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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Pictures speak louder

First off, please excuse the quality. They're from my cell phone camera. I do NOT have a digital camera (or any camera for that matter), and have no desire to own one. The memories are all up here.

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An onsen(温泉) in Miyagi(宮城県) prefecture I stopped at on the second day. A nice place with an eyeful of nature. It was quite a drive off main road. Nearby there are plenty of places to rest, a camp ground, some wooden lodges, and lots of rental houses.

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The Internet cafe in Aomori (青森県). They're usually called manga-kissa (漫画喫茶). I ordered my dinner there that night. They are doing a promotion, so an overnight stay for nine hours was only 2000yen, where as the other place I went to charges 600yen+ per one hour!

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Aomori prefecture is a great place for a quick visit. I was up there circling the northern areas for a while before I realized it is impossible to drive from Honshu(本州) to Hokkaido(北海道).

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The ferry that caused me much grief. The line of cars waiting to board. My muscular arm in the reflection of the driver side mirror.

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The drive from Otaru(小樽) to Wakkanai. Lots of windmills up there. The room in the minjuku (like an inn) I stayed at. The lady who works there asked me if I was hungry. Then she went and cooked me a meal for free. I was so grateful. Last picture there proves that they do have heaters in every room, double pane windows, and insulation in the walls. Well you can't really see all that, but I vouch for them.

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First noticable difference I arrived in Wakkanai was the presence of the gaijin(外人) population. There are lots of Russians. ALL the signs are written in Japnaese, English, AND Russian. The train station. The wall says "Japan's northern most point, Wakkanai Station latitude 45°(degree)24'(minute)44"(second)N." The town is the only few that sit above the the 45-degree line in Japan. They never fail to advertise that.

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A map shows the distance between Japan and Russia. The landmark that labels the most north point of Japan. People pay their pilgrimage to the oddly shaped architecture. Wakkanai city from above.

2 comments:

Mykola said...

that looks pretty sweet, driving across japan seems pretty taxing but you have had some good times and seen some cool things I suspect.

Did you feel the big earthquake at all?

todd said...

When the earthquake struck, I was right there in Miyagi(宮城県), driving by. But when you drive, you don't feel the earth move, since it seems to be moving anyway. The car's suspension absorbs most of the shocks. And the constant vibration numbs you from detecting it, even it's a quake that big. Luckily the road stayed together as one piece.

I love roadtrips. I've driven from NY to Ohio, to Detroit, to Canada, to Florida, and some other places. So, yes it's taxing but like you said, it's well worth it.