With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

Archive for the ‘Izumo 市’ Category

Mark Goes Fishing

Posted by Heliocentrism on January 24, 2016

Wednesday, August 5 – Friday, August 14, 2015 

All Pictures

Majestic!

The Next Beach

We spent the day at Kute Beach. It was part a beach day, part a reconnaissance mission. It’s sometimes hard to find information about Japanese campsites online, so we had to look around the area in person for some camping spots for later.

Kute Beach is okay, nothing special. It’s a fine beach that’s free with free parking. Most of the people who go to this beach live nearby and walk to it.

our future camping neighbors

After swimming we drove along the coast until we saw some tents at a park. We got out the car and asked the campers there about the campsite. They spoke no English but we were able to communicate with my limited Japanese. They told us that camping there was completely free and year round. We thanked them for the information and told them that we would return in a few days.

It’s dead Mark!

Before we drove back home we went to a roadside rest stop for some ramen. After dinner, our car wouldn’t start. We had no idea what to do.

We don’t belong to any roadside assistance clubs like AAA or JAF. We left the hood of the car open hoping that someone would come by and offer to give us a jump-start. No one did.

After about 20 minutes I went inside one of the shops at the rest stop. I asked an employee for advice. I told a lady that my car “sleeps and can’t wake up.” She seemed to understand what I was saying. Then I asked her if she had “jumper cables”. I couldn’t think of a way to describe jumper cables with my limited vocabulary. So I mimed connecting to cars, then turning one on so that the other will start. “Oh, I see,” she exclaimed in Japanese.

She went in a back room to explain everything to her manager. He came out and told me something in rapid-fire Japanese, before heading out the door. The lady looked at me, “Everything will be fine. Just wait a moment.” She motioned me to sit by a window.

Ten minutes later the manager came back. “Which car is yours?” “The white Wagon R from Okayama.” Mark and I led him to our car. He took out his cables and jump started our car. We were very grateful. We thanked and bowed to the manager.

Instead of driving home, we went to the nearest Auto Bacs. We keep a stash of cash with us when we go on trips. It’s called the “car fund”. We put aside about $400 each month to pay for any car related surprises. We took that money out and bought a new car battery and jumper cables at Auto Bacs.

The people at Auto Bacs were very nice. We showed up about 10 minutes before closing time. But, they still greeted us like we weren’t making them stay late. They put in the new battery and cleaned our windshield and windows. They waved goodbye to us as we pulled out of their parking lot.

That will do!

A few days later

We came back a few days later. We put up our tent next to the guys who gave us the camping information at Tagi Beach. They were two men who were there the whole time. Sometimes other men would join them camping, other times a group of 5 or 6 boys would join them. There were women who would come by and they would cook for the ladies. But the women never spent the night like the men or boys did. We just referred to them as “the boys”.

After we said hello to “the boys” and set up our tent, we drove up the coast for a better beach. Tagi Beach had free camping, but the beach itself was no good at all for swimming.

It wasn’t long before we found a lovely and lonely spot. We parked our car nearby and got in the water. It was a lazy swimming day.

Mark went off snorkeling and floated around very contentedly. After about an hour of this I felt something. It was like a cross between a bite and an electric shock. But it was so faint, I almost thought I had imagined it. Then I felt another one. This time it was worse.

Damn you sea creatures!

I put on my snorkel mask and put my head under water. Jellyfish! Jellyfish everywhere! Now they were all coming after me. I got out of the water and sat on the shore.

It was a hot day. Too hot to sit on the beach out of the water. So, I went back in. The jellyfish attacked again. I got out of the water. I called Mark. “Lets get lunch!”

sea-snails

“The Boys” Give Cooking Advice

We got up one morning to find a new beach for the day’s swimming. As we were leaving we passed “the boys” and gave them the usually “Ohiyogoziemasu” and small talk. They were grilling something that smelt really good.

“Oh, did you go shopping already?” I was just teasing. “The boys” were great fishermen and were basically living off stuff they caught. The only thing they seemed to buy was beer, coke, and whiskey.

“No, we got that from the sea. Try some!” Mark was hesitant, but I really wanted to try it. One of “the boys” handed me a shelled sea-snail. “It’s delicious!” I was shocked. It smelt good, but I didn’t think it would actually taste good too.

“I grilled it, then fried it in butter.” Then he handed one to Mark. Mark liked it too.

We decided that Mark and I would gather some sea snails and try to cook them. We went to the rest stop to use their free internet. We looked at some YouTube videos on how to cook fresh sea-snail.

Well, we tried it that evening. But it didn’t taste like what the boys made. Ours tasted like sea poison.

Poseidon

“The Boys” get Mark into Spear Fishing

Another day as we were heading off to another beach, we stop by “the boys” camp for our “Ohayo” and small talk. In the course of the conversation, (“The boys” speak no English.) they recommended that Mark get a spear to catch fish. They noticed that he had been having no luck with his fishing pole.

They told us where we could buy a spear, how much it cost, and even gave Mark a short lesson in using one with one of their’s. They advised getting the bamboo one, because it floats. But we didn’t understand that part of the conversation until Mark lost a metal spear.

The Bounty

So, for the next couple of days we stayed at Tagi Beach. Mark spent the whole time spear fishing. He caught many fish, but they weren’t big enough to make a decent meal. He said, “All the bigger fish are too smart and fast for me to catch. All I can get are the slow dumb ones.”

We ate slow dumb fish more as side dishes to accompany the chicken and pork we brought to grill. We did not try sea snails again.

It’s going to rain all day.

A Day Indoors

One night it rained a lot. In the morning it was still raining, so instead of heading out to another beach, we went to a mall. First we had breakfast at a Joyfull. The plan was to stay indoors until the rain stopped. We got gas, found some internet, and checked the forecast. It would stop raining around three in the afternoon.

We spent the next morning laying our things out to dry before we went out swimming. We were still having a great time.

Happy Camper’s Cove

The Day “the Boys” got Weird

We mostly only talked to “the boys” in the mornings. In the evenings they were usually entertaining guests or fishing. For the most part, other than our morning “ohiyo’s” and small talk, they pretty much kept to themselves. So it was a little odd when one of them came over to us while Mark and I where talking on the beach.

We had not seen this particular guy before. He was about the same age as the two main guys who stayed at the camp the whole time. I think he was about 45 or 50ish. He claimed to speak more English than the others, but it was hard to tell; he was kind of drunk.

He asked us where we were from. “We’re from America.” “America!? I like America!” We asked why he liked America and he told us that he liked “FreedOOOMMM!”

“Someone’s been buying into the propaganda.” But, that’s not what he meant. We would soon find out when the conversation took a bizarre turn.

He asked us if we were from Colorado. He really wanted to visit Colorado. “Do you like skiing?” “No, not ski.” He seemed very confused as to why the topic of skiing was brought up.

“Then why do you want to go to Colorado?” “Freedoooooommmmmm!” Then he started to smoke an imaginary joint. “Do you know magic mushroooooooms?”

Mark and I just looked at each other. “It’s magic season.” Then he name some town where there are plenty of magic mushrooms growing in the forest. In a combination of English and Japanese he told us where to go to get them and how to prepare them. But, it took a while for him to give us all this unsolicited information. He kept slurring his words and starting over.

“So you like smoking, drinking, and magic mushrooms?” Mark confirmed.

“I don’t drink!” He seemed offended. “But I love cocaaaaaaine. Do you have cocaaaaine?”

“No.”

“I looooooove cocaaaaaine!” Then he rolled over on his side and just stopped moving. He made no sounds. He just lay there with a big silly grin on his face dreaming about his beloved cocaine. I thought that this would be a good time to back away and leave him there.

I started to get up. “If I had cocaaaaine I would share it you. OOHHHHH!” He started moaning loudly. Some other guys, none we had seen before, came to get Mr. Cocaaaine. They picked him up off the ground and dragged him to their tent.

That night, there were screams all night long coming from “the boys'” tent along with some randomly shouted, “Fuck you’s,” “Fuck me’s,” “Fuck baby’s,” and other various things to fuck. They sang songs, or rather shouted songs. But, most of the night was spend screaming; it wasn’t the “I’m being chased by an ax-murderer” type of screams. It was more like the “I’m at a fabulous rock concert and I’m stoned out of my mind” type of screaming.

“The Boys'” tents, days before the Weird Night

The next morning, “the boys” were nowhere to be seen. Mark and I were looking up at the sky, which was threatening to rain again, and wondering if we should just pack up and go home. Then we saw some official-looking people. They didn’t have uniforms, but they did have badges.

They asked if they could talk to us. It seemed ominous. They spoke no English, so I took out my pocket dictionary. It seemed like the conversation we were about to have would be the type where one would want as little misunderstanding as possible.

“Did you hear any noise last night?”

We both nodded our heads. We pointed to the other camp. “Drunk maybe,” I said. “Normally quiet, but last night party I think.” They asked us where they were.

“I don’t know. I speak only a little Japanese. They don’t speak English. They went to the store maybe. Their car is not here.” The officials seemed satisfied with that. They walked over to “the boys” camp and left a letter on their camping table.

“Mark, I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I think we should be far, far from here when it happens.” So we packed up our stuff and headed back home.

Japan has strict drug laws. You can get in trouble by just being friends with someone who has drugs, especially if you’re a foreigner. The officials never asked us our names or where we lived. I didn’t want to give them an opportunity to come back and do so. At that moment, all they knew was that some people were very loud. If they found drugs in their tent or something, I didn’t want to be dragged into that.

I heard that Japanese prison is no fun.

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.)

Kute Beach
(久手海水浴場)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°13’39.9″N 132°29’59.9″E

Address:

〒694-0053, 島根県大田市鳥井町鳥越新田

Phone:

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Free
  • Free Parking

Hours:

  • Always available

Notes:

  • There is a free outdoor shower for rinsing off, a bathroom, and changing rooms.

Tagi Beach
(田儀海水浴場)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°16’24.6″N 132°35’06.8″E

Address:

〒699-0904 島根県出雲市多伎町口田儀

Phone:

  • 0853-86-3111

Websites:

Cost:

  • Camping – free
  • Showers
    • July 18 – August 23
    • 9:00 – 19:00
    • 3 minutes
    • 200 yen
  • There is free, but limited parking.

Hours:

  • Always available

Notes:

  • This beach is more for fishing than for swimming. But, people still try to swim here. Personally, I think there are so many nicer beaches nearby that are great for swimming that you shouldn’t come here unless you wanted free camping or to go fishing.
  • Grilling is not allowed here, though people seem to do it all the time.
  • Kirara is a nearby rest area with restaurants and an information desk. The nice beaches are near Kirara.

Map:

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

We Bring the Rain

Posted by Heliocentrism on June 26, 2015

Sunday May 3, 2015

All Pictures

We all know who caused the rain.

Rain

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 all tried to make it a good day despite the rain.

More Rain

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.

It’s raining? Let’s go to Starbucks.

It’s Raining… Still

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.

“It’s just another 45 minutes of walking up this hill and we’ll be there!”

Rain Won’t Stop Us!

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.

The rain might have stopped, but it’s still drippy in here.

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.

Just typical minors

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.

It stopped raining for a whole 20 minutes!

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.

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.
  • 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.)

Izumo-taisha
(出雲大社)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°24’07.3″N 132°41’07.8″E

Address:

〒699-0701
島根県出雲市大社町杵築東195 出雲大社社務所内

195 Kitsukihigashi, Taisha-machi, Izumo-shi, Shimane-ken
699-0701

Phone:

  • +81 0853-53-3100

Websites:

Download:

e-mail:

  • sengu@izumooyashiro.or.jp

Cost:

  • 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.

Hours:

  • Always open

Notes:

  • 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
(石見銀山)
(Ishimi Ginzan)

How to get there:

  • 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.

Address:

〒694-0305 Shimane Prefecture, Oda, Omoricho, イ1597−3

Phone:

  • 0854-89-0183

Websites:

Cost:

  • 410 yen
  • 50% off with a foreign passport or ARC card.

Hours:

  • 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 from December to February)

Notes:


Tamagawa Campsite
(田万川キャンプ場)
(Tamagawa Kyanpujō)

near

Tamagawa Onsen
(田万川温泉憩いの湯 )
(Tamagawa Onsen’ikoinoyu)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 34°39’09.7″N 131°39’44.3″E

Address:

Campsite: 〒759-3112 山口県萩市江崎

Onsen:

1740-1 Shimotama
Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture 759-3112

Phone:

  • Campsite: 08387-2-1150
  • Onsen: 08387-2-0370

Websites:

Downloads:

Cost:

  • Campsite:
    • 1,000 JYN/ Night / Tent
  • Onsen
    • ¥ 410 / adult
    • ¥ 200-100 / kids

Hours:

  • Campsite:
    • 8: 30 ~ 19: 00
  • Onsen:
    • Closed Mondays
    • 10: 00 ~21: 00 (last admittance 20: 30)

Notes:

  • 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.

Map:

Posted in Hagi 市, Izumo 市, Japan, Shimane 県, Yamaguchi 県, Ōda 市 | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

We have no A/C. We must find a beach!

Posted by Heliocentrism on December 5, 2014

Sunday, July 27 & Tuesday, July 29, 2014

All Pictures

It’s so hot, our flowers need to lay down for a spell.

So hot!

At our new apartment, we have neither heater nor air conditioning. We moved in back in late March so it never bothered us. When it started to get hot we went over to our local used goods shop and bought 2 fans. They both have been doing a stellar job until last week when it became too hot for just fans.

We had started taking naps in the middle of the day because the heat drains our energy. I wake up earlier and earlier in the morning to exercise before it gets too hot. When Mark waters the plants all I want to do is run in front of the hose. I shower 3 times a day, just to cool off.

Shade and beach!

On Sunday, we got in our car, cranked the a/c all the way up, and headed to nearest beach. It was about 1 hour 45 minutes away. That’s really too far for a day at the beach. But, having no a/c at home make sitting an air-conditioned car for almost 2 hours seem like pure bliss.

When we got to the beach we set up our tarp. When I say, “we,” I mean Mark. I set out our blankets and cooler and poured us both some icy water while Mark fought with the tarp poles and stakes. You should have heard the horrible words that came out of that normally calm man’s mouth when a gust of wind blew the whole thing over.

Grilling in the shade

Once the tarp was up, we ran into the water to cool off before firing up the grill. Once again, Mark did all the work and I poured more cold water. This felt a lot better than staying home.

We sat under our tarp and talked about our plans for the rest of the week. Mark had to work on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. I wanted to come back on the days he was not working. We had passed by a big temple on our way to the beach and I wanted to see that too.

Who tied that rope?

Temple for Lovers

The next day Mark went to Hiroshima for a company meetings. He mentioned to one of his fellow teachers that he was going to see Izumo-Taisha and she happened to also have plans to see it. She and a friend of hers were going to see it on Tuesday. They decided that we should all see it together.

Mark loves toriis!

The next day we meet under the main torii. As we waited for the ladies to show up I looked across the street to the first Starbucks I’d seen in months. I contemplated going over there to get a treat.

It’s odd. I’m not a coffeeholic. I’ve never visited Starbuck that often when I lived in a town that had many of them. In fact, I think their drinks are over priced and I only patronize Starbucks when I’m with other people who are going to Starbucks. But living in a town without a Starbucks makes me long for a frappucino.

Purification

The shrine is for a god named, Okuninushi no Okami. He not only made all of Japan, but as a deity, he is in charge of couples and marriage. If you need help finding that someone special or keeping that someone special, apparently this is the place to go.

We walked around and took as many photos of stuff as we could in the heat. After about an hour of the temple we were tired and over heated. It was very pretty, but I really could have used a mister.

We left the shrine and walked down the main street of the little town we were in. We were on the hunt for ice cream. If you keep walking down towards the torii in town you will find a cafe that sells mango ice cream that you can eat indoors in air-conditioned splendor.

Boards of Wishes

After this we headed to the beach for barbecue and a dip in the water. It was a great day!

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.
  • 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 toaskwhatATMs 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 most 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.)

Kizuki Seaside Park
(きづき海浜公園)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°23’32.7″N 132°40’26.3″E

Address:

〒699-0751 島根県出雲市大社町杵築西

Phone:

  • 0853-53-3113

Websites:

Cost:

  • Free Park
  • Free Access
  • Hot Showers – ¥100/ 3 minute

Hours:

  • Always available

Notes:

  • The beach is not the best beach in the world. It could really do with a trash crew coming by once a week to pick up the flotsam and jetsam that gets washed up on shore.
  • But, it is free and has plenty of parking!

Izumo-taisha
(出雲大社)

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 35°24’07.3″N 132°41’07.8″E

Address:

〒699-0701
島根県出雲市大社町杵築東195 出雲大社社務所内

195 Kitsukihigashi, Taisha-machi, Izumo-shi, Shimane-ken
699-0701

Phone:

  • +81 0853-53-3100

Websites:

Download:

e-mail:

  • sengu@izumooyashiro.or.jp

Cost:

  • 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.

Hours:

  • Always open

Notes:

  • 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.

Map:

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

 
%d bloggers like this: