Sea of Japan – Rei Harakami さようなら

Taking the express from Murakami to Shin-Aomori, along the Sea of Japan. Absolutely fantastic scenery. Would love to come back with a motorcycle and tour the coastal roads. This is the same video as I uploaded previously, but now with music added.

I had a new little camcorder I wasn’t familiar with, and didn’t know that when I paused in recording mode, it ended and started a new video every time I “un-paused” the camera. So I ended up with collection of snippets of video taken between tunnels, mixed in with longer snippets that had the tunnels. I finally downloaded some free editing software that works with MP4s (Avidemux), edited out the tunnels, and pasted all the snippets together. My first time using this software, and really, my first time ever editing video.

This video would have been a bit longer had I not made a classic foreigner mistake: I got on the wrong train. Leaving the Niigata station, I asked a station employee (in my best tourist Japanese) for the next train to Shin-Aomori. What I should have asked for was the next *express* train to Shin-Aomori. Instead, I ended up on a local to the nearly desolate town of Shibata. There, I walked around and killed time for an hour waiting for the next local out. Once at the next stop in Murakami, I was able – after waiting another hour – to get on an express to Shin-Aomori. The two hours of waiting and the slower local trains meant I had to take the overnight from Shin-Aomori to Hakodate, but that worked out okay in the end. The route goes under the sea between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, and coupled with my exhaustion, I had no trouble sleeping across the seats in the unreserved car. I was in Yubari the next morning, had a shower and was ready for another day of adventure in Japan.

Although I shot the video, I do not own the music. The song is さようなら (goodbye) from Rei Harakami’s わすれもの (forgotten things) CD. Sadly, this was the last song on the last CD he recorded. Mr. Harakami suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage in July, 2011. His music can still be purchased through, or through iTunes.

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