Friday was an all day tour to Hachinohe with FTAC. Hachinohe is the next largest city to Misawa. Just and interesting little factoid that we learned on this trip. Hachi means 8 and Nohe means gate. There is also Ichinohe (one gate), Ninohe (two gate), Sannohe (three gate), Gonohe (5 gate) and so on. Four is a very unlucky number to the Japanese, kinda like 7 or 13 for us. You aren't going to see 4th floors or #4 apartments. It's because 4 is said "Shi" which also sounds like Death.
Our first stop is the Hachinohe Fish Market. This place is really famous - like people come from all over Japan to get fresh fish. This area is also know for it's squid. The more I think about it, the more I realize this is probably the right part of Japan for me - Fresh Squid! It look a lot of will power to keep from buying some - I didn't want it to go bad on an all day tour.
After the Fish Market we went to the train station so that we could learn how to get tickets to get on the bullet train to get down to Tokyo. It seems petty easy, Ian and I will have to try it some time when he actually has leave. Also at the train station was this huge float. They have a festival with floats that's very famous in Hachinohe. This float was a retired float and that guide said that it could be almost 300 years old. That it had just been converted to be driven, because in the olden days they were pulled by hand. It was really spectacular. We got to take pictures of it from and upper floor. But our favorite part were the snow monkeys stealing fish.
Perhaps the most awesome thing about the shrine was that they had a museum that houses two of Japans national treasures. It was said to us that there are like 14 or 17 national treasures in Japan (I got two different numbers and I haven't found a number on the internet so I'm not sure about this) and that these two are the only treasures in the north of Japan. One of them just came back from the smithsonian so we were lucky to see it. Are you curious what they are? hun hun?
After all that culture crap we went to the mall. They had an indoor rollercoaster, ferris wheel, and ship thingy in the mall! I'm not joking. Plus the typical food court, grocery store, clothing stores, etc. I left Ian in the arcade and went off exploring - I found the largest craft store I have yet to find. Oh the fabrics. The only thing is how do they measure it off the bolt? I can't say 1 yard can I? Is it a meter? I have to figure this out. And the yarn, and the threads, and the cute patterns that are oh so Japanese fashion and unreadable.
Here's the link to the album: Hachinohe Tour