Summer Vacation in Tohoku
Hello everyone. I hope your summer is going well. My summer has been busy and fun, but too hot!!! I can’t wait for fall and winter and snow and ice.
Last week, Kendra and I returned from our summer vacation in Tohoku. We had a GREAT trip! Of course, I took a lot of pictures, and I will share some of them with you now.
Our adventure began in Tomakomai. We took the overnight ferry from Tomakomai to Hachinohe on August 3rd, and we brought our car with us. After we got to Hachinohe, we decided to drive up to Shimokita Peninsula in search of monkeys! We read before the trip that Shimokita Peninsula is the northernmost place that monkeys live in the world. Unfortunately, it was a very rainy day, so we didn’t see any monkeys. Even though it was rainy, the drive was still beautiful. We drove past Mutsu to the Hotokegaura rock formations on the coast. They were amazing. Here’s a picture from there:
After visiting the Shimokita Peninsula, we drove to Hirosaki. We wanted to stay in Aomori city, but all the hotels were full. So, we stayed in Hirosaki for 2 nights. We went to the Neputa festival after we arrived in Hirosaki. There was a big parade with beautiful hand-painted, fan-shaped floats. Here is an example of the floats:
The next day, we took a train to Aomori to see the Nebuta festival. It was SO hot in Aomori, but the festival was unbelievable. I had never seen anything like it before. The floats were very impressive. There were so many of them, and each one was unique. I took so many pictures from this festival, but I can’t put all of them on my blog. Here are two from Nebuta:
After the festival, we went back to Hirosaki and drove to Akita the next day. On the way to Akita city, we drove through the Oga Peninsula. It was a very nice area. Our first night in Akita was the last night of the Kanto festival, so we were lucky to see it. It was our third festival in three days! The Kanto festival was also amazing. People take turns balancing a tall bamboo pole with many lanterns attached to it. The poles are heavy (about 50 kg), but people can balance them on their foreheads!
The next day, we took a day trip to Morioka to eat Reimen. It was good, but I like the Korean version of cold noodle soup better. Sorry! Here’s a picture of it:
After two nights in Akita, we drove to Niigata. On the way to Niigata city, we stopped at a beach and went swimming. It felt so nice to go in the water because it was so hot outside. We had such a good time at the beach. Do you think Kendra had fun?
We left the beach and drove to Niigata city. The city was very crowded because the big fireworks show was going to happen that night. We watched some of the fireworks, but it was so crowded and it was hard to see. It was a very good fireworks show, though. Then, we went to karaoke. Actually, this was the only time we went to karaoke during our whole trip.
After two nights in Niigata, we drove to Sendai. On the way, we stopped at Aizu Wakamatsu and Kitakata. In Aizu Wakamatsu, we went to a sake brewery/museum. I was driving, so I couldn’t taste the sake. Kendra was lucky! She tasted many different kinds of local sake and then chose two bottles to buy. In Kitakata, we ate ramen. After lunch, we went to Sendai.
We both really liked Sendai. It reminded us of Seattle and other American cities. The downtown is very modern with many tall buildings, and there are so many trees. We stayed there 2 nights. We ate tongue (gyu-tan) 2 times. On the second night, we found a bourbon bar. We love bourbon, so it was a dream bar for us! The bartender was really nice, and there were many, many different kinds of bourbon. We drank too much.
After leaving Sendai, we drove through Matsushima and up the coast through Iwate prefecture. It was very rainy all day, and the drive from Sendai to Hachinohe took about 11 hours! We stayed in Hachinohe one night and took the ferry back to Hokkaido the next day. We had a great trip, but it felt good to be back home in Obihiro.
If you have any questions about our trip, please ask me. Also, if you have any good stories from this summer that you’d like to share, please leave a comment.