I arrived at the local station with 7 min to spare to catch the last train that would get me there on a single day. A comfortable buffer zone, until I couldn't find the seishun 18 on the ticket machine. The station attendant was amiable, and ambled out to help me... It's on the shinkansen ticket machine, not the regular one... I caught the train with half a second to spare.
|Rice crops on the way up.|
|Between Fukushima and Yonezawa.|
|Fukushima - Yonezawa|
|I had an hour break at Yonezawa. It's a more interesting place to|
wait than Shinjo, largely because there is a standing noodle bar just
outside the station. I indulged in a kakiage soba.
The tempura is cancelled out by the low fat soup broth ;).
|A Yamagata University student holding a sign for|
an open campus shuttle bus. It was hot, and
Hiro's alma mater was Yamadai... so I bought him a bottle
of chilled tea.
|Going north near Shinjo|
|Mamurogawa in Yamagata|
|Mamurogawa, Mogami, Yamagata|
|The sun going down at Yuzawa, Akita|
It was a quick change at Akita. Just enough time to ring Hiro's mother to let her know I hadn't missed a connection and would arrive at 10.19 as scheduled. As usual the train was full at Akita city and gradually thinned out over the journey back to Odate. By the time the train gets to Hachirogata, there are not many people left. Two very respectable looking obasans took practicality into their own hands and stretched out to sleep. In Tokyo when people do this they are invariably male and drunk, though they would probably also take off their shoes (social condition of the deepest kind?).