Pictures will come, but I just wanted to quickly post this while the spirit moved me as pictures likely won’t do justice anyway.
Lindsay and I took a night bus from Kyoto South/West to Hiroshima, arriving this morning around 6:30am. From there we took a road trolley to the port of Hiroshima, where we waited an hour or so for a ferry to take us to the Koyou port on the Island of Etajima. Each step of this trip brought us further from the city, further and further into smaller and smaller towns. People are more likely to stare and wonder what a few gaijins are doing walking down the street with giant packs.
Anyway, after arriving on the Island we took a bus (the bus we suspected took us where we wanted, though we weren’t sure) 3 or so kilometers and then hiked up the side of a hill through the backyards of some UP looking houses (except Japanese). Then bam! We arrived at our current living accommodations, a small, 100ish year old traditional Japanese house. It’s not fancy. At all. It’s got a bunch of random stereo equipment laying around. The couches are warn and mismatched.
It’s currently 38 degrees, and there is no central heat. The doors are all rice paper, which is to say, incredibly thin with very little isolation. The only heat comes from propane fans (I’m hoping we don’t die in a tragic fire), which I have pointed directly at my person. I’m also wearing socks for the first time in 4+ months and one of those expose-to-air-and-shake-to-activate heating pads taped to my chest. I’m still cold, but incredibly happy and content.
Outside the house is a garden with mandarin oranges, a bonfire area (complete with a bench that says “I’ve got 99 problems but a bench ain’t one”), and more importantly a direct view of the ocean. We’re up on a hill, so the view is great. It’s not a “top of the empire state building” view but it is a “top of a hill in a very small rural village in Japan overlooking an oyster farm” view.
Lirdy is currently taking a cat nap. Sadly for her, the heater in the room didn’t seem to turn on, so it’s very cold in there. But she’s under blankets, so hopefully she’s doing OK. We’ll see when she wakes up. Speaking of cats there are two here, but they are actually really great cats. You see, I generally don’t like cats, but at least one of the cats is quite dog like. Actually seems to enjoy petting in a dog-like fashion, and the cat is bigger then many cats I’ve seen so it’s got some substance to it when you pet it.
Having just arrived we don’t have many plans, but our host, Tohei has told us there is the oyster farm/factory 2km away that we can walk to and buy cheap oysters at, so we might do that tomorrow. I also plan on looking for a local bar. And, 6km is an onsen (hot spring/public bath) that apparently looks over the ocean, so that’s on the to-do list for sure.
We’ve got 4 days here, and no plans. Maybe do some reading, and definitely do some programming. And walking.