Venturing to the island of Hokkaido via a train underground from Aomori to Hakodate. Once in Hakodate, we are on a day adventure to see the area which is highlighted by the sunny day, pops of color, and onsens. (the original post of this was in three parts) Day 7.1: I heart trains. Why do I love trains so much? This leg takes us from Aomori on northern tip of Japan to Hokkaido and the city of Hakodate. The weather really has been our friend so far - even the rain, snow, wind
Day 5: Merchants and Samurai. An ironic juxtaposition of the old and new. The cherry blossoms will be in full bloom late April in this historic town - Kakunodate - nestled in mountains between Akita and Morioka so we were all alone as tourists in the winter chill.
Those samurai really knew how to live the good life and the wide ambling boulevard lined with wooden fence says it all. Attempts to imagine an unpaved road and walking slowly and intentionally in kimono met with s
The art of accidental adventure and immersion into train travel culture of Japan. Sometimes you never know what you are going to encounter. The item on the agenda today (in 2015) is to transport via JR from Sendai to Morioka in order to have a day trip to Kakunodate. We left the extreme hospitality of the hostel - Guest House Umebachi (see this blog post for more info) and took the short walk to the train station. I really love walking in new places so you can observe and tak
Day 4: mystical and magical. Who needs Disney when you can board a train and escape to a magical world in reality? The scenery from the train window helps the transformation from urban to this snowy wonderland in the mountains. Yamadera has 1100 steps and they so graciously tell you how far you have gotten.
The wind and snow were howling at us at the bottom, but determination helped us reach the top. Peaceful silence broken by screams - a traveler embarked with inadequate
Day 3: rainy days and Sundays.... a transportation day with a short hour peaceful diversion through Utsunomiya before Shinkansen to next pitstop in Sendai. A peaceful morning at the shrine and found the Buddha with three beans standing strong from the encroachment of urbanism. We are on our way from Kanuma to Sendai catching the Shinkansen in Utsonomiya. This little map shows the Nikko line from that main hub. It's a rainy day with damp glistening streets. One of the things t
Why staying in a hostel while traveling at any age is a really great experience. I love trains even more than I ever did once I was able to experience traveling with the JR Pass in Japan and most especially the Shinkansen. There are several tips you must follow including not lining up until almost the precise time that the train will arrive otherwise you'll likely get on the wrong train. The timing and efficiency of this system is notorious. You also must stand away from the
TOKYO = plum blossoms in Ueno, selfie sticks in Asakusa, sake barrels lining gravel path to Meiji shrine
(tumblr blog 2015) The beckoning cat – Maneki-neko (招き猫) – is a common image or figurine that signifies good luck to the owner. The left paw raised is for businesses to get more customers and the other paw is holding the coin, but when that paw is raised it is intended to bring fortune. This is a common site everywhere in Japan. ONE DAY IN TOKYO? How can you see Tokyo in
35 Days in Japan by rail, plane, car, and most importantly feet. I earned my MFA in Graphic Design in 1999. During my thesis research, I found Lucy Lippard's book "The Lure of the Local" and began a journey grounded in Identity with Place which came from her writings and my musings of my past. Sabbaticals are intended to provide opportunity for intensive research in one's discipline after achieving the goal of tenure which is a very enduring and trying time for people in the