Summer holidays 1999 -
Oga Peninsula -
The beach at Yura
What do you do in August when you haven't much time, and even less budget (Japan is in a record-breaking recession at the moment), but have to have a break? Oh, and don't want the grind of driving past Tokyo? Well you go to Tohoku, the northern part of the main island of Honshu. And since Sano is stickily hot in August it sounds like a good idea. At least twice (1979 and 1991) we've set off north, and ended up buying sweaters to keep warm. Nothing like that this year: the view from the tent (above) looks idyllic, but to get to the sea meant either remembering to put flip-flops on, or getting burnt feet on the sand.
Yura - the seaside
So on 7th August, we set off up the motorway, a.k.a. 'Tohoku Expwy', past Sendai, and across to the west coast. Unfortunately the smart "auto-camp" in our guidebook was full, so we ended up at a little seaside resort called Yura, where the 'campsite' is actually the beach. And yes, it was getting dark as we put the tents up.
Haguro - an interesting Shinto site (8th August)
Tazawako - to the hills for a bit
Oga peninsula - back to the seaside
Atsumi - last night at an onsen, then (14th August) back home down the motorway, and through the long tunnel under Japan's backbone.
The wobbly purple line shows our route, and the numbers are where we stayed: two nights at each of the first three (campsites) and the last night in a ryokan.
Sorry, you can't click the map, because I haven't read that chapter yet. But you can click the buttons under the map. (Thanks to The Florida Geographic Alliance for the outline.)
Click here for a (not very good) map in Roman letters, courtesy of Yahoo. You can zoom out or move sideways, but zooming in gives very little more detail.
© Brian Chandler 1999