#214 Scorching hot summer vacation day 2/7 part 2

So after 角館, I headed to Morioka, which is this rather urban area in the Iwate prefecture, cause there was going to be a dance festival called the sansa odori in the evening. That was the first festival I went to for this trip and I enjoyed myself watching at them dance. Although the dance steps were all the same and also the melody, different groups of dancers danced in different colours and they also had something different for every group. My favourite part was the children dancing cause you could see the adults (teachers or parents I guess) trying their best but the children just anyhow shaking to the music lol. And they all looked really cute in the yukata (is the more informal kind of yukata you know those with the pants). Anyway I will just show you how Morioka was with my photos.

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I think this was the first station I went that was this crowded. The other places I went before this were really ulu and I didn’t even see random tourists around. Anyway I spotted people in yukata so I started getting excited about the festival.

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It’ really a city with taller buildings then the ones I saw the past 1 1/2 days.

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I smell matsuri in the air. *grins* Anyway I had a bit of spare time before the festical so I decided to go find the famous spots in this place. 

The first one is this sakurayama jinja and they were having lots of stalls over there.

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Apparently this stone is famous and it is called the toriboshi iwa (鳥帽子岩). Maybe I didn’t take it at a good angle so please just imagine it yourself.

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There was this really awkward looking anime character? outside the temple. I was quite disgusted by it cause it looked 娘娘腔.

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They were also celebrating some 35th anniversary of the Tohoku Shinkansen and I thought maybe the decorations were a bit too much.

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Walked past this group and performers and the guy in front even posed for me lol. I think I had a ‘I am a foreigner’ stamp on my forehead or something cause of my dressing and how I had my camera around my neck.

Anyway I finally reached the iconic building on this place. See it’s on the very first page in the guide for this place!

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And so I took a very similar place and I was quite satisfied with it hahahhaa. It’s actually the building of the Iwate Bank (probably from very long ago) and it’s also called the Akarenga (they have one akarenga in Yokohama also). Anyway after that I met two Jap old retired uncles and they explained to me that akarenga is actually used to call buildings that was built using red bricks and that red bricks were all from overseas (cause Japan didn’t have them) and this explains why there are so many buildings with the same name. Maybe my Japanese is just too lousy to know that renga actually means bricks.

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Took a close up photo of it and it looks really nice. It’s better than the one in Yokohama imo.

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I thought this cafe looked quite cool with all the plants covering it.

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The back of some old building.

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This is also a very special looking building! I really like the shape and colour! It’s called the konyachobanya (紺屋町番屋). But I thought it wasn’t very 紺 leh. Anyway it was finally time for the dance festival so I headed to the streets where the performance was going to take place.

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Very crowded everywhere (but nothing compared to Shibuya lol). Anyway it’s starting!!!

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After looking at a few groups, I realized for each groups they have some people (mostly old people) walking in front, with some people dancing behind, followed by drums and then flutes.

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Hahaha. This one is a photo of the da ge da (old uncles).

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Respect! Can carry baby and dance.

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Old uncles again. Hahahha. (Actually they weren’t very interesting lol)

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They looked like butterflies from afar cause of the sleeves.

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Wally looked very sian diao. He’s like the most sian performer I saw that day.

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My favourite performer of the day!!! Hahahha. She’s damn cute and damn anyhow!!!

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Didn’t get a front view of her but she was really very very cute!

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The kids all barabra one hahahhaa. Cannot tell that they are dancing the same dance.

 

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Cute kid no. 2!

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I thought this looked abit spastic hahhaha. (And the guy on the right quite ikemen heehee.) Anyway I didn’t get to watch till the end cause I had to catch the train to my next accommodation, which is in Aomori. Ok la, I guess I was already quite satisfied after watching for one hour.

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The streets looked very nice during sunset!

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This is the mascot for the IGRいわて銀河鉄道! I guess cause it’s 銀河 so they have a star as the mascot. Anyway, it’s not JR but the trains felt that same.

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I don’t know whybut the escalators just felt a little different from those in Tokyo.

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Anyway I got myself the norishio flavoured karaagekun!!! It’s Miyagi’s special flavour or sth and I really liked it. Random but norishio is my favourite potato chips flavour hahahah.

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Cute train for the 青い森鉄道. At first I though the blue dude was a star but after that I realized it’s supposed to be a tree. Oops.

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Finally reached the place I was staying! I was very tired from one whole day of walking a looking around so I think I fell asleep super fast that day. Anyway it felt nice to stay in a Japanese tatami room cause got holiday mood hahahha.

Anyway that’s all for day 2 and I shall fasterly start on photos of day 3!

 

 

 

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#213 Spoilt keyboard

Sorry but I am going to rant a bit before starting continuing my post for day 2 of my summer hols. Yesterday was a super horrible day cause I went home only to find that my macbook is spoilt. I was super shocked when I tried on flip it over cause it was very hot and after that I realized that there was something wrong with the keyboard so it was continuously typing while I was away (which explains that overheating). I couldn’t really do anything without my macbook cause it also works are my router and my photos are also in it so I couldn’t blog. Really very sian when I cannot use computer. =/

So today I rushed off straight after work (even though I had a lot of things left to do but today I totally no mood to do anything) to the nearest electronics store and got myself a new keyboard. And luckily it worked and now I get to use my mac like a desktop computer and I will have to transfer all my things to a hard disc or save them in google drive before the situation get worse. I guess I have a bit more time to hunt for my next laptop with this keyboard.

Anyway, I am leaning towards getting a thin and light one (under my djd’s influence) so I am considering a surface laptop or one from hp. But I don’t know if I should get one in Japan cause I don’t really want the Jap OS. I guess I will have to go to those places with more foreigners cause they might have US/UK OS or sth.

Hope things get better cause recently I feel like I am really out of luck.

#212 Scorching hot summer vacation day 2/7 part 1

Early bird gets the wormy and I was out early on day 2 again to catch the train to this place called 抱返り渓谷. It’s like this really minor spot I saw in the guide book so when I reached there was only one other old uncle leaving the place. Anyway, the train I took to get to that place was super shaky (I wrote this in note on that day) but it wasn’t as bad as the last train I took the previous night. It was still slightly cloudy in the morning so I was praying hard that it wouldn’t rain cause I hate walking around with an umbrella. 

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Quite amused by how they even have manga character in some rice processing? building in the inaka. I though manga and anime belong to places with a lot of otaku like Akihabara.

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We match so well. I think it’s 注定 that I have to take this train. Anyway I was listening to big bang while writing but I realized big bang’s songs are too distracting.

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And so I reached the station. It’s just this very ulu residential area which did not look like a sightseeing spot at all. But true, it’s not supposed to be and I don’t think other people bother walking 45 mins to get to such a minor place. Most people either stop by if they are using a car.

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I thought this design looked damn good and it’s nice how the colour of the house fits the disney theme (but it did look tat bit out of place in the inaka).

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I like this fumikiri cause it’s very colourful with lots of random signs (though I think they are actually not random at all).

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At least there’s a roadsign to tell me where to go. But then again, the sign is most likely for drivers and not me.

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Walked in an saw this jinja. Really in the middle of nowhere.

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The usual please spot me hahaha. For this trip I was too lazy to use the selfie stick so most my photos are taken like that.

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The inaka is actually very colourful cause people can do whatever they want to with their houses. So all the buildings are very random and personalized. Good and bad I guess cause I don’t think I will like to stay in a place like that cause I like it when things around me follow a certain set of rules. Law by law, rule by rule. #truebluesingaporean

 

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Yay! I finally reached after walking for 45 mins (I think). Actually I won’t really recommend this place if you are travelling using public transport cause the scenery here is not worth the 45mins x2 walk. Oh wells. I got cheated by the guide book. See they take until so pretty.

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Still say what 絶景. ;/ ← had to use this to express how I feel then (and now).

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Doesn’t look v cool leh. I think is the angle that makes the one in the guidebook cool. Lol.

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At least the water is emerald blue? green? and nice. I realized in Japan alot of places the water is this colour one. Don’t know why leh. Maybe rivers and lakes are supposed to look like that but singapore river is the odd one out.

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Friendly ol’ me took a picture of this for your reference. (Oops it is in Japanese heehee)

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The die-die-must-take photo of the teiban red bridge in Japan sightseeing spots. And so I did.

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Anyway random but I must say this shoe is very good for walking (for long long long long hours). I didn’t even feel uncomfortable after 7 days of walking around. (Unlike the nike shoe I wore the previous time during golden hols my feel just died after 2 days of walking. But maybe cause that time I did HARDCORE WALKING so abit different.)

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I did not go to the most important spot here (the waterfall) cause there was this sign that said bears were spotted here. Scaredy cat me thought that it wasn’t worth risking my life for some waterfall. You know you should never try your luck at times like this.

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Chio inaka toilet. Looks very new as compared to the other buildings.

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The shape of the top part is very special. Looks a little cute and I can imagine myself folding it into a pocket-size house to carry around. (Looks v origami-able.)

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Looks familiar? Hahahha. Cause I’m walking back and taking photos from another angle. #boliao #nowonderonedaysomanyphotos #crazyphotographer

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Finally good weather for generation of tons of electricity!

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The tyres are for?

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I like this place with the nice nice tall christmas tree-like trees. Are they called pine trees or something? Sorry I don’t know my plants and flowers one.

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Rust is good for photography. #thumbups #butbicyclepleasedontrust

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“Looks like some hidden village surrounded by mountains,” says Jasmine the explorer, while she pushes up her glasses to get a better look.

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Weird roofie no. 2.

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Weird roofie no. 3.

Anyway I asked some local uncle what those flower wreaths were for and he looked at me strangely and said for funeral. Oops. Curiously embarrassed the cat explorer.

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Super clear water and I could see the water plants very very clearly.

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Good weather, happy me.

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I like how they tiled the entrance. Looks kinda artistic.

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Back at the ulu station and saw this telephone. Looks kind of interesting but I did not try it. (Later they think sth wrong and delay my train ;/)

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It’s me again and if you need a closer look and I know you do…

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The reflection of the sky is so pretty and needless to say reflection of me also very chio ok. Hahaha. And after that I boarded the train and headed towards 角館 which is this town in Akita famous of sakura. But very sorry I have no magical powers so no sakura this time.

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Only fake ones at the station. Hahahha. The dude on the bottom left is abit distracting.

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I had to use a lot of imagination at this place to get the scenery in the book in summer.

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↑ This is a police station. I can totally imagine the policeman cosplaying as samurais if they work in a building like that. (Sorry I was training my imagination to prepare myself for the non-existent sakuras)

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This squarish katakana is a little cute hahahha. Oh ya, I took a photo of the map I used so that I can show you guys the route I took when looking around 角館.

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First stop is some merchant’s house. #trespassing

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Looks rich.

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At first glance I thought those were coffins. Oops.

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Looks like what they will use in little mermaid. But then again I don’t think they can use stoves under the sea.

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They changed it into a cafe. And it looked quite nice cause of the antique feel to it.

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The red paper umbrella! Hahaha. Looks pretty but creepy at the same time.

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This is the front door! I realized I went in through the back door oops.

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Handmade sandals. Asked the uncle for permission (in english) before taking the photo.

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Cool windows.

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Looks like the a very common scene in Jap dramas, where the characters just sit there swinging their legs and looking out to the garden.

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Random building. Anyway I was on my way from the merchant houses area to the samurai houses area.

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Apparently the street got some prized for being a chio street but too bad for us it’s not spring. (Sigh…)

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Samurai houses are alot more Jap-pie than the merchant ones. I must say I prefer the merchant houses cause they look more sturdy hahahah. But I think looks might be deceiving cause both should be from the same material just that the merchant’s house got a layer of glossy paint.

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Please use your imagination here. This is supposed to be a street full of sakura but now it’s just full of leaves. #atleastnotbotak #beoptimistic

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The roof of this house is supposedly special (according to the guide who was bringing a bunch of old uncles around). Too bad my listening wasn’t good enough to catch what she said after that.

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There was this pretty it-was-not-named-on-the-map building. Maybe they couldn’t find the merchant/samurai’s name? Ok I realized it’s some craft place.

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画中画. This uncle’s cap and towel makes him looks like a 日本鬼子 in those war time dramas hahaha.

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I didn’t manage to take a photo of the 生もろこし but it was super super delicious! Yums!

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Very pretty place! But also very very very very out of place! Hahahha. Looks like some roman catholic architecture (anyhow say one I am not familiar with architectures) and it is supposed to be some art museum! Very nice! Last time I used to dislike this shade of blue but now recently I started liking it. #partofaging?

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DA red bridge.

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*Inert sakuras*

Finally it was time for lunch!!!

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This was very good! Miso-flavoured chicken rice!

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I was a little tired from walking so I slacked here abit before heading to the southern area.

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This house is also very famous! And very pretty imo.

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Resting area and I slacked here again cause I had a lot of time before the next train.

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This is very cute! I think I see that name somewhere before. The drawing looks v v familiar also.

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This place sells lots of seasoning and seasoned veggie. I think the merchant living here last time sold soy sauce or sth.

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Apparently this water is used in the manufacting of soy sauce of sth cause it’s very clean. #idrankit!

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Failed attempt at being artistic.

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I love the two monsters at the back!

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I think this is supposed to be a radio. Maybe?

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Nice old old shop. It’s some 大正時代の石作り shop.

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Back to the station and trying to entertain myself by looking around the visitor’s information center. How come inaka so few trains…

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Oops. Accidental shot of a high school couple.

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Can’t wait for the kanto festival!!! I always like it when they use a circle to replace the square in the chinese character. Makes me feel like that whole world is as lazy as me. Heehee.

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Finally on the train to my next stop!

A little tired now so I shall leave the rest of day 2 to another day. Nights!

#210 Scorching hot summer vacation day 1/7

Actually I wrote half of my travel log during the trip using note so I am just going to copy and paste them here and add more details. I have finished editing my photos yesterday, only day 1 though, and I really cannot imagine how much more time it will take for me to finish the photos I took that week. Lol. I really take too many pictures. But anyway, on to the travel log but it might sound awkward cause half of it was written on that day and half of it now.

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And so I set off early in the morning for Tohoku! A rare Monday without any Monday blues but I am just super super sleepy cause I slept at 12 yesterday and woke up at 4:30 this morning. Was too excited to sleep ytd I guess. Anyway I spent so much time checking my room before leaving (had to make sure it was clean if not I might go home to a bunch of creepy things) so I had to chiong to the station and was just in time for the train. I don’t know if that was a good start but I shall take it as it is since I caught the train. 

The very first photo I took after stepping out of the dorms! It’s still so early!!

Anyway this time I am going to try sth havoc and go to Tohoku without using the Shinkansen. I don’t know how it will be like but I guess it will be like a night bus just that it’s in the day and I have abit more leg space (cause I can stretch it out). Maybe abit less comfortable too cause the seats aren’t the comfy type. Anyway, start of my first long train ride (3h) and I am going to have a short nap to make up for last night.

Anyway I am writing this using iPhone note and I realized it’s quite convenient cause I get to add the photos I took right into the note.  

Omg. I just realized it’s Monday morning and the train I am on now goes to Tokyo=rush hour!!!! I must admit it feels shiok when you see people around you all squashed together and you are sitting comfortably. Heehee. Some more the person beside me is this slender lady so I have like super a lot of personal space. Perks of living in the inaka cause you get to take the train earlier. 

Ok. I’m back. The trains in Tohoku area are all very short, only 4 cars. But the interesting thing is that they all have toilet lol. Actually I’m not sure if normal trains in Tokyo have toilet in the train anot.

Anyway I am finally reaching my destination and I really cannot believe how long it took for me to get here. Super super bored and I am already v tired. No wonder people spend money to take the shinkansen lol. Taking trains like that make me feel young but actually my butt hurts from sitting. 

↑ Oops. Awkward start for the blog post but I wrote those stuff above when I was heading to my first stop. Hahaha. I was really talking to myself cause there was no one to talk too, so please forgive me for the excessive use of ‘lol’ and other singlish. Anyway, it really took me super long to reach my destination, which was Yamadera in Yamagata prefecture but it wasn’t that tiring cause I got to sit in all the trains I took.

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First building I saw when I got out of the Yamadera station. The very common old fashioned Japanese building in their sightseeing places.

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The next must-have in a sightseeing spot.

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Some AA dude was driving this bright red car and he was taking pictures of his car against the scenery. Hahaha. Travelling along makes me very sensitive of my surroundings and I tend to observe people around me more (sounds a bit stalkerish hahaha).

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Finally reached the entrance to the famous Yamadera and I am ready to climb the 1000 plus steps towards the top of the yama. It was a really hot day that day but as the budding national geographic camera woman I am (sorry already crapping at the start of the post), I thought I had to brave through the storm and the SUN.

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This is 根本中堂 and it is apparently a 重要文化財. Took a close up of it for fun. Actually I thought it will just look like a rather normal structure without the cloths. According to the guide, it is Japan’s oldest beech wood structure (but I don’t know what’s beech oops).

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I thought the direction signs looked pretty cool but upon a closer look I realized it’s the shop’s menu. Hahaha. Cool.

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Even the 便利店 also need to be old fashioned to fit in.

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Actually I keep seeing temples and stuff but I still don’t know what’s the difference. All I know is that I prefer those that look wooden-y. For example, I like the one in the third pic more than the first one.

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Finally reached the entrance to climb the mountain. Paid 300 yen for the entrance fee and started the long and arduous journey up the mountain (actually I doubt it can be really called a mountain cause 1000 steps is actually quite little hahahha. But it is a lot for the skinny and unfit me).

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I wonder why the split roads in life cannot be as easy to choose as this one. Hahaha.

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Anyway here alot of the rock statues wearing the red clothes. (I am v sorry but everytime I see this I get reminded of what the girls in the qing lou wear for their underwear. I think I watch too much 古装 already.)

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Some huge stone but luckily it’s not blocking the road.

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Actually it wasn’t that bad cause I was under the canopy.

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I entertained myself by taking lots of random photos along the way. It is really interesting how those statues are all around the mountain randomly like they are placed by different people at different time.

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I thought this was a toilet cause it has that aura to it but turned out it was just a storeroom.

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Finally reaching some building after climbing for about 15mins. The yellow leaves made it look autumn-y but don’t let it fool you cause it was really freaking hot.

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I kind of like the hole in the rock cause it’s like a natural shelter. Ok, I don’t know if it’s natural or not cause you know now even plastic surgery looks natural.

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I wonder if there’s some kind of meaning to stacking up rocks like that. There should be but I’m too lazy to find out about it. (I am not that interested in religious stuff.)

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This is the Niomon gate and apparently the two statues in the gate are some Nio guardians who will prevent those with wicked hearts from passing through. I got through it without any problem as expected hahahaha.

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Stairs, stairs and still stairs.

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I spy the famous small structure  located near the cliff. Eggcited!

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Here it is!!! Not a good picture of it cause it was against the light. It is called the Nokyodo Hall. I don’t think you can do anything in the hall cause it’s really super small and maybe can fit 3 people?

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It’s really cool how the building at really built on the rocks in the mountain!

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This is the Godaido Hall and it’s an observation deck where you can see the valley very clearly! I really like it alot cause it’s built on a cliff!

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Hahaha. Took a photo of myself using self-timer. Tried acting like I was thinking about something but all I can see is just a poser hahahha.

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My nth attempt. ;/ No wonder I always take super long to edit my photos.

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I thought this mushroom statue looked a bit out of place. (Maybe not a bit but I thought it was really cute. A bit too short to be an enoki so maybe it’s a simeji.)

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A must-have bright red post box.

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I stalked this old lady cause I thought she was super pro climbing up. I even told her Otsukaresama after she reached the top. See I so friendly hahahha.

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Finally reached the Okunoin Hall which is right at the top of the mountain. I think I probably took 45mins to 1hour to get there cause of all the photo taking.

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I like how they tied the omikuji at the top.

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Do you see him?

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So cute! And super out of place for both the setting and the season. I wonder why he hasn’t melted yet.

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Walking back down and retaking photos cause the sun was setting and it was getting easier to take photos.

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Back at the foot of the mountain! The walk down was 100000000X faster man!

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Wanted to get back to the station and catch the train only to realize that the next train was one hour later. This is the real inaka…

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This is the Kofuku no Kane (bell of good fortune). As the foreigner I am, I rang it hahahha. I was quite loud but it was ok cause no one was around me.

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Took a photo of the mountain I climbed. It looks really different from the outside cause the rocks/stones are hidden by the trees.

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The colour of the money box is v interesting! I don’t really see this colour around cause it feels abit angmoh.

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Spot me.

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The post office in Yamadera. Looks too modern for its surroundings. I went in to enjoy abit of aircon heeheehee. #truebluesingaporean #noairconnolife

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Please use your 火眼金睛 to find the tera in the yama.

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Went to the Yamadera basho memorial museum (which is at the other side of the station) although it was already closed cause I had too much free time. Took random photos of the buildings over there and I was quite amazed by the yellow-ness of the building.

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Very yellow right!!!

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I was very fascinated by the roof then (don’t ask me why I took so many photos cause I don’t know. It was just on the spur of the moment).

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Use your 火眼金睛 again. I am quite proud of myself for climbing so high then. Hahaha.

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Back at the station!!!

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I think they spent quite a lot of effort decorating the resting area in the station. Hahaha.

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I quite like this green travelling monster. Hahaha.

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Wow, a map of the place on the sign of the station name. Quite useful but too bad I only look around the station after finishing my sightseeing lol. I think most people are like that.

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My train came!!! And I slowly travelled towards my hotel for that night.

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Reflection of the sunset. I think I was quite bored on the train.

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Reached this random station where I had to wait 45mins for the next train so I decided to get myself a snack at the convenience store. But the convenience store wasn’t that convenient cause I had to walk 10-15mins to get there.

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My first time seeing this kind of machine. I think it’s for stations without station masters.

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View from the overpass in the station. I think pictures turn out nice no matter how you take them when you are in the inaka.

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Inaka toilet. Looks like some robot from some sci-fi movie.

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Spot me!

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This might be my favourite shot of the day! Hahaha. Even more than the pictures I took at Yamadera.

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Spamming photos of the sunset cause it’s もったいない not to take them when the sky is so beautiful.

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What is this for?!? I only see this in those ancient china shows when those people need to sleep in some abandoned building.

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Anyway, it was already quite late when I got back to the hotel. Spent most of my time on the train during this trip but I guess it was just nice cause my toe is still painful from my injury back then (when I kicked the stairs while walking up).

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My room for the first night and I came back to this hotel 5 day later. They gave my the exact same room lol. That’s all for day 1 and I shall move on to edit photos I took on day 2!

#209 Long long journey

It’s a long long journey…

The song keeps playing in my head while I edit my photos. It is indeed a long long journey cause I am still at the photos I took on Day 1 of my summer hols. Still at the very first place I went to.

So sleepy and lazy and sian. Recently I have been feeling this way maybe it’s what the Japanese call natsubate or sth.

Yay!!! I am finally done with the photos from Day 1!!!! Can finally post about Yamadera!!!

#208 Long time no blog

I just realized my previous post was about one month ago. What happened to blogging everyday man seriously hahaha. July was a highly unproductive month and I was just drowning in Chinese novels. I didn’t write in my BUJO or post on my blog (only once or twice I guess) and I also stopped my kitchen timer sessions. Addiction is really a bad bad thing. 

July flew past just like this and it’s going to be mid august soon and I will have to manage my time properly soon if not August and September will fly past like how July did. 

I don’t even know what to write anymore. Nevermind, shall slowly pick it up again.