Generic Aizuwakamatsu thingies

Aizuwakamatsu is another one of those slow-moving cities. One where you go to because you need some slowing down. And slow down I did. I left Niigata around 9 AM, and entered Aizuwakamatsu station after 6 PM. How did this happen? We'll come to that. First, let me tell you…

Niigata and its Niigata-ness

Niigata is a city on the north coast of Japan, sort-of in the middle east-west-wise. It's a medium-sized city and it shows. All the conveniences of a Japanese city are there, but none of the insanity of a city like Tokyo. Niigata can be traversed by bicycle, by bus, or…

How to visit a gold mine

Japan doesn't exactly scream "visit a gold mine". You'd probably think temples, castles, sushi and giant fighting robots before visiting any kind of mine. But I did it anyway, even though I hadn't seen a giant fighting robot just yet. The trip begins early in the day, and ends fairly…

Wasabi Farm

Just north of Matsumoto, people can visit the very real, working, living, producing Daio Wasabi Farm. If you don't know what wasabi is (and/or were too lazy to click the link), it's the sharp green stuff that's being put in sushi and other Japanese dishes. Wasabi is one of…

Matsumoto Castle

First day in Matsumoto and I find myself doing "not much", which means some walking around and getting to know the layout of the station area a little bit. My hotel is awesome, pretty standard actually. One thing I promised myself, is to go and eat the local specialty: basashi…

Flying like a boss

The money spender in me got a little bit ahead of himself, but boy was it worth it. Finnair flew me from Schiphol to Helsinki to Narita, and I was allowed priority check-in, priority security, and priority boarding. Why? Because business class. Business class is fucking awesome. It's fucking expensive…