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Author Topic: Tohoku Japan 日本東北  (Read 5874 times)
hangchoi
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« on: 23 May 2019, 10:16:24 »

In recent years I used to spend my Easter in Europe. This year I changed to Japan. The reason was evolved from a trip planned by my primary schoolmates that they would have a trip to Japan in the beginning of May, and I am too old to fly back and forth to Europe then Japan in mid April to May. At the same time, my sister in law would take my mom in law to Tokyo and my wife had long asked to see Sakura in Japan. Therefore, I put all three together and stayed in Japan for 17 days. The first 9 days will go to Tohoku area of Japan with my wife and her friends for Sakura and hiking, then a few days with my mom in law, after that I would join the trip with my primary schoolmates. Kind of 迎送生涯 Grin
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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #1 on: 23 May 2019, 10:25:20 »

I strongly recommend buying a rail pass for traveling to Tohoku. It is about 19000 yen for a 5 day pass, which means you can pick 5 days to use the pass within 14 day period. For traveling inter-cities, you have to use Shinkansen but the ticket price is very high. JR pass really saves you a lot as a one way ticket from Tokyo to Aomori already costed you about 20000 yen.

In addition, you may reserve tickets on internet to secure your seat on train. Otherwise you have to go to non-reserved carts to find a seat. The reservation of seat can be done via JR official website or a website called ekinet. For foreigners using English, you can reserve your seat before the date of departure but you have to pick up your reservation ticket 9:00pm before the date of departure. Hence, it poses a difficulty if you want to travel on the date you arrived in Japan. However, if you use Japanese website, you can pick up your reservation ticket before your actual departure time. So......is it racial discrimination?

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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2019, 10:39:27 »

We took a early morning flight to Narita airport. After completed the custom clearance, we headed to the JR office to get our rail pass as we would go to Aomori on the first day. The office at the airport had already had tens of people waiting for the office opening. We then decided to go to Tokyo station to get our pass. I knew I had to pay for the train from airport to Tokyo station but it turned out that we had more time in Tokyo station, which was good for walking around and breakfast.

We arrived at Tokyo station JR office and there were only 3 people lining up for JR pass, compared with the long queue in the airport. When we completed the transactions (getting the pass and all the reservation tickets), we still had an hour or so to wander around.

Tokyo station is an old building with nice architecture. Later I had spent a night taking picture there. At that moment, I only took a picture of their ceiling of 丸之內 building.

The station is huge and has a lot of shops inside. The traveling time from Tokyo to Aomori is about 3 hours so we went buy some lunchboxes for lunch in train (which is rather an experience in train). There is a famous lunchbox shop inside Tokyo station which is now a tourist spot. I bought a roasted beef lunchbox.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #3 on: 23 May 2019, 10:49:11 »

The train ride was smooth and fast. I strongly advise you to make reservation of the seat. Two reasons: a) a cart for reserved seat is more quiet and has less people walking around; b) you can reserved the first row or last row seat, which is very important if you are traveling with your luggages. Not all train has rooms for large luggages storage, so you can put your lugguages in front of you (for the first row) or behind your seat (for the last row). Otherwise, you may have to bring your large luggage up to the rack above your seat.

We arrived at the Hachinohe 八戶 station at noon. The hotel will pick us up there.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #4 on: 23 May 2019, 10:49:18 »

The first day our hotel was Hoshino Resorts OiraseKeiryu Hotel 星野奥入瀬渓流. This resort is nice and the room is spacious. It is also very convenient for hiking around the Oirase Keiryu, which was our main activity in the first two days.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #5 on: 23 May 2019, 10:57:55 »

This well decorated resort offers a lot of different activities to their guests. Not only transportation to the hiking tracks, but also different in-house activities, like glassware workshop, moss study, stargazing, etc, not to mention their two onsen baths.

As Aomori is famous for its apple, the restaurant and the cuisine are themed with apples too. They use apples a lot for the food and we tasted a bottle of "wine" made by apples.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #6 on: 23 May 2019, 11:05:24 »

The hiking track here is very famous. The track in total is about 20km, all along a river flowing from Towada lake 十和田湖. It is quite easy to walk and the scenes are beautiful. You can imagine that the views will be different in different seasons.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #7 on: 23 May 2019, 11:10:41 »

Along the path, there are lots of water falls, all in different scales and sizes, so the water flow is kept changing paces at different locations.



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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #8 on: 23 May 2019, 11:14:24 »

The path is well protected by the government. Even a bus stop cannot be erected along the road, that makes people puzzle when they want to find a bus stop.

Somehow, the environment is well kept and you can feel the freshness of the air. Mosses grow well there too. At the time we visited, the winter snow is still melting.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
hangchoi
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« Reply #9 on: 23 May 2019, 11:22:58 »

The second day we went to see Sakura. 弘前市 Hirosaki is a famous city for seeing Sakura. Before we went to Japan, the weather forecast said that all Sakura should be fully blossomed. But the weather turned freezing for a few days just before we arrived which delayed the process a bit. Hence we were lucky enough to see different stages of Sakura in this trip.

It was a rainy day. The good thing was that not many people there, but the bad thing was the freezing temperature and the rain. We were hiking at 3 degC but Hirosaki at 7 degC made me felt even colder.

The best place to see Sakura at Hirosaki is the castle. Before we entered the castle, we had already seen the sakura along the moat. Some of them started falling so part of the moat was full of sakura.


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「吾心信其可行,則移山倒海之難,終有成功之日。吾心信其不可行,則反掌折枝之易,亦無收效之期也。」
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