We started on Saturday morning with a couple hours driving to the ferry port. We then hopped on an absolutely enormous ferry. One thing that was very interesting was the lack of seats. Instead there were large areas that were raised about a step up and covered with tatami mats. Tatami is the traditional flooring for Japanese. The mats are usually made from rice straw and are a very nice texture. Everyone took off their shoes before getting on the mats and sat or laid on them. Jeff and I opted to sit outside since I thought the fresh air would be good since I tend to have motion sickness problems. The crossing wasn't too bad. It was a beautiful day and the water wasn't too rough.
|Approaching the islands on the ferry.|
Once we found our hotel (a short bus ride from the dock) we relaxed a little and then found our sea kayak guide. We had signed up for sunset sea kayaking. A short drive to the put in and off we went. It was absolutely beautiful. The coast was cliffs and craggy rocks.
|This is where we started paddling.|
|Birds on a rock.|
|This was Jeff's view. It was a 2 person kayak. The guide suggested Jeff sat in the back. He had the camera and took the initial pictures.|
|Pushing along the walls in the first cave.|
|Look closely on this one and you can see a guy fishing on the rocks.|
|The guide took this one of me taking pictures. I was having a wonderful time.|
I have a really hard time picking photos on days like this. There are way too many that I like for different reasons. I apologize for this being a massive blog day.
After kayaking the guide offered to drop us at our hotel. We asked to be dropped at some place for dinner instead and specifically requested someplace with sushi or sashimi. We were dropped in front of what looked like some guys house. After opening the door was a tiny restaurant with one traditional Japanese table (tatami floor and low table with a small cushion to sit on) and 3 bar stools. We had both sushi and sashimi and it was the best we ever had. Fantastic.
In this hotel they had separate men's and woman's baths (thank goodness). There were 5 women on the ladies side. The drill is you shower, get cleaner than you ever have in your life and rinse, before you get in the bath (so you don't contaminate the water). There was a wall of showers with hand held sprayers. You sit on a little stool and scrub yourself thoroughly and wash you hair. It is all very public. I'm not super prudish but it is really intimidating when you feel like you are being judged (particularly because I am a foreigner) on how well I bathe. Not that I saw anyone looking, but you just feel... yeah. Not super comfortable. The ladies left while I was in mid-scrub which made me feel much better. I relaxed in the hot water for a little while before heading out. The hotel provides nice cotton robes to go back to your room from the shower. What I didn't realize was that I should have brought my towel too. Sigh, fail. Well, it was a learning experience and next bath I'll have a much better idea on how things work. We then collapsed on our futons and slept really well.
|Jeff in the hotel in the day time.|
|Hotel room at night with futons laid out.|