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October 12, 2005 – A journey to Tazawako, Japan in Asia

Tazawako: Kogen Bus Stop

We left Yamanoyado Bekkan pretty late at around 11:15 am due to missing the courtesy bus at 9:30am to the Kogen bus stop (taxi to the Tazawako JR Station is $60!). We finally got to the Kogen bus stop before noon, but it was like the Twilight Zone. There was pretty much no one there! Imagine a bus stop with some quiet and empty restaurants and souvenir shops nearby, in the middle of the mountains with an open blue sky, slopes on the west and Lake Tazawa on the east in the distance. And complete silence of city noise, just a string of crickets, some birds, and what sounded like Japanese country music in the distance. We waited there for the bus to the JR station for half an hour, enjoying the strangeness.

Didn't have a pre-booked place again to stay for the night. My previous plan was to stop by Kakunodate to view the preserved samurai district, overnight in Yudanaka and then hit Nagano and Matsumoto Castle the next day. But since Rick was tired of bullet-training all over the place and it was getting later in the day (previous plan's trip would have taken around six hours to get to Yudanaka), we just headed back to Sendai.

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