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Asia » Japan » Aomori June 20th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 6. Hirosaki, Aomori. 20 June 2019. A great start in the outside onsen before breakfast and then out into the warmest start yet. I am also now getting used to the thin futon beds and slept well last night, partly thanks to a softer pillow not filled with stones. Travelling along the coast was very interesting with the view changing around every corner. Tea break was on a peninsula with a lighthouse close by and a shop selling mostly fish and smelly creatures. After lunch we were introduced to Wasa the famous Sherpa Inu hunting dog which had been found abandoned on the car park where we had lunch. Following this we headed inland and climbed at a steady gradient for 15km before dropping down through the apple orchards where we saw people ... read more
Squid hung out to dry.
Tsunami warning.
Squid fishing boat.

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 18th 2019

Onsen Explorer Day 4. Fujisato. What a change from yesterday. Blue sky and 20 degrees with a warm wind. Breakfast at a great Ryokan at 7 for 8am start on a nice short downhill run into pleasant farmland. There were a variety of crops in small plots to larger farms. Fennel seemed very popular along with potatoes, cabbayand other vegetables. Rice was the main crop and we did see a rice combine harvester in action which unfortunately was partly hidden from view by the tall crop so I was unable to photograph it working. There were many smallholders tending their crops with hand tools and small powered cultivators. You will be upset if I did not observe the manhole covers so I have a couple for you today. One depicting the Shiba-Inu dog, which has a ... read more
kite

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 17th 2019

Onsen Explorer. Day 3. Monday 17 June. Sakura Onsen It was raining when we arrived yesterday and it lashed it down all night. Things are looking bad for today. It has been decided to take the local bus at 9.20 to iutfirst break stop in the valley at Ishinoto. Despite this bad news we had a good stay at the Ryokan with the relaxing onsen an amazing meal last night and a good Japtbreakfsst this morning. These Ryokans are certainly not 5 star hotels but traditional hostels with wooden structures, flimsy sliding doors and fibre or paper walls with tatami mats on the floor of the rooms. During the evening meal someone comes along and makes up your bed of a thin futon on the floor with a bean bag pillow and a nice duvet. Sleep ... read more
Lupins
Manhole cover. No 1
Liv on the summit.

Asia » Japan » Aomori June 1st 2019

Day 1&2 Arrival at Sakura Onsen Early rise today with taxi to Manchester Airport at 4am. to start a 4 week stay in Japan going on an 11 1/2 hr flight to Tokyo airport. The next flight was to Aomori and a shuttle bus to Sakura Onsen, our resting place for the night. We arrived at the Sakura Onsen at 1530. That is 28 hrs, 3 flights and 2 bus journeys after leaving home in Clitheroe. We met Kenichi and Daisuke upon arrival and set out on fixing our hire bikes up for the days ahead. The smell of sulphur is pretty strong and some would say offensive to the olfactory organs others may say, ’What a pong’. Excited to get closer to the source of this stink made us get ready for a soak in ... read more
Dinner
Sakura Onsen reception.

Asia » Japan » Aomori July 10th 2018

Tuesday, 10th July 2018 We started Day 03 of our program with a visit to the Hakodate Morning Market. Located right next to the train station, this is an ideal place to buy and sample fresh seafood. YP wasted no time in buying a pack of dry scallops and some medication for her family. We also took some time off to sample the sweetness of the Hokkaido melons and roasted scallops. After we were done with market shopping, we stopped by at the restaurant row to sample raw sashimi and crab legs. The colourful food samples outside the restaurants made them very tempting for us to try them all! From the morning market, we headed to the beautiful Onuma Koen which was an easy train ride away. This is a picturesque national park located at the ... read more
Breakfast at Morning Market
Onuma Koen
Excursion to Aomori

Asia » Japan » Aomori April 6th 2017

Mt. Osore - Aomori 78 miles I awoke early as usual, in sync with daybreak, slightly surprised to have fallen asleep to the sound of desperately hungry bugs. Yet, as I emerged from my tent, all was still; the heathen swarms having dissipated back into the depths from whence they had came. A thick band of mist clung to Lake Usori, partially obscuring its luminous glow, as the pinnacle of Mt. Ozore floated mysteriously above, coaxed in a clear blue summer sky. My day started with a series of steep climbs up and out of the caldera; I scaled a number of energy zapping gradients ranging from 9% - 12%. This is never a good way to start the day; always more appealing to be able to gradually ease one’s stiff muscles into a climb - ... read more
Forests of the Shimokita Peninsula
Shimokita Peninsula
Mutsu Bay

Asia » Japan » Aomori March 26th 2017

Sunday 26th March Up and off early this morning, we caught the 0800hrs train out of Takayama, changed to the Shinkansen in Nagano, rushed to the next Shinkansen in Tokyo, and reached our destination Aomori at about 1700hrs having travelled over 800kms for the day. A tiring day even though we were sitting down for most of it. Aomori is a port town on the east coast and is, as quoted in a brochure, "about 2 hours 59 minutes north of Tokyo". When planning this section of the trip we chose this town as it was on the coast and within reach of Hokkaido if we wanted to go further north. Rags was a little worried that the accommodation we had booked, the Toyoko Inn Aomori, may be a little less than expected and we had ... read more
Aomori
Aomori
Hirosaki

Asia » Japan » Aomori March 20th 2017

Hakodate – Mt. Osore 38 miles It was a short 90-minute ferry ride from Hakodate to Ōma, a small town upon the tip of the axe-shaped peninsula of Shimokita. Ōma is famed for having some of the most delectable and pricey tuna in Japan, an abundance which can commonly be found in Tokyo’s rampant Tsukiji Market. A stone’s throw to the north was Cape Ōma, the northern most point of Honshū. A black and white lighthouse sits just off shore on a tiny low-lying island, the last rock to stand between Honshū and Hokkaidō; the big island now a mere shadow grafted onto the horizon. The skies were free of cloud cover as the sun shimmered brightly off of the calm waters of the Tsugaru Strait. At a Cornetto incinerating 24°C, I quite rightly slapped on ... read more
Ōhata
Osorezan
Osorezan

Asia » Japan » Aomori April 22nd 2016

It was now a Tuesday and I was a day late for the resurrection, yet Christ’s grave looked undisturbed and I had an inkling that he was still sleeping. Which I thought to be rather rude considering how far I’d come to visit him, yet alas he is Jesus Christ the son of God, so I guess really he can just do what he wants. I stood atop a small hill in the unassuming village of Shingo, a sleepy little place with seemingly little agenda bar our saviour. Before me lay two large earthen mounds each consisting of large 12ft wooden crosses. Too my right laid the body of the world famous Jesus Christ, to my left, his brother… Isukiri! Now information on the existence of Christ in Japan is sketchy to say the least, yet ... read more
Shingo
En route to Lake Towada
Aomori Pref.

Asia » Japan » Aomori » Towadako October 21st 2014

Fall colors (紅葉, "kouyou"), don't start in Kanto until early to mid November, and generally last until the beginning to the middle of December. It's a long, late stretch that seems really nice, because it makes winter itself feel much shorter. We were, however, very ready to see some beautiful colors, so Rani and I took a somewhat spontaneous two-day trip up to the northern-most part of the Honshu island, which is Aomori prefecture. The 9 hour trip by car took us only 3 hours by shinkansen, and I will never stop being amazed at how convenient it is. I always bring a train beer now, and I can sit and drink and listen to music as the bullet train whisks me off to faraway parts of the country. Technology at its finest! We left Friday ... read more
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