The Sea of Japan on the left, snowy mountains on the right. That was my train ride from Daishouji to Kumagaya, with transfer to Shinkansen in Echigo-Yuzawa. Not much going on here, except I met an internet friend and spent the afternoon with him. Starbucks is really popular with young women as you can see. And there was a little red light district around the station.
My plan was to visit Miyako tomorrow, the tsunami-ridden little city on the coast east from Morioka, where I stayed one night in October 2011. However, tonight I called 10 (!) hotels and ryokans (very cheap and convenient from Skype/wifi on my mobile phone), and they were all full! (Two didn’t answer, one number didn’t work.) Maybe it’s because of oshougatsu – the New Years holidays. So I made other plans. Tomorrow night I will sleep in a capsule in Morioka (I managed to book one), and the next day I’ll go to Miyako just over the day. We’ll see if I’ll be able to get any sleep. Capsules in Japan are 180 centimeters. I’m 188 centimeters.