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New year in Fukuoka and journey back to Tokyo

Written on: Sunday January 1st, 2012

A journal entry from: November 2011 until...

I have heard that you should start as you mean to continue. Fairly appropriate then that for New Year ringing in the new year means a lot of polite queuing - first to throw money (literally) at a temple and then to throw money (a little more figuratively) at special new year rice cake (mochi) vendors. Both queues were about an hour. It was a late night.

All of the second day of the year was spent on 10 local trains travelling the 1100km back to Tokyo, occasionally seeing the shinkansens (bullet trains) whizzing by, doing the journey in a fraction of the time, but a multiple of the cost.

While the trip down to Fukuoka was great, unfortunately the most memorable part of the journey will be the fact that the overnight 'moonlight nagara' that we were travelling in hit a car on the tracks at about 1 AM. There was a little damage to the train and a delay of a few hours while emergency crews raced to the scene - they left somewhat more slowly, which I'm afraid means that if there were passengers in the car - every indication is that there was (news reports have since confirmed a single driver) - that they didn't need to be rushed to hospital.  News report here - I don't know how long the link will stay current: http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/ann/news/web/html/220103010.html