Ferry to Sendai
After a smooth night on the Taiheiyo ferry we arrive in Sendai at 10am. We carried our food and beverages (Thank you Seicomart) but this ferry line, I think, offers a better food selection than the Maizuru line. There is boiling water and a microwave available if you want to avoid the pricey restaurants.
Shichikashuku and Tsuchiyu michi no eki
Once off the ferry, we make for Shichikashuku on Route 113. This is a pleasant enough michi no eki, but it is not exactly on the dam lake as we were expecting. There is an adjoining park plus a park golf course and at the end, furthest away from the michi no eki building, there are excellent picnic spots overlooking the lake or down by it, if you step over the fence.
After lunch, we head back and into Fukushima city to pick up supplies before the drive to Ura Bandai. We have been here before, but it is an area that bears repeating. On the way we stop at Tsuchiyu michi no eki where, tempted by the sunshine I, unusually, have a soft cream. A big mistake as it is not creamy just ice and sugar.
We wanted to go Mt. Azuma (Jyodo daira) by way of the Bandai-Azuma Line from the Tsuchiyu Pass. We were unable to complete this route the last time we came this way. Then, the road was closed due to a landslide, the result of a recent typhoon. We were able to reach Jyodo daira but could not go down the Fukushima side. This time we could not approach Jyodo daira, from the Fukushima side, as there had been an eruption of Mt.Azuma.
Ura Bandai michi no eki
Our choice for the night is Ura Bandai michi no eki. This is a good place and we have stayed here before. It was our choice in mid-summer because the height meant it was cooler . The toilet is a bit plain but there are rubbish bins and good views of Lake HIbara from the observation tower.
As it is still early, we walk around the area before settling down for the night. We want to get a view of Bandai in the late afternoon sun.
As we walk, we surprise a fox. It watches us warily for a while before dashing for cover as I try to move a little closer for a better picture. This is the first time to see a fox in Honshu.
When we retire for the night there are only 4 other vehicles staying in this popular area.
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.