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Friday, April 22, 2016

Diving into another world: Japan, Part 2: Aomori

Cherry blossom full bloom in Aomori

Time to leave Tokyo for something new. Fully packed and the Japan Rail Pass in the hands, we went to the ticket office in Tokyo's main train station. We presented the screenshot, indicating precisely the train, the time and the destination where we wanna go, to the employee behind the desk. Well prepared, I'd say. And it made things a bit easier and faster. Unfortunately, all seats have been fully booked. Anyways, we've got a ticket - standing tickets in the doorway, for three hours only.We grabbed a coffee and pulled the book outta the backpack, so that helped.

A couple in a rowing boat surrounded by cherry trees

Right on time we approached Aomori. Trains in Japan obviously never run late. I don't know how they do it, but they somehow get it to work. As we walked through the city to the hotel we already noticed we won't see the cherry blossom here. There were some trees scatteredly, in their high bloom too, but that cannot be all. And soon it was clear. The place to go was Hirosaki, taking another train for one hour. The local train, starting on time again, offered no signs of English language anymore. It was more try and error than being sure picking the right train.

There have been some snacks available

The cherry blossom itself was awesome. We luckily picked the first day of full bloom. The park was massive, with thousands of trees shining in white and pink-ish colour. Tourists everywhere tried to get the perfect picture. I was one of them. Japanese families gathered under the trees to celebrate the "Hanami" with tons of food and drinks. We, as well, tried some regional specialities called "Oden". Can't be that bad as almost everyone ate at least one joyfully. The first bite went to Antje, and her face revealed deepest disgust immediately. She tried to chew a bit, shoving the thing from left to right and vice versa and, finally, decided to get rid of it, choosing the way where it was coming from. My turn then. And I have to admit the texture and taste was not something to get used to. First bite, second and a third one, but it was not getting better and thus, both of us were not able to finish it... We got back to business and continued our tour through the cherry trees until dawn before taking the same train back to Aomori.

Yellow-glowing balloons everywhere

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