Giant Buddha in the morning
Aomori Travel Blog› entry 18 of 52 › view all entries
I have been going on the night train through the night - sleeping some of the time I guess. At least I did not recall going through the tunnel connecting Hokkaido to Honshu Island - which was a bit of a pity considering this is the longest tunnel under water in the world. And it is actually prepared for Shinkansen trains if they should decide to come this way sometime in the future connecting Hakodate and Sapporo with Tokyo in the south with high speed train. But for the moment it is all dominated by slow moving trains.
The train ends in Amori at 5.32 in the morning - hence the sun has been up for a while and it is perfect for sightseeing. For some reason the city seems a bit dead at this hour of the day - I wonder why. But after putting my luggage in a coin locker I try to find the morning fish market since I have not manage to get to morning fish market before so being here this early seems like a good occasion to go. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem like the fish market is really up and running at full capacity - the shops are all just preparing for the day’s trade. Hence I head on and walk down to the harbor and have a look at the Aspam building - there should be a great view from the top of the building out over the harbor area - but again for some reason the building is not open when I get there. It seems like people like to sleep in in this area of Japan.
After my less than successful sightseeing around the city I walk back towards the bus terminal - previously I had some problem locating the bus terminal. It should be just outside the station in Amori but when I arrived there were no busses at the bus terminal so I could not find it. Now there are a lot of busses at the terminal so I need to figure out which one I shall get on. I ask around pointing towards the name of the place I want to go in my LP. Fortunately they have printed the names both in English and Kanji so the bus driver I am asking actually knows where I want to go and he tells me which bus to get and from where. I get over to the bus stop and get on the bus which takes a good while to go to the Buddha area.
I finally get there and realize I will have to either make a really quick tour or spend 2½ hours at the place. I walk in and decide to make it a quick trip around the area. I go out and look at the first couple of shrines and some of the smaller Buddha statues. And I get to see my very first five story pagoda. Then I get to the main attraction of the place. The largest outdoor Buddha statue in all of Japan. And it is really big sitting there in front of the mountain. I finish my quick tour around the area and head back towards the station - I actually don’t have that much time to spare before my train leave going south.
So I get on
my train - it is still a fairly slow train. And for next few hours we head
slowly southwards until I get to the next big station in Hachinohe. This is the
starting point of the shinkansen line going down to Tokyo. And here is a change
of speed. I head out of my slow train and have only a few minutes waiting time
before I can continue southwards on my new super express train - yeah
shinkansen is not express - it is super express. I get in and the train starts
to speed up - and soon it is reaching cruising speed - which is well above 200
an hour. Unfortunately this part of my trip is really short - only 28 minutes -
but we still manage to travel 96.6 kilometers in that time. Yeah this is train
riding - not the slow paced stuff - but really train riding where you actually
make some distance in a short time.