Monday, April 27, 2009

Snowing on cherry flowers

Everyone thought that the cherry blossom season started earlier this year, and that was a fact. The trees around Aomori were in almost full bloom this weekend. The temperature went around zero on April 26th, and instead of seeing a "rain" of cheery flowers falling from the trees... BIG snowflakes covered Aomori. The highway was stopped for the rest of the day.
The main attraction of the day was SakuraGawa Dori again. When it started to snow, the street was quiet but while the snow continued to fall, the street was crowded by cars stopping and taking pictures of the view. Televisions and newspapers( video Web 東奥 photographers didn' t miss it either.
I asked a lady that couldn' t take her eyes of the cherry flowers covered in snow, if this is normal for this time of the year. She said that she is 53 years old and she had never seen the city covered in so much snow during cherry blossom.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Earthquake In Japan and Romania

Sannai Maruyama
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
While watching a movie, the bed started to shake and I said to myself- " Just another train rushing near the house". But this time- the train was "longer" and "pushing on the tracks harder than before". It was an earthquake that soon stopped.
To my surprise, I have found out that it was a 5.0 earthquake- according to USGC
I checked USGS because I heard that a 5.3 earthquake "shaked" Romania for a few seconds.

I have found a few important advice to follow before, during and after an earthquake that are applied in Japan
What to do in case of earthquake

桜川通りー青森 Aomori Cherry Blossom

Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
Funniest thing happened today... in a long while. Woke up, looked at the clock on the wall with different sized numbers. It was time to get up! I had time to pay a visit to the most beautiful street in Aomori during spring. Got there, took a few shots and headed for work, just in time..... to realize that I got there one hour before the work starts :))

Great! One more hour to spend taking pictures at Gappo Park (wikipedia).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Iwaki on April 19th 2009

Iwaki on April
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The weather was GREAT!
Left the city at 7 a.m. and parked the cars at the bottom of the Yayoi course at 9:30. After all the gear and accesories were prepared we left towards the bus stop (15 minutes walk). The bus schedule was different from the one we knew; 1 hour and a half to wait for the 11 o`clock bus ?!?
The lady that owns the shop located near the bus stop, was so kind to tell us that a taxi can pick us up and take us to Iwaki Skyline for the same price, and so we did. The 50 minutes hike, up to 1500m was hard enough, but it was worthwhile. The clear sky gave us the chance to see the 360 degrees panaorama over the Tohoku area.
There were 3 degrees on top but because the wind was almost absent it felt warmer. After we had lunch( some of us had HOT noodles- prepared guys), we packed and prepared for the long ride. It was hard to leave the beautiful view from that altitude( an airplane was flying under).
The long ride on the Yayoi Course slope was more than we were aspecting and went down slowly enjoying every bit of it.
The traverse we had to take down the mountain put our legs to work, but we had to do that in order to avoid falling into the river that goes underneath the snow on the valley. Compared to other years, the snow melted faster- we took a 15 minutes walk throw the forest to arrive at the cars.
To finish the day properly, Dake Onsen was the next stop for a hot spring.

Today's photos- Hiking Iwakisan on April 19th, 2009
Iwaki mountain Map 岩木山地図 (pdf)
Spring Ski Courses Iwaki mountain 岩木山春スキー コース情報 (pdf)
Thank you よっちん

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Early Cherry Blossom

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The cherry blossom has started 7 days earlier in Tohoku, compared to other years. Hirosaki park was crowded for this period of the year and early visitors were taking pictures. I was one of them:) Thanks to Mr. T. we had a delicious tempura and relaxed at Turu no Mei Yu Onsen
Tomorrow I'll be on my way to Hirosaki again to climb mount Iwaki. Hope the weather will smile to us.

Full bloom at Hirosaki Park April the 22nd video source 東奥

Hirosaki Cherry Festival begins April 23rd video source 東奥

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hakkoda Odake- Hokiba

Hokiba from Oodake
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
My face is sunburned, my muscles are sore, BUT! It felt so good to be hiking again Hakkoda. Met Olivier in the morning, parked his car on the other side of the mountain at Hokiba. Took the 9:20 gondola and hiked up to the cabin. After the hike that squzzed the cigarettes out of me, we arrived at the cabin at 11:30. We had lunch and a 10 minutes break. On the way up Oodake(八甲田大岳ー日本語), Mr. N was kind enough to tell us about his hikes on Hakkoda and the Hokiba Course((箒場岱コースー日本語)
More photos down this set.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Golden Line 2009

Golden Line 2009
Originally uploaded by Mihai Japan
The Hakkoda walk gathered about 550 participants(movie) in only one day this year(Web東奥). I was there on the day the traffic opened and went straight to my favorite spot along the road.
Just before the Golden Line starts, there is this tunnel that goes from the road straight to Sukayu.

TATEYAMA-KUROBE ALPINE ROUTE opens up at the end of April. The snow corridors here reach up to 20 meters.