Hotel Metropolitan Morioka New Wing
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Sad to already leave this wonderful ryokan at the lake, we took the hotel bus to the public bus who droped us at the JR station. We start to have more conversations as people who spend as well a night go back to Tokyo and speak English.
The trainride was a little difficult as the trains were full and we had to ...
... they will help keep the road open.
After the lava field, it was off to the Japanese version of a ghost town!
The Matsuo Mine (松尾鉱山)use to be the biggest such mine in Japan. We didn't actually visit the mine, but rather the area where the mine workers lived. In these large concrete buildings over ...
... tea tasting. The walk continued down a very picturesque main street which was lined the whole way with samurai houses and shaded by large cherry trees. Each house was set back from the road in very neat and relaxing Japanese gardens, covered in moss and with a distinctly aged feel. The homes themselves had interesting 3 layered doors and windows with raised living areas. All were extremely well preserved/restored, so ...
... busy in mid-summer however it was like a ghost village! We just couldn't understand it - the few restaurants there seemed to be were all shut or boarded up and the numerous peddalo style swans were all pulled up by the shore and didn't look like they'd seen water since the '80s! We didn't let it deter us as we had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a stroll along the shore as the sun was setting over the distant wooded ...
... in and had a look around. Clearly, they had a defensive function as well as being homes, with thick walls protecting their owners. The doors and windows had more similarities with gates than doors. Apart from the sections built as fortresses they were very similar to other upscale buildings, as opposed to the commoner's buildings in the rest of town.
By the end of the day we turned south again, ...