#235 Scorching hot summer vacation day 7/7

This marks the last day of my summer holidays. And I took 2 1/2 months to finish blogging about it lol. It will be a short post cause I only walked around in the morning and after that I was rushing to get back to my dorms. Luckily I went back abit earlier cause trains were delayed and I wouldn’t have been able to get back in time if I took the next train. I was very very shag cause I had work the next day but luckily the week was super short and I only had 3 days of work before the next off day.

Before I went to the city to catch the Tanabata festival, I had a bit of time so I stopped by a temple a few stops away from Sendai station. Turned out there was nothing much (once again it made me feel that Sendai is really an uninteresting place).


It was raining as you can tell from the pic.




All ready for Tanabata festival. My colleague told me that it’s actually quite boring so I shouldn’t expect too much from it (although it is one of the big three festivals along with the Nebuta festival and Kanto festival). I’m glad he told me that so I went with very very low expectations. Nothing extremely spectacular about it be it was a good experience nonetheless.


But it was HUGE! Much bigger than I had imagined it to be.


Still quite empty cause people were still getting ready and putting up the decorations.




Talked to this lady and asked about the decorations. Apparently they spend over a year making the decorations. I guess they make bit by bit and stuff so it takes so long. And also, the paper is actually from Shikoku (the west side of Japan) so they usually start the preparations by ordering the paper from Shikoku. I was quite surprised cause Shikoku is so far and it’s like super inefficient to get the paper from there. But apparently there’s a river in Shikoku that is clean? enough to make those soft but sturdy paper (I touched it and it was really soft and nice to touch).


They pull the decorations up and tied the string to the side. Feels like what we do with flags.


And they were done!


I had time before the event starts (at around 10am) so I decided to walk to the castle first. But in the end I realized the castle was super damn far. And there was NO CASTLE. Let me repeat. NO FU*KING CASTLE cause it’s supposed to be just castle ruins. Fml.


At the entrance.


… … shocked.




Bad weather so I couldn’t see anything from up there. No meaning to climbing up. Oops.


I think this is the 伊達 dude. I like his hat. I mean helmet.


At least got red temple.


angle one, two and three.


After that, the time was just nice for me to get back down to the shopping street to catch the festival! I was super shocked when I got back down cause there were SO MANY PEOPLE.


The centerpiece I think.


Looks very overwhelming with all the origamis! And it was very huge so I can’t imagine how long it took to make all that.


Crazy crowd and the decorations were super long so they were slapping my face the whole time.


Some strawberry ice using crushed real strawberries and with strawberry jam and condensed milk as the topping. Was contemplating about getting one but decided not to cause I am not that on about strawberry with condensed milk. But the jam really looked quite yummy.


Mini decorations are the cutest!! I think cause I am huge myself, I tend to like really tiny thing. Like in my lab my favourite apparatus is this 5mL beaker that’s super duper teeny weeny.


This street not so many people.


It’s so huge right!


Cute origami pandas stuck to the decorations!


This shop made tiny decorations to give customers who buy from them. I thought it was a good marketing technique (though I didn’t buy anything cause they sold only teas and I don’t drink teas). But the uncle was very nice and he helped me take photo with it.


A rare photo that looks normal. Hahaha.


I like this pic quite alot cause I managed to take it in one go just right before the traffic lights turned green.


I remember this decoration cause it looked quite cool! They had this thing in the middle that looks like those sedan chairs in ancient china.


Gyutan! But I stopped myself from getting it cause I was going to have gyutan for lunch that day. Apparently it’s a die-die-must-eat if you ever go to Sendai.


Finally left the crowd and went to grab and early lunch! And luckily I did cause the shop got really crowded after a while! I think alot of tourists like me that day with the same plan of eating gyutan after looking at the decos!


I got judged taking this pic. Lol. But who cares I am foreigner!


Why are we waiting why are we waiting~~~


And it’s here!!!! Looks super good! I didn’t know gyutan was supposed to be thick cause the ones I ate in Tokyo at the yakiniku shops were always thin!!! And looks just nice! Not too cooked or too rare!


angle two before I dig in! It was really good and I highly recommend getting it when you go Sendai. Maybe it will be better in those old shops but even the one at the chain store was good enough for me. (Maybe cause my level not so high one hahaha). But chain stores easier cause you can find them everywhere!


Heading to the station to get back to Tokyo. Can’t believe one week of holiday ended just like that. So fast hahaha. And I managed to survive one week travelling alone without missing my trains, feeling lonely or falling sick! Good job!


Had those kids as my models!


Looks abit retro right hahaha. It’s just an ekiben shop. Apparently this is quite good (according to reviews) so if you don’t have time maybe you can just buy this and have it on yout train ride back home or something.

Anyway this’s the end of my long long summer holidays and my even long post holiday photo editing. Took two months and I’m finally done with this! I really enjoyed the whole process. (although quite troublesome to edit photos and stuff sometimes but at least like that I can recall the stuff I did hahahaha!) And travelling alone is really fun especially the planning part and the don’t-have-to-stick-to-your-original-plans part.

Bye Tohoku!!!




#234 Scorching hot summer vacation day 6/7

The first thing I did in the morning was to get to the nearest convenience store to send my luggage back home cause I wanted to travel light for the last two day (one and a half days). After that I got to the station and started my long long journey from Akira (Yokote station) to Miyagi (Matsushima Kaigan station). I don’t really remember how long the journey took now. Actually I wanted to stop by Ichinoseki or Hiraizumi but in the end I decided that I was already quite tired from the past few days so I just went directly to Matsushima. Actually Matsushima was a bit disappointing cause it wasn’t as big as I thought and some places were under construction so it was messy and a bit ugly then. Plus the weather wan’t good when I got there so the photos didn’t turn out as nice. I am quite amazed I still have the sightseeing map with me (after 2 months) lol. Maybe it’s a good thing I don’t pack my room.

So in the morning on the train I ate the apple pie I bought for myself (actually I wanted to have apple pie in some cafe in Aomori but in the end cause I wanted to travel with the uncles, I didn’t have time to chill at the cafe in day 4 so I decided to make do with a souvenir instead). Quite yummy and I regretted not buying more I bring back lol.


I can’t exactly remember what I did on the long train ride but I guess I did some research on Matsushima and Sendai and also deleted pictures on my camera. Hahahha. No pictures taken during the train ride (probably cause nth to take in that bad weather).

I reached Matsushima (slightly before noon I think) and was abit surprised by the number of people that. Actually I wasn’t that surprised cause I guess those people had the same plans as me; to visit Matsushima before heading to Sendai in the evening for fireworks. I was more surprised/irritated/annoyed by the construction work that was going on.


Need to pay to go in and stingy me decided not to.


The main entrance. Cannot really see anything but I like how it is surrounded by straw gates. It reminded me of three little pigs and this one is the house of the most stupid pig (I think?).


The boat pier. I was contemplating whether to ride the boat but in the end I didn’t cause the weather was too uncool. Can tell for the pictures right, the haze and clouds and everything.


Construction! and I was like fxasowebcanwiejmvpwjabntgehr!??!??!


The 日本三景 totally spoiled by the construction work.


First stop was the Godaido temple. It’s on a small island very very very near the main island lol.


Many people (and there were a lot of China tourists cause I could hear alot of them speaking Chinese).


Nobody nobody but me~~



Please hire me as cameraman for your wedding photos! See this pic so natural! Gonna use this in my portfolio lol.




Please blame the weather for the not very spectacular shot(s).


Construction work 2.


The buildings look quite old-fashioned. Actually I don’t exactly know why I feel that way. Maybe it’s cause the design is very squarish?


Bought tickets to get to Fukuurajima Island and they gave be this very spastic take-my-hand-and-I’ll-bring-you-across ticket. Maybe I would have been more impressed if they drew an ikemen.


This shima is abit further away from the main island lol as compared to just now that temple.


I think I took at least 10 minutes to cross that less than 300m (purely estimation I don’t know how long it is) bridge cause I was spamming so many photos lol.


Interesting angle.


I like how this glass building is in the middle of the forest. Feels like old fashioned hahhahaha. Like I am on some adventure. <- Actually what I am saying doesn’t sound logical at all. Oops.


The good thing about this place is how the island is full of pine trees. I like Japanese trees, pine trees, willow and everything. Makes me feel very at peace.


The island was surprisingly big and there were also alot of bugs oops. Rainy day + hot season = bugs.


The island wasn’t very interesting actually. I won’t really recommend it. The one that I went after that was much better. Like more interesting and less forestly (=less bugs).


The mascot of this area. I think it’s related to some 伊達 thingy but I wasn’t interested in it enough to google it. lol.


Oshare shop.


I like this! So cute! I think it is to pray for good weather or something but I guess it didn’t work lol.


This place is famous for fish cake! It was quite yummy like very soft like tofu but the taste is like fish cake.


Nice interior!


Weather became abit better (but only for a while sian).


The tanabata decorations!!! Was going to see them the next day in Sendai so I got a bit eggcited after seeing them here!


I like those trees!


Random building (I think it’s a kindergarten). Headed towards the last island called Oshima Island (which imo was the best out of the three).


Finally there! Asked the old couple about the shima (can’t remember what I asked but should be about the time needed to see or whether it is worth seeing).


The must have red bridge. I think I am starting to get immune to red bridges (at first I always got damn eggcited) cause they are all over the place.


Interesting stone statues in the holes.


Angle two.


Looks nicer than the last two. Good.


Miniatures of temples on the floor. Abit random but it’s ok since they are quite cute.


It’s the bridge just now!!! The one I took 10 minutes to cross!


Who’s this?!?!? (failed attempted at self timer)


succeeded this time but… failed attempt at posing. Looks highly awkward. #awkwardadventuresoftheawkwardgiantwithawkwardlonglimbs Sorry for the highly awkward long tag.


Awkward pose two. But mama likes photos of me so oh wells. Shall just treat it as fan service (for the one and only fan I have).


Nevermind this dude more awkward than me. (But at least it looks artistic… says the truthful dude inside of me. Shut the fu*k up la! says the prideful me.)


Bonsai matsu against the blue sky. Looks like bonsai right!


The algae (I think) damn green! Looks abit fake hahahaha.


The mascot! After that I made my way towards Sendai for the fireworks but I realized I had quite abit of time cause I just randomly walked around the area and got myself quite tired. Sendai city is not very interesting (and imo it’s one of the most uninteresting place I’ve been to).


Everywhere’s full of decorations for the tanabata event the next day!


Decorations already up but kept in plastic bag!


Mapo yakisoba. The yakisoba is the fried kind so it tasted like some chinese dish. You know the one with fried noodles in sauce one. I forgot the name lol. I didn’t really like it cause I 吃软面 one.


Cool modern looking building called Sendai MediaTech. Went in to take photos and was asked by staff to stick some sticker (to show that I am taking photos) before taking photos. Weird.


This dude caught my eye cause it is the mascot of the place I am living at now. This kintaro dude. Hahahah.


Interesting building but not artsy enough to be consider a good sightseeing spot I guess.


Japanese version of sex and the city was the first thing that came to me when I took this photo. Lol. Do you feel it? Hahaha.


Pre-fireworks event.


This is a very weird scenery with the river just next to the buildings. So I went to the firework viewing place quite early (cause I had nothing else to do) and waited there for about 1 1/2 hours. I was just sitting there and reading xiao shuo lol. In the end it was a huge huge disappointment cause instead of watching fireworks, we were just hearing fireworks and we couldn’t see the fireworks bursting cause the haze was too bad at the top and could only see it after it fell.


Like that.


Only can see after the fireworks die.


This one even worse.



Blurred fireworks.

Was super super disappointed with it lol. Left the place and headed straight to my accommodation of the day. It was somebody’s house and the place was super messy (more messy than my room I swear) but I was too tired to care. Just wanted to sleep and forget about the lame fireworks. Lol.

#224 Scorching hot summer vacation day 5/7

I was going to leave Aomori for Akita on day 5 so I decided to look around the town (Hirosaki) where I stayed for the last 2 nights. So in the morning I cheked out and left my bags at the hostel to walk around the area. When I stepped out of the hostel, I met 2 uncles who were also making their way out and one of them started talking to me. We realized that we had the same plans (except that their plan was abit more interesting cause they were planning to stop by Lake Tazawa before going Akita) and cause I told them I actually wanted to go Lake Tazawa but it’s too inaccessible (by public transport) so they invited me along. So in the end, my havoc day 5 started and I travelled with strangers for the first time in my life. You are supposed to try new things when you are traveling alone anyway. Lol. So in the morning we looked around Hirosaki very quickly so that we can get to Akita in time for the afternoon events of the Kanto festival.


The sightseeing information center which looks really modern.


Our first stop was the Hirosaki castle park. It wasn’t very spectacular and the castle grounds were under renovation so the castle was actually placed at a different location temporary. The castle was also quite small so no kick. Hahaha.


Very tiny right! And I think the design is very similar to the Odawara castle.


The actual site under renovation and one of the uncles I travelled with. Oops.


Aomori bank memorial hall. The buildings in this town have very European feel to them.


Epic fail. Was holding the map and trying to take photos at the same time. Lol. Actually I retook the pic and have a proper one but I thought this one more interesting hahaha. Anyway this is a missionary residence.


I like this one!!! And guess what, it’s a library! (Former Hirosaki city library!)

After that we headed to Lake Tazawa and I managed to take lots of photos of the 蓝天白云 with the blue blue lake. Anyway we chitchatted on the way and I realized they are retired engineers from NEC and traveling around now. No wonder I found it easy to talk to them cause I am surrounded by such science/engineering people everyday. 

Anyway I got to sit in the car and look at the scenery but the very sad thing is that I started feeling carsick cause I got hungry. But I just kept quiet and tahan until we finally reached the lake. The lake was quite pretty but  I don’t think it is worth the time and effort to get there if you are going by public transport cause it’s actually at a quite ulu place. So we took photos and left that place after 15 mins. I realized they are also very speedy people hahaha.


This is the most famous spot in the area I think. Not that spectacular and looks like every other lakes in Japan imo. Oops.


Uncle 1 offered to take a photo of me so here I am looking less awkward than always with my shades on. (Maybe my eyes are awkward? I don’t know.)


Taking from every angle lol.


Oh and this is the famous statue I guess. The iconic statue of the legendary local girl Tatsuko apparently. Who is Tatsuko???


Cropping out those tourists. Hahaha. Tatsuko-san looks much nicer when taken along against the deep blue sea lake.


#photoofthesamething #lastwarningok

Next we kanjiongly headed towards the Akita station cause I recommended to them the afternoon kanto contest. They left their stuff at their next hotel and three of us headed towards the location of the contest.


Another Akarenga (red brick) building!


The dude is fake! Did you get scammed??


Oh yes we are here!!! Actually, I don’t know if it was a good idea cause it was freaking freaking hot and I think I got 3 shades darker after staying under the sun for 30 mins. But I think I got to see the different techniques very clearly so nvm. It’s really interesting and I really like the forehead one and the waist one. The waist one super difficult cause they have to bend their body to let the lantern pole balance on the waist. And it was also very interesting to see how they keep making the lantern taller/longer. 


It’s crazy you see!!! They keep extending it until the bamboos bent until like that!!!


After that they have to disintegrate it.


An interesting design of the lanto.


The crazy put on the hip technique.


Finally moved to inside of the building with Uncle 2 cause we couldn’t tahan the afternoon heat anymore.


Waiting for their turns.


On the forehead. It must be painful.


Hip again!!! This picture clearer. The hip is imo the hardest cause it’s like super hard to balance the thing on your hip when you are moving.


After that I went to get this rose shaped ice cream called babahera ice cream. The name comes from baba (old granny) using a hera (spatula) to shape the ice cream into the shape of a bara (babahera). It’s such a nice play on the words. I even took a video of her making it! Anyway we were in front of the lotus pond so I was thinking the ice cream looked a lot like the lotus flower instead (cause of the colour). Oops. I didn’t take photo of the icecream using my cam.

I finally said bye to the two uncles and got to the station to see if there are anything interesting for me to see before the night festival starts.


Awkward pose 1.


Even more awkward pose 2.


The inside of the lantern. Apparently they use real fire to light it up at night. Havoc.


In the end there was nothing so I took a look at the nhk building (and found that the current nhk big drama starring shibasaki kou seems interesting).


After that, I went to take photos of he namahage accum train. Anyway namagehe are the dudes I took photo with just now.


The real thing is actually quite disappointing as compared to the poster…


Koped this photo from online. The feel very different right!!! Lol. Kena cheated.


I have a thing for miniatures.


Good weather, good pictures.


The weeping willow makes it feel a little Kyoto-ish.


Old cinema??? I don’t know but the posters look retro.

After that I went to get the hinaijitori oyako don (apparently the chicken here is famous) for dinner and took videos of the chef making it. I think the tiny pan quite cute and really v useful cause the perpendicular handle really works for saving space.


Super yums! And the cold noodles tasted alot better than how it looks.


Got the apple pie for myself! It was very yummy!!!


Train 2.


And yes! This is the last train of the shirakawa series!!! The newest and chioest one and I was very happy I got a photo of it!!! So nice and chio right and the bamboo design also very chio!


Oshere seats with oshare lamp.


Perfect example of how things are constantly improving.

After that when I was heading off to the event, this girl I met yesterday sent me a message asking if I wanna watch the festival with them. I was quite surprised and joined them for the festival. Hahaha.


And finally the Kanto festival!!!!


Getting ready…


And up!!!

Anyway that place was super super crowded and and the kantos were very tall so it was really hard to take photos. Anyway I really liked it and it was much much prettier than the afternoon one cause the lanterns were lighted up! And the shocking thing is that they use real fire but I guess they made the candles really short so the lanterns don’t catch fire even when the kanto falls. I think I am quite happy with all the festivals I went to!


Quite spectacular cause there were alot of them!!!


They stacking it up lol!


Super havoc dude and his havoc lantern!


Intermission and the performers starting walking to their next location so that the audiences can get to watch another groups of performers without moving.

Anyway as usual, I had to rush to the station again cause I gauged the time according to google map but in fact I needed a lot more time cause of the crowd. Managed to catch the train and went back to the hotel I stayed on my first day and got the luggage I left there. Repacked my luggage to see what things to bring along for the last two days and I sent the rest back using takuhaibin. Takuhaibin (delivery service) is really my best friend during holidays.

Random but I got a lot of bruises the past few days. I think it’s cause of the squeezing during the festivals. Hahaha. (<- from the notes I wrote during the trip itself)

#218 Scorching hot summer vacation day 4/7

I was wasting my life away reading chinese novels last month and so I didn’t have the mood to blog about my summer hols. And now it’s already October (two months have passed since my trip) and I think I have forgotten some details already. Oops. Oh wells. The most important thing to me now is to feel shuang so nvm I will just do things the way I feel like doing. Anyway I just finished editing photos for the fourth day and so I can finally blog about it.

Set off super early today to grab breakfast in Aomori! The seafood bowl (nokkedon) in Aomori is quite famous so I thought I just have to try it. And cause of my havoc plans and the long time needed to get around, I could only manage to squeeze the breakfast in. So in the morning, I left for Aomori from Hirosaki (which was where I stayed on day 3).


Very retro looking train station.


Some chruch in the middle of the city. (I found the name in some map. It’s the Epsicopal Anglican Ascension Chruch <- oops I don’t know what is it supposed to be)


Getting my tickets from the JR office now.


Decorations in the station.


Reached Aomori and found the shop in no time!!!


Basically for the seafood bowl you buy a ticket with 5 coupons (650yen) or 10 coupons (1300yen) and use it to exchange for the rice and the various sashimi from different shops. Ex ones like sea urchin and prawns cost 2-3coupons and the normal sashimi and miso soups cost 1 coupon. I got myself 10 coupons and started hunting for my liao4!


Uncle at work getting the scallop out!


Auntie getting the sotong (with eggs) onto my rice bowl.



I chose many different stuff and this is my seafood bowl! It was really yummy!! After the super duper heavy breakfast, I went back to the station to catch the risotto shirakami train towards juniko. I must say I was disappointed with the train cause it was really old. I think they did a lot of ps on the photos on the pamphlet. Lol.


Looks so nice right! Like so new and pretty with all the editing. Cheat my feelings.


Anyway I am glad I took the window seat cause I got to take lots of photos.


They also had this short shamisen performance on the train but people crowded around the performers and I couldn’t see a thing. Oh wells, the music was quite nice though and they even had a song about apples during the different seasons. Anyway, they made a 15 mins stop at this place with a lot of rocks and we all alighted to go take photos.


The weather was not bad!


People from the same train! Hahahaha.


Oh I found the name of the place. It’s called 千畳敷 cause the stones/rocks are like tatami.


And the interesting thing was that after 12 mins, they had this siren to let the others know they are supposed to get back to the train. It felt so out of place in the inaka. Hahahah.


Really very good weather and good view out of the window.

After that we went past this place called fukaura and they train slowed down for us to take photos. But their slow down was still v fasterly so I was a bit sian. Only managed to take a few photos hahahha.


Apparently this place is very pretty during sunset.


Caught the other shirakami train! It’s the blue version and a little newer than the one I was on.


As usual I like inaka stations cause got a lot of feel. And makes me feel like I am on holiday (and I was on one).


Interesting and cute european style building. It’s a resort and apparently they hyave cottages in this area. (Ok I am playing cheat cause I am looking at the guidebook while blogging hahahha.)


And I finally reached after 3 hours on the train!! And I started my journey towards the Aoike (Blue/green pond). Although I took lots of pictures and it seems like I enjoyed myself but I must say that I DID NOT like that place cause it was infested with bugs and they were flying all over the place and into me. Ok. It was super horrible and gross and I think I am not suitable for places like that. I even saw a snake and I was alone at that time so can you imagine how scared I was. So I screamed my lungs out and started running and was like a crazy banana in the middle of nature with alot of bugs overhearing me screaming. But nvm it was a nice (but totally uncool) experience. 


A peek at the Nihon canyon.

from Japan Guide.com

Also be sure to check out the Nihon Canyon, Japan’s miniature version of the Grand Canyon, with walls of colorful brown and grey rock found near the entrance to the Juniko.

I was shocked by how minor it was but oh wells. Cannot expect too much from life.


I didn’t know how to take photos of the pond cause they were all surrounded by walls of trees. Lol. I am sorry for all the ‘where the fuck is the pond I only see the sign with the name of the pond’ photos.


Ok la. You can see a teenyweeny bit of the emerald green water and I guess you have to go through the torture of coexisting with bugs if you want to see how the place is like exactly.


Finally a good view to stop me from getting pek cek.


Went in the visitor center to get a break… from all the bugs.


Resting place and I got myself a cup of green tea. Feels like DA JAPAN.


Strange name. I don’t know why it is called chicken head place but I’m glad it was cause it managed to amuse me abit in this torturous place. Hahaha.


And I finally reached the Aoike!!! I was a bit excited at first but…


it was a bit disappointing… Like a little dirty with all the leaves… Errr. But it was really very very blue.


Disappointed o’me and my awkward smile and awkward pose. Ok la and fallen leaves look like gold flakes in the photos. Not bad not bad.


Headed towards the next famous pond.


I must say I liked this one more cause it looks nicer without all the leaves but on second thoughts maybe this dude not that photogenic. Hahaha. And so I made my way back to the station after this.


Anyway on my way down,I met two girls there and made friends with them. One of them is a local and the other came from Tokyo and apparently they met during in machupichu. Lol. I guess that is how it is more solo trip cause you can just randomly strike conversation with random strangers who are shun4 yan3. After that 3 of us went to look at the nihon canyon but it was a bit…


They offered to drive me back to the station and we exchanged contacts. I thought it’s quite interesting to make friends like this hahhaha.


Waited at the station for one hour plus before catching the shirakami train back to hirosaki. This time I had one whole room to myself hehehe. I was super boliao so I started playing with the adjustable seats.


Dragged the seat out hahhaha.


Was expecting to see the sunset but in the end it was a little too early (cause sunset in summer is later wtf). So I just looked at the same scenery on my way back. Sian max.


Do you remember this set of rocks?


This mountain is supposed to be quite famous. I think it is called the Iwaki mountain. But cannot see it clearly now.

Got back to hirosaki just in time for the neputa matsuri. I didn’t know that the names are different for the Aomori one and the Hirosaki one. The one I went yesterday was the nebuta matsuri (in Aomori). Cause the parade starts near the hostel I was staying at and ends near the station, I started watching in the middle of the route and slowly walked towards the start (in the opposite direction from the parade).


This parade wasn’t as nice as ytd imo maybe cause it was a lot livelier yesterday (and more crowded yesterday than today) and it seems like they had to put in a lot more effort to push the cart. (And recently someone just told me that the exhibits for this one is the one they used when sending people off to war and the other one is when celebrating victory.) Anyway they use really long sticks to hit the drum and I can imagine how difficult it is to raise the sticks up cause of the large moment (F x d). 


Cause of the lampposts and everything, they have to make sure the height is adjustable so like this one the top part can be folded down.


And they fold it back after passing the lamppost.


And then after that they raised it up again (i don’t now how they did that) and you can see the bottom again.


After the parade, I rushed back to the hotel and was able to be the first to use the bathroom. I was quite shuang about it. Oops. I think I might have to use another blog cause I uploaded too many photos and no more space for this one. 

#216 Scorching hot summer vacation day 3/7

I wanted to sleep until a bit later but in the end I woke up early again. Maybe it is because I have been waking up early the past few days. Anyway I was quite excited about that day’s sightseeing because I was planning to go to this place called the Osorezan and apparently it is this place that bridges the living to the dead or sth. Hahahah. I like this kind of things I guess.


The hotel I was staying at. It was kind of old but the uncle was quite nice hahaha.


Very clear water and I can see the plants very clearly.


Anyway, I decided to act solemn by wearing grey from top to bottom and I looked like I just stepped out of a black and white film with my black bag and white cap.

Oops it’s a zipai. Anyway the train’s traveling along the coast!

Inaka train rides are quite interesting. And I think I am making this old lady sitting opposite me uncomfortable cause I am being very fidgety. Ok I must say I am feeling abit ganjiong cause I need to put my bag in the locker and rush to the bus station within 7mins and I totally have no idea how things are like at the station. I always get v ganjiong at times like this. Just now when I was transferring trains I was also v ganjiong cause only 4mins to get to the right track and the thing about inaka is that they have so little signs (I think cause only the locals use the train) and they usually announce like where and when so it sucks when your listening is bad like a gaijin like me. Lol. 

Typed that during the trip hahaha. I don’t think I can remember making some old lady uncomfortable if I hadn’t wrote it down during the trip. Anyway, I managed to put my bags in the locker and ride the bus without any problems cause the locker was just outside the station and right in front of the bus stop.

On the bus up to Osorezan now and there’s weird music playing on the bus. To experience everything to the fullest, I decided to stop listening to bts and listen to the jap folk music instead. Feeling kind of prepared for the sacred place after listening to the music lol. 

There’s this water drinking place where you get to drink the water (from god knows where) and you get to add 30 years to your life per cup. The bus uncle was v kind so most of us went down to drink and take photos. The bus stop was called 冷水 btw. As the kiasu Singaporean I am, I drank 3 cups (or maybe 3 half full cups cause I cannot drink so much at one go). Plus the water was really cold so it felt quite shiok! 


You see the cups at the bottom right? Yes we all used that to drink the water (a bit unhygienic but nobody cared hahhaha.


And I finally reached Osorezan! Weather is quite good and the place is actually quite cool maybe cause it is up the mountain!


At the gates! Not alot of people there (it was a wednesday and I think it is not a famous sightseeing spot so not a lot of tourists also).


I got my tickets for 500 yen and it would say it’s quite worth it cause the place is very big. And it’s quite a special place with temples, onsen, sulfur smell (lol smells like the reaction I used to do), mountains, lake, beach-like place, red coloured bridge and drinkable water from unknown source. Maybe it would have been better if it was hazy cause I couldn’t really feel the living/dead atmosphere. Anyway the person told me I can finish looking around the area in 40 minutes but I think he was talking about someone without a camera cause I took 2 hours to look around. Havoc max. At first I thought I would have a lot of free time but in the end I only had to wait for 20 mins (cause the bus v infrequent one). 



Took this using timer! Hahahah. 在外靠自己!


Took 2 just in case hahahhaha.


The temple here is very nice imo cause it is surrounded by nature and they have a lot of cool small stone statues around. I don’t really know what those things mean but it’s ok cause they look really cute.

Mount Osore (恐山Osore-zan) is the name of a Buddhist temple and folk religion pilgrimage destination in the center of remote Shimokita Peninsula of Aomori Prefecture, in the northern Tohoku region of northern Japan. The temple is located in the caldera of an active volcano and is believed in Japanese mythology to be one of the gates to the underworld.

↑Copied this from wikipedia.


There are 2 onsens for ladies and 1 for men in front of the temple. So I went in to check out the onsen and lucky for me there was no one so I got to take pictures of inside the onsen.


Quite cool right! The water is greyish green!


Heehee. I was lazy to go in so I just 泡 my feet for a while!


This place is so huge that they can put all the things very far apart from each other. (Meaning that I had to walk alot of go from one place to another lol.)


This kind of corridor looks like those in the ancient china/korea dramas.


Behind this place is a rocky terrain with some bubbling sulphur pits and very strong rotten egg smell. I must say the smell was so strong that I got a little sick of it at the end.


Start of my journey in the rocky terrain and I took super long to walk out cause it was super big and I was taking so many pictures of everything (and only to find that everything looks the same when editing photos lol. Just rocks, rocks and still rocks.)


Took this after climbing up a flight of stairs at the side. Nice view of the temple.


I spy a lake. It’s actually a caldera lake.


Took one more of going further up. (And now you know how I get alot of the same kind of photos.


Can tell that there’s smoke right! I put my hands closer and it really felt v hot.


Piles of stones (offered to the dead? I’m not v sure.)


Quite nice scenery and quite different from other places because of the religious touch.


Large pu sa.


Heading down the to 極楽浜. Sounds very religious cause I know people go to the 極楽 world after they die.


Tea for the dude. I wonder if that’s a legit reason for littering.


Lots of stone heaps along the way.


It’s very very colourful cause of all the sulfur (and volcanic material?).


Looks like a normal village in this photo.


I like this pond. It has a very relaxing feeling to it.


Very nice colour but apparently it is too acidic for aquatic life.


This is the beach! It’s really like paradise (like the name) cause of the nice clear water and the mountain in the background.


See the handprints on the structure?


There’s a colour gradient cause of difference in concentration or sth. And the random flowers and stone heaps on the shore made me feel like the afterlife is really at the opposite side of the river.


See the yellowish part of the lake!


I made this!!! Not very obvious cause I was too lazy to make it taller.


Got a little tired from walking so I decided to head back to the temple.


Can you see that the water is bubbling?


So havoc right!!! I got really excited when I saw this! It’s like concrete right! It’ss like those movies where they dump living people into those boiling water and they will come out and become the living dead or sth. But the pits here are too small to throw people inside (and no I’m not feeling 遗憾 about them being too small or anything ok).


Out of bounds and I cannot imagine what will happen if people accidentally step into that puddle. Maybe will get cooked until can eat. :/


Got back to the front of the temple.


I thought that those poles looked really cute with the small roof like thing one top. I think I took a zipai here but the photo should be in my iphone.


Stairs→slope→stairs. I really walked a lot hahahah. And once again I must recommend Adidas shoes for long periods of walking.


View from the top.


‘Make the hole bigger please!!’ screams inside my head.


Bridging the rocky terrain to the green landscape.


Taking one last picture of the place before getting out.


Heading towards the red bridge. The bridge is actually the passageway to the world of the dead. Sounds eerie but it didn’t feel that way at all. Just one innocent bridge imo.


Took pictures from so many angles that I think you got a v clear image of how the place is like. Lol. But then I was already feeling a bit sick and I walked back to the bus stop to wait for the bus down to the station.


Anyway I was already v tired from walking and so I just slept on the bus down the mountain (actually I also don’t know if I went up a mountain??!?! Cause the mountains around that place are much taller). After that at shimokita station the queue was super havoc! Luckily I still got seats so I did research for my next stop while on the trains.




Aomori!!! I got myself a map and it was really useful cause it has alot of information on it. And according to the map this is the only colourful manhole cover in the city apparently and the design is that of the nebuta! Quite cute right!


Since I had a bit of time, I decided to grab a bowl of ramen and do some sightseeing before the festival.  Don’t know what’s with me and ramen during holidays but I just super feel like eating them. And there’s this quite interesting ramen in Aomori and apparently it’s the soul food for the locals (which I don’t really believe cause those guide maps always exaggerate a lot). It’s some milk curry don’t know what ramen but sounds interesting and havoc so I  just tried it! It even had a piece of butter as the topping.


Adding milk to the paste! So interesting!


Caught the chef with a weird expression. He must be thinking what’s this gaijin doing taking so many pictures lol.


TADA!!! The color of the soup is v havoc hahaha. The taste was quite good and to me it’s like a angmoh style miso ramen cause it felt abit creamy with the milk and the butter smell also makes it feel v angmoh. When I told bsj about it, minx commented that the name sounds like a stomachache waiting to happen lol. But it didn’t. Heehee. 


After eating, I started to look around the city but the streets were already getting quite havoc like people were walking around getting ready for the festival. I was totally walking in the opposite direction taking photos are I think I kena judged by some people lol. I think Aomori is not v good for sightseeing cause nothing much to see but at least the sea looked nice during sunset.


This is the monument for Japan’s most delicious tap water.


Interesting triangular building which is a big shopping mall for tourists to buy souvenirs.


Ice cream granny.


Looks delicious and I like how the shadow is cast on the man’s face hahaha.


At the back of triangle building 1, people were getting reading for the festival. Took a few photos of the nebutas cause it is easier to take photos in the day.


I was surprised by how huge it was and it looked really heavy (though it is supposed to be made of paper). There is a wheel right in the middle so those people moving it have to lift the front and back. Anyway I don’t think I can do it cause it seems v tiring for the back.


They have designs at the sides and back too! So pretty!


Triangle building 1 and 2. Hahahaha. Looks v interesting like they are trying to copy louvre museum esp dude 2.


The sea!!! And the water looks really clean. Nice!


Some red thread monument. To me it feels like hope, love and peace. 😀


Looks like Tokyo(Odaiba area) x Yokohama.


Was walking away from the town and towards the ferry terminal.


Hakkoda-maru. They like to call their ships xxxx-maru.


I wonder what the mori stands for.


The A factory (apple factory) with lots of apply-related products inside.


Looks v modern and oshare.


The nebuta musesm. I didn’t bother going in cause I was going to watch the real thing later.


Pretty fire hydrant with the nebuta design.


I finished my sightseeing in one and a half hours and went to the site of the parade. At first I got this quite good seat but I realized it’s the end of the parade route so I decided to abandon that v good seat and go to the front so that I can finish watching earlier and rush back to the hostel. 


A lot of policeman around to control the crowd. Havoc.


Yay! It started!!! Took lots of videos in my iphone and I will upload them next time!


It was quite interesting to see them struggle with the heavy thing. At times they ran very quickly and stopped right in front of the audience and it felt v compelling to have it moving very quickly towards you cause the thing is so huge.


Small kids again!!! They look so lost hahaha. This matsuri was really damn nice! And personally I thought it’s nicer than Disneyland parade cause it was a lot less rigid and more lively. Maybe cause the dancers aren’t professional and there were a lot of kids (some not even trying).


Anyway after that I got to the hostel that I was going to stay for 2 days and was abit sian about it at first cause it was quite far from the station but I guess that’s how life is when you are trying to save money/go during peak period. The person even tried to charge me from breakfast by saying how people usually get the breakfast and when I asked her whether my plan comes with breakfast, she did not directly say no and made me really confused. After that she charged me for breakfast during payment and I realized only later but after that I decided to tell her that I don’t want breakfast. Lol. That’s all for my third day and I slept also immediately after lying on my bed cause i was tired from all the walking and maybe inhaling sulfur.

#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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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!



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.


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


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


The back of some old building.


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.


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


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.


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


Respect! Can carry baby and dance.


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


They looked like butterflies from afar cause of the sleeves.


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


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