Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Matsushima is Left

After a serene morning wandering around Ine I was a bit apprehensive to go to Amanohashidate. I knew I was going to meet vast crowds who would fight me for personal space.

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As the sign boldly proclaims, it's a very famous beauty spot. I don't know who conceived the list in the first place but as someone would later point out to me, Japan likes lists of things. There are best dances, best gardens, best festivals, and so on. Since Amanohashidate was along my way it was a no brainer to stop.

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So what makes it so beautiful? The several kilometer long sandy spit with pine trees that connects both sides of the bay. I was going to walk across to the other side but after walking around all morning in Ine I decided to rent a bike. I don't think I've ever rented a bicycle while traveling. As I pedaled across the first bridge onto the lengthy sand bar and with every crank of the pedals I beamed.

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The shade of the trees blew cool air on my skin. I weaved in and out of people with my black hood snug around my head like a little black riding hood on a bike.

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I made it to the other side and tried to find a park spot for the bike so I could hike up to the viewing platform. No luck. I found an old hiking trail that was steeped in mounds of leaves and fallen branches. I was able to stash the bike at the entrance and hike up. The sweat poured and poured. But at last I found my way to the main view point.

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It's nice. I guess. But you have to look at it upside down and get your picture taken to commemorate the event. Some friendly Japanese man was talking my ear off while another foreigner snapped my wonderful pose.

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In my reflection of such moments I ask myself why I gave heed to doing what was expected. Well, specifically to make sure I didn't let anyone down when they ask if I did. I once had an uncle who scoffed at me for not having a graduation party in high school. That hurt me inside.

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My bike time was nearing the limit so I briskly crossed the sand spit.

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The trusty mama bike served me well. The shop owner tried to make me pay 100 extra yen for coming back late but she was just poor at math. I protested and pulled out my phone to show her the time. I wasn't about to let her tell me I was late and had made others wait. It's just the principle of the matter.

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I was glad to be back on the road again. I ate an ice cream bar as I rolled through Obama. I found myself looking over the bay from some nearby mountains.

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Obama really loved Barrack running for president back in 2008. There is no tell tale sign of that anywhere on the surface however. There were so many mountains and peninsulas I could have explored but the day was wearing thin and I wanted to press toward Ishikawa. I loaded up some Tycho on the DS and traveled into the night. String cheese euphoria washed through my blood and put me to sleep.

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