Adventures in Aomori Prefecture!

Well, Darrell and I are back from a long journey through part of Aomori Prefecture (northern Japan).
We started the day with a free breakfast in the hotel, mostly Japanese style stuff, with coffee and croissants as the only Western part of the meal.  Really good stuff, had some pickled vegetables, a potato cooked with ground pork, a bowl of miso soup, and a couple of onigiri (rice balls).

After breakfast we walked around Hachinohe Ekimae, which is the name for the area around the station. Darrell has had some allergy aggravations, so we stopped in a pharmacy that was open, and between vivid sound effects (coughing) and my not-so-good Japanese, we managed to get him some cough syrup that seems to have worked. Success!

We then came back to the hotel rooms while the cleaning crew had just started, and caused the staff to call them back from the rooms. Oops! I managed to tell them we’d only be there a few minutes and that we’d be gone the rest of the day. We managed to leave them okay, and then it was off to Misawa, and the Misawa Aviation and Science Museum. Well, first to the Misawa train station, where we caught a cab to the museum, which cost a mere 2,500 yen (about $27). Ouch!

Once we got there, it was pretty interesting, it was kind of like the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, it was at least as big in area, and it had a couple of sections especially for kids to play with science and learn some things about physics, and to see some rebuilt old aircraft. There were models of the first airplanes built by Japanese (modeled after the Wright flyers) which were built and flown from Misawa, and there was the famous (at least to aviators) Miss Veedol, which was the first airplane to fly non-stop across the Pacific in 1931. Two US aviators flew a very small plane from the beach at Misawa, all the way to Washington State, where they basically had to belly land because they were almost literally running on fumes. They had the original propellor from the plan, bent from where it hit on landing.

We ended up having to get the Information attendant to call a cab for us to get back to the station, which worked out really well, and I made sure to tell him I’d tell my friends about his interesting museum. Which I am now. If anyone’s reading this.

Once we got back to the Misawa station, we took a local train to Shimoda, where there’s a very large mall with a food court which was highly recommended by folks stationed at the Misawa air base. When we got to Shimoda station, we discovered it was a very small town, and that we’d need to take the local bus to the mall. Again my broken Japanese was almost good enough to be understood, and we found out from the station master what bus to catch and when. It took a while for the bus to come, and took another 10 or 15 minutes to get to the mall, so we had a chance to see what a small town in Japan is like. And it only took 200 yen apiece to do so!

More when we get back from dinner…

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