While in Kyoto, I had a three hour trip to Osaka, where I happened to meet some bgirls practicing at OCAT station! We had takoyaki and went to DuckTail before finally leaving for Tokyo. There, I visited the Studio Ghibli Museum, and had the most delicious shabu shabu and sukiyaki. I was there for the day before heading on to Sendai for an evening, which was an adventure as well! I arrived and actually hadn’t booked anything in advance, and I hoped there would be something nearby.
Apparently all the hotels nearby were booked so I thankfully one of the hotels had internet access and I was able to find a guesthouse with available rooms. I couldn’t book it online, so I decided to walk over and see what I could get. After a nervous 30 minute walk I discovered there were indeed rooms! And very friendly Japanese volunteers there, one of whom was there to help recovery efforts after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. I ended up just hanging out and staying up for most of the night, sleeping for only a couple of hours in the kotatsu in the shared living space. As I was leaving, the guesthouse manager noticed I had slept in the kotatsu instead of my assigned bed and very graciously gave my money back, a gesture of generosity that I won’t forget!
After leaving Sendai in the early morning, I made my way to Aomori, the last stop in the Tohoku region before reaching Hakodate on Hokkaido. I managed to find a very beautifully located guesthouse. The view was amazing, and a coastal cliff was nearby. And there was a record player 😉
From Hakodate I went to Sapporo and then Nayoro. On the way, I met an American who was teaching English who happened to also know my friend in Nayoro.