Japan Trip 2023 – Day Four

May 7th

Temple bells are ringing and it is raining.

Ye gods! The breakfast was good!

Inspires one to take up Japanese cooking again. Rice, with a selection of exquisite small side dishes: lotus root, daikon, some, I think mustard greens, seaweed, smoked tofu with a hint of wasabi, a boiled tofu mixture served in a light broth, the natto came with a cane whisk and a dash of mustard, Biwa fruit jelly, miso soup with mushrooms and wakame, lettuce and tomato salad, umeboshi and green tea. At least that is as much as I can remember.

Decided to catch an earlier train, so did not have time to purchase an umbrella on the way to the station. May regret that if I do not find one elsewhere.

Finally put some money on the Suica card, as there is a quick change over between here and Kashimajingu station.

Very wet.

Eventually found an umbrella at a shop outside the shrine.

Shrine and surrounds are beautiful – dark forest full of enormous cedar trees, hundreds of years old.

Tsukahara Bokuden (1489 – 1571) founder of Kashima Shinto Ryu – “Swords are not tools to kill people but ways to better life”

Even with the umbrella, it was difficult to keep the camera dry.

On the walk back to the station, the wind bent the umbrella in two, rendering it useless.

A two hour wait for the next train.

Have decided not to attempt the Katori Jingu, as transport options home are dubious and conflicting. Might have risked it nevertheless, if it wasn’t for the rain and possible thunderstorms, with, again, no umbrella.

Currently still waiting at the train station.

Sunday may not have been the best day to attempt so much public transport. I was always concerned as to whether both could be easily done on the one day. At least with the rain, the crowds were small.

Back at the ryokan with a bag full of alcohol and some chips. Also I found my lost nuts!

A bath, some, well, lots, of sake; sitting watching the rain over the temple and missing my family.

From the ryokan window

A tiny bird occasionally flies to the top of the street sign pole in front of me and disappears head first into it, to emerge a little later, upright, and fly off.

Kai Cho

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