Bits and pieces they might be, they will be the records of the true feeling about that moment of my life, bitter or sweet, paragraphs that fill up my Book of Memory. 生命中的片刻，心靈上的片語，一片片的影像心語，就是記憶冊上的章節段落。
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
知床旅情(二)-趕路篇 A Journey to Shiretoko (2)–Getting There
Due to the very expensive air ticket from Hong Kong to Hokkaido, I took a rather long and complicated route via Tokyo, Aomori to Sapporo. Shiretoko peninsula is the northern-east most territories of Japan, and the whole route was made up of 6 train rides and a bus ride, including a over-night ride on the train., but this was really nothing in comparison to my previous European trips. I had already brought the JR train pass, and I could save the hotel money too. That is what I normally do when I am travelling overseas as a backpacker.
The northwards Shinkansen super-express train from Tokyo stopped at Hachinohe, from where I needed to hop on another train to Aomori for another over-night train to Sapporo. They did have sleeping cars on the train, but it was so expensive that I would be better off staying in a hotel for the night. Unknown to many travellers, there is in fact another kind of sleeping car on the "Hamanasu" Over-night Express from Aomori to Sapporo. It is called the"Nobi-nobi Carpet". There is no extra charge for JR Pass holders to reserve a "Nobi-nobi Carpet" place. As its name suggests, the sleeping car is just a single long carpeted platform, and people sleep on it like the traditional Japanese tatami. It is very popular among the over-night travellers and reservation is highly recommended. Not suitable for people who get used to soft bed though. The Hamanasu train arrived at the Sapporo station around 6 a.m. early in the morning, when the place was already packed with the early birds rushing to work or school. The train ride from Sapporo to Abashiri was rather pleasant as the train dashing through the countryside of northern Hokkaido. The scenic ride from Abashiri to Shiretoko Shari took me right into the gateway to the Shiretoko peninsula, running along the coast, passing through natural wetland reserve for waterfowls, and with the beautiful view of the snow capped Shiretoko Mountain Range as the back ground.
The amount of time took me from the Narita airport to the town of Shiretoko Shari ? 24 hours and 15 minutes exactly.