Day   Seeing / Using Places Where Note


Route Map
6-Oct Sun

Michigan Flyer



Trip time: 0:45

Ann Arbor to Detroit Metro Airport
    Air Canada DTW → YYZ AC 7364

Trip time: 1:12

Detroit to Toronto
    Air Canada YYZ → YVR AC 121 Vancouver
Trip time: 5:15
Toronto to Vancouver
    Skytrain YVR → AirBnB

Trip time: 0:22

Today's travels: 11:22

Air BnB in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver
7-Oct Mon Eco-Cities Simon Fraser University Vancouver

Sustainable housing project

Simon Fraser University:
New sustainable housing

Simon Fraser University new housing

8-Oct Tue Eco-Cities Strathcona Vancouver

Sustainable social housing

Modular sustainable social housing
corner of Terminal Avenue and Main street

Modular sustainable social housing



Metro Vancouver government

Metro Vancouver Council Chamber: where grand plans are made and growth boundaries enforced

Metro Vancouver Council Chamber


9-Oct Wed Eco-Cities Canada Place Vancouver EcoCities World Summit 2019

EcoCities World Summit 2019

10-Oct Thu Eco-Cities Canada Place Vancouver

EcoCities World Summit 2019

Canada Place

EcoCities World Summit 2019
11-Oct Fri Eco-Cities Canada Place Vancouver

Vancouver at night

Canada Place looks like a large ship
Vancouver Canada Place at night
12-Oct Sat Skytrain
local Vancouver

City Hall; Oakridge redevelopment site;

Oakridge redevelopment site: vision

Oakridge redevelopment site: now

Oakridge redevelopment site vision

Oakridge redevelopment site

    Amtrak Cascades VAC → SEA Seattle


(Pacific Station)



(King Street Station)

Trip time 2:35

Route Map
13-Oct Sun King County Metro Advent Anglican Church Seattle

and Eden Martin

14-Oct Mon AirBnB Capitol Hill Seattle Roy Street Commons Roy Street Commons
15-Oct Tue King County Metro   Seattle

"This is why nobody takes the bus..."
- Eden Martin

Transit exchange at University of Washington

Transit exchange at University of Washington
16-Oct Wed Amtrak Coast Starlight


Trip time: 20:30


Seattle to Sacramento Western Oregon from the train window Western Oregon
17-Oct Thu Amtrak Coast Starlight SEA → SAC Amtrak Sacramento

Golden One Center →


Golden sunset over California State Capitol →→

Sacramento Golden 1 CenterSacramento Capitol at sunset
18-Oct Fri San Mateo SMART Sacramento Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit
19-Oct Sat Rail Passengers Association   Sacramento Passenger cars at California State Rail Museum, Sacramento Passenger cars at California State Rail Museum, Sacramento
    Wedding Nett+Aaron Livermore A ring for Aaron A ring for Aaron
20-Oct Sun Rail Passengers Association SAC → RIC → Market Str Sacramento

[The Salesforce] Transbay Terminal north corner: Beale Street at The North Cut

Transbay Terminal going up

Transbay Terminal part of rooftop park

Transbay Terminal ground floor bus bays

TransbayTerminal north corner: Beale Street at The North Cut Transbay Terminal going up Transbay Terminal part of rooftop park

Transbay Terminal ground floor bus bays

    Transbay Terminal Market St → RIC → SAC San Francisco
21-Oct Mon Rail Passengers Association California High Speed Rail construction Central Valley

California High Speed Rail construction site visit

Viaduct #203 and San Joaquin River bridge
(pardon the selfie ;-)

California High Speed Rail construction site visit
22-Oct Tue Amtrak Capitol Corridor SAC → RIC


Trip time: 1:26

Suisun Sunrise from Amtrak Capitol Corridor train #525 Suisun Sunrise from Amtrak Capitol Corridor train #525

Bay Area

Trip time: 1:15


    All Nippon Air SFO → NRT In flight Farewell to San Francisco Bay Area
(and North America)
Farewell to San Francisco Bay Area (and North America)
23-Oct Wed All Nippon Air  

In flight

Flight time: 11:10

    Keisei Skyliner

NRT → (Keisei) Ueno

Trip time: 1:05


Sacramento to Ueno: 34:22

Keisei Ueno Station, Skyliner arriving Keisei Ueno Station, Skyliner arriving
24-Oct Thu JR East

Ueno → Kawasaki

Trip time: 0:26


Kawasaki Air BnB

Windows on the second floor of this funny yellow triangular building are for the bedroom and kitchen of the Air BnB. First floor is a Nepali/Indian restaurant. Best nan I've had anywhere!


Kawasaki Solid Square Office Complex


Directly across the street from the funny little yellow building where I stayed.

Kawasaki Air BnBKawasaki Solid Square Office Complex
25-Oct Fri Keikyu Railway Yokohama Kawasaki

Kawasaki: Keikyu Railway

Keikyu corporation owns building, restaurant and train. Keikyu Kawasaki Station is just out of sight to the right.


Kawasaki: Keikyu Railway building, restaurant and train
26-Oct Sat Keikyu Railway Tsurumi Pool Kawasaki

Kawasaki JR Station main concourse →

JR East owns the building and the seven-story shopping mall to the east; the elegant Hotel Metropolitan Kawasaki to the southeast, and JR Kawasaki business hotel to the west.

Kawasaki JR Station main concourse
27-Oct Sun walk Kawasaki Shoutai Church Kawasaki

Kawasaki Tama Riverbank

Japan's homelessness problem is not as severe as in the US and Canada, but the homeless are just as sad. There are severe penalties for panhandling. This encampment in the Tama River recreation area is nearly invisible from the adjointing street,


Kawasaki Tama Riverbank
28-Oct Mon JR East Shibuya Kawasaki

Kawasaki Dai-ichi Shinto temple

Very recently built in the Hindu style, this is part of a much larger temple, monastery and Shinto/Buddhist studies center. It is most famous for its annual spring fertility festival which attracts participants from around the world.

Kawasaki Dai-ichi Shinto temple
29-Oct Tue walk Meeting at Shoutai Kawasaki  

SuperView Odoriko train at Izu Shimoda

Route Map


30-Oct Wed JR East + Izukyu Shimoda + Sennin Kanaya Onsen Kawasaki

SuperView Odoriko train at Izu Shimoda

From Kawasaki to Shimoda is about 2.5 hours on this handsome train, named "Super View Odoriko". Odoriko is a type of folk-dancer.

Shimoda is one of the three Japanese ports "opened" by Commodor Matthew Perry in 1854. There is a nice exhibit with models of Perry's flotilla of "black ships".

31-Oct Thu JR Central Shinkansen

Shinagawa → Nagoya

Trip time: 2:04

Nagoya From Tokyo's Shinagawa station to Nagoya is about 1.5 hours by Shinkansen. Route Map
1-Nov Fri JR Central Tsurumai Park Nagoya

Sunset over Nagoya from the Marriott Asocia Hotel

The Nagoya area compares in population with the San Francisco Bay area, and is the "Detroit" of Japan for auto manufacturing.


Sunset over Nagoya
2-Nov Sat JR Central Shinkansen Nagoya → Shin-Osaka Hikari 469 Shin-Osaka Nagoya to Shin-Osaka is a little under an hour by Shinkansen. Route Map
3-Nov Sun JR West Shin-Osaka to Osaka-Tennoji   Short hop via JR West Airport Express Route Map
    JR West

Tennoji → Wakayama

The trip from Tennoji to Kii-Katsura would ordinarily take 3:43 and not have been broken at Wakayama Thanks to misunderstanding with JR West staff, I got on the wrong train.
    JR West

Wakayama → Kii-Katsuura

Instead, I arrived at Kii-Katsuura 6 hours and 43 minutes later.

Wakayama costline

from the next "Kuroshio" train, three hours later.


Wakayama costline
    Walk, ferry

Katsuura → Urashima

Kii Katsuura

At the magnificent Urashima resort complex, Kii-Katsuura. View at dawn from the room

The resort features hot-spring bathing in a cave that opens up onto the Pacific.

The magnificent Urashima resort complex. View from the room
4-Nov Mon rideshare Nachi falls  

Four-level pagoda and Nachi Falls. →

A well-known ancient Japanese spiritual center. Many worship the spirit of the waterfall.

(This picture is found on hundreds of tourist brochures and Web pages...but promise I really took this one myself!)

Five-level pagoda and Nachi Falls
    JR West Kii-Katsuura → Osaka-Tennoji


Urashima resort

This is only half of the complex. The rest lies at the foot of the hill to the left (north). The hot-spring and caves are on the far side of the hill (east) facing the Pacific Ocean.

Urashima Resort
    JR West Osaka-Tennoji → Shin-Osaka



Wakayama countryside at sunset

Wakayama countryside
5-Nov Tue walk Air BnB, laundry Shin-Osaka

Shin-Osaka station east side

The Air BnB where I stayed is quite close on the left-hand side.

Shin-Osaka station east side
6-Nov Wed JR West, Kobe Railway Woody Town Shin-Osaka

Woody Town Central Station

Woody Town is briefly mentioned in a 1997 video by Ron McElrath as a community planned around the railway station. By 2019, it has become pretty auto-oriented. It's in a largely rural area about an hour northwest of Kobe.

Woody Town Central Station

Umeda Sky Building

As is my custom when visiting Osaka, I made a night-time pilgrimage to this fascinating buiilding, designed by Hiroshi Hara.

Umeda Sky Building
7-Nov Thu JR Central Shinkansen Shin-Osaka → Nagoya Nagoya

Nagoya University Hospital


Nagoya Tsurumi Park Fountain Tower →→

Nagoya University HospitalNagoya Tsurumi Park Fountain Tower
8-Nov Fri JR Central Shinkansen

Nagoya → Tokyo


Trip time: 4:27 including 40 minute layover in Tokyo


Route Map

    JR East Shinkansen Tokyo → Sendai


I call this the "Harry Potter" house because, like Harry, it was the only one to survive the wrath that killed every one else. (In Harry's case, Voldemort's killing spell; in the house's case, the tsunami of 2011-03-11.) Both retain the scars. I visit the devastated area and check on this house whenever I come to Sendai.

Natori: The House the Survived


Survival House
9-Nov Sat Sendai Airport Transit Natori Sendai

Natori coastal remediation

Eight and a half years after the tsunami struck this cost, remediation continues.

Natori coastal remediation
10-Nov Sun JR Hokkaido Shinkansen Sendai → Shin-Hakodate Trip time: 2:26

Sendai to Hakodate* by Shinkansen

* technically "Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto" station

Sendai to Sapporo
    JR Hokkaido Limited Express Shin-Hakodate → Sapporo


Trip time: 3:40

In 1640 Koma-ga-take exploded, blowing its top 1/3 into the air, causing abnormal weather and contributing to famine that killed up 100,000 in Japan. From this angle we can look directly into the blasted caldera.


Sendai to Sapporo: 6:06

Hakodate* to Sapporo by high-tech diesel express

Volcano Hokkaido Koma-ga-take seen from Super Hokuto Limited Express

Most people traveling to Sapporo choose to fly. This view illustrates so clearly why I take the train.

Volcano Komagatake seen from Super Hokuto Limited Express

11-Nov Mon walk Hokkaido University Sapporo Morning rainbow over Sapporo. Morning rainbow over Sapporo
12-Nov Tue JR Hokkaido Limited Express Sapporo → Kushiro Trip time: 4:26

Sapporo - Kushiro - Nemuro

A strange thing happened on the way to Nemuro: the express from, Sapporo left 45 minutes late! So I missed the connection to the local train to Nemuro.

Sapporo - Kushiro - Nemuro
    JR Hokkaido local Kushiro → Nemuro


Trip time: 2:31

Sapporo to Nemuro including layover in Kushiro: 7:03

Kushiro Bridge Maidens

From the station, Kushiro has a very unappealing, rather gritty look. Due to missing the Nemuro local, I had time to walk into the city as far as the Nusamai Bridge over the Kushiro River. It soon became clear that the City of Kushiro is doing its best to be attractive.

These are two of the four statues of women, by women sculptors, representing the four seasons. (I don't know which seasons these two represent.)

Kushiro Bridge Maiden 1Kushiro Bridge Maiden 2
13-Nov Wed JR Hokkaido local Nemuro → Kushiro Trip time: 2:29

Nemuro Town

Lake Akkeshi

Oboro region


Nemuro Town
Lake Akkeshi
Oboro region

    JR Hokkaido Limited Express Kushiro → Minami Chitose Trip time: 3:43 (no photos this time)
    JR Hokkaido Limited Express Minami Chitose → Hakodate


Trip time: 3:10

Nemuro to Hakodate: 6:51

(no photos this time)
14-Nov Thu JR Hokkaido Hakodate Liner Hakodate-Shin → Hakodate Trip time: 0:19   Route Map
    JR Hokkaido Shinkansen Shin-Hakodate → Tokyo Trip time: 4:26  
    JR Central Shinkansen Tokyo → Shin-Osaka Trip time: 2:53

Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji) was trainling a long veil of cloud or snow in an otherwise perfect sky.

Another great illustration of why it's worth the time to take the train.

    JR West Special Rapid Shin-Osaka → Akashi


Trip time: 0:44

Hakodate to Akashi: 9:24



Air BnB


Akashi Castle (as reconstructed)

This from the Akashi JR Station platform, just as a golden sunset illuminated wall and guard towers.

Akashi Castle
15-Nov Fri walk Air BnB Honimachi Fish-eye view of the well-appointed Air BnB apartment where I stayed on the 4th floor (but no elevator!). Air BnB
16-Nov Sat walk Air BnB Honimachi

Tower of the obervatory-planetarium on the 135th meridian. Now a museum and working planetarium, it served as the official time-keeper of Japan.

The fountains adorn the remains of the castle moat.

Akashi Planetarium
17-Nov Sun walk Akashi Christ Church Honimachi North Castle Guard Tower Akashi Castle North Guard Tower
18-Nov Mon JR West Special Rapid Akashi → Shin-Osaka


Trip time: 0:43

    JR Central Shinkansen Shin-Osaka → Tokyo Trip time: 2:54
    JR East Shinkansen Tokyo → Sendai Trip time: 1:32
Akashi to Sendai: 5:31

Coastal tsunami remediation (again): no more houses in this zone. Instead, a forest, protected by lattice barriers, is being planted.


Natori forest restoration
19-Nov Tue Sendai Airport Transit Natori


Best translation I could get of the sign:

Citizen's Forest
Miyagi Sea Forest Restoration
Multi-Use Forest for the Benefit of All
Resulting in 89.98 hectares
@OISUKA Public Foundation
Natori City Coastal Reforestation Association
Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture

20-Nov Wed JR East Shinkansen Sendai → Tokyo

Sendai → Kawasaki

Trip time: 1:32

Kawasaki Cittadella

Charming restaurant and entertainment zone in downtown Kawasaki.

Kawasaki Cittadella
    JR East Tokyo → Kawasaki (Tokaido to Odawara)


Trip time: 0:16

Kawasaki Cittadella

Club Città, a live performance venue

Kawasaki Cittadella
21-Nov Thu JR East Kawasaki → Shinagawa Trip Time 0:16   Route Map
    JR East Narita Express Shinagawa → Narita Trip time: 1:03  
    ANA 12 NRT → ORD


Trip time: 11:40

    ANA 5654 = United Express ORD → DTW


Trip time: 1:27

  Route Map
    Michigan Flyer DTW → ARB

Ann Arbor

Trip time: 0:45

    RETURN Lyft Ypsilanti