Wie bereits angekündigt ist hier der Beitrag zu Shirahama. Zwei weitere Artikel die während meines Besuches entstanden sind, werden in den nächsten zwei Wochen noch folgen, sehr wahrscheinlich immer gegen Wochenende. Ansonsten werde ich im September auch den One Piece Tokyo Tower besichtigen gehen, sowie das Ghibli Museum, wofür ich beides bisher keine Geld hatte. Dazu kommen noch die zuvor angesprochenen zwei Kinofilme und dann reicht das auch fürs Erste, bis ich dann für zwei Monate komplett von der Aussenwelt abgeschnitten sein werde :D. Bis nächste Woche!
Still on my way (or better right at the start) with my Friend from Germany and her 5 years old daughter, did we make our way down to Shirahama in Wakayama Prefecture. East of Oosaka and Kyoto. Originally we planned to do some free camping about half way to Shirahama, from Nagoya coming, but because we were quite late, transportation proofed to be a problem to reach our destination before nightfall. Hence we decided to take the train to Shirahama instead, a destination we wanted to go to anyway. Because of our ever changing plans we reached the station quite late, when the night already spanned over the sky. It was about 8pm when we arrived. Additionally we missed our bus and the next one would depart one hour from then. So we had some time to spent. Unfortunately there was no conbini or Supermarket around, just some buildings and behind there a huge nothingness.
We haven’t had a place to stay yet, but what we wanted was to camp outside, if possible for free. So I looked for a map of the area and managed to find a campsite, which is not far from a bus station. It was decided then. Eventually we arrived somewhat around 10 pm. and discovered that it was more like a car campsite. There where only two tenants, so we asked them about the reception, but they said it was already closed and we could pay the next day. We looked for a nice spot to lay down for and prepared ourselves. The weather was really hot the whole day over, and even during the night, the heat didn’t fade away. But at least we somehow reached our destination =).
The night was horrible to begin with. Not just was the heat unbearable inside our sleeping bags, we literally sweated an ocean inside, but also were there heaps of mossquitos, which wouldn’t give you peace of mind or just a 5 minutes break. No, they were merciless and stung as often as they could. If all comes together, I probably slept for about 2 hours the most.
Next day, we packed our stuff and were eager to see the beach and skip into the ocean. So we parked our backpacks under the roof of a small dining hut, right next to the campsite and fucked off to the beach. There was no one who we could ask about our stuff, so we just left it there, for the next hours to come. From there on down to the beach, it took about 10 to 15 minutes. And even from afar we could see why this area is named Shirahama (white beach). First duty was to buy some ice cream for the three of us, and after we ate it, the warm water awaited us. Especially our little girl had quite some fun and I was surprised on how enduring she was until then. She even managed to get some rest and sleep during this horrendous night^^. Besides swimming (there were also school classes who had swim lessons at the beach) we played Frisbee and had a good rest.
After some hours I went off to look for an alternative stay for the night. We weren’t very keen to spent another night under the open sky (though we ended up not paying anything^^). Hence I went back to where our stuff was and discovered that the diner staff took it inside to keep it safe from the rain. This is something you’re probably only able to experience in Japan. You can leave your luggage almost everywhere and you’ll find it at the same spot hours after. I asked the lady, if she knew some affordable accomodation around here, which would also host children. After some calling, the only good spot she recommended to me, was the Hotel right next to the campsite (in fact does the campsite belong to them too^^).
In the end we decided to go there, but also discovered two small huts outside the Hotel. They would be 10.000 Yen per night (around 85 Euro), 5.000 each, while a night in the Hotel itself pays for 4.000 Yen. Despite the high costs, we decided to stay in the small hut anyway. It was just one room, but a nice one and for one night plenty off space to begin with. Toilet and bath were inside the Hotel, addiotionally we received free entry to the Onsen, which we happily accepted and had it all for ourselves. We definitely slept way better than the night before and on the next morning after check out, took the Bus to the station, from where a train to Kyoto should depart. As we wanted to pay for our tickets we were told that no train would leave Shirahama, because some flooding happaned along the line. We were in the middle of the rainy season, so it didn’t surprise me, but it messed up with our plans nevertheless. I tried to find an alternative, like a bus to Kyoto, but in the middle of negotiating a JR Staff Member came to me and told me about a free shuttle Bus to the next possible train station from where we would have a safe connection to Kyoto. Great! Good that we didn’t buy our tickets beforehand, we saved around 1.200 Yen (which is about 10 Euro)! Nevertheless did it take around 4 hours until we made it to Kyoto, and unfortunately I was a bit careless in terms of booking a hostel in advance. But this is another tale and will be told on a different occasion. The blog post concerning Kyoto will follow next Sunday. Till then!