We Bring the Rain
Posted by Heliocentrism on June 26, 2015
Sunday May 3, 2015
It seems like whenever we camp too near to Hiroshima Prefecture it rains. Sometimes it stops raining for a few hours, but then someone gets bitten by a snake. We don’t mean for any of this to happen. We really have no idea how to stop the rain from following us other than by not camping within a 30 mile radius of Hiroshima prefecture.
We first went to the Izumo-Taisha shrine in Shimane prefecture. Mark and I had been there before. It’s not that far from our apartment in Miyoshi.
We followed our friends as they took tons of photos. They really liked the shrine but, I think they would have enjoyed it a bit more if the rain would have just stopped.
I mentioned that the Starbucks across the street was the nearest Starbucks to my home. “You live that close to this shrine?” someone asked.
“No. I live about 1.5 hours away.”
As we passed by the coffee shop we noticed that there was a cookie themed drink on special. We had to try it. We all sat upstairs, out of the rain, and enjoyed the view of the entrance to the shrine, while consuming a whole day’s worth of calories in the form of one coffee based drink.
The rain had not stopped by the time we got to the area where the old silver mine was. I say “area” because there was no way to drive anywhere near it. We had to find a bus station, take an overly crowded bus to somewhere closer to the mine, then walk up hill for about 45 minutes.
There were bikes to rent, but not everyone in our group wanted to ride bikes in the rain. There were also taxi-bicycles to hire. But, there were none to be found when we were at the bottom of the hill. We found 3 of them at the top, but they were waiting for the people who had hired them. Our timing was all wrong.
So we walked to the top with our own 2 feet, or rather 12 feet. The mine was good in that it wasn’t raining (though, most cave-like things tend to be dank and drippy), we all got a %50 off foreigner discount, and we were now headed down hill.
I was really hoping to see some silver, or silver rock. You know, an example of what silver minors looked for when mining. But there was no such thing. There were only drawings of the horrible conditions that minors had to deal with when mining.
We headed towards the next campsite with the plan that if it were still raining, we would try to rent a cabin somewhere. Where? I don’t know. There were no cabins anywhere near this campsite that we knew of.
It didn’t matter anyway. When we got to the Campsite, the rain had stopped. We raced to get our tents up. Because this campsite was so crowded, we chose not to stay more than one night. In our rush to set up camp, we unpacked only what we needed for one overnight stay.
Once all the tents where up, the rain started again. This meant that grilling dinner was out of the question. We got some food from the nearest konbini, and ate next to many of the camper’s drying clothes and camping gear under the shelter of one of the few pavilions at the campsite.
Then we stayed up until midnight in one of our tents playing nerd games where we had to find killers, wizards, and good men.
How to get there:
You can enter Japan by plane or boat. Though, the number of boats going to Japan from other countries has gone down significantly.
Americans get 90-day visas to Japan at the port of entry. Check with your nearest Japanese embassy or consulate for visa information.
- Emergency Numbers:
- Police 110
- Ambulance and Fire 119
- Important phone numbers to know while in Japan
- Comfort Woman
- The Commoner
- Empire of the Sun
- Flyboys: A True Story of Courage
- Geisha, a Life
- Ghost Soldiers: The Forgotten Epic Story of World War II’s Most Dramatic Mission
- The Last Concubine
- Memoirs of a Geisha
- Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath
- Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan
- What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
- Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan. Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
- InternationalATMs are really hard to find; more so if you aren’t in a big city. Many places in Japan do not use credit cards. Take cash and call your bank to ask whatATMs or banks in Japan will work with your cash card.
- ATMs have opening hours. Usually 9:00-18:00 (They have better work hours than most business men and women here.)
- The Post Office bank seems to work with the most international cards.
- You can get a Japan Railway, pass which saves you a lot of money on the trains, but you can only buy it before you get to Japan and you cannot be a resident of Japan. (I don’t have more information about it because I’ve only ever lived in Japan; I’ve never been a tourist here.)
- Coordinates 35°24’07.3″N 132°41’07.8″E
- +81 0853-53-3100
- Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine and Area Map(PDF)
- Izumo Enmusubi Guidebook vol.1(PDF)
- Izumo Enmusubi Guidebook vol.2(PDF)
- Izumo Enmusubi Perfect Ticket (PDF)
- Oda City Guide Book Page 1-3
- Oda City Guide Book Page 4-5
- Oda City Guide Book Page 6-7
- Shimane Pamphet
- Entrance – free
- If you can get ￥45 worth of coins to stick in or on the straw rope (the rope in the photo above), you will have good luck.
- Always open
- This is a temple for the god of marriage.
- When you pray at this temple, you should clap 4 times instead of the normal 2 times; 2 claps for you and 2 claps for your love or future love.
- No one knows how old this temple is, but it’s pretty old.
- Some think it’s the oldest shrine in Japan.
- There is record of its existence way back in the early 700s.
Iwami silver mine
- Coordinates 35°06’18.5″N 132°26’19.5″E
- There is nowhere near the mine to park. You have to park your car near Oda Bus Center.
- Take the bus to Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop. (250yen)
- If you are going by train, you can get a bus at Oda-shi station to Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop.
- Once at Omori-Daikansho-Ato bus stop, the mine is a mere 45 minute walk… up hill.
- There is a bike rental place where you can rent regular and electric bikes.
- There are also bike taxis, where you ride and pay someone else to do the pedaling.
〒694-0305 Shimane Prefecture, Oda, Omoricho, イ１５９７−3
- 410 yen
- 50% off with a foreign passport or ARC card.
- 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from December to February)
- Iwami silver mine was added to the World Heritage List in 2007.
- Coordinates 34°39’09.7″N 131°39’44.3″E
- Campsite: 08387-2-1150
- Onsen: 08387-2-0370
- 1,000 JYN/ Night / Tent
- ¥ 410 / adult
- ¥ 200-100 / kids
- 8: 30 ~ 19: 00
- Closed Mondays
- 10: 00 ~21: 00 (last admittance 20: 30)
- To check-in at the campsite, go to the front desk of the onsen.
- This campsite is near or part of Yutori Park Tamagawa.
- There are no tents to rent.
- There is also RV camping for ¥ 1,000 per day.
- I’m not sure it there are showers on the camp grounds, but there is that onsen nearby.