[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON May-03-03 AT 08:10PM (EDT)[/font][p]Well, here we are again, having done some very long stretches over Siberia, we will soon find ourselves in Japan, where we can take it easy and not have to worry about where we are going to find our next refueling station. If you missed our last installment, check it out here:
Leg 4 - Petropavlovski to Nakashibetsu
Having made the long 900nm stetch to Petropavlovski, a nice short 750nm stetch to Japan will be nice, even if it going to be many many hours
Ready to take off!
Flying over Avacha Bay that seperates Petropavlovski from the smaller sister town of Kamchatsky.
Flying along the eastern coast, we can already see the wester coast beyond some of the massive volcanos that populate this part of the 'Ring of Fire'
Departing Siberia proper, we find ourselves over the Kuril Islands which we will follow all the way in to Japan
We find ourselves over the last of the Kuril Islands, Kunashir. Thought the Japanese like to pretend this island is theirs, it has in practice been a part of Russia since the end of the Second World War, a spoil of war of sorts. The Kuril Islands have always been a point of contention between the two nations and have traded hands many times over the last two centuries.
We find ourselves over Nakashibetsu, a cute little town found in the middle of a farming area on the extreme edge of Hokkaido. And not a moment too soon. Due to the strong head-winds I encountered the whole time, I land with just 2 gallons of fuel left. I really need to install a gauge for that 55-gallon drum I installed as a new fuel tank back in the middle of no-where Siberia.
Leg 5 - Nakashibetsu to Sapporo
Well, can't stay long, gotta get off to civilisation. Sapporo will be the first place I can really call a 'city' since leaving Anchorage many days ago.
Ready for take off. Even from this low elevation we can see the last of the Kuril Islands. Oh how it must annoy the locals to have to look at that every day and think "Russia!"
A quick fly-over of the town, and the "Milk Road"...
A few of the less impressive volcanos to be found in Hokkaido.
In the middle of Hokkaido we come across the tallest of the unimpressive volcanos, I can't remember the name tho :p
Ah, beautiful Sapporo!
Lining up with the runway takes us past downtown Sapporo and it's cheap Tokyo Tower rip-off :p
And here we are!
We'll rest here for a while. After all we are in Sapporo!
Leg 6 - Sapporo to Niigata
Well, a few days later we will now make our way to Japan Proper.
Just west of Sapporo is the majestic Yotei-san, the "Fuji" of the north.
Beyond that mighty mound we head south over the lake with an island in it, Naka Jima. and on in to Uchiura Wan (bay)...
Japan is a windy place! check out the cross-wind I'm getting..
At sunset we pass over the city of Akita on our way south along the west/north coast of Japan.
A nighttime arival in to Niigata. Now to find a nice hotel.
Leg 7 - Niigata to Matsumoto
At midday we find ourselves ready to leave this beautiful sea-side town in Northern Japan.
Out on to the runway (can you tell this isn't the default scenery?)
And away we go!, we'll head down the coast and on in to the valley that contains the beautiful little city of Matsumoto
But first we've got a Cruise Ship to buzz.
Turning around we make our way over the city of Niigata
The whole area from above.
and on in to the mountains, ahead lies the "Japanese Alps", Nagano, and Matsumoto.
On approach to Matsumoto, one of the stadiums to be found in and around the 'green-belt' that surrounds the airport can be seen off to the right.
Touchdown, off to the left we can see the Yamabiko Dome, a convention center type place.
And here we are in Matsumoto, "Convention City", This third-party scenery recreates many of the cool buildings that surround the airport. This scenery (and the scenery you saw at Niigata) is by Kazuhiro Miyazaki, and can be downloaded at flightsim.com.. A cool map of the area around the airport in Matsumoto can be found on this website:
Next it will be off to Tokyo!
[font color=blue]Sir Mildred Pierce