Day 1 Osaka – Wakkanai

It’s currently 11:00am and I am sat in a stationary train at Hammamatsu Station. I left my flat at 5:30am this morning and have been on a train since 6:04am precisely. The connections so far have been mere minutes as I scramble to make the next trains. One miss and it would throw off the whole schedule I have to ensure that I reach the destination in 4 days. The weather has been grim so far, and the trains are busy with commuters on this weekday morning. I have been fortunate enough to score a seat each time I board a train. Thankfully I am not tired as of yet despite having travelled for 5 hours now. Hopefully the weather will pick up, giving better views from the train. Once I get past Tokyo, the train will take me through the mountains and onto the coast over by the Sea of Japan, promising better views than the concrete jungle I have been blessed with so far. 


There are so many people going so many places. So many destinations for so many reasons. Taking the train through Tokyo was somewhat bizzare. I have never just taken a train through Tokyo before. I would always go to Tokyo. As expected, Tokyo was busy and commuters came in and out non stop. I luckily had a seat as I managed to get on at the beginning of the line. I finally ended up in Takasaki (the end of the 3-hour line) which gave me a 20 minute break for the toilet and dinner.


It’s now 7:40pm. I didn’t think I would make this train bound for Nagaoka because the train from Takasaki to where I am now (Minakami) was delayed. There was an emergency stop at a railroad crossing as something was blocking the tracks. Thankfully for Japanese railway services, the track was unblocked quickly and we were on our way. It’s now pitch black in the middle of the countryside. I can’t see a thing outside my window except for when the train rolls into a station. Then, I see snow. The temperature is significantly different. I worry for when I finally get to Hokkaido, and even more for when I arrive in Wakkanai. The trains are less busy now even though it’s not even 8pm, but it’s all good. I can relax and finish my book. 


Snow. It’s all I can see other than the darkness outside the window. A sheet of black and white. Some men are nearby and one just got off the train. He’s clearly the boss of some sort as the others stood and bowed until the doors closed and the train moved again. I think I’m starting to feel a little nauseous from the snacks I just ate and from reading on the rocking trains all day. Looking forward to arriving at the first hotel in another 3hrs. 


Currently on my last train for today. It’s an old, retro train. Heading to the final station, then to my first hotel for the night. Up again early tomorrow at 5am for another day heading north! Goodnight. 

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