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Friday, April 25, 2014

MUFA Day#18: Hirosaki and Akita

It is 21 miles from Aomori City to Hirosaki, which is the city that produces the most Fuji Apples.  Hirosaki has a population of 181,000.  Amazingly, the flag of Hirosaki is shown to the left, derived from the Tsugaru Clan, which predated Hitler by more than 300 years with their various flags:


That's Tamenobu Tsugaru, circa 1600.

I walked to the Aomori Station and had not had breakfast yet, so went to the process of having some noodles.  First you decide what you want:


Then place the cost in a machine to get a ticket:


You pass this ticket to the server, and I ate this standing up:


The whole thing took 15 minutes.

There is still a lot of snow around:


The Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri (Festival) began two days ago and goes on until May 6.  Today was by far the most spectacular Sakura blossoming for me on this trip.  If you're anywhere close, I highly recommend that you come over the next few days.  This weekend will almost surely experience an overflow crowd with train seats difficult to secure, but the absolute peak should occur then, and extend through early next week.

This is one of those once in lifetime experiences worthy of your effort.  Let me just show what I saw:


I had a minimal hanami because of my noodles at the train station for breakfast.  Here it is getting close to May and there is still snow on the ground at this park:


I then caught the train to Akita, where my great grandparents began their journey to Hokkaido, perhaps 150 years ago.


Then I caught the Shinkansen from Akita to Morioka, and then to Shin-Aomori.  That's the latest bullet train above.  There is something provocative about this design.  I had an Akita apple cider with a special mochi concoction:


Each station has some kind of art work:


A very memorable day, taking me back to my ancestors.

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