🇯🇵 Japan: Ocean Walk & Mountain Hike

January 17th, 2017


Luke has the day off so we get to spend it together hanging out. The weather is still cold and windy, but we decide to brave the weather for a morning walk. The wind is brutal and it's a fight to make it the half mile to the seaside.

The sun is out, but dark clouds to the east and west forebode the coming of storms. We cut our walk short because it just isn't pleasant to be outdoors.

Back at the house Luke makes lunch and I play a little bit on his computer. Luke shows me some cool games he has, mainly No Man's Sky and Factorial. It's a slow relaxing day.

After lunch we brave the slightly warmer weather for another walk. This time we go in the other direction and look at the hills and mountains on the horizon. We go past a vending machine that serves hot beverages. It keeps coffee and tea warm for purchase. For ¥160 I can get a metal can of Caffe Latte which is almost too hot to hold.

It's still too cold to enjoy a long walk so after a little bit we turn back. It's also getting closer to supper time and we need to prep the dumplings for cooking.

It's fascinating to see my brother "grown up." The young boy who would have to be told to set the table several times before reluctantly pausing his game and running to the kitchen is now the young man slicing vegetables and making dumplings. It feels wrong to keep playing as he works and soon I'm in the kitchen helping and chatting.

After supper Luke and I play on our phones and Haley knits while we watch the first two hours of the Masterpiece Drama Victoria.


Luke has the day off so we get to spend it together hanging out. The weather is a little bit better than Monday, so after my morning donut and coffee we head down to the ocean again. Today Luke takes his fishing gear.

We walk further down the shore. Huge waves crash over the wave breakers and cement tetrapods. Luke is unsuccessful in catching fish, the water is likely too rough. I capture many photos and a handful of pokemon. Our path back takes us up a hill with a nice view of the ocean. Again it feels like we're in the eye of the storm, clouds to the east and west appear formidable.

Mario Golf and Super Smash Bros provide the entertainment during our lunch hour, back at the house.

After lunch it's warmed up and the threat of rain has passed. We hike toward the mountains. We don't have to go very far before the fields are covered in several inches of snow. Our total hike was around six miles, three out and three back. The change in elevation was significant, (9.9% grade), but at the same time didn't feel all that noticeable to me. It definitely got colder as we got higher, but we also walked between sun and shade as the road wound back and forth.

We pass the Atsuta Shrine, which is a small shrine up some stone steps. We stop and I take some photos. Water, presumably from a nearby spring, is channeled down a bamboo pipe into a washing bin near the bottom of the steps. A grey PVC pipe inside the bamboo is the actual conduit for water. The bamboo here is very tall and has thick stalks. We're curious to know if this is a single year's growth or if takes a couple years to get this big.

A couple of houses sit along side the road as it winds up further upward. At the top of the hill the road turns and starts go to down. Our view is blocked by trees, but Mt. Daisen should be right beyond them. We decide to walk just a little bit further to see what we can see.

Down the hill is a small village, I think the name is Hatai. We stop partway down the hill and just enjoy the view. A couple of trucks drive through town, but beyond that it's completely peaceful here. There's no train, no ocean, just quiet. Daisen is again covered with clouds, but it's still a lovely sight.

On the way back we stop at a vending machine so I can get hot coffee again.