Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Hokkaido Train Tour (June 1 - 7): 2. Kushiro

The next morning at Abashiri, I boarded a train for Kushiro.

My conveyance. 
My way to the track. 
Fellow travelers.

Rolling out of Abashiri.
The ocean, not on my side of the train.

This is a little guy and I assume, his father. The little guy got on the train by himself. He was very excited. 
A couple of stations later, these folks turned out to meet him. I assume his mother and sister. The little girl was very excited. She jumped up and down.
This was a local train; there were lots of stops along the way.
New arrivals.

The cockpit at the other end of the train. There is one at each end. 
The stations can get pretty silly.
Long grass.
An advertisement for this train...
the " Kushiro Shitsugen Norokko." The beige building in the background is my hotel. 
I wish that I had known about this train beforehand, I would have taken the ride. There were people running from my train to jump on this one. They were in the know. By the time I had researched what all the excitement was about, the last one for the day had split. This area of Hokkaido is famous for its wetlands. I had seen a lot of wetlands from my train. They were beautiful. You don't see them because the shots through the window weren't worth it. This train has open windows and only a wooden bench seats. Have a look:


This was a Sunday afternoon. Kushiro is not a small town, it is a city. It is a city that is not happening on Sunday. Most of the businesses on my walk were closed down. It was like being in Bavaria on a Sunday. There was also the threat of rain during my walk. That was not clear when I started it, so I hadn't unpacked my umbrella. Fortunately the rain held off until I got back to the hotel. I had been checking out the buses and figured I knew which ones to catch to get back to the station in case it did start raining. They wouldn't have helped much once I left that boulevard, though. I always end up leaving the boulevard.

I still find buildings like this one with the point, strange in this country.  Here it is, set up right next to the train station. It strikes me as having a little bit of Disneyland right across the street. 
My hotel.

Sunday traffic. 
The mouth of the river. 

This is for you, Dr. Burkhart. I didn't go in because at first I thought it was some kind of church service. I think, however it was just a concert. Maybe some kind of trumpet club? Every soloist I saw played either trumpet or flugelhorn. Go figure.

I don't know what they catch here, but they must do a lot of it at night. All of the boats were outfitted with these lights. 

Protecting the seaways. 

I wanted to walk out to the end of this, but the guys in the Coast Guard cutter were watching and I didn't want to create any problems. 

The facilities.
River commerce.
Sunday traffic.
View of the station from the hotel room.

It was a pretty long walk that I took, yet I found no place open for dinner. On that level, this town was really different than anywhere I've been. Everywhere else the problem is choosing which restaurant, not finding a restaurant. I returned to the hotel, changed into warmer, rain-friendly clothes and went back out. I had noticed one place on the side street next to the hotel that looked like it might be are restaurant and might be open. 

I stood outside of it for a bit because I really couldn't tell what it was. A lone guy walks up, looks at me; I say "Konbanwa." He replies likewise. I see that he is about to go in. I say, "Tabemono, de su ka?" He says, "Hi. Soba." I say, "Is it good?" That was too much English for him, so he opens the door and gestures me in...

Now I am in a seaport town, so what I want is seafood, but really, nothing was open. Nothing. Okay, Burger King was open. I had to go with the soba. She had a shrimp; that qualified. I was happy.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Roper. Nice trumpet pix. I'm behind on reading, but catching up. Your travels are most excellent.