Morioka, June 13
Morioka and Hakodate are my favorite cities that we`ve seen! We had a long train ride to Morioka, which is in the northern part of the main island of Japan. There was a beautiful river in the town, and it was much less crowded than Kyoto or Kanazawa. We went to a park where there were the ruins of a castle and a very nice rose garden. We spent a lot of time just wandering around by the river, where there were lots of flowers and nice scenery. Unforunately, we only had one day in Morioka!
Hakodate, June 14
The train ride to Hakodate was long, and not quite as scenic because we took bullet trains (most of the mountains we saw were from inside the tunnels!). Hakodate is a port city in Hokkaido, the island north of Honshu (the main island). We really liked it as well! Hakodate is a lot more friendly toward Westerners (in terms of signs in English and such) and there were a lot of tourists there from other parts of Japan. Our hotel was a Japanese-style bed and breakfast, which was nice but we had a shared bathroom.
When we got there we took a walk to the Russian Orthodox Church, which was pretty impressive from the outside (we didn`t want to pay to go in because we were low on cash and we hadn`t been able to get to a bank during open hours for a few days). After that we took the ropeway (a big car that you stand in that goes up a mountain on cables, like a ski lift but enclosed) up to the top of Mt. Hakodate. From there, there are beautiful views of the city and the harbor! Ideally we would have stayed there until after dark to see the night view, but we went up too early and we got hungry. There is a restaurant up there, but we were starting to get sick of Japanese food!
We went down after taking a lot of pictures and buying some souvenirs, and had dinner at Hakodate Beer Restaurant. There are signs all over Hakodate for Hakodate Beer, and I guess this place is the local brewery. We tried the beer sampler, and Ben says "it wasn`t bad." I thought it was pretty good, because I don`t really like beer. We think that`s because Ben like Guinness which I think is really gross.
This morning we hopped on a train for Sapporo, finally made it to a bank, had lunch at an Italian place (better than the last Italian place), and here we are.
We`ll be here in Sapporo until the 17th, and then I am flying back to Hong Kong and Ben is flying back to LA via Hong Kong. Mom & Dad, the info for when Ben`s flight is getting in is in the first entry in this journal, and it`s Cathay Pacific. I bookmarked the Cathay Pacific web page so you can check the flight status. Ben says he really appreciates you coming to pick him up from the airport! I appreciate it too!
Since we have to pay for internet, I probably won`t post again until I`m back in Hong Kong with free internet. Hey Tiffany, do you still have the password so you can post? If not I`ll give it to you when I see you. According to my last email we`re meeting at the hostel, right? See you there!