Thursday, 6 May 2010

Golden Week

The end of April, beginning of May is Japan's has a series of holidays that make up 'Golden Week"

29 April Showa Day
3 May Constitution Memorial Day.
4 May Greenery Day.
5 May Children's Day

Showa day, which celebrates Emperor Hirohito, while it's not quite on par with Hitler, Stalin or Idi Amin day, does present an ethical dilemma; however as is wont to be the case in matters of public holidays, practicality trumps ideology....and I met the Yamashitas in Ueno en route  to Australia for the break.

On Sat morning early, we started our GW setting out by bike to Tohoku.  Our travel north took us from Tokyo to Hiraizumi and onto Kitakami where we stayed the night.  From Kitakami we attempted mountain roads to Lake Tazawa. North from Lake Tazawa to Tamagawa Dam and Tamagawa onsen (on the map it's near Nyuto onsen, before arriving late afternoon in Odate (on the railway line in Akita prefecture, roughly above the word Odate in Odate-Noshiro airport).

Although Tohoku is glossed over by most tourist information as having little aside from later blooming sakura and summer festivals  to merit a visit, the more I see of it, the more it seems like travel guide writers are based in Tokyo and Kyoto.... there is much to see in the region. 

The map is from, probably the best site for travel in Japan.

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