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Saturday, April 8, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 13A Karuizawa to Sendai

First of all, I'm still here, meaning that Karuizawa is not the link to Heaven.  Turns out that I arrived when the occupancy was at a weekday low, and a few other customers began to show up Friday night.  Thus, there were perhaps three others also dining at the Marriott Karuizawa:


A Caesar salad and truffle edamame (boiled soybeans), with a Campari/soda and champagne comprised my entire supper.  The following morning, again, seeing three other customers in the large dining room:


But don't feel sorry for them, as they are constructing another building next door to almost double the occupancy.  Plus, if you wish to stay here next Saturday, you will need to pay $400.

The manager drove me to the Karuizawa Shinkansen Station and I caught the Hokuriku to Omiya, where I transferred to the Hayabusa, their fastest train.  Here you see the shinkansen going to Akita, which is pulling my train:


My train cuisine posting yesterday did not bring this subject up, but I've always wondered why they didn't put microwave ovens in these trains.  Well, today, I probably found out why.  I was told to pull that yellow string when ready to eat:


Notice that smoke?  That's steam emanating from bento.  I worried that I was affecting people seating around me.  After a few minutes:


I should have waited longer, but this was, indeed, a warm meal.  I thought there was something funny about the beef.  I understand manytimes, especially in the Sendai area, they use thin slices of beef tongue, and I can't read Japanese.  I can still feel something in my esophagus that must be tongue.  The chemical reaction involves Calcium Oxide particles, onto which water is released when you pull the cord.

It was foggy the whole day, with this Sakura view thusly obscured:


There are a few cherry blossoms in Sendai, but they are at the very early stages.

It took almost 15 minutes to walk to the Westin Sendai, one of my favorite hotels.  I stayed here soon after the Fukushima nuclear cataclysm, and the room cost $45/night.  I am thus 50 miles away from Japan's trillion dollar problem.  This how the hotel building will look like in a week or so.

I walked around their enclosed malls, and, right in the middle of one, a love hotel:


A little more than $40 for two hours.  Walked outside and was greeted by my Blue Bar Pigeon:


But no Sakura.  I returned to the Executive Lounge for my sparse dinner:




Tomorrow I will Shinkansen to Tokyo, for this will be THE peak weekend for cherry blossoms.

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Tropical Cyclone Cook at 55 MPH struck Vanuatu, but could strengthen into a Category 3 and head for New Caledonia:


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