Day of Your Mom

August 15th, 2006 by Steph

I am slightly hung over this morning, because… we had a night of carousing with another Noshiro JET last night! We finally connected with the other new guy. His name’s Francis, and he’s from England. He’s had two summer jobs in America; one in Indiana, and one in Utah, which means he’s spent more time in the middle of my country than I have.

He:s only been in town for a few days, so we introduced him to Bamboo House, which is the swankiest joint we’ve found so far. This place is pimped out with a huge golden Vishnu and they serve tasty goodies from all over the world, so it’s a great place to go when you need a respite from ramen, udon, and sushi. They’ve also got the cheapest and largest beers we’ve found in town so far.

And yes, you can get beer in vending machines here.

We took him over to our place after dinner… my predecessor left a prodigious supply and variety of sake, so we decided to have a little informal taste test. And I’m still feeling the repercussions. But I’d do it all again, no regrets. :)

This last weekend was kind of mellow. Chris and I tried to court adventure, but she declined our advances. We hopped on a train to check out the coast North of us. The plan was to check out a beach like area, and then proceed farther north to some huge bizarre water-wheel thingy that is some sort of tourist attraction.

Stop number one was Hachimori. The day clouded over, and didn’t exactly scream “beach party”, but we got out to look around anyway.

I think maybe there’s a reason why you never hear much about the Japanese beaches. What we found was a black sand beach (cool) with driftwood and detritus all over it (uncool). The whole area just had a generally unwholesome air to it. The spot was supposed to be famous for its sunsets, but as there was no sun, we didn’t get to verify this feature.

So we return to the station to find to our dismay that the next train through does not actually go much farther north, and falls several stops short of our next destination.

A quick note about trains here. Taking the train until this point has been so easy, cheap, and enjoyable that I had been lulled into thinking of the rails as a substitute for the subway lines I am familiar with back in the States. However, the lines run irregularly, so that there are huge swaths in the middle of the day when the trains just don’t run for a few hours at a time. There are also several speeds of train which run on the same tracks. Which means that a $4 trip on the slow train can all of a sudden become a $12 trip on the fast train. Then trains may just stop and turn around, even though there is more track and you had plans to go farther.

So…the JR train… not a subway.

Sunday was more chill. We went to the numerous Buddhist temples and cemeteries by our house to check out Obon festivities. this holiday is kind of like Day of the Dead, only without the candy skulls. everyone visits the graves of their ancestors to clean themup (the graves, not the people) and offer some flowers or food. Buddhist monks were going around to individual graves to pray over them. one could hear little bells ringing throughout the graveyard, or the rhythmic knocking of sticks together. it was a very contemplative environment.

Later that day we headed to Futatsui, the next town over, to explore. we were delighted to find a beautiful path along the river, which runs through some very lush green land. it was hot as horses though, so we kept our exploration short. Later we discovered that Futatsui has a set of city bikes. You can borrow one for free and go cruising around town. Very excellent.

5 Responses to “Day of Your Mom”

  1. *b-hoshi* Says:

    your j-keyboard typing is getting better! by the way, the apostrophe, if i remember, is somewhere in the region of shift + 7 : )

  2. Nicholas Seet Says:

    Little tip, if you are walking through a buddhist cemetary, and spy a tasty looking cake or juicy fruit, sitting on a grave, do *not* eat it… even if you are really hungry… You will be haunted by the memory…

  3. Katie Durham Says:

    no sound advice to give…just hello and glad things are going well.

  4. sha curington Says:

    i think i’d eat the cake and risk hell… but only if it looked like really really good cake.

  5. Steph Says:

    It’s not amazing cake… I’d hold out for a krispy kreme donut or something.

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