Day 13 - Tokushima
03.04.2012 - 03.04.2012 19 °C
We said our goodbyes to Sho-san early in the morning. Junya drove us to the train station to retrieve our bikes. We stuffed both bikes, our bulky backpacks, and Meagan in the back of the van. I don't really know how we managed to do that. We drove our way to the delivery company. It's about $90 to send both bikes back. Our wallets hurt, but at least we're free to travel by train or car!
The weather today was very windy, and rainy - somewhat like a typhoon. Unlike Seattle weather, it was rainy, windy, warm, and musty. We made good use of our cheap rainjackets we bought from Daiso, but we still got soaking wet. The sticky feeling you get from the mixture of sweat and rain was unbearable. I don't know how people survive during the Tsuyu (rainy season)...
We stopped at a small ramen place for lunch. Since we were in Tokushima, it would be crazy not to try their famous ramen. Meagan and I tried their Tokushima special ramen and gyozas. The ramen was skinnier than the typical ramen, but the thick slab of delicious, juicy pork still remained the same. Such a nice day for a hot soupy noodles on a rainy day.
As we walked out the door, a dark, ominous rain cloud hovered over us, and it poured... HARD. We drove through the rain, went through as many temples as we can, and enjoyed the cherry blossoms throughout the way. It got to the point where we couldn't even light our incense or candles. The weather was wacky - a mix of rain, sun, rain, dark clouds, rain, sun, and more rain.
While going to temple 22, we made a quick break to buy snacks at a farmer's market. We got a bag of kiwis for 100 yen and bananas for 80 yen! What a deal! The rain finally stopped and the sun was starting to peek out. We went to get some ice cream while watching the blooming sakura trees - my very first hanami.
Afterwards, we drove our way to a nearby dormitory for henros. A clean tatami room equipped with a television and heater all for 1500 yen per person if we had our sleeping bags. There was a washing machine and dryer, but we were cheap henros and decided to hand wash and air dry our clothes. I made the mistake of washing all my clothes including my sweat pants. My hands were burning by the time I finished squeezing every last drop of water from my drenched clothes. The henro way of living.
Since there was no food avaliable in the dorms, wge drove to a nearby convinient store to get food - ramen, cream-filled buns, and mitarashi dango. It's not a healthy, balanced meal, but stingy henros do not complain. Before we ate, we went into the onsen and relaxed in the hot water. Afterwards, my sister and I ate the buns and dango, and saved our ramen for later. We fell asleep while watching random television shows. Junya went out to take a breather, but was dragged by some older men to a few drinks with them. Poor guy.
1) When Japan rains, it rains HARD.
2) Men in Japan love to smoke and drink. The only time when they can relax and release their stress is through sake.
3) Convinient stores are everywhere... even up in the mountains.