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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FABULOUS FALL FANTASY: Day 4: Hokkaido to Nagoya

Here, in mid-October, I'm a week or two too early for the Fall Colors on Hokkaido.  Must be global warming.  Anyway, I Shinkansened from Hokkaido to Tokyo, via Hachinohe, then on to Nagoya.  From Hokkaido, I wanted to have something totally different.  In the history of humanity, no one has, in the same sitting, consumed corn chocolate, kakimochi/peanuts, crispy ika (squid--not the usual which sticks between your teeth), with shochu and red wine from Hokkaido.  


Then between Tokyo and Nagoya I went traditional, with beef over rice/onions, topped with fish eggs, and Kirin beer:


The combination of both was fabulous.

The Marriott Associa right over the Nagoya Station is now my favorite hotel in the world.  The convenience, cost, amenities, name it, this hotel deserves to be #1.  My room view from the 45th floor:


I asked the concierge, given two hours, what should I do?  She sent me to Noritake Gardens, a short walk from the station.  I ended up hiking 3 miles because I actually got lost, but the effort was educational.    Across the street was Nanzan.  Can't read the Japanese, but I wonder if this is related to Nanzan Giro Giro, the dinner venue with my neighbors for the Friday after I return to Honolulu?  Some architecture and art on the way there:


I finally found the garden, and halfway through, it occurred to me that this is the same Noritake that made plates my family used, or, more correctly, porcelain.  The company was founded in 1876 in Noritake, a suburb of Nagoya.  They now also make products for jet planes, golf clubs and you name it.


Strolling though the garden, chimney art, which will get more colorful over the next month:


There are various old brick buildings here and a peaceful fountain setting:


Of course, plates:



Those beer glasses cost $50 each.  I did buy something.  A device that makes spherical ice, for $5:


Oh, you get 10% off by making purchases here.

I got back to my room, took a long bath, and found my way to the executive club, which I would rate as better than the Tokyo Westin:


I got a nice window seat and a fine meal:


I skipped the desserts and ended up with:


Tomorrow, I'm off to Matsumoto to visit Pearl's Gold Koi.  This will be a stressful moment for me, as I once went back and did not see her at all.  However, when I do, this makes my entire trip successful.    

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But Tropical Storm Lan is now expected to reach at least Category 4 strength and head straight for Tokyo!!!  The current arrival date is around Monday or Tuesday, and I leave for Bangkok on Monday.  


This can't really be happening.  Must be a bad dream.  I wonder if I should try to leave on Sunday?

Oh, yes, there is that other ocean storm, Hurricane Ophelia, which struck Ireland:


Global warming?


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