When I was doing all of that searching on the internet for a room and ran across that guy who couldn't find rooms for his family, I posted that I had ended up getting one in Fukuyama. A third party chimed in, suggesting that since I was going to be there on the 25th, I should check-out the fireworks display on Ben-Ten Island. I decided to at least look into the possibility of getting there. The smallest thing takes great effort when you are basically reduced to the intelligence level of a moderately smart dog. That is the reality when you don't speak the language.
It turned out that I could get to Tomonoura Village on only one bus. What it took to get that info, I won't go into, other than I got it from a woman behind the counter at the information desk of the bus company. I appreciate her efforts, but she didn't have it totally correct. Further "conversations" with the bus driver and a very kind English-speaker at a store in the village let me know that no matter what the schedule or that woman said, the last bus outta there was going to be at 10:00 PM. This bus line ends/starts at the end of the village, at waters edge. But on this night the bus wouldn't be leaving from there or the next stop, but the third stop up the line. Furthermore, the English-speaker told me, "Everybody goes for that bus. There are hundreds of people running down the street to catch it."
For clarity, (which it took me a while to get on that day), the fireworks are shot off on Ben-Ten Island, but you watch them from across the water in Tomonoura Village. As the day went on, it became clear why the buses would be running from that third stop; no vehicle would be able to get through the crush of bodies that would be filling that narrow street.
The island is a National Park. I got a ferry ticket, went across, walked a good deal of it - a lot of that up grades steep enough that I had to question my good sense, came back across the water, toured the village. Then I decided that the videos of the fireworks I had seen on youtube.com were good enough for me. I didn't want anything to do with hundreds of people running for the last bus. I left just as the real mobs were showing up and had dinner at the place that is "Japanese with Chinese flavor."
These are pictures from that day.
Views from the hotel room window:
|Two shots of the islands from the village.|
|The vendors setting up.|
|That stick of pork he is holding is my lunch.|
|On the ferry, shoving off.|
|Coming ashore on the island.|
|Beginning the hike.|
|Don't know what the story was here.|
|Here's the thing, in Japan, women will do a walk like this in high heels. Statement, not judgement.|
|A worm or caterpillar.|
|My first grove of bamboo.|
|Boarding the ferry to go back across.|
|The walk around Tomonoura Village.|
|A graveyard on the hill.|
|Beginning, but only beginning to get busy.|
|On the other side of the train station there is a castle. I have to always remind myself to check out the other side of the train stations.|
|What are those two spires in the background?|
|Japanese with a Chinese flair or the other way 'round?|
|A bicycle garage with two levels.|