The happy couple! We went to Matsushima this weekend. It's far. In fact - it's really far. Matsushima is 380km from by car by main roads. For Canada that's a fair trip, but very do-able. The problem with Japan though, is that main roads are pretty much the same as driving through the middle of a poorly planned city (like St. Catharines). If you think that stretch on Fourth Ave is bad, try 380km of it. We left at about 4:30am Saturday. With one stop on the way for lunch, we arrived at 3:00pm. That's right, 10 hours of traffic lights. Matsushima is supposed to be one of Japans "three must sees". Two things - it's rainy season so it was pretty blah, and as unique as the islands and stone is for Japan it was like Tobermory on a really small scale. Kathy would say it sucked. I got to take some pictures so for me it wasn't so bad. We had planned to stay over night, so to save money, we slept in the back of our car. I actually slept fine, but again - Kathy would say it sucked. The sun came up at 4am, so we got up. Kathy ended up sitting in the car for an hour or two as I took pictures. She would have said it sucked, but it was my birthday so she said she didn't mind. On the way home we bit the bullet and paid the 5,500 yen toll for the expressway. The road is a bit straighter - only 340km and no lights - only 4 hours to get home. Happy birthday to me!