Be aware that I have added some more pix to the previous entry for Tokyo so you might want to look there.
And as there are no snaps of Akita, there are some leftovers from Tokyo to complete the picture.
I am now in Akita on the NW coast of Honshu arrived today on the Komachi 35 shinkansen from Tokyo – just over 4 hrs to do 660km odd. The train splits at Morioka – where I stayed a night on my last long trip here up to Hokkaido - the front bit goes on up to the end of Honshu to Aomori. This was covered by the 3 days (in 10 to use it) JR East rail pass I bought this morning for about 150$, which I will use for the major zooming around. Will have the odd rest days to go smaller distances on local trains and save the rail pass for the HD shinkansen long sectors. My nice Dormy Inn hotel in Akita is pretty damn good for $55 for a large single room. Then will likely go S to a little place called Tsuruoka with mountain pilgrimage area. No idea how accessible it is in
terms of getting to that area yet though. Have gone up half way over to Akita once before to Kakunodate, an old samurai village. Soon I will have criss-crossed most of Japan worth seeing and will have run out of places to go (maybe)!
Generally plan to do some of the coast and hopefully also go out to Sado Island off Niigata – former jail etc and the place you allegedly go to learn taiko drumming or be a monk for a week (accdg to Foreign Correspondent once I saw). Its likely now or never I guess! Hopefully can spend a night or maybe even 2 over there – obviously a rail pass-free zone. So I think I will be spending longer in Japan that Korea – plan to get the jetfoil over from Hakata to Pusan in Korea on a Monday (avoid weekend rush) and will likely have only 8 days in Korea if I go over on Mon. 10 June – I leave p.m. on 18 June – but that should be fine.
We passed (slowly at a station) the very (red) shovel-nosed Super Komachi train going back to Tokyo. Good for 300kmh and next year
will lift to 320kmh apparently, and become the fastest in Japan. However it does not go anywhere near that fast thru the twisting mountain valleys coming over here – must look stunning in the autumn with all the trees thru there.
Just a bit annoying that I spent an hour bashing around the Akita suburbs on the Western side of the station by mistake rather than the East before getting to the hotel – and this is a man with a compass! – once you start wrong you just keep going wrong. So will not see much of Akita (what there is of it as the old castle is well gone now) until tomorrow before likely leaving at 1pm or so to head South.
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