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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sendai, Japan

Apr 26, 2016 - Sendai - Round 2

We were on our own until Steve got off work. Take a deep breath and let's do this! We didn't care for the hotel breakfast buffet the first time we stayed at the this hotel, so decided to skip it this morning. We headed to the train station and Starbucks. After coffee and pastries for everyone and lots of conversation, we were ready to hit the streets. Our first stop was the Sendai Daikannon. This required a train trip and taxi, but we did it without our translator. Fortunately, the woman working there had a much better command of English...

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Apr 25, 2016 - Long Day of Trains

We left Sapporo today to return to Sendai. First, a semi-express to the Shin-Aomori station which took about 3.5 hours. Next, a Shinkansen to Sendai, which took about 3 hours. We had left some of our things at Steve's apartment, so he and Dennis trekked down there to retrieve them. Cabbies were not very cooperative in stopping for them on the way back, so it took them longer than they expected. No worries, we just ate later than we wanted to. Dinner was at a pizza restaurant that he really likes. Yes, we are in Japan and we sometimes eat...

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Apr 19, 2016 - Kiwi Club

While in Ishnomaki as a JET-ALT, from 2010-2012, Steve was a member/instructor in the Ishnomaki English-Language Club, the Kiwi Club, named for the founding leader, a New Zealander from Samoa (but of course). A handful of current/former members plus several other friends organized a private dinner at a small cafe, closing it for the evening just for us (Steve). Everyone, including us, introduced themselves and made brief remarks. A number commented on how much they had learned from Steve, including Mr. Suzuki who is a charter member of 25...

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Apr 19, 2016 - Sendai to Ishinomaki

We had a relatively slow morning while Steve worked until noon. After finishing packing we went to Starbucks for coffee, scones and such and had a nice, leisurely chat. Next off to the AER building to see the observation deck views again, this time sans rain. We cabbed to Steve's office at the Miyagi Prefecture Government Office. We had a lovely lunch at their formal dining area on the 18th floor, again enjoying the Sendai skyline. Many of the wait staff are Special Needs employees and the combination of regular Japanese service...

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Apr 18, 2016 - Touring Without Steve

Monday found the four of us on our own. Steve had to work. The Sendai Loople Bus is a hop on/hop off tour. When we bought our tickets we learned that many of the museums on the tour were closed on Monday, but as it turns out, that was okay. There was no way there would have been enough time to see everything. Our first stop was the Zuihoden Mausoleum. The was the final burying place of Date Masumune, the most powerful lord of the Edo era. The original was destroyed during WWII and this one was rebuilt in the 1970s. It was a little bit of a...

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Apr 17, 2016 - More on Shiroishi

Supplemental to KC's post... When we arrived, I lingered on the train platform and was struck by the perfect quiet. I heard an occasional bird but otherwise only the sound of the breeze through the tall heather grass. Looking down the tracks in either direction, all you could was beautiful open countryside. It seemed right out of Dr. Zhivago. The town has about 35,000, but that is down from about 43,000 twenty years ago. We were out of the town center, so other areas may have been less quaint. We were shuttled a few blocks to a community...

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Apr 17, 2016 - Sendai in the Rain and Shiroishi

Another day, another adventure. We woke up to a gray and dreary day. The rain started before we finished breakfast, but we were not going to let that deter us. Armed with jackets and umbrellas, we set out to explore the area around our hotel. We couldn't go too far afield because we had to be back at the train station by 12:30-ish for a commitment south of town. We walked through some shops, just browsing - there will be plenty of shopping opportunities. Soon we came to consensus that we should have an early lunch and stopped in a local...

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Apr 16, 2016 - Our first day with Steve!

With limited sleep as a result of our body clocks attempting the adjustment from California to Japan, we started the day by checking out of Hotel MyStays Ueno Iriyacguchi, Tokyo. We headed for the Tokyo Station to pick up our Japan Rail (JR) passes, which as tourists allows us to travel at greatly reduced rates. Arriving before the JR office was due to open at 9 am we strolled around the station on a mission to locate breakfast. We discovered a lovely bakery (Andersen Bakery), which had an incredible array of delicious treats . . . . and...

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May 23, 2010 - Sendai and the One-Eyed Dragon

“How did you sleep?”, I stayed the night at a simple Japanese style ryokan and the older lady in charge kindly offered to drive me back to the station and, while keeping her eyes firmly on the road, manages her first English since I arrived yesterday morning. “Eh”, I need a split second to think, because after I laid out the futon and the bedding on the tatami matting when I came back late last night, I slept badly and the paper sliding doors provided precious little protection when the sun started to rise at 4.29 a.m. “Yes, I slept OK“,...

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Aug 23, 2006 - Justin Komine - King of the Komine Castle

OK, so where did we leave off...they came and picked up our luggage and off it went to Sendai, its a weird system, as they probably just send it on the train. Oh well, when in Rome...we decided to eat at the Imperial Hotel, as they gave us this great discount coupon. They have 17 restaurants, but the one that interested us was the buffet. It was the first buffet in Japan, so we thought we'd give it a try. Wow! It was very nice. We ordered a really nice house wine, and took our time and sampled just about every dish there, except the really...

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May 25, 2006 - Matsushima (03/04/06-04/04/06)

L'étape suivante au Japon avec notre "Japan Rail Pass" est la petite ville de Matsushima, dans la partie nord de l'île de Honshu (la plus grande de l'archipel). La baie de Matsushima avec ses innombrables petites îles fait partie des "Nihon Sankei", les "trois plus belles vues" du Japon. Malheureusement, nous n'avons pas eu de chance avec le temps, et nous avons failli nous envoler dans la tempête, vraiment violente... Die nächste Etappe in Japan mit unserem "Japan Rail Pass" ist die kleine Stadt Matsushima, im nördlichen Teil der Insel...

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Jan 21, 2006 - 500 feet below sea level!

Woke up, had breakfast and departed in a leisurely manner to get Ryan back in shape. Caught the bus back to the train station, placed our luggage in a coin locker and went exploring on one of the old ferrys that had previously provided transportation between Hokkaido and Honshu Islands. After one of the ferrys capsized during a typhoon in 1956, the government reacted by constructing the longest (53.9 km) and deepest (250 meters below sea level) rail tunnel in the world between the two islands. We took a tour of one of the two emergency...

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