Well, before we knew it, New Year’s vacation was over and it was time to depart Sakata City and head back to Fukushima City.   My husband hates to drive so we always use the train.


This is the waiting room of the Sakata City train station.  Notice the yellow package—Hollanda Senbei, product of Sakata City.  When I gave a package of the senbei to my Japanese teacher as a present, she said that Yamagata is known for its excellent rice, and therefore produces excellent senbei and sake.


Shonai area—-western coast of Yamagata Prefecture.  Sakata City, Tsuruoka City, and a lot of countryside.


hasshya=departure of a vehicle  jikoku=time    yukisaki (also ikisaki)=destination  noriba=place for boarding  vehicles

Our destination was Shinjo, where we would change to a bullet train.


Taking the 11:45 train to Shinjo!


Goodbye for now, Sakata City!


This train is bound south to Niigata City.  We used to take this train when we lived in Narita.  The scenery along the ocean is just breathtaking.




We took a regular train to Shinjo, a small city nestled deep in the mountains.  We had to wait an hour there before boarding the bullet train to Fukushima City.  I walked around and found this bookstore.


Look at that book in the middle.  “Good Night, Good Night Construction Site” was picked slimy and wet from a slush pile and now graces bookstores even in Shinjo City!  Amazing.  Read more about this here.