Hanako drove us to the station and saw us off at the shinkansen gates. We got off at Nagoya and changed to one that stopped at Toyohashi. Yukiyo and her husband and daughter were there to greet us. They drove us, for about twenty minutes, to an Italian place called “Cannery Row”. It was pizza/pasta, with a salad buffet. The food was really good – too much for us at lunchtime.

They accompanied us on to the platform and waited until we pulled out. Yukiyo had given us some tie-dyed handkerchiefs that she had made herself, plus some prints.

We changed again, at Shizuoka, and got off in Tokyo. We then walked straight on to a local train for Ueno. We had to ask twice to find the New Izu hotel, but there were no problems. The room is small, but adequate. We seem to keep falling on our feet with locations. The Lonely Planet writer for this section must have been a chain-smoking Pom on drugs – the entry says there is little here except for one cruddy Pommy bar filled with cigarette smoke. Ueno actually has plenty of nice cafes and bars, and we went to one, called Kirin City, with relatively cheap drinks, and nice food. The streets are alive with people at night.


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