today started early with tons of Japanese girls waking up early and not being quiet at all. after all, i did have people in my room last night, 2 Japanese girls that were also not quiet and didn’t seem to want to go to bed. ah!
so i got on the island at around 9 am and started the day with breakfast on the beach (low tide = beach around the center of town) but it got cut off by a deer who jumped over and was trying to grab my food and eat my clothing. i swear, those damn things are pests and people should really stop feeding them. they run after you and try to eat your clothing. they rip your paper bags right out of your hands. they go through garbage, eat rope, anything really that they can get their teeth on. and they make the whole damn place smell like a zoo. I’m tired of deers, deer poo, deer piss, and having to watch out for deers. I’m glad that i won’t be seeing them again!
anyhow, after breakfast i hiked up to Daisho-in temple. i have to say that this was the best temple that i have visited so far. great view, free, tons of things to see, beautiful. they are a Tibetan-ish branch, so it was really different and wonderful. i attended mass, rotated tons of prayer wheels and exactly 1000 beads, checked out the sand mandala and the numerous sites and thousands of Buddhas. this place was magical and I’m really happy that i saw it.
afterward i rented a bike to make my way to some secluded beaches along the coast. the bikes you rent in japan are not made for tall people, so it’s really hard to pedal properly on what seems to be a kids bike. but the breeze was nice! unfortunately right after the crowded beach the road went straight up all the way to the top of the island it seems, so i had to abandon my dreams of deserted beaches and accept the fact that there’s no way i could pedal there. so i went to the crowded beach, in the farthest corner i could see. it was alright but the water really stunk like algae… even though it was cold. it was refreshing though, so that was nice. but you couldn’t really swim or anything… anyhow, I’ll have Vietnam and Thailand and Malaysia and Australia and Fiji for beaches, so it doesn’t really matter!
i managed to eat on the island and had the local dish for dinner (i forget the name now, starts with a “o” and it was alright, although a little hard to eat. basically the it’s like a big layered dish. it starts with a pancake, then they put on shredded lettuce and some beef. when that’s ready, they place noodles on it and a cooked egg. then, add some brown sauce (kinda like a in-between teriyaki and BBQ…) and tons of green stuff (like finely chopped parsley, but it isn’t), i got to discover that I’m not good with chopsticks: it’s really hard to cut anything with those things!
then i just sat outside and people watched. fought some deers. watched the sunset. took pictures. listened to a British family fight over taking pictures. took pictures for Japanese people and with Japanese people. listened in horror at the conversation some marines stationed near here were having (like, hello! you’re right beside a place you’ve destroyed. show some respect!) and saw other Americans oddly dressed for japan (one was wearing a bikini top in town, a big no no, the other had enormous fake breast hanging out of her skimpy tight pink dress…). and then, i met a really nice girl from new Mexico (my 3rd person from there in 2 days) who works in Nagoya but unfortunately she’s staying in Hiroshima, and not at the dump here with me!
i keep looking west towards Hiroshima and i keep telling myself, this is where it happened. this place got destroyed, and where I’m standing got to watch… it’s very surreal. tomorrow i am going to Hiroshima, i will see the a-dome (the only building left standing after he bomb dropped), the peace museum, the memorials… it will be really emotional. to think. people were living and suddenly, the sun fell on their heads. the bomb exploded above them in the sky. and all that was left of some people was their shadow burned into the ground. i will stand there. on radioactive ground. and see how life was reborn… it will be an incredible experience. hard, but something that one has to see.
never again Hiroshima!
and then, it’s back to Tokyo!!!