My train was about 20 minutes late pulling into Morioka station in Iwate prefecture. It snowed the entire way from Aomori station, which caused the train to be slower than normal. When I originally bought my return ticket home, I thought that 10 minutes between my planned arrival at the station and the departure on the Touhoku shinkansen would be enough, but I didn’t count on the weather delay.

Luckily, the shinkansen was delayed because it was waiting for my train and its other connecting trains. But all of the other passengers were running for the train and I was carrying my luggage and my omiage; a bottle of high grade sake made in Aomori, and a large Aomori crab. Needless to say, it was a pain in the ass changing trains.

But I finally managed to get on the train. It was crowded. And we took off.

It was snowing pretty hard. I had a window seat but could see anything out the window. The snow was falling and we were going at over 100 kilometers an hour. The scenery was the same as on my way to Aomori, nothing but white landscape and snow from Morioka to Sendai in Miyagi prefecture.

Although I did see a few karasu in some of the fields. It was on a Wednesday, so they weren’t attacking Tokyo like on Mondays and Thursdays.

As we sped into Fukushima prefecture, the snow stopped and by the time we made it to Tochigi prefecture and Utsunomiya station, the sky was blue and there was not a sign of snow. Relief. Shortly thereafter, as we got ever close and closer to Tokyo, the sun started to set. Truthfully, it shone brightly and hurt my eyes so I was kinda pissed that people didn’t close their blinds on the windows.

About 15 minutes before arriving at Tokyo station, I got a mail on my cell phone from my friend that I had stayed with in Aomori. She wondered if my return was going well. In the middle of writing a reply, I looked out the window to gather my thoughts. And there it was. Mount Fuji at sunset… and an absolutely fabulous view at sunset. I could also see the Tokyo Tower and all of the famous skyscrapers in downtown Tokyo like the Tokyo Metropolitan building. It was truly a spectacular view.

However, eventually as we got further into Tokyo, unfortunately the buildings around us blocked the view of the sunset and Mt. Fuji.

I finally arrived back where I started at Tokyo station after riding another 7 hours in trains. Nothing better to do and laden with heavy packages, I went home. I cracked open my bottle of Aomori sake and ate my crab.

The Shinkansen at sunset
Friday night was filled with men
Wrapped in gray polyester
Drinking Asahi Super "Dry"
Dreaming dreams like mine
And the pink of Shinagawa
And the blue of Yokohama
And the black sky of Nagoya
Grew brighter every minute
As the dreams switched on
To keep the rooftops burning
Like stars that didn't want to fall.

I kissed her in the alley
And coaxed her in a cubbyhole
Suspended in the sky
I loved her in the morning
And in the afternoon
And kissed her cheek goodbye
And rushed off through the wicket
For the Shinkansen at sunset
For the starship back to Earth.

The Shinkansen at sunset
Lumbers slowly overhead
Taro's drunk and Jiro's laughing
Skinny girls are hauling trademarks
Someone's selling a massaji
While my throat is wet with wine
And my heart is dragging backwards
And I wish that seat were mine.

But she'll call me in the evening
Tell me nothing of her troubles
Tell me all the world is bullshit
When she tells me I'm the one
I'll wave goodbye in Ginza
Make my way through neon lights
Then the Shinkansen at sunset
Then the starship through the night
She'll be waiting by the exit sign
And we'll have one more night.

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