Monday, August 28, 2006
Kumihama Beach Adventure
This past weekend my friend Leigh and I decided to explore a local beach, about half hour train ride away. It was one of the few cities out here that was mentioned in the Lonely Planet Guide Book, so we figured it had to be pretty nice. There was supposed to be a bike rental place where you deposit like 1000Y (about $10) and you get it back when you return the bike so that you could ride around the bay and out to the ocean.
Unfortunately when we got there it was like a ghost town. There was no one around anywhere and we walked for awhile trying to find a place to eat ("Wrath of Cheung" was approching). Finally we came across a fast food joint on a main road and asked for directions to the beach. This took about 15 minutes to explain using gestures and our limited vocabulary. It was a husband/wife joint and they were both freaking out- apparently the bay is pretty close, but the beach/ocean is like an hours walk away. So the husband insisted on driving us to the beach!!! it was hilarious. we were like- man, if they can't give you directions, they'll just drive you because they want you to get there so bad!!!
So we're at the edge of the world, at the Sea of Japan, and it's blazing hot, and the beach is beautiful, and there were Japanese surfers (!), and we're a million miles away from the train station. We figured, well, what the hell, we're here, might as well enjoy the beach and figure out how to get back later!
When we were ready to leave, we found these two teenage girls and asked them for directions- again, it took awhile to communicate but eventually they led us to a bus stop a little bit away. But, apparently the bus doesn't run on the weekends!! What??!! so that's when we decided we would hitch hike back to the train station.
The girls felt really bad so they walked us back to the main road, told us to wait, and disappeared. A few minutes later, they come out with a woman- one of the girls had gone home and asked her mom if she would drive us two strange foreign girls to the train station!!!
We were floored- like what is with these people??? They are soooooo nice- like WAY OUT OF THE WAY NICE.... so we got their address and when we got back to our town, we bought a nice japanese cake to send to them. But when we got to the post office, they said it was undeliverable because there wasn't enough information on the address- like there was no house number, no phone number, and no last name. At least the girl had sense enough not to give her complete address in the fears that we would come back and try to stay with her or something!!!
Anyway, adventures continue!