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Archive for August, 2016

Weekday Beaching

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 28, 2016

Saturday, July 9th – Sunday July 10th & Wednesday, July 27th – Sunday, July 31st, 2016

All Pictures

There’s almost no one here.

Weekdays Are the Best

The summer has started once again and Mark and I still don’t have an air conditioner in our apartment. Every year we think about buying one and every year we decide not to. We travel or go camping during the summer, so it’s not worth it.

Mark and his decapitated fish

I like going to the beach to swim or read a book on shore. I enjoy camping and being outdoors while still being very comfortable. Mark likes going to the beach to do some spare fishing. He tries to catch about 2 or 3 fish each day.

No one to play volleyball with

The beach was amazingly quite the first weekend we went there this year. The summer had just begun, yet our tent was the only one in the free camping area. Everyone else was in the auto-camping section which costs about 3,500 Yen per night.

Mark and I wondered where everyone was. This is a very popular beach. “Why wasn’t anyone here?” We didn’t want company; we just wondered where the crowds were.

We went back to Iwami Kaihin Park a few weeks later on a Wednesday. Still, not many people were at the beach. There were more campers around us, but not too much. It was calm and relaxing.

All this for just Mark and me?

Friday

On Friday evening tents started going up all around us. Our once lonely area was filled with other campers. Next to us was a group of college kids. They brought with them several kegs of beer.

They partied the night away. They talked very loudly, but since they didn’t play any music it wasn’t too bad. I could have slept through their loud talking, but not their laughing. There were a couple of women in their group that cackled. It was a loud irksome laugh that is especially annoying when you don’t know what the joke is.

Throughout the night I would fall asleep only to be yanked awake by this maniacal laughter. It was very disturbing.

Saturday

The next day, around the same time the kids showed up the day before, a group of Americans were looking for a spot. They wedge themselves between us and the college kids. They talked quite loudly too. But I was glad they showed up, since they intimidated the young Japanese college kids.

Saturday night the college kids were quiet and went to bed very early. I laid in my tent listening to the Americans talk about non-sense and fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night I heard, “You’re ruining my life! I wish I could smack you!”

The Americans were drunk and one couple from their party was having a huge drunken fight. I could hear someone hitting the ground and then, “Should we help him up?”

“No. Let him sleep there if he wants to hit me.”

The night continued with this couple yelling at each other back and forth. Each listing the illogical reasons why the other is the cause of their unhappiness. I wanted to yell, “Get a divorce and go to bed,” but I thought it would be best not to get anything started with drunk strangers.

The next morning Mark and I packed up our stuff and went home vowing to only return during the work week.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • International ATMs 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 what ATMs 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.)

Iwami Kaihin Park
(島根県立石見海浜公園)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°57’04.7″N 132°07’05.1″E

Address:

〒697-0003 島根県浜田市国分町

Shimane-ken, Hamada-shi, Koku-buncho 1644-1

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Entrance fee – (There was a fee we had to pay. I don’t remember now it if was an entrance fee or just a parking fee. I think it was about 1,000 – 1,500 Yen for both Mark and me or for the car.)
  • If you enter the park before 8:30 or after 17:30 there is not to collect your money and therefore entrance in free.
    • If you are camping, make  sure to get in by 18:30 your first night so you can register.
  • Coin shower – 200 yen

Activities:  Register at the beach (Hours 9:00 to 17:00)

  • Banana Boat – 1,000 Yen
    • must be 6 or older
    • 10 minutes
  • Jet Ski – 2,500 Yen
    • must be 6 or older
    • passengers only
    • 10 minutes
  • Wake Board – 3,500
    • must be 12 or older
    • 20 minutes
  • Snorkeling with Guide – 4,500 yen
    • must be 6 or older
    • 90 minutes
    • 10:00 – 16:30
  • Scrambler – 1,00 Yen per person
    • must be 6 or older
    • 4 people max
    • 10 minutes
  • Life-Saving Junior Program – 1,000 Yen
    • elementary and junior high school students
    • 60 minutes
    • 5 people

Auto Camping: Open year round and all holidays

  • Over night camping
    • Bring your own tent – 3,830 Yen
    • 3 pm to 2 pm the next day
    • Renting a permanent tent – 6,440 Yen
    • electricity – 510 Yen
  • Day Camping
    • Bring your own tent – 1,910 Yen
    • 10:00 to 14:00
    • must have revelations at least a day in advanced
    • Renting a permanent tent – 3,110 Yen
    • electricity – 250 Yen
  • Over Night Cabin
    • 16:00 to 10:00 the next day
    • Small  (2 – 3 people) – 3,280 yen
    • Medium (4 – 5 people) – 3,860 yen
    • Large (6 – 7 people) – 5,920 yen
    • electricity – 510 Yen
    • bring your own bedding, pots, dishes, etc
  • Day Cabin
    • 11:00 to 15:00
    • must have revelations at least a day in advanced
    • Small (2 – 3 people) – 250 yen
    • Medium-sized (4 – 5 people) – 310 yen
    • Large (6 – 7 people) – 500 yen
    • electricity – 250 Yen
    • bring your own bedding, pots, dishes, etc

Non-Auto/ Free Camping:

  • Here’s a map of the free camping.
    • Free as in it costs 0 Yen.
  • All you need to do is register on the day you get there.
    • When you register you can pick up free trash bags for your burnables, plastic, and food trash.
  • You cannot reserve a camping spot.
  • Make  sure to get in by 18:30 your first night so you can register.

Hours:

  • The office closes at 18:30, but the park itself never closes.

Notes:

  • Facilities – Restrooms, showers, cabins, auto-camping, free camping, communal kitchen, beach.
  • There are lots of paid showers throughout the park.
    • They are generally 2 minutes for 200 Yen.
    • The showers by the auto-camping, the showers are 5 minutes for 200 Yen. These showers are cleaner and generally better.
  • There is an aquarium nearby.
    • adult 1540 yen
    • 9:00-17:00 Closed Tuesdays
    • free parking
  • Beach map

Map:

Posted in Hamada 市, Japan, Shimane 県 | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Wish Granting Shrines

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 21, 2016

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

All Pictures

Spring is for traveling

As long as it’s special.

The weather was getting nice and Mark and I wanted to go somewhere and take nice photos of Japan. We sat in our living room reading through websites with lists like “Top 10 Must Sees in Hiroshima”. I clicked on one site after another reading through non-sense and getting more and more annoyed by the moment.

Me – Isn’t there one non-shrine related thing left for us to do here?

Mark – Nope.

Me – How many shrines and temples does one country need?

I started a little soliloquy about how much more fun Japan would be for us if they had as many themed parks as they did temples, when Mark cut me off.

Mark – Why not just see a few shrines?

Me – Only if by going to the shrine I get to confront Buddha about all the temples he has.

Mark – I think you’re confusing two different religions.

Me – Am I?

Torri = Shrine = Shintoism = no Buddha

Then Mark picked up his computer and showed it to me. “I think this is what you’re asking for.” He was smiling behind his laptop. I looked at the photo at the top of someone’s blog. “Mark, that’s just a round rock.”

“No. Not just a round rock,” he said taking back his computer. “It’s the roundest rock and it has magical wish granting powers.” “What on earth would I wish for?” I asked scrolling through the website I was previously looking at on my own laptop. “Better tourist attractions for us to visit,” he replied.

What am I supposed to wish on?

On Sunday morning we got into the car and Mark typed the destination into the Garmin. “Wish city here we come,” I exclaimed. “First,” Mark said waving his index finger in the air, “we must make a stop at another wish granting shrine.” “Two wish granting shrines in one day!” I was amazed.

Our first stop would be at Yaegaki Shrine. Many singles go to this shrine to look for help in finding love. Mark and I have been married for sometime now, so we’ve both already been pretty lucky in love. But, we could always ask for more.

Looking for Love

At Yaegaki, down a path behind the main shrine is a pond. It’s called Mirror Pond and it has oracle-like powers. It cannot tell you who you should marry or even who you should ask out on a date. All it can do is give you a vague idea of how long your wait for love will be.

A single person should buy a special paper from the shrine in front and take the paper to the pond. Get a coin and place it on the paper. I think most people use a 100 Yen coin. Then float the paper, with the coin on it, in the water. The longer the paper floats before sinking, the longer your wait for love will be.

Exactly how long of a wait, I don’t know. There was no mathematical formula given, like for every minute afloat you’ll have a year of waiting. Some papers sank quickly, others sank after awhile.

There goes all your hopes.

Then there were some papers that would not sink. Once the paper got damp enough, the coin just fell through. The paper on its own will float for a very long time. The weight of the coin is what drags it down to the bottom of the pond. If the coin breaks through, the paper will not sink.

Climb those steps for a wish.

Next, we drove to Tamtsukuriyu Shrine. Here we could wish for anything, not just things related to love. I paid for a small wish charm and was given an instruction booklet. Of course, it was in Japanese, but it did have lots of pictures. There was also a lady who got there right before Mark and I did, so I just followed her lead.

Clean enough to make wishes

It was a bit of a process. There were about 6 steps to it. Mark and I would look at our booklet and then at what the lady was doing. She went from the washing area, to the shrine, then to the round rock and back to the shrine. Mark and I followed her as closely as we could while still being completely respectful.

“I get my power from my roundness.”

In the end we took home a little charm, but I’m not sure what I am supposed to do with it. Do I continue to wish on it? Would it be wrong for me to make a bracelet with it?

I should have wished for 5 more wishes!

The street the Tamatsukuriyu Shrine is on, is a wonderfully charming street. It’s a street of beauty. I don’t mean that the street is beautiful, though it is. I mean, the water that flows down the middle of this street is believed to have magical beautifying properties. Along the street there are unmanned stands where you can buy spray bottles of the water to take home. Just squirt it on your face to look years younger. If you want to spend more money, you can buy expensive skin care products made from the water.

The whole street is lined with things that give you luck, like the many expensive luck beads you buy in the shops, or beauty, like Seiganji Temple with the Oshiroi Jizo that heals skin and makes one prettier. There are also many onsens, cafes, restaurants, and shops that give the place a very “treat-y0-self” feel.

Smiling while his feet cook

For people like Mark and me, people on a budget, there are many free foot onsens. Unfortunately, the water is 2 degree short of boiling. Maybe it would be more fun in the winter.

All Pictures


Japan
(日本)
(Nippon)

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.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Books:

Notes:

  • Be careful what over the counter drugs you bring into Japan.  Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks inhalers, and Codeine are prohibited.
  • International ATMs 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 what ATMs 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.)

Matsue
(松江市)
(Matsue-shi)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°27’49.9″N 133°03’51.1″E

Address:

〒690-0846 Shimane Prefecture, Matsue, 末次町86

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Videos:


Yaegaki Shrine
(八重垣神社)
(Yaegaki Jinja)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates

Address:

  • 〒690-0035 島根県松江市佐草町227
  • 227 Sakusacho, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 690-0035

Phone:

  • tel 0852-21-1148
  • fax 0852-22-9156

Websites:

Cost:

  • 200 Yen, but no one will collect it.
  • 100 Yen – Special Fortune paper
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 9:00 – 17:00

Videos:

Notes:

  • Take the Special Fortune paper to the Mirror pond. Put a coin on it and set it afloat in the water. The time it takes to sink is related to the time it will take for you to find your true love.

Tamatsukuriyu Shrine
(玉作湯神社)
(Tamatsukuriyu Jinja)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°24’49.4″N 133°00’42.2″E

Address:

  • 522 Tamayucho Tamatsukuri, Matsue, Shimane Prefecture 699-0201
  • 玉作湯神社 松江市玉湯町玉造522 〒699-0201

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • 24 hours

Videos:

Notes:

Map:

Posted in Honshū, Japan, Matsue 市, Shimane 県 | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

 
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