I was pretty much stoned out when I hopped on the train. Pretty crowded but comfortable as usual and I went in and out of consciousness. How I wished I was on a overnighter like the Baikal 007 and get some really good shut eye. The longest Shinkansen from Tokyo was a short 2:30 hr ride but the rest I got was worth every minute.

Arrived at Hachinohe on time and the motel we found is literally connected to the station. We were here at 10:30 and the check in does not start till 3 pm. What a bummer. But we being the good sport we are, decided to creatively while the time away. What do you do in japan wan you are stinking and got a couple of hours? Hit a Onsen. Heh…

It is unusual for me to be in a public bath let alone among dozens of buck naked men of all ages parading around and jumping in hot and cold pool. It was a, um relaxing experience. I probably had the longest bath ever and i didn’t realize a bath can be pretty relaxing. It was always a mundane chore that I would avoid if I could but I can now totally understand people obsessed with long baths heh… After a while one tends to forget all the naked people. Would have been a different affair if it was a mixed-sex bath I think 🙂

The good people at the motel let us check in early and also gave us pointers on what to do. The last time I was in this region, I took a scenic train ride around rice fields and the coast. It is not in the cards this time but I took a train to a coastal town called Tanesashi. This is a quaint little town with a brilliant coast line. The beach was very clean and I should say unique. It has a combination of sandy beach, really soft grass land and a rocky outcrop. Seems to be a pretty favorite hangout for family picnics. Luckily there was very little crowd and the weather was excellent. The train ride was very peaceful and the gentle wind and rocking waves were the perfect accompaniment. I cooed have spent many more hours but 2 was good enough to de-stress. We topped it with an excellent meal of rice and noodles prepared by local chef who accommodated the strange vegetarian request.

August is a time for parades and celebration in Aomori, and When I head into town, the revelry was starting. Large floats paraded the streets and seems like the entire town turned up to join in the fun. Japan is strange, it is a place where you find punks and traditionalists side by side and today was no different. Tons of girls in kimono’s and many more in mini skirts graced the streets and there are few better ways to spend an evening sipping coffee and watching people flock by… I guess a perfect day to top up the rather rough few days.

Tomorrow is a 4 hr train ride back to the airport, but now I am just about knocking off with some mindless entertainment on TV. Believe me, 100 Dalmatians is a lot more fun in Japanese 🙂

Track Notes