I HAD a nice night last night drinking with my Dad in the lobby of our hotel at Akita, and watching kids get ready for the Kanto festival in August, and eating some ramen in the mall. As I fell to sleep up in my room on the 13th floor I could hear the clickety-clack of trains at the station, which is always a nice sound when you are on vacation. Especially a railroad vacation. We were on a trip by rail across northern Japan in the wake of the tsunami and nuclear meltdown, and perhaps the biggest day of the journey had dawned. Today my Mum had planned for us to get a train over to Aomori on the Pacific coast, and then head north, to Hokkaido. The first leg of the trip was to cross back over the spine of Honshu, which we had tunneled underneath yesterday, to Moiroka. It was a lightly overcast day, and the scenery in the Akita Ken was superb. Thankfully I worked out how to turn off the flash on my mother's camera, and began to take photos sans the atomic bomb window glow. Mountains, wooded hills, piggeries and sawdust mills passed us by. Pink blossoms in bloom, and feathery white clouds in the sky... it felt great to be back in Japan! ..