Yokohama michi no eki was busy from dawn. From first light people were gathering and by 7am two busloads of baseball teams were overwhelming the facilities.
Mutsu Bay Coast Road to Hotokegaura and Ooma
We have to catch a ferry from Ooma at 1:00 pm so this gives us enough time to take the coast road (R.338) via Wakinosawa and Hotokegaura. This road has a bad reputation and most people avoid it. This seems to me overcautious as almost all the way to Hotokegaura it is two-way traffic. It even has a centre line, so it is merely, bendy. Initially, this route passes a natural harbour formed by a huge sand spit at Ominato along Mutsu Bay. This is home to numerous naval vessels.
There is also almost no traffic even on a sunny Sunday and, as Hotokegaura is a fantastic spot not to be missed, it is well worth taking this scenic road. Contrary to my own advice, we do not stop at Hotokegaura , much as we want to. But we have been here before and have a ferry to catch.
We do make a brief stop at Sai. It from here that people take boat trips to view Hotokegaura. Certainly, the buses stop here, and I suspect so do most people to avoid the road. The myth of the terrible, dangerous road is probably propagated by the boat operators. Many tourists, I suspect, want to avoid the quite hard walk and steep cliff at Hotokegaura. So the boat trip is the preferred option. .
Ferry from Ooma to Hakodate
From Ooma we take the ferry to Hokkaido. The vessel is new, and the on-deck space seems more restricted than on our previous crossing 3 years ago. On this route, for most of the year, I don’t suppose people spend much time on deck.
Oonuma Greenpia onsen
From Hakodate we drive to Oonuma Greenpia for a bath. This is a very large, unadorned, featureless, plain, clean facility. It lacks character, but is an excellent place to get clean. From the bath on to our michi no eki You Yu Mori for the night.
＊Greenpia Oonuma onsen ; 500 yen / adult (Sodium-bicarbonate spring)
The author is a long term resident of Japan who has and continues to travel the country extensively. Avoiding highways where possible, the author has driven from Kagoshima in Kyushu to Wakanai in Hokkaido covering 20,000 plus kilometres and counting.