While today, our last full one in Japan, was scheduled to be a laid back and get packed before family arrive for a parting dinner kind of day.The weather was just to good to pass up as It turned out to be anything but laid back. According to plan we were going to take the bus down to the Zushi train station to do a little exploring of the side streets and back areas we have bypassed since day 1 of our arrival. Some lunch, a stroll and back up the hill to the homestead.
After a long walk through the area we headed back to a place called Aroyas that had advertised scorpion as one of the days specials. Though I had just a short glance of the venue while passing by. The thought of eating something completely new to my palette (Even at the risk of dying) overtook me. So with belly’s rumbling we sat down and doubled up on scorpions before moving on tour our main course of curry shrimp. We ate so much food that we decided to get on the train to Kamakura where we could really walk it off. With no evident signs of heading to our graves due to our dance with plates of predatory arachnids.
Earlier tonight the eight of us went out for a going away sushi dinner. It’s one of those places that the sushi travels on a conveyor belt. We ate so much that by the end of our stay there were, counted them, 66 single plates carefully stacked in three piles. I had my final and sixteenth consecutive night of after dinner drinks with my Father-In-Law ( I know he’s going to miss me.) Refreshing after fifteen nights of vodka. We finally moved on to saki.
So we’ve finally come to the end of our trip. While I’m really going to miss everyone and just about everything Japan has to offer. I’m ready to go home. Our flight departs from Narita Airport tomorrow around five. I’m sure I’ll have some time to write tomorrow, but for the most part. This trip is history. I’m very appreciative of the incredible people in my life. Both those within arms reach and those around the globe who inspire me daily. I’d like to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous New Year. “Don’t take shit form anybody.”
With plans to walk to the beach. We made a point to leave earlier than usuaL. Then, just as we were finishing breakfast Kayuri’s mom asked if it would be alright to walk there with us. Before long, two became three and with the addition of her Dad Kenichi. Our duo became a quartet. Not to complain, but I was a little bit worried they wouldn’t be able to keep up with us. The walk itself is a long one. One that, much like most of the rural areas we’ve visited, is one climb after another. It’s a steep climb whether you’re going up a hill (Like it almost always seems) or downhill. Yet, before we knew it. They were leading the path and leaving us in their dust.
Now an outsider might view staying in the same rural area for more than a day as “Taking it easy”. I can assure you, the terrain here has helped me rediscover my once lost balance while giving me strong, durable hiker legs.
After a long, twisting walk, we arrived at the beach where we did a lot more walking and climbing. Overall, it was an exhausting day. Making it back up that last hill at the end of the day took all that I had and more. As we head in to the New Year and the last four days of our trip. I begin to think of the people and things I’ll miss the most. We ended our day with another great meal that took up the entire table and more. I had the biggest cuts of sashimi I’ve ever had and got to sit and drink with my Father-in-Law when we were done.
With a long drive to Hakone’s hot springs just hours away. Kayuri, her Mom and her middle sister Chisato felt an urge to reward my craving for traditional Japanese noodles with a trip to Wakana in rural Hayama. Though the drive there seemed to be a long one. The area we travelled had me more excited than anything on my trip thus far. As I stated in my Tokyo Post. I was really looking forward to exploring the rural side of Japan in the days coming. The narrow roads we travelled were highlighted on both sides by tiny houses, boat graveyards and rustic shacks that most likely served as homes to some of the workers in the area. The scene outside our car window reminded me of the climactic end of the Movie “Point Break” People running to and fro. Running for cover from the coming storm or apocalypse. The rain was coming down pretty hard by the time we made it to the restaurant and the wind seemed to threaten many of the shacks I mentioned. As we turned in to the parking lot of the famed noodle house. The rain stopped as if to allow us safe passage. Allowing us to reach our tasty destination without getting completely drenched. The pictures below were taken after our lunch. Left to Right Chisato, Nobue (Mom) and Kayuri. The noodles at Wakana are by far, the best I’ve ever had. Sitting seiza style will take a little more flexibility in the future, but I’m willing to work on it.