I went to Osaka and Kyoto the weekend before last, with Anthony on the train and it was pretty awesome :) We met up with one man and one woman and they showed us the fruits of the garden. A little temptation was thrown in too. Kyoto is a beautiful city, but chockablock full of tourists, it was Golden Week though, so it's to be expected. The temples and traditional streets combined with the umbrella shop and the kimono-garnered gals made for some great photos and a fun time. Our own personal tour guide, Kazumi, showed us the Peace Musuem, Osaka Castle, how to get onto trains and where to get off and Namba (I think that's what it was called, the Japanese Time Square/Piccidily Circus) We capsuled it for the weekend, a totemo expensive weekend (right after an Enkai too,) but it was well worth it.
Where to next? Anthony asked. Where to indeed.
The weekend just gone, which was a four day weekend due to the other half of Golden Week, Stephanie and David came to Shodoshima and I drove them around the island, we found a beach where the water was still enough for about eight skims/skips/skimmers before splashing into the clear depths and before that we explored Nishi no Taki (I hope I spelt that right) Lorianne's recommended and favourite temple/place on the island. I can see why she likes it. It's on a mountain, it's beautiful (even if the road up there isn't quite so grand) and it's very quiet and there was a friendly old lady willing us to explore and come in, a cave/tunnel and a piece of rock with a ladder up it that was begging to be climbed. The evening consisted of umeshu, red wine and lager, not to mention a little stumble into the supermarket to refill and a teency bit of a drawing session at David's expense. Who knew drawing one to thirty on someone wouldn't wake them.
The next day we popped to Angel Road almost making them miss their ferry.
Sunday, the afternoon came around and I felt like exploring some more and I followed the coast until I found a carparking space and then got out and explored. I stumbled across a steep drop and almost absailed down/fell off. I glimpsed a beach through the thick undergrowth and managed to find my way to it, through a small park which looked awfully like private property, but a thankfully-biliingual sign told me otherwise and that I was welcome. Passing a large group of elderly people, trying to smile/bow appropriately, I headed for the sound of crashing waves. Yes there were waves! It's quickly approaching my bed time so I better type faster and make less sense... Finding my way down to the beach was tricky as the path was overgrown. When I found my way through the steps of wild flowers onto the little beach, I must have exclaimed a few dieties names. I couldn't help it. It was beautiful and so very homely and also completely desserted. I should go back this weekend. It was warm, soothing and lovely, like any beach should be. I found a hat there too. One which apparently says something about not catching small fish as they will one day become parents and we need parents to get more fish. Simple, but true. (Like Manisha)
I found another beach and explored along the rocks, spoke to a middle aged couple, the husband of which had been to America (or was it London? Oh all these Western countries are the same to me) and took an indecent number of photos and found several deserted buildings. Tom would have loved it. It felt like if I fell and hurt myself I'd have been doomed, which added a certain thrill that spurred me on (madness.)
After that I ended up driving along a narrow coastal road between the sea and a canal, passing an old man who nodded when I gestured asking whether it was drivable. I changed my mind a few metres in and painstakingly slowly reversed, the old man watching all the while with his indiscernible expression. Battery is dying. I survived. Then a beach party/bbq with Lorianne's islander friends, all of which were lovely and there was freshly caught red sea breem (I think that was it's name) raw and it was delicious and strawberries and rice and yum yum yum. Okay, here are two pictures:
|Angel Road painting|
|The lovely beach|