Wednesday, June 5, 2013


So. After the dinner that I decided to stay with Homo sapiens rather than join Mus musculus, I decided to take a cab back to the ryokan, because Wakkanai had gotten really cold and really, really windy. I had walked a long way. Can you guess the main reason for that walk? Yes, to scope out the location and layout of the ferry terminal and the train station for my future journeys. I was hoping I could walk or take a bus to both of them. The silliness of that idea quickly became apparent. I was going to need a cab and I was going to have to communicate with someone to make sure it was at the ryokan when I needed it. 

I did the short walk from the restaurant to the bus station. Feeling emboldened by my victory at the restaurant, I struck up a "conversation" with the cab driver. It seemed like I managed to order myself a cab for 10:00 the next morning. The cab driver assured me that he understood what I wanted. The morning proved that he had. 

The sea wall from the ferry terminal lobby.

My ride coming in from the first crossing of the morning.

These are tourists. I am a tourist, but I am different from these people. I see them everywhere I go here. They look at me from there luxury buses as though I am crazy. I will have more to say on that in my next post.

This is one of those luxury buses coming off the ferry. 

This signing is telling us all to get ready.

The "100th Year Memorial Tower."

Making the sea lanes safe for human kind.

Getting out of Dodge, for the moment.

Wakkanai is becoming a memory.

I guess they've had enough trouble on the boat that they felt is necessary to produce something like this.

Mt. Rishiri.

Rebun Island coming up fast.

People (who ride in buses) waiting at the dock to be taken to their next location. 

The ryokan I stayed at, like a lot of them, is family run. My host and his son met me at the port. This is thanks to Seb, my host in Sapporo, who called them to let them know what ferry I'd arrive on and that I would need a ride. My ryokan was on the other side of the island from the port. It is not that long a drive time-wise, but you couldn't walk it in less than a day. The road goes around the periphery of the island. Very beautiful, with the sea always at your side. (The other side than it was in Okinawa.) He told me that it had been too rough that morning for the fishing boats to go out. How did he tell me? In very broken English, but far less broken than my Japanese. We got to the ryokan, I met his wife, I was shown the public shower and bath, we decided on when I'd have dinner. As it turned out, I was the only guest at this ryokan. That worked perfectly for me. They didn't seem to mind, it was still the off-season there. I was at this particular ryokan because I couldn't get rooms in the main town (village, really). I think that was due to people in buses.  There were a lot of buses driving around that island. There were one or two places available but at crazy prices. It soon became clear that luck was on my side. This ryokan and its location was much more to my liking than anything in Kafuka Port could have been. After settling into the room (which had no chairs), I set off on my first walk.

From my window, look towards Lake Kushu.

From my window. There is an observation point on top.

From my window, in the direction that I walked.

Up to observe.

Looking towards Kaneda Misaki (Cape Kaneda).

Looking towards Sukotan Misaki.

Lake Cushu.

The sea.

The rolling hills. All of that green is bamboo.

On the road.

This part of the world is known for the fine quality their uni (sea urchins); the seagulls think so too.

The thing about these set Japanese meals is that you show up at the table, there is a ton of food in front of you, then they keep bring more.

Uni, with salt.

I'm going to post this without the final edit. I hope it is not too full of mistakes. I have to eat breakfast (since I paid for it) then walk to the station quick to try to get a window seat on the local train. It is a long ride today, my longest. Three trains, ultimately ending in Utaro on the other side of Hokkaido. 

No comments:

Post a Comment