We (ZAMM) were supposed to go to the Goto Islands this weekend, but the "typhoon" foiled our plans. I put typhoon in quotes because all we got were strong winds -- it was a rather pleasant day, actually. Sunshine and no rain, for once...which reminds me that TSUYU (the rainy season) is over! Shiyay!
With grounded planes, we had to pull out plan B. Our weekend turned out to be just as fun as a beach getaway to the Gotos would have been (and not to mention a lot cheaper).
On Saturday, Meg, Zara, Ana, and Jared came over to my place for a dinner get together. We had SOUMEN NO KAWA (Soumen -- a popular summer noodle -- "RIVER") and a lot of other yummy foods. But Sunday was where it was. We drove just south of Nagasaki to Nomozaki to enjoy the beaches -- and that we did. Check out these pictures! The beach was beautiful, we couldn't have asked for better weather, the water was welcoming, and the company (as always) was terrific.
This, my friends, is GUNKANJIMA or "Battleship Island" -- as it looks like a battleship from afar. (The link is Zara's post on it -- it's interesting, you should read it.) It used to be a densely populated island coal mining city, but when the residents were told to evacuate in the 1970s, they picked up and left, leaving behind homes, household goods, and large buildings. I would LOVE to go explore this ghost town of an island, but it is illegal to go there (unless you have fisherman connections...), so pictures will have to suffice. We sat and looked at it for a good 10 minutes -- so cool!
On the way back home, we stopped at ZENZERO for one last round of delicious pizza. I came home and packed some more, but the next day, being a holiday, held more adventures in store!
Monday was "UMI NO HI" or "Marine Day." We definitely celebrated the ocean by going to it the day before, but our fun with the water wasn't done yet. First we had a delicious VIKING (buffet) at the beloved SHUSHU (the place with the tomato ice cream) and were even greeted by the owner and allowed to walk around their melon nursery. He showed us how they write words in melons to make the veins grow in letters -- he even wrote YOSAKOI 「ヨサコイ」 on a baby one for us -- it will be reattached and when it matures it will read YOSAKOI. You can pay 2,000 yen to get one made just for you (right, I refuse to pay 20 bucks for a melon, but it's still cool nevertheless).
Despite the rainy weather, we decided to go to the waterfall for a dip. My jaw dropped once we reached the bottom -- the rainy season did not let us down on this one. I have only seen the waterfall look like this:
So, you can imagine my astonishment to see THIS:
The water was much too cold for me to swim in, but that did not stop Meg, Zara, Ana, and Ryusaku. In the meantime, I was busy taking pictures of chouchou:
Afterwards we went to PEACE CAFE where the owners LOVE Z and M. He let us go down to his basement to sing with his karaoke machine (for free!). I am always impressed by all the hospitality we get!
What a weekend! And, いつのまにか、it's already Tuesday night! We went to an オススメ UNAGI (eel) restaurant tonight where we totally blew away the two little ladies that worked there with our Japanese (they were so cute!). Oh, and I love eel -- why don't we have it in the States? :)
I have a very exciting post I'm going to post within the next 10 hours, so stay on the edge of your seat!