Monday, October 29, 2012

Izu Peninsula

I got swimming here, but no luck renting or bumming a board

Cxxx  / Mxxxxxxx / OCEAN / Fxxx

I am just finishing up Part 3 of my intro Japan Tour - CITY / MOUNTAIN / OCEAN. I am on the Izu Peninsula, staying at a re-furbished Ryokan in Ito. The coast is all old volcanoes, lave flows, rocky inlets and hilly towns. The train/bus system gets you anywhere in a hurry and I am here for 4 days. I usually stay 3 or 4 nights everywhere I go. You see less (or do you?) but the pace is more relaxed. The Ryokan is a fluke. did not know how nice it was till I walked in

Check out the pics of this place...mine do not do it justice K's House Ryokan - Ito

If you think I am burning money, I am in a dorm room with 6 people and the cost is in line with Hostel prices here (in Tokyo I was paying $27, 12 to a room, here it's $35...the next country it drops to $12-14 and cheaper yet after that. My breakfasts are groceries (yogurt, fruit, bread, egg), lunches are street or stall food in the $4-6 range. Suppers are usually sitdown and bottom of menu or combo plate at $13-15. All in all acceptable for a first-world country. Trains and buses are expensive, but I take all local, non-reserved, which makes it OK. I am not in a hurry.

My average day is spent outdoors, walking, hiking, climbing, swimming, a shrine or two, a cemetery, a walk thru the older sections of a town, interested in architecture and use of space. Before supper is errands, computer work, laundry and shower/hot-tub(onsen). Supper and after are very social times when you meet people and compare trips and the days activity. since i do so little planning, a lot of my days walkabouts are based on what I heard in the hostel the night before.

No wasted space in this cemetery, places I find quite peaceful and always peculiar to the local culture

Up behind the orange groves

Rocky, lava flow coastline

Mt Omuro, bus up, walk back to Ito (15 kms)

Breakfasts tend to be quiet, as most of the kids sleep late. There are always a few of us and conversations start up easily. I am by myself most of the day unless there is a something particular going on (fish market trip, bike rentals). Supper on is very social, sometimes supper with a new friend and always some drinks/ reading/ online stuff in the common room. It is a lot of fun to meet other travellers and share stories of current and past experiences. I find backpackers a very open crowd.

I am finding locals very friendly, both in helping on trains and when I invariably get lost. They love to try out their English on you . Everyone has smiles all around and there are always handshakes and bows and sometimes pictures.

Above are Sibos (Indian) and Yamanase, both my age, both quite interesting

People travel for a variety of reasons. I love the speed that I travel at, I love spending time outdoors getting some form of exercise, I love sharing travel stories with other backpackers and meeting locals, I love the food in most countries I visit.

I don't count what I miss in any one area, just what I see, because you really only see a small slice of a country anyway.

Backpacking alone and staying in hostels and dorms with a very social way to travel. If I was with someone 24/7, a large part of my social interactions would be with that person. Being alone forces you to open up and let things happen. It is a large part of what makes me travel. B

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