Magpies and sunlight and glints in the wind. Day Eleven was a long and sometimes pretty, but fairly tedious trip home. It started at 8.30am and finished at about 10pm, if not later. Not because of distance, but the 2.5 stopover in Towadaminami (South Minami), the hour (or was it 1.5?) stop in Odate, the hour in Akita and the hour in Sakata. If I could have caught an earlier train I would have, but it didn't look as if Towadaminami had any hotels to speak of, and I would have got there on the last bus the day previously (about four o'clock) and missed out on the festival. So, it is just one of those prices you pay when using public transport.
The train ride from Towadaminami to Odate runs only in the warmer parts of the year (snow makes it either uneconomical or impossible later). The train guide book I was kind of referring to (mostly talked about shinkansen and limited express, so I used it only as a vague kind of route reference, and for some of the information it had aside from trains) highly recommended this trip. It was half an hour or so, and from a scenery point of view, not bad, but I don't know if it was worth the wait. The bus trip, though, from Towadako to Towadaminami was, climbing the hills and affording a view of the lake from the Akita side of things.
Additionally, I saw a beautiful sunset as the train followed the coastline into Sakata. I guess I wouldn't have seen that at any other time of day. But if you can get the first train of the day, it nearly always pays to do so.