October 11, 2009: I was in Mutsu City in the Shimokita peninsula in Aomori prefecture of northern Japan. As you can see on the map, the top of the red line was my starting point and the end of the line is Noheji city which was my destination. I started out 11:30AM and had to be at Noheji city by 2PM in order to catch a train to Hirosaki City in order to be there by 4:30 at the latest so I could catch a ride with a friend back to Niigata. My friend said he couldn’t wait for me very long, and I certainly didn’t want to inconvenience him. There is a train line running from Mutsu City but it didn’t leave till after 2PM which meant I would miss the train from Noheji if I took it. My only recourse was to hitchhike along the country road that runs along the eastern coast of the Rikuoka Bay.
After walking a good 20 minutes to get to a traffic light going in the right direction, I waited about 20 more minutes for my first ride. Mr. Takatsuka took me 6 kilometers to the main road that runs to Noheji. After that a married couple took me 3 more kilometers down to the next train station. From there a young man driving a pickup truck with a fancy padded interior said he was going to Yokohama. I rejoiced thinking he meant the Yokohama near Tokyo, but it was a different Yokohama, only halfway to Noheji which is about 30 minutes further. The time was 12:45PM. If I could catch the next ride within 10 minutes after getting off at Yokohama, I would make it.
I caught the ride only a couple minutes after leaving the young man. They were two young ladies with a 5 year old boy. The driver was the mother of the boy and the passenger is the driver’s friend. They were going to Misawa city and would pass through Noheji. I asked them what they thought about US President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize but they had no strong opinion. Somehow our conversation got into the deeper things of life. We talked about the stories of the Book of Genesis, why they are true and easier to believe than the delusions of Darwin, and eventually talked about the condition of Mankind and why we need a spiritual savior, Jesus Christ.