My sister invited me to a hot spring trip to Shin-Tamagawa in Tazawako, Akita. This place is well known in Japan to eliminate illnesses especially cancer. This trip is not an ordinary holiday, it is more like getting treatment. But this is a trip we both look forward to every year and try and have some fun together.
How to get there?
To get to Shin-Tamagawa Hotspring we took the bullet train from Tokyo station. This is the train ride Tazawako Station.
Going on a bullet train in Japan is a fun experience. It is an expensive option but sometimes it is more handy to arrive at a station then an airport. The train ride from Tokyo to Tazawako was 3.0 hours and a further 1.5 hours on the bus to Shin-Tamagawa.
Getting the Shinkansen
There are more then 500,000 people going through Tokyo station each day. So getting around Tokyo station can be a bit scary. But if you keep calm and look up at the sign you can easily find your way around. At Tokyo station there are two main Shinkansen entrances one going north and the other going south. I went through the north entrance to get the Red Komachi Shinkansen which takes me to Tazawako, Akita.
Inside the Shinkansen
This time my sister booked us in for the “Green Car” seats which were slightly more spacious then the regular seats. Each seat came with AC plugs, recliner seats and foot rest. I was lucky to have no one sit next to me so I had both seats to myself. It was such a comfortable ride and 3 hours went by quickly.
Ekiben – Railway Bento
Before I got on the Shinkansen I quickly bought an “Ekiben” at Tokyo Station. An “Ekiben” is a railway bento. You can buy these bentos from the station or on the shinkansen. Ekiben’s will be an excellent way to experience the bento culture and local delicacies. I bought a salmon, tuna and salmon roe ekiben for 1000yen. The fish was from the Tsukiji Fish Market and it was very very delicious.
Going through Sendai
Half way through the train ride we stopped at Sendai. You may heard of Sendai when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit the coast in 2011. I think everyone in this world can never forget the scenes from the tsunami and cannot imagine what it must have been like. Till this day we pray for those people that have been affected.
Arrived at Tazawako Station
After 3 hours we finally arrived at Tazawako station. There is nothing much at the station besides a few cafes and souvenir shops. From here we took a bus to Shin-Tamagawa Hotspring where our cancer treatment begins.