I woke up with my laptop right at my face at around 06:00, shrugged and got back to sleep. I got up at around 07:00 to check up on train departures and procrastinated a little bit before preparing to release another day on my blog. After being done with all that, I decided to head out.
I walked aimlessly down up the river, taking pictures of the beautiful cherry trees. After having slowly walked around for a while, I found myself at the beginning of a mountain trekking path. Not having eaten anything since 18:00 the previous days and not having anything to drink with me, I decided to start following it.
I woke at around 07:00 and after a short while of just being on my side, I started researching an expensive destination, Aogashima (青ヶ島). To get there, I’d have to get a flight or a twelve hour ferry ride to Hachijoshima (八丈島) and from there I’d need to take either a two and a half hour ferry ride or a quick helicopter ride to Aogashima (青ヶ島); both of the methods will go to the island / come from the island once a day. I had eyed on the helicopter schedules before due to it being much more reliable than the ferry, so I started looking at flight tickets.
I woke up at around six for the first time, but I couldn’t be bothered to get up. I got up again a bit before 7:30 and soon started hearing someone’s alarm ringing; I decided to get out of bed. Having gotten out of bed, I got my stuff and prepared to leave.
The TV room
They had a nice garden in the courtyard
Before I got out with my stuff, I was greeted by the owner; the owner spoke with an interesting Japanese American accent. He reminded me that I could leave my stuff at their storage room until I had to leave town. Thanks to his reminder, I went ahead and put myself stuff in to their storage room and headed off.
I woke up fairly early in the morning, at 06:45, to the sound of the alarm I had set, but I didn’t get up. The next alarm, this time from my laptop, brought about Catastrophe (by MuryokuP) at 7:30; I finally got up and started planning.
At first I was planning to go to the islands to the north, but that plan was soon crushed as I realised that I had missed the earliest trip there, and the next one would be coming in too late for my schedule – had I not procrastinated the night prior, I would have known this.
I then started looking at train schedules through a mountain route, through Tottori station (鳥取駅), Kinosakionsen station (城崎温泉駅) and Fukuchiyama station (福知山駅) before reaching Kyoto (京都); to my disappointment, I would have to leave pretty much immediately should I want to use the route I wanted to and reach Kyoto (京都) before too late. Disappointed in not having any time to see anything in the much awaited Matsue (松江), I walked to the station.
I woke up a couple of times during the morning: first when some of the other guests were leaving and the second time was an hour or so after the first one. I procrastinated a little bit after actually getting up and checked my train schedules before heading off – it was going to be tight.
Having paid my dues, I started putting on my shoes. The man asked if I knew Japanese a little – in Japanese – and wanted to talk about the usual stuff about origins, reasons for being here and my destinations. I really do appreciate when these chances arise, otherwise I’d never actually get to speak any Japanese. So we talked for a while and then exchanged farewells, the man jokingly saying something in the end, implying something along the lines of “you’ll be back.” After sharing laughs, we went our separate ways – or rather, I did; they remained in their house. Oh, and before I left, when I told them that I was going to Matsue (松江), the couple looked amazed – that is surely due to the fact that it’s a stupidly long way to go; just the way I like it.
WARNING: This post WILL include images and texts that could disturb some people.
I woke after some twelve hours of sleeping, very well rested, at around 06:00. I started procrastinating after I found out that the breakfast would cost me 1000 円 until it was around 09:00. I then went ahead and threw my laundry in to the coin launderette, and then went to confirm the checkout time from the lobby – it was 12:00. I returned to my room to write a little before I went to throw my laundry to the dryer, after which I returned to continue what I had started earlier.
An hour later I got back and was amazed how an hour’s drying was still not enough to dry my stuff as well as the first time I used one of the coin dryers. Before leaving to fetch my clothes, I had decided to go out to see the A-Bomb Peace Park further to the west of the hotel. One returning of the keys later, I headed to the closest Seven Eleven to buy myself some breakfast.
It was a warm, sunny Monday morning, so I decided to eat my breakfast in the park bench by the river. I ate my meal, looking at the business men and joggers passing me and enjoyed the weather in general. After I was done, I gathered my stuff and started walking towards the park.
Had my breakfast in this park area
Domestic tourists, I assume?
So… I blacked out last night, right? I find myself hanging out inside an underground passage like I belonged there – still drunk – right in front of the ticket gate for what I thought was a JR gate. There was no one at the ticket gate, and some people were going in, so I did too. I went to the toilet and became completely aware of the situation I was in. After I got out of the toilet and wanted to check the time, I realised that my phone was gone.
I panicked, and then saw someone in the ticket gate booth. I rushed to him to ask if my phone was seen here. When I got a negative answer, I immediately asked the man for a route to the closest police box. I walked the station for a while, asking another person for more guidance, but I ended up at a place that I didn’t know at all. I was starting to get panicked.
I woke up just to remember that I was still at the Tokyu, still stuck with the awful connection. Annoyed, I went ahead and procrastinated for a while. Before leaving, I tried to do some research on the routes that would be going from the Niigata station (新潟駅) to the Tokyo station (東京駅) and eventually to the Osaka station (大阪駅), but the connection was so utterly crap that it wouldn’t even load Google Maps – GOOGLE MAPS! Pretty pissed off, I walked out of the hotel and headed for the station.
At the station I checked out the connections, and thankfully found the trains I would need to take to get to Osaka (大阪). I boarded the MAX Toki train heading for Tokyo (東京) and began passing out again. When in Tokyo (東京), I switched to a Kodama and continued on to the Shin-Osaka station (新大阪駅). I eventually arrived at Shin-Osaka (新大阪), went to the Osaka terminal (大阪駅) and after that started to find a way to get in to the Osaka Castle Park (大阪城公園).
I woke up some fifteen minutes before our arrival at the Aomori station (青森駅). My body ached, but I still had gotten some rest somehow. The clock was around 5:40 when I stepped out of the train.
Having gotten out of the train, I started looking at the other cars, noticing that there was a more “luxurious” sleeping car with actual beds in it. I laughed a bit as I saw this, followed by some moaning due to my aching body. I moved on to plan my next move.
Small spaces separated by curtains
The sleeping spaces were quite Spartan on this car. A bit poor quality picture, though.
So I woke up to a weird, awful, infernal noise that made me want to murder someone. I was just about ready to start beating up my laptop before I realised that it was the table clock that I had put to wake me up on 6:00. I closed it and started procrastinating instead of doing what I was supposed to: planning and finishing, or rather, starting the previous day’s entry. Hours went by and suddenly the clock was 9:00.
I had done some research on what I should do, but what I had had in mind previously – visiting the islands on the north western end of Hokkaido (北海道) – was just not possible at that point; the train that goes that far leaves thrice a day and takes five hours to get there. So I trashed the idea. I finally got off my lazy bum and did some research on the locales on the way back to the main island, and found Noboribetsu (登別) to be an ideal place; it had scenery AND a place called Hell’s Valley (地獄谷) a walking distance away. Having decided on that, I checked out of the hotel, but found out that it was raining.