Sunday, May 02, 2010


I have succeeded in simultaneously having two ankle sprains. Hey, it's not a break, at least! Let's be thankful for small things! =)

Today, I did the following:
  • Went to a second hospital in Japan; it was $100 this time, which makes my left ankle officially cheaper than my right ankle. =) Also, it illustrates that Tokyo is more expensive than northern Japan, where I am right now. And I can now explain my entire history of ankle sprains in coherent Japanese...
  • Got to ride the Denden mushi bus all around Morioka, which made me irrationally happy. It has snails and other happy bugs on it and it sings at you. I'm all for singing buses.
  • Discovered the casing of my Macbook has cracked, which makes me sad. Does anyone know if you can fix something that you bought two years ago, if it's under warranty? (presumably still)
  • Bought an adorable iron cat stand thing, which is ostensibly for letters, but is just cute. It's handmade, too. Also, gazed adoringly at $800 handmade iron teapots, which I didn't buy.
  • Walked all around Iwate Koen, which is the park in central Morioka. We visited a castle! We saw a million and one cherry blossoms and it was seriously gorgeous. We saw a monument to some poet I didn't know. It was one of the most lovely places I've ever been in my entire life, and it was a simple public park. =)
  • Rode the shinkansen from Morioka to Hachinohe.
Yesterday, also in brief, because I'm sleepy:
  • Rode the shinkansen from Morioka to Kakunodate.
  • Walked around Kakunodate in the rain and cold. It was beautiful and quaint. I took pictures at an old cemetery and we saw a river with cherry trees blooming in the cold.
  • Also, saw a Japanese dance thing as soon as we got off the station.
  • Went to the Kakunodate cherry blossom festival and ate festival food. Amazake is good, although strange-smelling. Chocolate bananas rock. And grilled squid are very attractive, although we didn't sample them.
  • Fell in ditch--see prior day's entry.
  • Visited the Aoyagi samurai house museum, which is a preserved samurai house from the Edo era. Got to see kick-ass swords of all types and neat armor. Also, an early fire engine which I neglected to photograph.
  • Had sakura udon for lunch.
  • Tried in vain to convince Chris that we should ride a rickshaw back to the station; he thought it was too weird, so we didn't.
  • Rode the shinkansen from Kakunodate to Tazawako. Normally, all the shinkansen riding would be prohibitively expensive, but we had the JR rail pass, which made everything extremely affordable.
  • Took a bus tour around Lake Tazawako, which is HUGE. Easily close to the size of Lake Champlain, I think. It's the largest caldera lake in Japan (possibly, world). Breathtakingly beautiful, and we've seen a lot of lovely scenery here so far. We were also the only ones on the bus, and the driver was nice enough to make an unscheduled stop to take pictures at a temple/red arch thing. The proper word for it escapes me but it's gorgeous. It's also sort of familiar, and I wonder if I've seen it in a drama?
  • Rode shinkansen from Tazawako back to Morioka.
The day before yesterday:
  • Rode shinkansen from Tokyo to Morioka.
  • Hopefully, Osorezan, if we get up in time. =)
Pictures, of which there are a lot, to follow when I return to Tokyo and can better collect thoughts.

1 comment:

Soratian said...

It sounds like such wonderful touring! :D I hope you're absorbing every moment of it. Tell Chris I think you should have taken the rickshaw! It's the things you don't do that you regret after all, right?

And I'm reading this blog. Things are just busy, that's all.

And btw, just wanted to check if you did receive my email to say thanks for the books? If you're touring and haven't had time to check, that's okay. I was just wondering...