Tanesashi Beach to Lake Ogawara 種差海岸、小川原湖
Michi-no-eki Hashikami proves to be a very quiet spot with a reasonable toilet. There is a lot of parking space some in the shade. We leave before the Road Station is open and head for Tanesashi Beach, but stop to buy frozen drinks from the Lawson on the other side of the main road. These are useful to keep the cooler box cold. We also take the opportunity to dump our rubbish. Tohoku is bad in this respect as even the drink vending machines do not have the usual rubbish bins.
On to Tanesashi Beach, which is not the stretch of sand littered with semi-naked humanity I had expected but rather a grassy expanse rolling down to a rocky shore with a smattering of pine woods. This provides a very pleasant walk. It is shady and coolish in the 30 degree heat before 9.30am. There are splendid views of the rocky coast and abundant flowers.
Hasshoku Centre 八食センター
Moving slowly up the coast road enjoying the scenery to a lighthouse which we don’t visit. Then back into Hachinohe to the Hasshoku Centre for Ikura (salmon roe), uni (sea-urchin) and hotate （scallops) donburi. This is very good as it is peak uni season. the fish market is cheap but the food is not. It is very good but it is not cheap.
After lunch, we check the michi-no-eki Misawa. This is a huge complex with horses and other attractions. It is not very good for shachuhaku. The main Road Station is at the top of a hill and the shachuhaku parking and 24 hour toilet are, by the post office, at the bottom. This is some distance.
Ogawara Lake 小川湖
Lake Ogawara is our next stop. This is a pleasant lake that has free camping though no one is taking advantage of the offer and the cooking facilities are in poor condition. Here you can swim in the lake and fish(?) for shijimi shellfish but only with your bare hands. No rakes or similar tools allowed.
Suimei Onsen 水明温泉
Nearby is Suimei onsen where we stop for a necessary bath. This appears to be used mainly by local people and is not in anyway flashy. The taps are basic, having no auto function and the baths are rectangular and tiled. No soap or shampoo is provided but at 250 yen it is a good regular bath. Most of the time I was alone but did not linger as really it was too hot especially the outside bath. D. enjoyed the outside bath on the women’s side so that was probably cooler.
Back at the lake we sit and watch the sun go down and then move to michi-no- eki Lake Ogawara. This has good parking and a modern toilet. As a long goods train rumbles by we realize it is also close to the railway but this does not become a nuisance.
michi-no-eki Lake Ogawara ; elevation 10m
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.