I didn’t leave Shin-Aomori Station until 3pm. Thus, I already knew that this was going to be relatively short ride.
I immediately jumped on HWY 280 that runs parallel with the east coast of the Tsugaru Peninsula. The road runs in a straight line for about 20KM. I ended up jumping over the older road right on the coast after about 10KM.
This road isn’t as smooth, has some ups and downs. However, it offers less traffic and more interesting views of the ocean and the small fishing villages that dot the coastline.
At about 45KM as the sun was setting behind the mountains in the west, I pulled into the village of Tairadate and tried to get a room at the hot spring hotel. Apparently they were booked solid. I tried a minshuku down the road a bit, and they were booked as well
I was about to get a little perturbed when I was told that there was pension house about 1KM further down the road. So down the road I rode. After about 1KM I entered into an impressive grove of pine trees, and just a little further I found Penshion Daiba sitting cozily with its back against the beach.
Even though I’m still not clear as to what differentiates a pension house and a minshuku, I have to say that Penshion Diaba is now one of my favorite places to stay in Japan. It’s a family run operation and the owners are helpful, friendly, and are always smiling.
The building is clean, light and airy with great views of the ocean. The rooms are very spacious (think like studio apartment!), feature in room bathrooms, and WiFi. There’s also a sauna bath area, and a nice little restaurant with a range of seafood treats such as Ika (squid) Burgers, and Uni (sea urchin roe) Dons. The entire place is decorated with hand crafted wooden furniture and colorful art pieces.
My room was JPY 5,500 for the night and included breakfast.
I would have liked to spend a few days at the Penshion Diaba just reading, relaxing, exploring the local area, and perhaps joining one of the local guided fishing excursions. But alas, I needed to get an early start as the next day was going to be a big one.