Thursday, May 8, 2014

A good day for trains

May 3rd was a good day for taking trains. The day started with a train that was specially scheduled to leave Sendai for a festival in Hiraizumi. While we were waiting on the platform for the train, this guy appeared.

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It’s Sendai’s mascot. Some characters in battle gear arrived next.IMG_2080[1]

The platform started feeling pretty festive, but then, the train arrived. The cars were green, purple, and pink.

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A teenage girl peeked in and said longingly, “I want to go…”

When I got in, I discovered why.

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Welcome to the party train! The cars had no regular seats. And they had tatami mat floors. One long row of tables ran the length of the car, with floor seats that scooted up to the table.

As the train pulled out of the station, the Sendai character and several people in festival attire waved goodbye and held up a banner wishing us a pleasant trip.

It was so weird, but fun. I took off my shoes, stowed them, and found my seat. I wound up sitting across from someone who spoke English pretty well, and some other people who had been to the US. We chatted a little, and I did some reading and writing. It was quite a pleasant way to travel!

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My neighbor saw me taking pictures and offered to take mine.

After the festival, we hopped on a little train and headed up to the next big station, Ichinoseki. We went there in order to transfer to the Shinkansen, aka bullet train. I’d never been on one before (they aren’t in Hokkaido, and they are incredibly expensive).

We moved from the regular train area to the Shinkansen platform. It was like entering a huge warehouse.

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Here it comes!

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Here I go!

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How about a little ham to go with the coffee?

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From the window. We were standing still for the first and moving for the second. I think the best part of the ride was just that it was soooooooo smooth! What took us almost 2 hours in the morning took us 30 minutes in the afternoon. It was so bizarre and really fun.

Finally, we got on another train that was just a regular train, but one that ran through a beautiful area.

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I had a lovely time bopping around trains!

1 comment:

Sharon said...

This post was SOOOOOO popular with my kids. They couldn't believe the trains with all the colors and that you sit on the floor at tables! Thank you, Elizabeth, for helping to enlarge my students' worlds this year. I already have you booked in the lesson plans for August and January or February!!! Both of my coworkers want you, also. My principal says to put it out on a school wide email that you are willing to visit other classes.