SMS and I went to Misawa Air Force Base last week so that I could see an ENT clinic and perform some surgeries. Professionally, it was a nice trip. It’s a remote little place but people are very collegial. I saw a lot of consults and performed 8 small procedures- 6 tubes, 1 tube removal and 1 turbinate reduction. So, it wasn’t a week that will be featured on the hit show, “The Glamorous Lives of ENT Surgeons,” but it was nice to help out and address a big backlog.
Misawa is always described as so far from Yokosuka, but it was only 5 hours away by train and Shinkansen. SMS and I were burdened down with two suitcases, one exclusively dedicated to medical equipment and home sleep study machines. Unfortunately, the seats on the Shin were sold out but we were lucky enough (ha, ha) to get standing seats. The standing seats are assigned between specific cars and while it wasn’t terrible, it was definitely not great. Standing that long on a train isn’t much fun and I couldn’t even act like a kid and sit on the floor because it was covered in freshly spilled beer. (Hey! Not ours! It was there when we got on!).
When we arrived in Hachinohe, we went to a restaurant in the train station for dinner. We said, in our finest Japanese, “We’ll have the most expensive set on the menu!!” Well, what really happened is we saw the food the people next to us had and ordered their set, the Aomori set. While it was the most expensive set on the menu, it was totally awesome! There was miso soup, rice, pickled vegetables, salmon roe, fish and a cool scallop shell on a sterno cooking stove with the most delicious seafood soup. Yum! It hit the spot and since the most expensive item on the menu was still only Y2000, we thought it was totally worth it.
We got to the Misawa Inn, which smelled really badly. I voted for moldy while SMS voted for old throw-up on the carpet. Either way, it was definitely the low of the week. Things picked up on the weekend when we stayed in the orthopedic surgeon’s house after he left town for his own TDY.
The rest of the visit can pretty much be summarized in two posts: Misawa Eats and Aomori Weekend since the highlights of the trip focus on what we ate and what we did over the weekend we were there. Coming soon!