido 076-0032

Phone: +81 167-22-5155

Fax: +81 167-22-3988

Website: www.sunfuraton.com/

 

6. Asahikawa

Hokkaido 031

Asahikawa is the second largest city in Hokkaido. Its most popular attraction is Asahiyama Zoo, famous for the ingenious construction of its animal enclosures that give visitors unique perspectives of the wildlife. See eye-to-eye with a wolf in the middle of its habitat or marvel as a seal whooshes through a vertical glass passageway. Asahikawa is also known for its scrumptious ramen, aptly named Asahikawa Ramen – a soy sauce-based ramen that is quite sinful, very tasty and very oily.

How to Get There

By Air or Train
Domestic flights are available into Asahikawa from Tokyo Haneda (1.5 hours), Nagoya or Sapporo. Fly into Sapporo or get a train from Honshu up to Sapporo, and then a train to Asahikawa.

From Sapporo City, JR trains depart every 30 minutes. The trip takes about 80 minutes. The journey from the New Chitose Airport to Asahikawa takes approximately 2.5 hours by train.

Accommodation

There are many accommodation choices, ranging from simple hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are just two examples, and we recommend you do further research to find the right accommodation for you.

1. Hotel Asahidake Manseikaku Hotel Deer Valley
Located in Daisetsuzan National Park near the slopes of Hokkaido’s tallest peak, Asahidake, this hotel is conveniently located within 1 mile (1.6 km) of the Asahidake Ropeway. Tenninkyo Gorges is 12.1 miles (19.5 km) away.

Address: Asahidake Onsen, Higashikawa, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido 071-1472

Phone: +81 166-97-2321

Fax: +81 166-97-2332

Website:  http://www.hamano-hotels.co.jp/lang/hotel_deer_valley/en/

2. Sounkyo Kankou Hotel
Located in Sounkyo, this ryokan, or traditional Japanese inn, is within 1 mile (1.6 km) of both the Daisetsuzankurodake Ski Area and Sounkyo Hot Spring. Ginga no Taki Falls is 2 miles (3.2 km) away. Surrounded by forested mountains along Highway 39, it is a laid-back establishment with open-plan architecture.

Address: Sounkyo Hot Spring Resort, Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido 078-1797

Phone: +81 1658-5-3145

Fax: +81 1658-5-3362

Website: en.sounkyo-kankou.co.jp/

 

7. Niseko

Hokkaido 032

Niseko is a ski resort town world-famous for its powdery snow, vast areas for backcountry skiing and long, wide runs. The ski areas in Niseko that have become popular among Japanese and foreigners include Hirafu, Higashiyama, Annupuri, Hanazono, Moiwa, and Weiss.

How to Get There

There are various options to travel to Niseko, including buses and private transfers to/from the Sapporo New Chitose Airport, transport to/from Sapporo City (including a Sapporo to Niseko bus), and trains.

By train: If you want to get to Niseko as early as possible in the day, stay in Sapporo and board the first train for Niseko, which departs at 06:51 a.m.

By car: Two to three hours’ drive from New Chitose, Hokkaido’s only international airport.

By bus: This is the most convenient and economical way to get from Sapporo Airport to Niseko. The bus takes about 2.5-3 hours, depending on road conditions and your drop off point.

Accommodation

Whether you are looking for a simple hostel or a luxurious hotel, Niseko has the perfect choice waiting for you. Here are just two examples, but we recommend you do further research to find the right accommodation for your needs.

1. Hotel Niseko Alpen
Located in the heart of the Niseko mountain range, surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, the Niseko Alpen is just 5 km from the Hirafu train station and 9 km from the Niseko Village Golf Course.

Address: 204 Aza-Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081Phone: +81 136-22-1105

Website: http://www.hotel-nisekoalpen.jp/en/

2. Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort
Set amidst forested mountains, this upscale ski resort is 30 km from the Sasson Golf Club and 26 km from the shores of the Ishikari Bay.

Address: 650 Tokiwa Akaigawa, Yoichi District, Hokkaido 046-0593

Phone: +81 135-34-7111

Website: http://www.sheratonhokkaidokiroro.co.jp/en

 

8. Akan National Park

Hokkaido 033

Designated a protected park in 1934, Akan National Park is famous for its three crystal-clear lakes – Lake Akan, Lake Kussharo, and Lake Mashu. Fog often hangs above the surface of these lakes, particularly on Lake Mashu, giving them an air of mystery and tranquility.

How to Get There

Public transport in this region is infrequent and a rental car is the most convenient way to access and explore Akan National Park. The park can be reached by car within 1-2 hours from Bihoro, Kushiro or Abashiri. Car rental outlets are available at the airports, in Kushiro and in Abashiri.

Accommodation

A variety of people visit Akan National Park and the hotels in the area range from the luxurious to basic. Here are two examples but we recommend that you explore the range of other options available, also.

1. Hotel Gozensui
This hotel is located in Kushiro, near Country Site Akanko Ski Resort Utara and Lake Mashu. It is about 80 minutes by car from Kushiro Station and 60 minutes from Kushiro Airport.

Address: 4-5-1, Akankoonsen, Akan-Cho, Kushiro-Shi, Hokkaido, 085-0467

Phone: +81 154-67-2031

Website: http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/yado/main/00910

2. Hotel Akankoso
Overlooking Lake Akan, this modern hot spring hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Akanko Hot Spring and 17 km from Mount Meakan.

Address: 1-5-10 Akankoonsen, Akancho, Kushiro-shi, Hokkaido 085-0467

Phone: +81 154-67-2231

Fax: +81 154-67-2593

Website: http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/yado/main/00940

 

9. Lake Toya

Hokkaido 034

Lake Toya or Toyako is part of the Shikotsu-Toya National Park. Its mesmerising scenery was the backdrop for the 2008 G8 Summit. The lake itself is picturesque but when combined with the nearby hot springs and the active volcano Mt. Usu, it becomes even more beautiful. Visitors can go kayaking, fishing, trekking, and camping. When its time to relax, the park’s several hot springs are the perfect getaway.

How to Get There

Lake Toyako Onsen is accessible by bus or train from Sapporo. If you want to travel on your own schedule, there is a public bus option from Sapporo to Toyako Onsen that takes 2 hours.

Accommodation

The range of accommodation available is as diverse as the people who visit, and you will find simple hostels, luxurious hotels and everything in between here. Here are two examples, but feel free to do your own research to find the best one for your needs.

1. Hotel Grand Toya
Overlooking Lake Toya, this straightforward hotel is a 7-minute walk from downtown Toyako and 14 km from Mount Usu national park.

Address: 144 Toyakoonsen, Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido 049-5721

Phone: +81 142-75-2288

Website: http://www.japanican.com/en/hotel/detail/1570007/

2. Toyako Onsen Hokkai Hotel
Situated in Abuta, this laid-back hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Usuzanfunka Memorial Park, Lake Toyako, and Toyako Forest Museum. Showa-shinzan and Showashinzan Ropeway are also within 6 miles (10 km). Set across the promenade from the scenic volcanic caldera Lake Tōya, it is a short 12-minute walk from the Toyako Hot Spring.

Address: 147 Toyakoonsen, Toyako, Abuta District, Hokkaido 049-5721

Phone: +81 142-75-2325

Website: http://www.ryokan.or.jp/english/yado/main/03320

 

10. Onuma Park

Hokkaido 035

To fully appreciate the majesty and wonder of Onuma Park, you have to explore it on foot or by bicycle. It is a relatively small park with a dormant volcano called Mt. Komagatake.

Its proximity to the cities of Hakodate and Sapporo make it the perfect weekend getaway for the many residents of Hokkaido. Boating and canoeing are the preferred ways of exploring the lakes in the park, which is dotted with islets and peninsulas. It also has vast forests filled with birch and maple trees.

How to Get There

By train: From Hakodate, the Ltd Express Super Hokuto train takes 19 minutes to reach Onuma Koen station while the regular JR Hakodtate train takes about 50 minutes. These trains leave approximately every hour. Be sure to check the return schedule because trains are not as frequent in the evening and don’t run very late.

By bus: Buses to Hakodate take approximately an hour to complete the journey.

Tourist offices near JR Onuma Koen or any rail station can help you with maps and other information for a great trip.

Accommodation

The popularity of Onuma Park with both Japanese and international travellers means that there is no shortage of accommodation options; they range from simple hostels to luxurious hotels. Here are just two examples:

1. Hotel Granvillage Onuma
Located in Okushiri and about 5 minutes by car from Onumakoen Station, this quaint facility is near Hakodate Morning Market. A complimentary shuttle service can be booked.

Address: 104-3 Kamiikusagawa, Nanae, Kameda District, Hokkaido 041-1353

Phone: +81 138-84-8333

Fax: +81 138-83-5944

Website: http://www.japanican.com/en/hotel/detail/1605A03/

2. Hotel Wing International Tomakomai
This elegant hotel is set in a bustling neighbourhood, and is just a 3-minute walk from Tomakomai train station, 2 km from Minato Park and 3 km from Tarumaezan Shrine.

Address: 2-2-10 Chiyoda-chou, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido

Phone: +81 144-33-0333

Fax: +81 144-33-0222

Website: http://www.hotelwing.co.jp/tomakomai/en/

 

Travel Books on Hokkaido

A little bit of research and planning can go a long way in making your Hokkaido trip easier and more enjoyable. We recommend these two Hokkaido travel guides because they capture the essence of the Hokkaido spirit in the range of activities and adventures that they explore, and the depths into which their research has gone.

Lonely Planet has been the most popular and trusted producer of travel guidebooks for just about every travel destination in the world. With constant updates from a vibrant travellers’ community, The Lonely Planet Japan guidebook contains detailed itineraries and highlighted destinations, reviews on hotels, and colour maps for locations.

 

The Lonely Planet Guide to Japan

Authors: Rebecca Milner, Ray Bartlett, Andrew Bender, Craig McLachlan, Kate Morgan, Simon Richmond, Tom Spurling, Phillip Tang, Benedict Walker, Wendy Yanagihara

Hokkaido 036

Hokkaidō is the Japan of wide-open spaces, with primeval forests, lakes, fields of alpine wildflowers and bubbling hot springs. In winter, Hokkaidō has earned a reputation as a paradise for skiers and snowboarders; there are international-level resorts here, but also remote back-country opportunities. An informative travel guide to the Hokkaido region, this book contains information and maps about the region’s worldly attractions.

Highlights:

  • Colour maps and images throughout.
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests.
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss.
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – history, festivals, hiking, onsen, cuisine, architecture, sport, traditional accommodation, geisha, visual arts, performing arts, literature, music, environment, cinema.

 

Lonely Planet – Discover Japan

Authors: Chris Rowthorn, Ray Bartlett, Andrew Bender, Laura Crawford, Craig McLachlan, Rebecca Milner, Simon Richmond, Benedict Walker, Wendy Yanagihara

Hokkaido 037

Discover Japan is our collection of the country’s top sights and most authentic experiences. Perfect for anyone who doesn’t need accommodation listings, it’s packed with expert knowledge, local secrets and carefully crafted itineraries, as well as the most relevant and up-to-date advice, to help you create an unforgettable trip. Uncover the delights of Japanese cuisine, bask in the awesome gaze of the country’s best temples and lower yourself into the tub in a classic Japanese onsen; all with your trusted travel companion. Discover the best of Japan and begin your journey now!

Highlights:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Honest reviews for all budgets – eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Cultural insights give you a richer, more rewarding travel experience – including history, art, architecture, onsen, ryokan

 
Footnotes
[1] Bureau of Tourism, Department of Economic Affairs, Japan. October 14, 2014. Status of Hokkaido Tourism. Available at: http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kz/kkd/eigohokkaidokankougenkyou.pdf

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dmon_period

 
Sources:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hokkaido#Naming_of_Hokkaido
  2. http://wikitravel.org/en/Hokkaido
  3. https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/10-Best-Places-to-Visit-When-Travelling-in-Hokkaido-Japan
  4. http://nihonscope.com/japan-geography/hokkaido-japan-culture-history-sightseeing/
  5. http: //nihonscope.com/history-in-japan/the-ainu-people-of-japan-revealed-who-are-they /
  6. http://www.sogouniversal.com/web/meisho/hokkaido/hokkaido.html
  7. https://www.city-cost.com/city/hokkaido
  8. http://www.holiday-weather.com/hokkaido/averages/
  9. http://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/abouthokkaido/history/
  10. https://wanderwisdom.com/travel-destinations/10-Best-Places-to-Visit-When-Travelling-in-Hokkaido-Japan
  11. https://shewalkstheworld.com/2015/10/08/mynns-top-10-food-to-eat-in-hokkaido/
  12. http://www.powderhounds.com/Japan/Hokkaido/Niseko/Getting-There.aspx
  13. http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/japan/discover-japan-travel-guide-3/
  14. http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/kz/kkd/eigohokkaidokankougenkyou.pdf
  15. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C5%8Dmon_period

 
For more interesting information:

 

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8 Responses to Wonderful Japan – Hokkaido

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  1. S.Prathap on Sep 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Hokkaido such a wonderful place to visit and good place to worth the money spent.It is famous for the volcanoes,natural hot spring and snow fields that dot its spot.Hokkaido is well known for its variety of fresh seafood and agriculture .
    Yearly millions of people local as well abroad visited Hokkaido because of its beauty Thank you very much for the amazing article about beautiful Hokkaido.

  2. Lin Mun on May 7, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Hokkaido is so beautiful. So many clean and nice scenery in the island. I have not been to Japan and I do hope I have the opportunity to visit this nice island.

  3. Lew on Oct 19, 2017 at 10:45 pm

    Hokkaido is so beautiful, and I love it mainly for her snow and ever cold weather. It is full of culture just like other parts of Japan. I wish I would have a chance to travel to this place one day in this lifetime…

  4. Valentina Suhendra on Oct 19, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Dear friends,

    This meme is powerful. Who you hang around with and the types of attitude they have is who you will be influenced by many times and who you will become in the future. Look at your friends and the people that always surround you to know who you will become.

    Tsem Rinpoche

    d96b47a2-387a-4d07-8ae1-6b4ad910aed2

  5. Anne Ong on Oct 4, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    I love this post on wonderful Hokaido. Love those japanese food on the post. Looks so delicious! Beautiful pictures and scenery of Hokaido. Some of the places i find interesting on this post are… 5. Furano, 4. Noborbetsu, 9. Lake Toya, 1. Daisetsuzan. And i love the pictures of those snacks! Lol ? Thank you Rinpoche and blog team for this wonderful article.???

  6. wan wai meng on Oct 2, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Hope the Ainu can protect their indigenous identity for future generations.

    All ancient civilizations and cultures have much to offer to us.

    Like most part of Japan Hokkaido is very beautiful too.

  7. Samfoonheei on Sep 20, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Japan is a beautiful country and Hokkaido is one of a place worth to visit in place. A
    place full with wonder and surpress for anyone visiting there…….beautiful and gorgeous mountains, beautiful landscapes which is the home of many flora and fauna during spring time and delicious foods to offer to tourist. Natural hot springs can be found there whereby tourist can enjoy themselves.
    Yearly millions of people local as well abroad visited Hokkaido because of its beauty. A place worth the money spent.
    Thank you for sharing

  8. Irene Lim on Sep 18, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I love Hokkaido.

    There are many great tasting food in Hokkaido. Her organic food, lavender products, sappora beer, noodles, sweet corn and not to forget to mention Yubari Melon are all excellent. Hokkaido learns beer and whiskey making from Finland and won them many awards. Hokkaido also emulate Finland in many of their domestic policies for the betterment of their state.

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  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 4. 2020 01:23 PM
    Buddhism started as a Hindu influenced religion in India. Buddhism has had a long history in China and has been instrumental in shaping Chinese culture and tradition. Over time Buddhism became a popular force in the lives of the Chinese and many others. Buddhists believe in a combination of Taoism and Mahayana Buddhism, the latter of which teaches that enlightenment can be achieved in a single lifetime. It was able to gain acceptance among the Chinese as it emphasis on non-violence and the sanctity of animal life. China hosts the world’s largest Buddhist population. Interesting read . At the time of commenting , I still have plenty to understand.
    Thank you Pastor Adeline for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/buddhist-influence-on-chinese-religion.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 4. 2020 01:20 PM
    nspiring story of Kyabje H E Tsem Rinpoche’s life story. Despite all the up and down to earth difficulties, Rinpoche had gone through, it did not deter Rinpoche to give up what Rinpoche want to be a monk for the benefit of others. We are fortunate and blessed to have Rinpoche here in Malaysia and having the opportunity to learn, practice Dharma . It has since change the lives of many of us. Rinpoche is a gift to the world , who solely just on giving to benefit others and inspiration to many.
    Rinpoche ‘s biography tells us all, reading it will let us all know and understand better of a truly great lama. Glad that Tsem Rinpoche had taken Kyabje H E Gangchen Rinpoche’s advice to write his biography to benefit all.
    Thank you Rinpoche, writers team and the bio-team for the Biography book for Tsem Rinpoche – “The Promise”. A beautiful book to have . I am fortunate to receive a copy from Rinpoche as a gift which I truly treasure, reading it over and over again.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/me/h-e-the-25th-tsem-tulku-rinpoches-biography.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Saturday, Jul 4. 2020 01:12 PM
    Julian Beever is an English chalk artist, who is one of the most famous 3D street artists. He is also known as the “Pavement Picasso” for his enormous 3D pavement sketchings that bring his art well and truly to the streets. He mostly receives a positive reaction and people enjoy seeing his art. Amazingly he has produced hundreds of pieces of ‘pavement art’ at venues all over Europe. Looking at those pictures in this post tell us a thousand words. It is indeed beautiful and realistic.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/art-architecture/pavement-picasso-julian-beever.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:19 PM
    Reading this article it gave a clear pictures of how many animals been slaughtered for human’s menu. The simple act of becoming a vegetarian will make a difference in the health of our environment. When we become more mindful of what we have on our menu every day, that mindfulness will seep into everything we do. Many people choose a vegetarian diet out of concern, to stay healthy, saving animals and environment as well.
    What is important , give the animals a chance, respect them and to do harm them. May more people realized how many thousands or millions of animals be saved if they go on being a vegetarian.
    Thank you Rinpoche for bringing awareness with this article..

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/amazing-survey.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:17 PM
    Our Lama Tsem Rinpoche was a gift to us and the Tibetan Buddhism world who just keeps on giving , teaching Dharma and cares more than himself. Rinpoche was definitely one Lama that gives much more than another one else. Well known for his compassion, Rinpoche had guild rather train his students from day one where they are today. Rinpoche had observed , on the lookout to assist and encourage anyone of us and friends. Rinpoche had used the ‘new news’ an exercise to develop greater awareness of people and situations around. Wonderful way , to instill the positive qualities of compassion and awareness in us. Reading this post , I learn something new.
    Thank you Rinpoche and Pastor David .

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/one-minute-story/tales-with-my-lama-what-is-the-new-news
  • Samfoonheei
    Friday, Jul 3. 2020 03:15 PM
    Having a Dorje Shugden shop at Petaling street, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia will definitely benefits more and more local people as well as foreigners especially the tourist from across the globe. Many people will get to know and understand the Powerful Dharma Protector Dorje Shugden of our time. Many people who see the protector or passing by will be blessed as it is located at the famous tourist spot of China town. More people are connected to Dorje Shugden and will have the seeds planted into their mind. Rejoice.
    This is a best gift for our Lama Tsem Rinpoche on his birthday.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/kechara-13-depts/exciting-dorje-shugden-store-in-petaling-street-malaysia.html
  • sarassitham
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 10:10 PM
    This is probably the best I’ve ever seen, marvelous creation, very realist with brilliant idea. I like the idea of Julian Beever, working in open air with public attraction. This job definitely takes a lot of patience and hats off to this extraordinary creativity.

    Thank you for the wonderful sharing of a talented artist and his amazing art work.
  • S.Prathap
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 04:16 PM
    With our integrity intact, life is less stressful and far less complicated. This is not applying in secular but also in the spiritual practice. If someone who does not have integrity will surely not earn respects from his peers.
    Integrity is very important in our life. It also a good habit for us to cultivate and take as reminder to ourselves that we need to keep hold to our promises in all aspect of chores we are doing.

    https://bit.ly/31yh6MZ
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:21 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was one of the greatest meditation masters and most compassionate bodhisattvas in the history of Tibetan Buddhism. Chatral Rinpoche explains the purpose and benefit of saving the lives of endangered animals, especially those due to be slaughtered. Great advice by Chatral Rinpoche to develop compassion for all sentient beings . Save animals, save nature, as animal life is precious too. He lived as a humble yogi without the distractions of fame and fortune. He practiced what he preaches without compromise and was beloved , respected by many of all faiths throughout the Himalayan region. He was well known for his compassion for animals through his compassionate action and profound wisdom. He had liberate millions of fish animals and had encourages his student not to eat meat and drank alcohol. It’s a right choice to be on vegetarian , as more animals will be save. It be healthier for us, better for environment and kinder to be a vegetarian.
    Powerful saying by Chatral Rinpoche ……Eating meat in one’s diet is much different than eating flesh to liberate a being through supernatural powers. I am just an ordinary practitioner. I would be committing sin and I would be getting negative karma.
    Thank You for this sharing Rinpoche and Pastor Loh Seng Piow.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/committing-sin.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:18 PM
    When i first read this article I did wonder too , how this ever happen. Somehow its real, a geological phenomenon where rocks move without human interference. Known as “sailing stones,” the rocks vary in size from a few ounces to hundreds of pounds. One of the world’s strangest phenomena is at Death Valley National Park in Inyo County, California, U.S. Till today, scientists could not have an answer to this strange phenomena where nobody have seen it moving at all.
    Thank you for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/science-mysteries/just-what-are-sailing-stones.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Thursday, Jul 2. 2020 01:17 PM
    Animal abuse frequently occurred in a number of area. Its heart breaking looking at the pictures of that extreme animal and neglect case of a dog in this article . The abused dog was packed in a plastic bag and thrown down a trash chute in the 22-story building. So inhuman for someone to do that . Not only that the dog was under un nourishment, thin, dehydrated and looks more than a skeleton. The condition was so bad that the dog needs a blood transfusion. Thanks to the maintenance workers who found Patrick in the neat of time. Looking at those pictures one will be definitely shocking to see his condition. Thankfully, that poor dog named Patrick is recovering well after been nursed by the hospital staffs. Its one of the worst cases of abuse they’ve seen. A dog is men best friends , shouldn’t be abuse or harm them. Give them love, care as if they are one of us.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/extreme-abuse-dog-found-in-trash.html
  • sarassitham
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 11:14 PM
    Thank you for your wonderful thoughts of sharing the most heartwarming moments of people around the world. Some of the photos were really touching. I believe there are plenty of kind -hearted people around us with faith in humanity.

    Life is all about second chances, always try to care about others because none of us know what tomorrow may speaks. It’s so much true to say photos will make your day much more better with thousand words and I too enjoyed all the stories.
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:13 PM
    The famous saying “What goes around, comes around”, karma in short is action and every action is preceded by our thoughts. Hence what we think continuously about something will eventually lead to action and the result. Its our mind that is responsible for our karma. Reading this post it has helped me and many of us to understand that we create our own reality or karma. I have book marked these so as i can read it time from time to remind myself. still plenty to catch up.
    Thank you Rinpoche for this profound teachings with folded hands.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/karma-and-the-law-of-attraction.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:11 PM
    Chatral Rinpoche was a Dzogchen master and a reclusive yogi known for his great realization and strict discipline. Beautiful and meaningful poems, all I can say the poem is full of wisdom. All animals deserves a life free from fear and pain. They do have hearts to feel the pain, eyes to see and families to care, just like one of us. Animal should be the right to be here, long before we arrive. If only we understand we care for them , we will help and save them or we can liberate them .
    Thank you Rinpoche for this sharing.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/animals-vegetarianism/by-chatral-rinpoche.html
  • Samfoonheei
    Wednesday, Jul 1. 2020 01:10 PM
    Thank you Rinpoche for this short and powerful teachings . The Four Noble Truths are the most basic formulation of the Buddha’s teaching. They are the truth of suffering, the truth of the cause of suffering, the truth of the end of suffering, and the truth of the path that leads to the end of suffering. It was these four principles that the Buddha came to understand during his meditation under the bodhi tree.
    To cease from evil, To do what is good. To cleanse one’s mind: This is the advice of all the Buddhas. Inspiring saying short yet powerful when we understand it . I will keep this in mind always.

    https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/tsem-tulku-rinpoche/buddhas-dharma/magic-4.html

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

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I must thank my dharma blog team who are great assets to me, Kechara and growth of dharma in this wonderful region. I am honoured and thrilled to work with them. I really am. Maybe I don't say it enough to them, but I am saying it now. I APPRECIATE THESE GUYS VERY MUCH!

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The Unknown

The Known and unknown are both feared,
Known is being comfortable and stagnant,
The unknown may be growth and opportunities,
One shall never know if one fears the unknown more than the known.
Who says the unknown would be worse than the known?
But then again, the unknown is sometimes worse than the known. In the end nothing is known unless we endeavour,
So go pursue all the way with the unknown,
because all unknown with familiarity becomes the known.
~Tsem Rinpoche

Photos On The Go

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According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn\'t this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
5 months ago
According to legend, Shambhala is a place where wisdom and love reign, and there is no crime. Doesn't this sound like the kind of place all of us would love to live in? https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=204874
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden\'s blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
5 months ago
108 candles and sang (incense) offered at our Wish-Fulfilling Grotto, invoking Dorje Shugden's blessings for friends, sponsors and supporters, wonderful!
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
5 months ago
Dharmapalas are not exclusive to Tibetan culture and their practice is widespread throughout the Buddhist world - https://www.tsemrinpoche.com/?p=193645
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat\'s doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
5 months ago
One of our adorable Kechara Forest Retreat's doggies, Tara, happy and safe, and enjoying herself in front of Wisdom Hall which has been decorated for Chinese New Year
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
5 months ago
Fragrant organic Thai basil harvested from our very own Kechara Forest Retreat farm!
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
6 months ago
On behalf of our Puja House team, Pastor Tat Ming receives food and drinks from Rinpoche. Rinpoche wanted to make sure the hardworking Puja House team are always taken care of.
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
6 months ago
By the time I heard about Luang Phor Thong, he was already very old, in his late 80s. When I heard about him, I immediately wanted to go and pay my respects to him. - http://bit.ly/LuangPhorThong
It\'s very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it\'s very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
6 months ago
It's very nice to see volunteers helping maintain holy sites in Kechara Forest Retreat, it's very good for them. Cleaning Buddha statues is a very powerful and effective way of purifying body karma.
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
6 months ago
Kechara Forest Retreat is preparing for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations. This is our holy Vajra Yogini stupa which is now surrounded by beautiful lanterns organised by our students.
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
6 months ago
One of the most recent harvests from our Kechara Forest Retreat land. It was grown free of chemicals and pesticides, wonderful!
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
Third picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
Second picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal.
Height: 33ft (10m)
11 months ago
First picture-Standing Manjushri Statue at Chowar, Kirtipur, Nepal. Height: 33ft (10m)
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
12 months ago
The first title published by Kechara Comics is Karuna Finds A Way. It tells the tale of high-school sweethearts Karuna and Adam who had what some would call the dream life. Everything was going great for them until one day when reality came knocking on their door. Caught in a surprise swindle, this loving family who never harmed anyone found themselves out of luck and down on their fortune. Determined to save her family, Karuna goes all out to find a solution. See what she does- https://bit.ly/2LSKuWo
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
12 months ago
Very powerful story! Tibetan Resistance group Chushi Gangdruk reveals how Dalai Lama escaped in 1959- https://bit.ly/2S9VMGX
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
1 years ago
At Kechara Forest Retreat land we have nice fresh spinach growing free of chemicals and pesticides. Yes!
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
1 years ago
See beautiful pictures of Manjushri Guest House here- https://bit.ly/2WGo0ti
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
1 years ago
Beginner’s Introduction to Dorje Shugden~Very good overview https://bit.ly/2QQNfYv
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat\'s land here in Malaysia
1 years ago
Fresh eggplants grown on Kechara Forest Retreat's land here in Malaysia
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
1 years ago
Most Venerable Uppalavanna – The Chief Female Disciple of Buddha Shakyamuni - She exhibited many supernatural abilities gained from meditation and proved to the world females and males are equal in spirituality- https://bit.ly/31d9Rat
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
1 years ago
Thailand’s ‘Renegade’ Yet Powerful Buddhist Nuns~ https://bit.ly/2Z1C02m
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami – the first Buddhist nun ordained by Lord Buddha- https://bit.ly/2IjD8ru
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
1 years ago
The Largest Buddha Shakyamuni in Russia | 俄罗斯最大的释迦牟尼佛画像- https://bit.ly/2Wpclni
Sacred Vajra Yogini
1 years ago
Sacred Vajra Yogini
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
1 years ago
Dorje Shugden works & archives - a labour of commitment - https://bit.ly/30Tp2p8
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha.
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha\'s mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
1 years ago
Mahapajapati Gotami, who was the first nun ordained by Lord Buddha. She was his step-mother and aunt. Buddha's mother had passed away at his birth so he was raised by Gotami.
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha\'s. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
1 years ago
Another nun disciple of Lord Buddha's. She had achieved great spiritual abilities and high attainments. She would be a proper object of refuge. This image of the eminent bhikkhuni (nun) disciple of the Buddha, Uppalavanna Theri.
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
1 years ago
Wandering Ascetic Painting by Nirdesha Munasinghe
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
1 years ago
High Sri Lankan monks visit Kechara to bless our land, temple, Buddha and Dorje Shugden images. They were very kind-see pictures- https://bit.ly/2HQie2M
This is pretty amazing!

First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
1 years ago
This is pretty amazing! First Sri Lankan Buddhist temple opened in Dubai!!!
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche

Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
1 years ago
My Dharma boy (left) and Oser girl loves to laze around on the veranda in the mornings. They enjoy all the trees, grass and relaxing under the hot sun. Sunbathing is a favorite daily activity. I care about these two doggies of mine very much and I enjoy seeing them happy. They are with me always. Tsem Rinpoche Always be kind to animals and eat vegetarian- https://bit.ly/2Psp8h2
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can\'t stop thinking of you and I can\'t forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
1 years ago
After you left me Mumu, I was alone. I have no family or kin. You were my family. I can't stop thinking of you and I can't forget you. My bond and connection with you is so strong. I wish you were by my side. Tsem Rinpoche
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
1 years ago
This story is a life-changer. Learn about the incredible Forest Man of India | 印度“森林之子”- https://bit.ly/2Eh4vRS
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 2-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
1 years ago
Part 1-Beautiful billboard in Malaysia of a powerful Tibetan hero whose life serves as a great inspiration- https://bit.ly/2UltNE4
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
The great Protector Manjushri Dorje Shugden depicted in the beautiful Mongolian style. To download a high resolution file: https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
1 years ago
The Mystical land of Shambhala is finally ready for everyone to feast their eyes and be blessed. A beautiful post with information, art work, history, spirituality and a beautiful book composed by His Holiness the 6th Panchen Rinpoche. ~ https://bit.ly/309MHBi
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
1 years ago
Beautiful pictures of the huge Buddha in Longkou Nanshan- https://bit.ly/2LsBxVb
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
1 years ago
The reason-Very interesting thought- https://bit.ly/2V7VT5r
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
1 years ago
NEW Bigfoot cafe in Malaysia! Food is delicious!- https://bit.ly/2VxdGau
DON\'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
1 years ago
DON'T MISS THIS!~How brave Bonnie survived by living with a herd of deer~ https://bit.ly/2Lre2eY
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
1 years ago
Global Superpower China Will Cut Meat Consumption by 50%! Very interesting, find out more- https://bit.ly/2V1sJFh
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
1 years ago
You can download this beautiful Egyptian style Dorje Shugden Free- https://bit.ly/2Nt3FHz
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
1 years ago
Beautiful high file for print of Lord Manjushri. May you be blessed- https://bit.ly/2V8mwZe
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
1 years ago
Mongolian (Oymiakon) Shaman in Siberia, Russia. That is his real outfit he wears. Very unique. TR
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
1 years ago
Find one of the most beautiful temples in the world in Nara, Japan. It is the 1,267 year old Todai-ji temple that houses a 15 meter Buddha Vairocana statue who is a cosmic and timeless Buddha. Emperor Shomu who sponsored this beautiful temple eventually abdicated and ordained as a Buddhist monk. Very interesting history and story. One of the places everyone should visit- https://bit.ly/2VgsHhK
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
1 years ago
Manjusri Kumara (bodhisattva of wisdom), India, Pala dynesty, 9th century, stone, Honolulu Academy of Arts
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    We rescued a lost baby owl in Kechara Forest Retreat.
  • Nice cups from Kechara!!
    2 yearss ago
    Nice cups from Kechara!!
    Dorje Shugden people's lives matter!
  • Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    2 yearss ago
    Enjoy a peaceful morning at Kechara Forest Retreat
    Chirping birds and other forest animals create a joyful melody at the Vajrayogini stupa in Kechara Forest Retreat (Bentong, Malaysia).
  • This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    3 yearss ago
    This topic is so hot in many circles right now.
    This video is thought-provoking and very interesting. Watch! Thanks so much to our friends at LIVEKINDLY.
  • Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
    3 yearss ago
    Chiropractic CHANGES LIFE for teenager with acute PAIN & DEAD LEG.
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    3 yearss ago
    BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN NEW YORK STATE-AMAZING.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
    3 yearss ago
    Leonardo DiCaprio takes on the meat Industry with real action.
  • Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
    3 yearss ago
    Do psychic mediums have messages from beyond?
  • Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Lovely gift for my 52nd Birthday. Tsem Rinpoche
  • This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    3 yearss ago
    This 59-year-old chimpanzee was refusing food and ready to die until...
    she received “one last visit from an old friend” 💔💔
  • Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
    3 yearss ago
    Bigfoot sighted again and made it to the news.
  • Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
    3 yearss ago
    Casper is such a cute and adorable. I like him.
  • Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant  Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
    3 yearss ago
    Dorje Shugden Monastery Amarbayasgalant Mongolia's Ancient Hidden Gem
  • Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
    3 yearss ago
    Don't you love Hamburgers? See how 'delicious' it is here!
  • Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
    3 yearss ago
    Such a beautiful and powerful message from a person who knows the meaning of life. Tsem Rinpoche
  • What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    3 yearss ago
    What the meat industry figured out is that you don't need healthy animals to make a profit.
    Sick animals are more profitable... farms calculate how close to death they can keep animals without killing them. That's the business model. How quickly they can be made to grow, how tightly they can be packed, how much or how little can they eat, how sick they can get without dying... We live in a world in which it's conventional to treat an animal like a block of wood. ~ Jonathan Safran Foer
  • This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
    3 yearss ago
    This video went viral and it's a must watch!!
  • SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    3 yearss ago
    SEE HOW THIS ANIMAL SERIAL KILLER HAS NO ISSUE BLUDGEONING THIS DEFENSELESS BEING.
    This happens daily in slaughterhouse so you can get your pork and Bak ku teh. Stop eating meat.

ASK A PASTOR


Ask the Pastors

A section for you to clarify your Dharma questions with Kechara’s esteemed pastors.

Just post your name and your question below and one of our pastors will provide you with an answer.

Scroll down and click on "View All Questions" to view archived questions.

View All Questions

CHAT PICTURES

So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
2 weeks ago
So glad that our soup kitchen operations are back in full swing. Good to see the clients are observing the SOPs. Some of them lost their job during MCO and ended up on the streets. Special thanks to our sponsors and volunteers for the great support! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
4 weeks ago
From serving cooked food to the homeless clients on the streets to mobilising provisions to the needy individuals in PPRs and shelters, we thank everyone of our Johor Bahru team for their kind contributions and effort to make it for the needy despite all the challenges! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
1 month ago
More photos taken from our "Hari Raya Hampers" distribution this week. Making sure everyone of our clients have something to be cheerful about. Apart from food, daily used items such as hygiene products, kitchen utensils, assorted fabric items, stationary items and toys were also included into our hamper bags making it extra heavier this month! Food items alone were about 35kg per family! Taking this opportunity to wish everyone of our Muslim volunteers, friends, supporters and clients a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir Batin. No doubt this year's celebration will be very different but appreciate everyone is safe and protected from the pandemic. We are in this together and let's work to fight this pandemic together! Thanking all sponsors and donors for the generous support enabling us to continue serve the needy with food, love and care. Big shoutout too to our wonderful team which already depleted by our very own strict SOP. All of you who worked tirelessly behind the s
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Our team have been working extra hours for the past few weeks to deliver provisions and hamper goodies to the needy families before Hari Raya! Heart warming to see the smiling faces of our recipients upon receiving 3 bags full of food and daily used items. Thanks to everyone of you who have contributed to our foodbank enabling us to give all our recipients (especially those celebrating) a Raya to remember! - Vivian @ Kechara Soup Kitchen
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
1 month ago
Thankful to all donors and those who have been committed in contributing not just money but time over the past testing weeks to help us ease the work of our frontliners and also the livelihood of the needy, their struggles over this pandemic period seemed a little easier to bear with because of your contributions! - Vivian @Kechara Soup Kitchen
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 2 virtual class, Lin Mun KSDS
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
2 months ago
KSDS Level 3 virtual class. Lin Mun KSDS
Wesak 2020
2 months ago
Wesak 2020
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
4 months ago
Recycle today for a better tomorrow. KEP-Serena
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
4 months ago
Today we are having recycling at Kechara Soup Kitchen. Do drop by here if you would like to get ride of the recyclable items from home. KEP - Serena
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Seen here is Bam, Vajrayogini’s seed syllable and also Kechara's logo. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: More melted butter was offered. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
H.E. Zawa Rinpoche in deep concentration. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Geshela is seen here wearing ceremonial hat called tsoksha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
The Shize Fire Puja was performed according to scriptural sources. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
To find out more about the substances offered during jinsek/fire puja, have a read here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
More about the symbolism of the offering items here: http://bit.ly/WhatIsFirePuja - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
4 months ago
Amongst all pujas, the fire puja is considered the king of all Pujas. It is the most powerful of all pujas within Tibetan Buddhism and its purpose is basically to remove all obstacles and its stains to enlightenment.
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Graceful hand mudras were also part of the ritual. - shared Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: One by one the offering substances were offered accompanied by traditional Tibetan recitations. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: JP Thong ensuring that Geshela's ritual items are within easy reach. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor David Lai & Frederick Law were also on hand to assist with the puja ritual substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Pastor Niral Patel assisting H.E. Zawa Rinpoche during the puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Peaceful fire pujas are excellent to remove inauspiciousness, problems that might be coming to our lifespan, wisdom, wealth, growth of Dharma. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Over 100 Kecharians & their loved ones spent the Sunday evening immersed in this obstacle pacifying puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Dakpa and Geshe Janchup Gyaltsen Lama inspecting the offering substances. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: H.E. Zawa Rinpoche & Geshe Janchup making last minute checks before the commencement of the Jinsek or Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The arrival of the Sangha conducting this sacred puja accompanied by Changtso Beng Kooi and Pastor Niral Patel - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: The site of the Peaceful Fire Puja the calls upon the pacifying energies of Shize Shugden. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: A close-up of the ladle. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Substances such as sticks, melted butter, kusha grass, lentils and barley were traditionally offered during the prayers to create the causes for merits, long life and to pacify obstacles. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Beautifully handcrafted torma or food offering to the Buddha. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja: Some of the many offering items & substances used during this highly blessed Fire Puja. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
4 months ago
Highlights from the Shize Peaceful Fire Puja in Kechara Forest Retreat: A special mandala at the base where the fire puja ritual was conducted. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project (KEP) 8/3/2020
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
4 months ago
Dear Kecharians and friends, We are pleased to announce that as part of the preparations for H.E. Tsem Rinpoche's reliquary stupas and incarnation chapel, mantra rolling sessions have begun in Kechara Forest Retreat. We are calling for volunteers to join us in this holy activity. DATE Daily starting 5th March 2020 until further notice TIME (1) Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday - 10am to 10pm (2) Thursday & Sunday - 10am to 6pm VENUE Art Studio (Kechara Saraswati Arts) Kechara Forest Retreat If you're interested, kindly contact: Wong Yew Kien 012-3717896 or Karen Chong 012-7710289 We look forward to seeing you soon!
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
4 months ago
Join us for a Peaceful Fire Puja based on Dorje Shugden’s pacifying form. This blessed puja will be conducted at the future site of H.E. Tsem Rinpoche’s outdoor reliquary stupa to pacify obstacles and for the success of the project. EVENT DETAILS • Date: Sunday, 8 March 2020 • Time: 6.00pm – 8.30pm • Venue: Kechara Forest Retreat, Bentong Admission is free, all are welcome. ADDITIONAL BENEFITS FOR SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES • Healing from illness and disease • Overcoming obstacles • Purifying past negative deeds and negative karma • Calming the environment, natural disasters and calamities • Helping the deceased to take a good rebirth • Accumulation of merits for spiritual realisations and attainments
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
4 months ago
Join us this weekend for Spiritual Saturday in Kechara Forest Retreat! SATURDAY, 7 MARCH 9.30 am: Polish Gyenze's wish-fulfilling lamps 11.15 am: Introduction to Ayurveda 1.00 pm: Lunch INTERESTED? WhatsApp us at +6017 672 0757 to RSVP your place (and your meal!) See all March activities: bit.ly/2vAGpjF
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
4 months ago
Kechara Earth Project- new site at Damansara
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
5 months ago
For those who did not manage to join in for our Loma Gyonma mantra recitation, here's the prayer that you can do daily at home as a preventive measure to ward off unwanted infections and illnesses, especially contagious diseases such as Coronavirus & H1N1. - shared by Pastor Antoinette
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Dorje Shugden
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