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Northern Japan

What a day. In an effort to totally avoid paying for hotels we have worked out an elaborate system of only taking night trains, where we can sleep as we travel.

Today that landed us in Aomori, a small city in Northern Japan. After spending two hours researching things to do there, I had found only one possibility: eat apples. The city is known for having good apples, and nothing else whatsoever.

With 14 hours before our next train to Sapporo, we had to find something else to do. To fuel our brainstorming we found a little trendy Italian restaurant called Piccolo. Even one-street towns in Japan have restaurants with beautiful interior design. It's important here. We lucked out - they use high quality ingredients, make their own sauces, and use extra virgin olive oil.

The Rainy Afternoon

On Tradd Addington

By late afternoon the rain forms a mist of cold fog. The old earthen levy is brown and yellow. The cherry blossom trees have lost all there leaves; the ground has been raked clean. The water in the river flows at a trickle past the flood plain that is twenty meters wide. The water flows from pool to pool and beats against the rocks on the bottom. White birds stand feeding in the water. Two lone birds float together, using the thick air to drift. They follow the outline of the water up and down the bank. The river is split in two where the birds are flying; they're doing laps around the long narrow island that is also brown and yellow and rock colored from the aggregate of the stream. The fog-like mist has given the intercity island the look of something out of Sunday Morning with Charles Kuralt, the sound of the city is held back from the river. And creates a peaceful center to the loud-heavy-racing speed of the city that surrounds it. Two people are on the concrete road beyond the rivers levy; one is riding a motorcycle; the other stands deadpan looking at the birds floating around the island.

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