Japan Trip 2 – Day 2

Friday morning, and the sky was grey when I woke up, but with the promise that the clouds would burn away. I managed to get up early and headed up to the main building of the hotel for a spot of breakfast. I was surprised that it seemed more western than Japanese – there was sausage (chicken I think) and bacon, scrambled eggs, and then some cold salad vegetables and some broth and rice.

I tucked in, then headed off for a swim in the pool. The water was ice cold, which was great, and after sixty lengths I did a spot of sunbathing while reading “Gone Girl”. I’d started it like a year ago, but was now racing through it as it was getting gripping. On the way back to my room I saw this… the first wild snake I have ever seen in my life! Hooray!

I decided to walk to the nearest village for lunch – Anbo. I’d seen it from the car on the way to the hotel, and although it looked small, I thought it would keep me busy enough for the afternoon. Most people come to Yakushima to hike the mountains, but as that required a 4am start, I’d decided I was going to give that a miss. The climb up to the main building of the hotel was enough of a trek for me!

By the time I’d showered after my swim, it was 1.45 in the afternoon, and annoyingly I noticed the sushi place I picked for lunch closed at 2. Never mind I thought, I’m sure there’ll be someplace else! Before I’d even left the hotel grounds a man came running up asking where I was going. I told him I was going to walk to Anbo. “It’s very far!” he said. “Like two kilometres!”. Pah! I thought, no sweat! Thanking him I set off.

The bus stops on Yakushima are all numbered. The first one I passed on my trek was number 88. By the time I’d reached bus stop 81, I’d been walking for an hour. The sun was beating down, and I thought I could feel myself getting a bit of sunstroke. I looked at the bus timetable and discovered Anbo’s bus stop was numbered 66. A quick bit of maths told me if the bus stops were all spaced that far apart, I probably wouldn’t make it as far as Anbo! Presumably the guy at the hotel had meant it was 20 kilometres away. So I waited at stop 81, and ten minutes later, thankfully, a bus came along.

Anbo was spread out over around a mile – I’d bought a guide book and decided seeing as the sushi restaurant I wanted to visit was closed, I thought I’d head to a bar featured in the book for lunch – Yoronzaka. I knew it was at one end of Anbo town, so walked… and walked… and walked…. until I’d walked the length of the village, and couldn’t see any sign of the bar. So I nipped into a small shop and asked the lady. It was right at the OTHER end of the village she told me – too far to walk!

I was beginning to feel a bit knackered by this point, and it was still hot, so I headed to an Udon restaurant the hotel had recommended. By the time I walked down to the seafront where it was located, it was of course closed.

By this time I decided I might as well walk the length of the village again, so eventually found Yoronzaka . I walked in, and well… it was interesting! Two ladies and a man sat smoking watching a massive tv. It was 4pm by this point and I was pretty hungry, so I ordered a bowl of udon noodles. They came hot and quickly, which was a relief. It wasn’t the sushi I’d been hoping for, but at least it was filling.

By this point the bus was due, and there wasn’t another for an hour, so I slurped down the noodles, ran to the bus stop, hopped on board only to find out I didn’t have any change. This was not proving to be a good day. I explained to the driver, who stopped the bus at a shop so I could go in, and get some change.

Finally I found the sign for the hotel, showing it was only a 2km walk away. Uphill. But I did get this photo….

By the time I got back to my villa, I checked my Fitbit to see how far I’d walked that day. Eight miles. For an average bowl of udon noodles. Bah! I collapsed on the bed for a quick snooze, and then got up to have a shower. I was slightly surprised to say the least when I was standing in a t-shirt and pants when my villa door opened and a lady from the hotel stood there with an American couple. I stood speechless, with my mouth a big ‘O’ before apologies were muttered and the door closed again. Hopefully they’ll get over that!

I showered and enjoyed a lovely dinner again and then headed back to my room. Two (free) Asahi beers from the fridge later and it was time to hit the sack. Hopefully tomorrow would be less strenuous and a bit more interesting!