Japan day 25
Japan day 25
Yamatate-Aomori 82 km
If I had known last night there was another Roadside Station just 8 km further down the road (and all downhill, to boot) would I have opted to move on? Even with that knowledge, I was not disappointed with my choice. My room turned out to be a tatami suite,
with a great selection of high quality furniture, and the breakfast the following morning was a veritable journey of discovery
…for the first time in my 25 days in Japan, I had to ask for a knife and fork to eat the egg and bacon that was cooking on a little table-top stove. The fact they had to hunt for them through all the cupboards told me that a ‘gaijin’ like me was a rare happening here.
In fact, because there were a lot of Japanese seniors at breakfast, I decided this was a government sponsored spa hotel, with prices subsidised in favour of the retired. The quality was, indeed, exceptional for the price.
As I was preparing the bike to leave, the young receptionist (who had been extremely courteous and helpful) handed me the following note
….apologising for his lack of English. To write that note, he would have resorted to Google Translate……something which all smartphone-toting young people do all the time here in Japan. Within seconds they can find their answer…. One day, if they don’t already exist, we’ll all be carrying devices that will convert our native tongue into the foreign language of choice, something like the device used by Stephen Hawking. I’d certainly have a use for something like that right now. Former language teachers are not supposed to be tongue-tied in a foreign country……..are they?
En route to Aomori (my last stop on the island of Honshu) I wanted to spend at least three hours in Hirosaki, visiting the Castle
….some of the many temples built in serried ranks along long avenues
….and the 5 storey pagoda, proclaimed as one the most beautiful in Japan
….but it was there I met two gentlemen with their folding Brompton bikes, one with a fine tan leather Brooks saddle
…and I knew I was in the company of people who were prepared to pay for their quality hardware. (For those who don’t know, Brompton and Brooks are two British manufacturers famous the world over for their quality products).
My plan on arriving in Aomori was to stay the night and catch the ferry to Hokkaido in the morning…….. I am, however, tapping in this post on my phone on the early evening ferry, which will arrive at 9pm in Hakodate…..which is normally the time I fall asleep…..except that this head has nowhere to rest itself…….yet. Any suggestions?