12/24/08
Hamanasu Express, between Aomori and Sapporo

Yesterday I packed, visited my host family's hapyokai (performance day), helped my host dad change the tires on his car, and at about 7:30 took off to get on a night bus to Sendai. At Nagoya Station, I inadvertently tested the myth that you can leave your wallet sitting in the middle of a busy area in Japan, walk away, and come back to find it right where you left it. Myth confirmed, thank goodness. Phew.

The bus ride was 10 hours, and I had a middle seat (there were three lines of sleeper seats down the bus). The people with window seats preferred to draw the curtains and sleep instead of watching outside, so I didn't have much choice but to follow suit. Next bus I'm booking earlier.

This morning in Sendai, I bought a Hokkaido & Higashinihon Pass, a special pass that lets me ride on any non-express JR line in the region, plus a few other lines, like the one I'm on now. I caught the local Tohoku line to Ichinoseki, a wonderful old train meandering through the countryside. Nowadays it's been shorted by the Tohoku Shinkansen, sort of a route 66 deal. I was in the second car of the train, and about halfway I looked back and saw that I was now in the last car; a few cars had been dropped at a station because there were so few passengers.

I wandered around Ichinoseki for a bit, then caught the next train for Morioka, still part of the old Tohoku line. At Morioka, I took the Aoimori (sic) line to Hachinohe. While waiting for the next train there, I wandered through a nice little public exhibit of local industry.

From Hachinohe I got back on the Tohoku line to Aomori. I wandered around Aomori for a few hours, then got onto the train I'm on now. I need to sleep, we arrive pretty early.

3 comments:

Jeanette said...

I was soooo enjoying your posts. I hope they resume soon.

Julia said...

Dude, how come you haven't posted in over a month?

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd missed something! I've really enjoyed reading about your experiences in Japan! I hope you resume posting too. :) Janet