A beautiful little town tucked on the bread line of Aomori City, technically speaking according to the ‘important people’ it is in the city, but it’s pretty far out and really nothing like the/a ‘city’. It’s beautifully peaceful, a gem of a town to be able to take a 15minute train journey to. It is a picturesque little village…with plenty of cute smiling old grannies.
I had found a café in the Aomori ‘café book’ and this was essential the moral of our trip, but it blossomed into much more. Arriving into the train station a friend who works there was not only delighted about visitors but she was brimming with helpful tips. Free rental bikes, maps and recommendations in hand we set about on a bike-road trip of Namioka. First stop was the ‘Castle’, turns out there is actually no castle, but it was deadly anyways, we caught the end of the sakura which was beautiful. It was pretty much just a really nice hill. Still one should never expect a big castle in such a small idyllic little spot, what were we thinking? I stupidly actually had an image of Hirosaki castle in my head, way over-imagined that one!
We biked then to ‘Haru’ café followed by a very bizarre onsen experience. It consisted of one ridiculously hot pool, which made me go extremely red, extremely fast, along with several head rushes. This was surrounded by a few wash spots which were all taken up by gossiping obachans when we walked in. Even though you strip naked and stomp around among plenty of other nakeders I have never actually felt awkward at an onsen, but I felt a liiiiiiitle awkward here. There was no-where to hide or shelter from the gawking grannies. Myself and Sonomi had to share a little wash bucket when one became free and I genuinely could not get into the actually bath, it was unbearably hot. So I did get in, eventually, after some serious coaxing from Sonomi and followed by a cold splash before changing I can safely safe I felt amazing! So turns out when things are awkward or uncomfortable over-hot you must persist and you will be rewarded a glorious glow.
Namioka is a lovely little spot.