2012/05/24

Fukuoka - Himeji, Japan

Photos:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151779112870372.870938.743390371&type=3&l=da06bff9a3

I look like a hippie and so do the customs in Japan think. Out of everyone, I was the only one interrogated and they went through my bag. They also asked if I smoked. Hrmpf! After getting ashore and collecting my first yen, I took the bus to my first host. A German girl met me at the bus station and took me to our mutual host, Hiro san. He had prepared an excellent meal, and a hungry Hawk was happy. The next day, Michelle, Hiro and I went out to see castle ruins, museums and watched the sunset at the beach. I had my first ramen noodles as well. Hiro drove us around in two different Volvos, which I found amusing. I miss Anna, my Saab. Shogun Hiro taught me some samurai Japanese which I would use to impress new friends. Very useful! The next day the German left and I went for a walk in Fukuoka. In the evening a Dutch, a Mexican and a Japanese couch surfer came along and we had a great evening with Hiro, his mother and his friend. Carla, the Mexican, gave us all gifts and I got myself a new bracelet! After some good Shoju we called it the night and I went to bed, gathering strength to my Hiroshima trip. Radiation time!

In Hiroshima I was standing in the epicenter of the a bomb. It was really cool to be standing where the bomb once fell. I checked out the museums and parks around as well. My Hiroshima host, Miiko, met up with me and we went for okonomiyaki, a delicious speciality in the area. Afterwards we walked home and I met her cat Karaage, meaning fried chicken haha. The next morning I met up with Keigo, a friend from Fukuoka, and two of his friends. We were checking out the Mijemya shrine, a shrine that's "floating" in the water. It was nice, but unfortunately under restoration. In the evening Miiko and I put wallpaper on one of her walls, made a great dinner and watched Toy Story 2, a perfect way of ending the Hiroshima stay. She also helped me make a poster that says something in Japanese that would help me get picked up when hitch hiking.

The next day I was slightly scared. I was going to hitch hike from Hiroshima to Bizeniri, a small place a bit far away. It was difficult to get out of the city, but a guy who had been hitch hiking in Canada himself, picked me up and drove me out so I got close to the highway. There a second great guy, Keisuke, got me to another highway intersection. With the help of a girl I got up on the highway but in the wrong direction. But three rides in the right direction got me to the doorstep. A nice guy took me the first lap, second guy, 60 years old, got me lunch in addition and at last an old couple drove me all the way to my destination. I gave away some sweets and Norwegian stickers since that's what I had. I love Japanese people! When I finally arrived, people started feeding me energy drinks and candy outside their work. I gave some sweets back and they came with even more out haha. Man, I had a smile on my face all day! And after checking out the little village, Akane picked me up and we went home to her mother and grandfather, who was a decorated soldier and had a letter from the emperor! Her mother had prepared the most delicious meal and I couldn't stop eating. And a laughing girl on the other side of the table made it all even better. Their ninja house was soooo cool, really Japanese, with a million sliding doors and secret rooms. If Japan and Japanese continue to be like this, I might have to move here.

After waking up in my own big living room I had a shower and we headed out to the town she's working in. Turns out it's Ako, where the 47 Ronin revenge story started. Such a cool surprise! At the castle ruins I also read that one of the young samurais was often mistaken for a girl. I guess I know which Samurai I'll be. After saying good bye to Akane, I went hitch hiking again and got picked up by Yumi and she took me to Aioi. There I had to walk a bit, but on the way an old man found me interesting enough to give me a bag of fresh strawberries, and by the way, the berries are so delicious in this cuntry. I got a ride with a man and his father and they took me all the way to Himeji. I checked out the awesome castle there, it's incredible even when it's under restoration! Adam, my new host, picked me up after work and took me to his place a bit outside of Himeji. There his girlfriend Shinobu had dinner ready and we sat down and ate and drank. She had a Hakumen and Haori, traditional Japanese clothes, that she gave me! Super happy with my new possessions, I put them on and had a great night! Awesome first week in Japan!

2 comments:

  1. Dude, that sounds awesome! Glad you're havin' fun!

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    Replies
    1. It is. I recommend getting over here!

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