Japan day 16

Japan day 16
Katata-Tsuruga 80 km
As darkness was descending last night, I walked along the lakeside beach, and fell into conversation with Motoi, a young elementary school teacher, with a passion for fishing. While we chatted, he cast his line to catch black bass

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….but they weren’t biting. Like so many Japanese people, he would love to improve his English, but his circumstances are not conducive. Like the UK, Japan is an island nation, and island nations like ours have a long history of keeping the barbarians out, and not learning their languages and their customs. And as I pen this post, I notice I have just received this ‘selfie’ taken by Motoi as the the last flicker of daylight faded last night

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Now let me ask you: how did you spend your Easter Sunday? Was it bright and sparkling, bathed in warm spring sunshine as you opened your first chocolate egg? Well, I’d like to ask: why do bubbles burst? Some wag will say that bubbles are meant to burst….that is the nature of a bubble….(damn it!).
Because, in the small hours of Easter morning, my little bubble burst.

All those sweet treacly things I said about camping by a beautiful lake…..well, tosh to that!……it began raining, and continued to rain throughout the night, finding its way into my tent (when it shouldn’t), till I had to start rescuing things at 4am.
Fortunately, there was a covered picnic area nearby, so this unhappy bunny could hang his kit to dry off a little

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….and start preparing himself for a journey of discontent (note the colour-coordinated Budgens plastic bags serving as waterproof socks….someone please tell Charles to stop putting little holes in the bags….).

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After a leisurely breakfast of sardines, bread, fruit and cold coffee (giving drying time for the kit, of course) I was ready to do battle with Japan…..I mean, of course, its weather.

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And it continued to pour for the rest of the day, even when I had to climb beyond 300 metres to the fading snow fields of a ski resort

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….and why the Japanese ministry of transport needs to tell us what is already transparently obvious, beats me….

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So having got all of that off my chest, I sincerely hope you’ve had a joyous Easter Day, that your roast spring lamb was the best you’ve ever tasted, and you are now enjoying a digestif accompanied by shards from your second Easter egg.
My little celebration tonight, now that I am in Tsuruga, on the Sea of Japan coast, is to book into a traditional Japanese ryokan, have a much needed shower and soak, catch up on some laundry, and let the lady of the house prepare my evening meal and breakfast. Luxury!

And I leave you with this observation: when you suddenly notice that convenience stores have storm porches and umbrella stands….

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what does that tell you about the weather on this side of the Alps? Hmm…..this is where I stay until I reach Hokkaido. I need to get Buddha back onside….

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About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on April 5, 2015, in End-to-End of Japan 3000kms. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Denise McAdam

    Happy Easter to you too, Frank! It’s been so interesting reading about your Japanese adventures. Looking forward to your next instalment. With Easter greetings from Denise, Neil and all the family.

  2. Keep warm, Keep dry and have a very happy Easter from Irwins

  3. Leaky tent – oh dear! Why is it that these things always happen when you are long way from the appropriate shop! I recall my first Gore-tex failing on top of a Western Scottish Munro with 7-8 miles to walk out, getting wetter by the step. Consider a Hilleberg Akto for your replacement (and a can of silicon proofing spray in the short term). We have a Hilleberg and they combined light weight with robust fabrics. Not cheap though. Good luck with the reproofing and pray it will last the rest of your trip

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