The second day at Kumejima was a day for cycling. Although I had prepared to take my folding bike on the plane, I decided I did not want any checked baggage on this trip and therefore left it behind.
We rented bikes at the island, and as to be expected, the bikes provided were not in the best condition. The only shop with nice bikes was closed, so we set out on single gear commuter bikes for the journey. These would have been fine minus one large climb on the island that required us to push the bikes uphill
Despite the tropical heat, the lack of traffic on the island made the walk up enjoyable.
The view from the top was…
Continuing the trek, a local fisherman informed us that they were about to start the auction for the day and we could watch if we wish.
As we continued to circle the island out our 11.3kph pace, we enjoyed the local points of interest
Sugarcane, Kumejimas main export.
As the day came to an end, we made our way back to the village and enjoyed the local foods
Cycling stats for the day.
Sunset in the fields
[beach street] I enjoy any place where I can walk down Main Street without worrying about traffic.
Looking back I wish I had carried my own bike for comfort, but I still enjoyed the adventure. In total, the journey was 40km, it would have been another 10 if we went down the first path. However, that was a trip for another day.
A small break from the hustle of mainland Japan.
Kumejima is a small island about 100 miles from mainland Okinawa in Japan. This is a vacation to unwind from it all.
Day one was arrival. As with these small, far flung islands in Japan, the airport is open only 2-4 hours a day! After landing I waited for a taxi for about an hour for a ride to the village, I finally made my way to my minshuku (a bed and breakfast type inn). After opening the curtains, I was greeted by a rainbow over the sea.
…and a shower with the toilet. In all the places I’ve visited in Japan, and the world I’ve never seen that before.
After, I ate that the best restaurant I’ve ever been to in Japan, bar none.
It is very traditional Okinawan food, cooked perfection. After eating more than my fill, I strolled through the sugarcane fields and the village. As I enjoyed the smell of nature and cow manure, I realized that no matter how brief the trip was, I would enjoy it immensely.
Day two would take me around the island to feel serenity I hadn’t felt in a while.
For some reason my post about St Martin disappeared, so today I post a picture of my office as I head to Osaka for a day of work. I love working on the Shinkansen, it’s so easy to focus.
Here is my office today, as well as most spring until I move on to western and Kyushu after golden week. Also a special set of updates later this week.
I’ll write (ramble) later about why office work in certain job fields is unnecessary. For now, understand that there is always an alternative option that is a step or leap in the direction of your dreams. Sometimes they won’t tell you the way, or some will stand in your way, push keep pushing.
For an area full of vistors to Japan, I’m surprised there is so little information about Golden Gai (新宿ゴールデン街) on the Internet, and nothing written by a local so, here we go!
Golden Gai is a collection of 200 bars that is a great light life area which offers a glimpse into what Shinjuku looked like right after WWII. If I recall, it was the black market district turned artsy district in the 70s and now night life area.
The bars in Golden Gai seat about 10 people, although there are a few (Albatross and Brian Bar) that can accommodate larger groups (20 or so). The best part of the smaller seating arrangement is that it is easy to strike up a conversation with anyone around you.
I usually go to Golden Gai because I enjoy hearing about Japan from people that are visiting. I enjoy seeing and hearing about everyone’s adventures that they have planned. I can say I’ve never had a bad night in Golden Gai.
So if someone in Golden Gai strikes up a conversation, don’t be concerned. It usually a fellow traveler wanting to share stories or a local wanting to speak in English.