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Sunday, October 15, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 3-- Sendai to Hokkaido

I woke up at the Westin Sendai to beautiful clouds:

Breakfast here is pretty standard for Japan, and terrific:

Note that rice noodle dish to the right.  That red stuff I poured on was called DEATH.  Never saw it before.  I almost died.  You are hereby warned!

I caught the bullet train from Sendai to Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto.  Instead of the usual bento with beer/sake, I decided to consume what my previous two hotels have been leaving in my room.  Macha and pomegranate/elderflower drink with assorted dried fruits and nuts.  A few friends in 15 Craigside would have proud of my choice.

After I had this healthy lunch, I had some leftover ice cubes and bottles of Yamasaki whiskey and sparkling water.

The Shinkansen arrived in Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto, so I had to transfer to another train to get me to Hakodate.  Upon leaving the station, there was the Four Points Sheraton:

While the building is also 23 years old, like the Tokyo Westin, the place was upgraded and converted into a Four Points Sheraton six months ago.  However, the TV system shows CNN in Japanese, and there is no bilingual option.  I decided to take the bus to the top of Mount Hakodate, and had this view:

It was around dinnertime, so I had probably the best eating experience I'll ever have on this trip.  One day I'll explain why:

Salmon eggs (ikura), yellow-fin tuna (maguro) sashimi and salmon over rice, with an excellent miso soup, plus Sapporo draft and Yoichi Single-Malt Whiskey over rocks.  This brew by Nikka is distilled in Yoichi, 30 miles from Sapporo.  Just before I caught the bus down, sunset:

A fitting end to what could have been a disastrous day, but turned out to be exceptional.  Tomorrow, I'm off for Sapporo.

Checked the NCAA scores, and all my teams won:  Hawaii, LSU and Stanford football, plus the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team came through in five in an away game.  Yes, a fabulous day.

Hurricane Ophelia, a rare Category 2 so close to Europe, is still headed for Ireland:

Typhoon Khanun is also a Category 2, and is angling for Zhejiang, China:


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