2016 Tono Trip - July

7/1: Going to Tono

From Nagoya to Tono

Woke up at 4:30am, put away my futon bed, stretched my body and get ready for the day. The taxi has arrived at home 15 minutes before the appointment time. I went to nearby convenience store to grab my breakfast before I get on it, only 10 minutes to get to Hoshigaoka subway station. I walked down the stairs to the platform to catch a subway train, which was not so packed. Arriving at Nagoya prior to 6:00am, I did not know that they close the gates to the platform for Shinkansen until 6:00am.

Hikari 500 Nagoya (6:20am) - Tokyo (8:13am)

Hikari 500, 6:20am Nagoya - 8:13am Tokyo  6:12am  6:28am, moving under morning haze.

The gate opened at 6:00am, and I proceeded to the platform. I was planning on using Hikari 502 which leaves Nagoya at 6:37am but since I am here already, why not using the one earlier which is available. Hikari 500, left on time at 6:20am and began heading to Tokyo. On the way, it made several stops and the outside looked hazy under morning sun, and the Mt. Fuji was cloud covered. The train arrived Tokyo on time.

Yamabiko 43 Tokyo (8:48am) - Shin-Hanamaki (11:54am)

Yamabiko 43, 8:48am Tokyo - 11:54am Shin-Hanamaki 8:35

Gomoku Wappa Meshi 10:14am

11:33am, speeding through Tohoku region.

After arriving at Tokyo station, I need to change the train to Tohoku line so I walked down from the platform and change to the platform 22. The Tokyo looked busy as usual. Getting on Yamabiko 43, departing at 8:48am. The car was packed with a group of folks looks like going on a company trip. As the train move through Tokyo area, the cloudy weather continued but the sky was getting brighter as the train making a stop at Utsunomiya at 9:40am. I got hungry so I dag into my early lunch. Many people got off at Sendai, so the car became quiet. Looking up the sunny weather, exchanging emails with job agents. The train was passed by other faster one maybe twice on the way to Shin-Hanamaki, Soon the train arrived at the destination at 11:54am on time.

Hamayuri #3 Shin-Hanamaki (12:24pm)  - Tono (1:05pm)

On the way to Tono 12:24-13:05 新花巻→遠野 HMY3

Arriving at Shin-Hanamaki, this is the furthest I have come on Shinkansen. To get to Kamaishi Line, I had to get out from the station building, going underground path to cross the adjucent road, then going up at the platform with a single track. There is a time for the train to arrive to I was just hanging out looking around where is not so populated. The train approached from west, and get on the car #2 which is a non-reserved car. The train moved in countryside surroundings. I just watched green rice field, a few houses along side of the train track with green mountains on the background. The diesel powered train stopped at nearly every stations. After near 30 minutes ride, the train slowed down, and it crossed a river then soon arrived at the platform of Tono station.

Tono Station 1:12pm

Tono Sightseeing

After arriving at the station, I dropped off my bag at a coin locker for 300 Yen, which were several available and I picked up a rental cycle for 620 Yen (3 hours) and left. I am not used to the kinds of bicycle, and without a helmet, it's a bit uncomfortable. Took a road toward nearby intersetion to the north, within 20 minutes or so, I was riding bike in a countryside where open field to my both left and right under sunny sky, where I can only see ricefields was just so nice. While feeling cool breeze, I was able to keep going for a while. Followed the signs posted along the way and got off from major road and steep hill has began. It was hard but I get to see a mill at Yamaguchi around 2:00pm. On the way back, I stopped at Dannohana, Kizen Sasaki's birthhouse, Denderano.

Yamaguchi Mill 2:00pm

Dannohana 2:10pm

Sasaki Kizen Birth House 2:14

Denderano 2:20pm

I came back to the major road, headed a little north then this time toward west. There is a Shrine which is

Yamazaki Konsesama 2:50pm

As I ride back to the train station, there is a must visit place which is Kappabuchi, this small creek was creepy quiet and the water flows so calmly, I guess the legend of Kappa maybe true.

Kappabuchi 3:20pm

After the sightseeing, I biked back to the station to pick up a rental car, and wait for my friends who are arriving at 5:00pm.

Subaru Exiga, seats for 7 people. 4:38pm

I picked up several people to the center, I am glad that I have a big car. I drove on the road I just passed by bicycle to the Mirai Dukuri College. I found that people live locally drive a lot faster than the legal speed limit so many cars passed mine. Somehow arrived at the destination, we all checked in and we were led to a conference room. Realizing we do not have much time, I hit the road and made a stop at a convnieince store to grab my dinner.

A quick dinner before  6:23pm

Welcoming Students, Grocery Shopping

Students arrived 7:10pm

The students from The Woodlands High School in Texas came after 7:00pm, the

For tonight, they had a tour in the facility at first, the the welcoming ceremony started. As soon as it was done, I drove to a grocry store near Tono station with friends, but the place was already closed. I drove to another location, which was still open. We bought a lot of

Grocery store (9:00pm)

2016/07/02: Tono Trip

Tono Museum and Hayachine Shrine

Woke up at 5:00am as usual, it must have been a hot night for them. Stretched my body at hallway a bit then started the car to pick up college students and another helper at Tono station. The weather was cloudy and expected to be rainy. The mountains far away was overcasted by foggy air. I made two trips, the first group was six college students, and I did not quite catch the lady who was coming to help us. So I made two trips.

Driving to Tono Station to pick college students up. (6:00am)

Prepared breakfast for students with other members, then start waking them up. They had choice of cereals,

Get ready for the day, left the building, I had to carry several people since the bus did not have enough room for all.

The first stop was the Tono Museum, I get to see artifacts of local cultures from the past time.

Koide Bridge 11:19am

After leaving the museum, the bus headed to Hayachine Shrine. I had to follow the bus going winding road fast where I have not been.

We took a break by a bridge for quick lunch, students get to play in a river.

The rain began to come down as we walk down the path at the shrine, but it was okay. After the shrine visit, we moved to a building nearby where we get to see Kagura, a traditional dance.

Getting on a bus

In the evening, they had an event, which I had to join in. After the event, I headed for shopping for the second day under rain.

Took shower after coming back to the college then went to bed at 11:00pm.


2016/07/03: Hiraizumi Trip

To Hiraizumi

Woke up at 5:00am, get ready for the day. Everything moves quick in the moring, There were three vans to take people to the train station, but not enough for the collage students. So I took my rental car to the station. They found a discounted ticket for Hiraizumi visit, a regional day pass was available at 2,460Yen (from 3,300Yen)

The train came in to Tono station on time, getting on and it left at 6:48am. The train moved on

 6:48-7:53 遠野→花巻

Local train to 7:58-8:41 花巻→平泉

Switching to a local train toward? The train moved under cloudy weather, I hope there won't be any rain

After arriving at Hiraizumi station, we walked to Chusonji Temple, stopping at Hongo

Musashibo Benkei's tomb




Chusonji Temple

Buckwheat noodles


I had some time after lunch so I walked

Coming Back

Walking back to Chusonji Station around ? and I had to led students into

We are allowed in the platform to get on,



Changed train back to Kamaishi Line,




After arriving at Tono station, I picked up a group of students to a spa then returned to the station to pick up one more group. Returned to the college, had dinner (Cupped Fried Noodles) then the storytelling session has started. It was an event involving The whole thing ended around 9:00pm BBQ party followed Going to bed around 11:00pm

 Took students to Tono station The train took us to Hanamaki, changed to Tohoku main line to Hiraizumi Walked to Chusonji. Come back to the station, had lunch, Walked to Takadake Gikeido, Walked back to e station Took train back to Hanamaki, then changed to Kamaishi line. I was able to see SL which was returning from Kamaishi at yesterday's event.

7/3 Hiraizumi Woke up at 5:00am Had breakfast at ? Caught train leaving Tono station, they were selling Came back to Tono Made first trip to spa Went back to station again Picked up the second group Took the first group In the evening The last was the storytelling by local elderly in the club They had BBQ party

Kataribe gathering

The sky was not clear so I did not get to see the Going to bed around 11:00pm, tomorrow I will go back


2016/07/04: Last Day, coming back to Nagoya


Woke up at 5:00am, stretched my body and get ready for the day. Had breakfast with all the students and have them pack up. Left the place around ? I followed the bus carrying Arrived at elementary school They performed Arrived at Leaving Tono at1:?? On a Changed to Shinkansen at Shin hanamaki




Coming back to Nagoya

While I wait for the train, I grabbed my lunch and drinks.

Train arriving at Tono, headin toward Shin Hanamaki 13:06-13:58遠野→新花巻 1:02pm

My lunch, just a bit of alcohol in my body... 1:03pm

The train to Shin-Hanamaki came in on time, got my seat and

1:55pm, 1:50pm

14:19-17:24 新花巻→東京YMB50

Walking out from the train and thru the underground tunnel, I reached in front of Shin-Hanamaki station, walked into the building and arrived at the platform. Yamabiko 50 came in on time and left at 2:19pm. I get on the last car which the exterior is painted in red

Getting on Yamabiko at the car The train moved on Cloudy at Fukushima Raining after Koriyama, and continued that way until getting to Ueno station, the train moved in metropolitan area.


After the train arrived at Tokyo, I called my friend and met up with my friend fromHouston for dinner. Getting on Hikara leaving at 8:03?pm


The train was not packed so I was able to get a seat. I used to  The train moved quietly but in I arrived at Nagoya on time. There is less than 20 minutes to get on a bus leaving at 10:20pm. I got there two minutes before departure. The bus cruised through the downtown under the dark of the night, getting on an express way and took me to the stop nearby my home. Walked home from there and took shower once I am at home, prepared my bed and went to sleep by midnight .

Miraidukuri College


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