Aoba Park campground happens to be less than 15 minutes from where we live in Chitose (EDIT (2018/10/13): we now live in Sapporo), so we decided to load up our bikes with camping and BBQ equipment and stay a Saturday night there with some friends.
We were at the campground on the 23rd of May. “This is still very early in the year for camping,” said the enthusiastic Mr. Kutsuwa. He said there had been a couple of travelers stay earlier, but the busiest season won’t start till June.
Being late May, Mr. Kutsuwa was slowly making his way around the campsites, clearing twigs and leaves from tentsites that had accumulated over winter. One of those campsites was the kabutomushi (rhinoceros beetle) site; all the sites had insect names. This site had tentsites covered in the most amazing layer of soft moss. We quickly opted for this spot and set up camp. By 6pm we had tents set up, our charcoal BBQ hot, and the drinks and food ready.
No one had a wine bottle cork removal implement with them, so I did as I have before, using my Leatherman. The steps are as follows: Find a wood screw (there is always one somewhere in a campground), remove it from whatever wood it is currently screwed into, screw it into the cork, grab the screw head with the pliers on the Leatherman, and pull. Cork is now removed. (Return the screw to previous location.)
Before long it was night time and time for an onsen. Walking through a pitch black dark park is always so exciting…
The next morning broke with clear skies and no wind. Everyone in good spirits. Breakfast consisted of BBQ goodness…Including Japanese imo-mochi (mashed potato with potato starch shallow fried, with a dash of soy sauce)…And of course coffee brewed in a mokapot atop a beer can alcohol stove, the stove made the day before.
The perfect spot for an overnight weekend adventure.