The Lone Pine tree(A Report from Morioka part 2)


Well, rain again. Heavy rain! The drive was fun, though. We played games in the car, and observed the beautiful scenery of misty mountains pass by.


Rikuzen Takada: ground zero of the March 2011 tsunami wave. My hosts had suggested we visit the site, and I willingly agreed. The place is a big mixture of sad and impressive. 

It's not everyday that one can see entire neighborhoods devoid of houses; residential streets, yes, but no houses-as though nothing had been built yet. But we know there used to be houses there a few years back.


The Lone Pine Tree is the main landmark of this area; symbol of survival against the fury of nature. Now almost deserted, this was formerly the site of a forest host to more than 70,000 pine trees. Now only one remains.

Despite its sad recent history, the area has retained much of its beauty. We were able to enjoy sushi at a beautiful seaside caf?.

And outside still more rain…Oh well, to the onsen!






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My! How low the clouds are today!(A Report from Morioka part 1)


"Morioka? Why not", I said! I had never been that far north in Japan before. As the shinkansen zoomed passed Sendai, the forests seemed to ever get denser, and so did the dark clouds in the sky. I guess July is the rainy season in Tohoku.


Old friends were waiting for me with smiles on their faces and open arms at the ticket gate. And the Super Hotel they helped me book was really super too! Our first afternoon together consisted of English conversation and a good deal of laughter.



In the evening we all had a sumptuous Korean-style dinner at the restaurant. One of the boys said he'd rather not have milk with his dinner because milk is for babies. But mom, dad, and the nice waitress assured him that he would get an adult milk. So he agreed to drink this instead of cola.


The day ended with me back at the hotel. We would have an 8 o'clock start the next day on our way to Rikuzen Takada.





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