Our friend had to work today, so he was up early (and as a result, so were we). We’d stayed up late catching up, so waking was harder than usual. Not only did he give us a roof to sleep under, but his hospitality also extended as far as cooking breakfast for us.
We left Tosashimizu with semi-clear skies with no plan for the day. We made a quick stop at Kashiwa-jima. We’d heard from my friend (and his neighbours) that the area was the best place (outside of Okinawa) to go snorkelling/scuba diving, so we thought we’d have a look (but not go scuba diving). We’d drove as far as the island, but once we were there, we’d realised we couldn’t actually drive around the island as HMAS Delica was too wide for the footpath like streets. Keen for adventure, we parked (moored) and pulled out the ‘cub to go explore. The town looked like photos we’d seen of Okinawa towns, the small old houses were tightly packed and the roads seemed too narrow to ride the ‘cub along, yet there were cars parked at some of the houses (granted, they were the yellow-plate kei cars).
We rode around for a few minutes, and realised that there actually wasn’t much for us to explore. The town was tiny, and surrounded by giant concrete wave barriers (including giant metallic gates to allow cars in/out). The place was a dying town though, the elementary and the junior high schools were closed, and there didn’t seem to be much activity (outside of the dive centres). But, it was fun to quickly explore such a different town, even if we drove for less time than it took to get the bike in/out…
Leaving Kashiwa-jima we saw a lookout for a rock column. The sign said it was 50m, so we went to investigate. I was also hoping that from there we’d be able to see some more of the coastline/islands. We saw the impressive column, but I also saw a snake (AGAIN!) on the pathway there. That’s three in two days…
We kept heading in a rough northerly direction, trying to look for things to see/do, but apart from a sex museum in Uwajima City, there wasn’t a lot. Being prudes, we didn’t bother going. A little research revealed that the museum’s speciality was shunga (erotic wood-block prints), as well as various wooden penis sculptures. I personally thought that it was going to be the odd collection of a semi-perverted ojisan. I guess we’ll have to settle for assumptions and other peoples impressions.
Not being able to find anything that we really wanted to do, we kept on driving towards Matsuyama City, which is where we plan to explore tomorrow. The nearest michi-no-eki is about 20km outside of Matsuyama, slightly too far to commute in the ‘cub, so we’ll have to do the usual pachinko parking trick.
Within the michi-no-eki was a koibito no seichi (lover’s sanctuary). Lover’s showed their commitment by permanently locking a padlock to the building. Not being a romantic (nor having a spare padlock), we didn’t participate in this ritual.
After the sun set, black clouds were being blown our way by strong winds. I was sure that we were going to be in the middle of another huge storm, but nothing eventuated. Yet. In the strong winds, Risa cooked some salmon and vegetables to go with instant rice, which we ate as I caught up on MotoGP (having Internet access at my friends house was fantastic).