Jū – Heading North
I found my allocated seat and settled in for the two hour flight. Beside me was a young Japanese woman. We had plenty of space, both being of slight build; I often wonder how uncomfortable it must be for taller and larger travellers. As soon as we were airborne I could feel my attention wilting but managed to stay awake for the safety message, conveyed in both Japanese and English. After that, my eyelids were no match for the drone of the engines.
A Wintry Patchwork
I did wake up at one point over the stretch of ocean that separates Honshu from Hokkaido. I saw steel blue water water, flecked with white caps. Before dozing off again and now over land, I saw tiny snow-coated fields in subtle shades of soft greys and whites, interrupted by the dull bleakness of hills. A flash of sunlight reflected iridescent threads of water and accentuated the jagged charcoal lines of roads. I stretched my weary legs and wiggled my toes, enjoying the sensation of peacefulness, high above the clouds. My nose twitched at the enticing smell of hot coffee.
A smooth landing at Sapporo and there I was with luggage in tow. My only task that of locating the bus stop for my trip to Asahikawa.
With time in hand, I homed in on a pair of vending machines and picked up a hot coffee. Then visited another konbini to collect my next snack. Ah… onigiri and a chocopan! About NZ$5.00 in total.
(If you’re curious about Japanese breads, check this site out! For those of you who learnt French all those years ago at school, you’ll recognise the word ‘pan’ for bread. (French = pain, pronunciation is the same).