My second day in Hachijojima is my final day on the island. If I had a few more days, I’d probably jump in on some Scuba diving or deep sea fishing action, but I won’t have time for that today. The sun rises early out here, and before 8am I’m downstairs enjoying a simple but tasty breakfast, courtesy of the guest house staff.
The first breakfast of my entire trip to include coffee by default. Happy days are here at last!
The owner of the guest house only knows a few words in English, but we’re able to use my limited Japanese vocabulary and mastery of pointing at things to talk about the best way to get to the hot springs which are on the opposite side of the island. If I had a rental car, it would be easy, but I didn’t pick up an international driver’s license. He warns a taxi will be too expensive; better to take the bus.
Armed with my bus schedule written entirely in Kanji, I walk to the nearest stop which is some distance away. As I wait I do my best to google translate things, but I find it not very helpful. The schedule is irregular, but I think I figure it out after a long time poring over things.
The bus arrives and after a halting converstaion with the driver, I figure out the right fare, and am allowed to take my seat. As the bus trundles through town, it picks up and drops off a slow stream of elderly locals. It’s about an hour before I reach the hot springs at the other side of the island.
I don’t have pictures from down in the spring, but it was a great relaxing experience. The water was hot, so it was good for a 5 or 10 minute soak at a time before getting mostly out to enjoy the breeze and the overlook that saw a waterfall empty into a narrow basin below. There are a few other people here, including one white guy! I make friends with a Canadian named Neil. We talk for hours, soaking away the afternoon. He’s had lots of crazy adventures: bicycling through China and Nepal, living in Japan for a spell, and getting bit by a viper just to name a few! Reminds me of running into Geoff Keys in New Zealand, another world traveler with lots of great stories. It’s inspirational.
I get re-dressed and ready to catch my bus back to the airport. It’s almost time to leave. As I wait, I hop into a tiny little store across the street and get some snacks. Who doesn’t love fried chicken and Sukky?
The flight back is quick, only about an hour, and by the end of the day I successfully make it through the subway to my hotel in the Ginza district of Tokyo, which is very westernized. At the bar next to the hotel there’s nothing but Americans! A young couple from Cali on vacation, and a flight crew for a corporate jet in Tokyo on business. More stories and good relaxing vibes with some fish tacos, bass ale, and a warm evening.
I have two more full days in Tokyo, and then I fly back to the states. It’s getting close to the end of my trip, but I’ve been enjoying it. Sorry for the short-ish blog posts from this point on but I don’t really have a desk in my hotel room so typing sitting at the edge of the bed is a bit awkward.
I hope everyone enjoyed a fine Easter Sunday wherever you are.