Yakuba-free Vacation - Days 5, 6, & 7

The final few days of vacation! What better way to spend them than doing a little traveling?
I took a train down to Samani to visit a friend who lives in Erimo and to do some sightseeing there. The train ride is kind of long at about an hour and a half, but it's a fairly scenic ride through mountains, villages, and tunnels. I also met Zoe, a fellow Hidaka ALT, on the train. I'm glad I had a conversation partner for the long ride!



Let's go to Erimo!



End of the Hidaka Line in Samani.

After I arrived in Samani, Brian was waiting to pick me up. We hit up the 7-11 for some quick energy and began the journey to Erimo. It's not far from Samani- only about 40 minutes by car. It's strange that the railroad doesn't run that far. We arrived in town, had dinner, and pretty much crashed for the night.
The next day while Brian was at work, I got out to take some pictures of the town!



Brian's place, kind of similar to my own but slightly bigger on the inside. It's on top of a huge hill!



Looking down the hill at the TV tower.



The town just goes up and up this hill.



What a view!



More of the town, with the ocean in the background.

After taking some pictures of the town, I walked down the hill and found what appeared to be main street.



It appears to be main street.

Finally, I found what I had been looking for! The entrance to the shrine we had passed on our way to his house the day before.



Shrine entrance.

But halfway to the shrine, I got distracted by something equally interesting.



A Buddhist temple!



Complete with a very impressive statue.

After admiring the Buddhist temple for a bit, I noticed there was a path even further up the hill, so I started climbing.



Steep hill.



Temple from the back.



Sometimes you find some really cool stuff in Japan, like this Buddhist statuette!

Up close!

Finally, I went down the hill a bit and came to the shrine.



Shrinealicious.

As with all shrines I visit, I took pictures of the details and various elements, because just one picture doesn't do them justice.

Click to embiggen.



Check out these trees and you can get a sense of how steep parts of this hill are. It's more of a mountain than a hill sometimes!



Wallpaper-worthy.

After that I stopped at a park to check out this obelisk-thing.


Erimo has more parks than Niikappu. (We've only got one- Record Park)



No idea what this is! Maybe a memorial or something.



In the distance you can see what the town's famous for- its wind.

And that brings us to a warm lunch of tsubu-don, which in English is whelk (sea snail) over rice.

It was so good I brought back a couple bags of smoked tsubu to give to my coworkers! I haven't given it all out yet, so I'm going to put it in the fridge just in case.



This meal gets Brian's seal of approval!



This is the restaurant we ate at.



They also had giant enemy crabs!

Just to the right of the restaurant is the Wind Museum, which overlooks the cape. First we went up on top, above the museum.


Amazing view.



The white dot is where we are!





These ones speak for themselves. Click to embiggen!



What a gorgeous view. This is looking back up the coast towards Erimo (west-northwest).



Finally I get to be in a proper picture! You can see how windy it is if you look at my hair.



And now, you can experience the strong winds! You can see how they shake me and my camera around. The wind is also pretty loud.

Next...

The Wind Museum!

Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised when someone called my name. I took off my glasses, which were still dark from being outside (Transitions lenses), and I saw a friend who I play badminton with back in Niikappu! What a shock to meet him there at that exact time. What are the odds?



Oh, Japan.



Various pictures from inside the Wind Museum. Click to embiggen!

After experiencing the wind outside, why not experience it inside? Enter the Wind Museum's wind tunnel!

We went through twice because it was so fun the first time!

Afterward, we headed back to Brian's place, had dinner, and watched Back to the Future. I just watched the second one tonight, now on to the third! I had a great time in Erimo, and I'm glad I finally did some traveling. When I first got here, I was in so much pain from my back that I just couldn't do anything or go anywhere. Now I feel a bit more invigorated and ready to start class on Friday!

I hope you've enjoyed my Yakuba-free Vacation series! Now that work is starting up again, it won't be long before I get into a routine again. So I'll probably start updating every weekend about work, life, and progress on the game I'm developing with my friends.
Sayonara for now!