This was a super fun trip, I`d been planning this for ages. There is a video you can watch online about it.
I had to travel to the city of Kuji for this; it’s a little difficult to get to. I went by coach from Morioka because it was SO much cheaper than the train. I stayed at my friends the night before, even though we live in the same prefecture it still takes 2-3 hours to get there.
Our plan was to travel from Kuji to Miyako on the santetsudou, also known as the kotatsu train (if you don’t know what a kotatsu is imagine a bed and a table smooshed into one). It travels down along the Iwate coast line, which is super beautiful, on this day there happened to be a couple re-opening of stations that had been damaged by the Tsunami, the people were waving flags and dressed as mascots. It was pretty great to see how happy they were.
The main highlight of the journey is the Namomi ogres that appear as you travel through one of the longest tunnels before you get to Miyako. They’re a unique version of the Namahage that are famous around Japan (originally from Akita), they punish lazy people who sit under kotatsu’s or scare little kids into behaving better. They wield giant knives called Deba knives and can only be pleased by giving them mocha, a famous Japanese treat.
It was a pretty fun day, I really enjoyed seeing the ocean.
Miyagi Fox Village
I wanted to come here after reading about it online, it sounded so cute! Its not very far from where I live however the travel is a little expensive (to be honest, travel is pretty expensive when you live in Japan). From where I lived a return shinkansen ticket cost me Y15,000 (about 125GPB). Ouch, my wallet. This place is situated in the mountains of Miyagi, in the town of ShiroishiZao. This place is pretty much in the middle of no-where. There is no regular bus so we had to take a taxi up to the Fox Villiage, which cost about Y4,200 (about 35GBP). It`s an expensive day out…
When I arrived the first thing I saw was a giant Gorilla statue (a little weird at first but this is Japan), and then a taxidermy fox.
It was still winter so all the foxes had super fluffy coats. They looked so cute! The black fox in the photo tried to steal our shoes, while we were wearing them!
Parts of the village did make me feel a little uncomfortable however, I couldn`t help but feel that they were seen more as a product, which made me a little sad.