Monday, November 30, 2015

Tohoku 2015 東北の旅 - Day 4 Itinerary: Yamadera 山寺, Ginzan Onsen 銀山温泉

Day 4: 12.10.2015 (Mon)
* Day 3 usage of JR East Pass (flexible 5 out of 14 days)

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Sendai Higashi Guchi No. 2 東横イン仙台東口2号館

Sendai JR 仙台駅 (0924 hrs) > Fukushima JR 福島駅 (0945 hrs)
by Yamabiko 130.

Fukushima JR 福島駅 (1002 hrs) > Yamagata JR 山形駅 (1126 hrs)
by Toreiyu Tsubasa. Ekiben for lunch.

Yamagata JR 山形駅 (1159 hrs) > Yamadera JR 山寺駅 (1215 hrs)
by local train.

Visited Yamadera 山寺.

Yamadera JR 山寺駅 > Tendo JR 天童駅
by taxi. Fee = 3,390 yen.

Tendo JR 天童駅(1455 hrs) > Oishida JR 大石田駅 (1515 hrs)
by Tsubasa 137.

Oishida JR 大石田駅 (1545 hrs) > Notoya 能登屋
by free shuttle bus.

Checked in: Notoya 能登屋 

Ginzan Onsen

Dinner: Notoya 能登屋

- End of Day 4 - 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tohoku 2015 東北の旅 - Day 3 Itinerary: Kesennuma 気仙沼

Day 3: 11.10.2015 (Sun)
* Day 2 usage of JR East Pass (flexible 5 out of 14 days)

Breakfast: Airinkan 愛麟館

Airinkan 愛麟館 (0810 hrs) > Shin Hanamaki JR 新花巻駅 (0850 hrs)
by free bus service.

Shin Hanamaki JR 新花巻駅 (0909 hrs) > Ichinoseki JR 一ノ関駅 (0934 hrs)
by Hayate 116.

Ichinoseki JR 一ノ関駅 (1023 hrs) > Kesennuma JR 気仙沼駅 (1146 hrs)
by local train.

Kessennuma JR 気仙沼駅 (1200 hrs) > Umi no shi 海の市 (1210 hrs)
by city loop bus. Fee = 100 yen.

Visited Umi no shi 海の市 & Shark Musuem シャークミュージアム.

Lunch: Riasukicchin リアスキッチン

Walked to: 
  • Restored Yatai Mura 復興屋台村 気仙沼横丁
  • Restored Shopping Street 気仙沼復興商店街
City Operated Car Park 市営駐車場前 (1457 hrs) > Kesennuma JR 気仙沼駅 (1504 hrs)
by city loop bus. Fee = 100 yen.

Kesennuma JR 気仙沼駅 (1512 hrs) > Ichinoseki JR 一ノ関駅 (1649 hrs)
by Pokemon with You train. 

Ichinoseki JR 一ノ関駅 (1747 hrs) > Sendai JR 仙台駅 (1818 hrs)
by Hayabusa 104.

Checked in: Toyoko Inn Sendai Higashi Guchi No. 2 東横イン仙台東口2号館

Visited AER 31F Observatory. 

Dinner: Bekomasamune べこ政宗

- End of Day 3 -

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Tohoku 2015 東北の旅 - Day 2 Itinerary: Kakunodate 角館, Hanamaki Onsen 花巻温泉

Day 2: 10.10.2015 (Sat) 
* JR East Pass not in use. 

Breakfast: Toyoko Inn Morioka Ekimae

Morioka JR 盛岡駅 (0758 hrs) > Kakunodate JR 角館駅 (0845 hrs)
by Komachi 95. Fee = 2,320 yen

Visited Samurai District 武家屋敷.
  • Samurai House Museum
  • Ishiguroke 石黒家
  • Iwahashike 岩橋家
Lunch: Sakura no sato 桜の里

Kakunodate JR 角館駅 (1156 hrs) > Morioka JR 盛岡駅 (1249 hrs)
by Komachi 18. Fee = 2,320 yen

Collect luggage from Toyoko Inn. 

Morioka JR 盛岡駅 (1329 hrs) > Shin Hanamaki JR 新花巻駅(1340 hrs)
by Yamabiko 164. Fee = 1,530 yen

Shin Hanamaki JR > Miyazawa Kenji Fairy Tale Village 宮沢賢治童話村
by taxi

Visited Miyazawa Kenji Fairy Tale Village 宮沢賢治童話村.

Walked back to Shin Hanamaki JR (~20 mins). 

Shin Hanamaki JR (1610 hrs) > Airinkan 愛麟館
by free bus service. 

Checked in: Airinkan 愛麟館

Dinner: Airinkan 愛麟館

- End of Day 2 - 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tohoku 2015 東北の旅 - Morioka JR Station 盛岡駅

Morioka JR Station is served by both Tohoku Shinkansen line 東北新幹線 and Akita Shinkansen line 秋田新幹線.

Between Tokyo and Morioka, Hayabusa (E5 series) and Komachi (E6 series) travel together. Upon reaching Morioka train station, both trains will be separated - you will get to see a small crowd standing at the connection between the train, waiting for the moment of separation. The sleek green Hayabusa train continues its journey northwards to Aomori, along Tohoku Shinkansen line. On the other hand, the stunning red Komachi train will move westwards to Akita along Akita Shinkansen line.

Morioka JR Station is also an interchange train station for several railway lines. From here, trains travel
  • North for Hachinohe and Shin-Aomori.
  • South for Ichinoseki, Sendai, Fukushima and Tokyo.
  • West for Kakunodate and Akita

What's nearby? 

(1) Iwate, Morioka Tourist Information Center, located on the South Exit. Collect/enquire essential information on attractions in Morioka and Iwate Prefecture.
Perks for tourists:
- Collect a free Wi-Fi pass here and follow the instructions to enjoy free Wi-Fi connection at numerous locations in eastern Japan for up to 14 days.
Free Wi-Fi Japan:
- Receive a souvenir (postcard) when you flash your JR East Pass here. There are many locations, mostly tourist information centers, participating in this gift campaign in Tohoku region. Therefore, don't forget to check with the staff on this small incentive after you have collected brochures/made an inquiry. 

Top right: FES"AN shopping mall; Bottom right: Platform 16 for Den Den Mushi Loop Bus
(2) FES"AN. A middle sized shopping mall which is connected seamlessly to the train station. MUJI, ABC Mart and Lowrys Farm can be found here. 
(3) Bus stops, located just in front of the North Exit. The best way to explore the local community is ride on Den Den Mushi Bus (でんでんむしバス) which cost only 100 yen per trip, regardless of the distance travelled. For frequent usage of this bus service within a day, you can purchase a one day pass which cost 300 yen. The bus frequency is reasonably good as well, at intervals of 10 - 20 mins during its operating hours (0900 - 1900 hrs).
- Platform 15: Clockwise direction
- Platform 16: Anticlockwise direction
- For Morioka Castle Park, alight at Bus Stop #16 Morioka Castle Park (盛岡城跡公園).
- For Bank of Morioka former head office main building and Morioka Takuboku & Kenji Museum, alight at Bus Stop #14 Morioka Bus Center (盛岡バスセンター).   


Commemorative stamps:

Morioka JR Station
* from Tourist Information Center
* from Tourist Information Center

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tohoku 2015 東北の旅 - Day 1 Itinerary: Morioka 盛岡

Day 1: 09.10.2015
* Day 1 usage of JR East Pass (flexible 5 days out of 14 days)

SIN T1 (0150 hrs) > HND Int T1 (0950 hrs)
by JL038

Purchased JR East Pass.

HND > Hamamatsucho by Tokyo Monorail
Hamamatsucho > Tokyo via JR Yamanote Line

Hayabusa and Komachi at Morioka JR Station
Tokyo JR (1120 hrs) > Morioka JR 盛岡駅 (1333 hrs)
by Komachi 17

Checked in: Toyoko Inn Morioka Ekimae 東横イン盛岡駅前

Morioka JR Bus Stop 16 > Kencho.Shiyakusho 県庁市役所前
by Den Den Mushi Loop Bus でんでんむしバス(counterclockwise direction)

Lunch: NOTE

Bank of Iwate Former Head Office Main Building

Tea break: Rokubungi 珈琲六分儀

Cold noodles from Pyon Pyon.
Dinner: Pyon Pyon ぴょんびょん舎盛岡駅前店

- End of Day 1 -