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random tales from strange lands this is a tale of my attempt to follow the summer to different parts of our world and how it appears to me

Beaches + Waves + Storms + Fine Cuisine

JAPAN | Tuesday, 17 July 2007 | Views [644]

Well, i tried to post a story a few days ago, but it never got there :(

Anyway, i was hunkering down as a typhoon broke over us, with some pretty strong winds and rain & horrendous humidity.  I had been out early that morning for a surf with a couple of the guys at neighbouring Hasaki beach - the wind was offshore so it was pretty sweet for surfing :)

Ive been 'working' at Nikkahama beach, on the pacific coast, north-east from Tokyo.  But in the week i spent there, there werent really any people swimming :(  apart from the lifeguards of course. There were up to 10 of us there for a while, trying to practice our respective language abilities in Japanese & English. I was lucky that Yuta & Taish had both travelled a bit so had pretty good english. The younger guys only knew about as much (or little really) english as i did japanese. But im sure we all improved over the week i had there :)

We went out for a few yummy Japanese meals, as well as cooking some at our cramped apartment. Maybe youve seen in a movie a sushi bar where everything comes round on a conveyor belt?? Well we went to one of them! But it gets better... there was a mini shinkansen (bullet train) to deliver special orders placed on a touch-screen at your table!! hows that for Japanese technology & culinary delights? :)  There was sooo much great seafood to try, and some not so great too.  But the guys generally gave me good advice about what to eat, although they couldve tricked me pretty easily i think!!
I repaid the guys helpfulness by cooking a big pasta feast for them a couple of days later. They seemed to like having some 'foreign' food, but japanese-style still, eating with chopsticks.  Im doing ok with the chopsticks too, just a bit slower than the locals of course!

We went out to one of the traditional Japanese hot baths too. It was a pretty new experience for me - bathing naked with a bunch of other men. It seemed pretty natural tho. The semi-outdoor pool had nice round stones set in the sides to make it feel a bit more authentic, and the bamboo fence outside added to the effect too :) The water was really really hot, so we only stayed in for about 15min, then it took about twice as long to cool down again afterwards! But damn i felt soooo relaxed :)

I spent my first few days in Japan in Fujisawa, just south of tokyo, more or less on the coast, but without much surf. But i was staying at the apartment of my new boss, H-san. It was only 5min by bike down to the local beach, where i found gravelly sand, bits of rubbish & kinda murky water (but thats not so different to port waikato sometimes!!).  I was pretty surprised to see a surf comp underway over the weekend, in about 1ft waves. But at least those people didnt have to surf in between the crowds like everyone else along the beach - there mustve been 800 surfers in about as many metres along the beach! Further along, the lifeguards were patrolling and keeping the surfers out, so i had to splash around there for a bit to cool down :)
I was pretty lucky having somewhere to stay that was close to the ocean anyway. It was a damn nice way to relax & get accustomed to the climate & all that. And H-san has been real helpful & friendly too :)

ps. dont worry about that earthquake - it was on the other side of Japan to me! We didnt get any effects here :)  ....who knows whats in store tho...???

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Tags: Beaches & sunshine



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