Oshima Island: A laid back island for the hiker and onsen-seeker
Hello friends, my goal today is to get up to date on my blog. I have been trying to catch up and now I am so close! So, here I go!
As I have told you, I am on the island called Oshima. It is SE of Tokyo by about 5 hours by ferry. Anne and I took the ferry Sunday evening and slept in the cheapest area, the tatami floor. I didn’t take a picture, but we slept on the ground pretty much. We were given a designated area that was distinguished by duct tape. A nice group of guys sleeping near us bought us blankets to rent and we ended up becoming friends. I even got to practice my Japanese with them. When the ferry left the port, I went outside to watch Tokyo disappear into the distance. Tokyo is a very beautiful city at night.
When everyone went back into their designated duct tape squares, I decided to stay up on deck for a short while longer. I really like the smell of the ocean and the air was crisp. I also really like to sing when I’m near the ocean (am I the only one?). Maybe it is because I watched The Little Mermaid a hundred times as a child, but the sound of waves crashing and the wind rushing through my hair makes me want to sing even louder! So I did just that. I spent 30 minutes singing to myself. It felt wonderful. I forget how much I like singing.
The guesthouse was an old Japanese home with all the things you would find in a japanese manga: sliding doorways, tatami floors, no shoes inside, short tables, no chairs only floor pillows, and outdoor patios to sit on. We relaxed for a short while, but then decided to climb up the nearby mountain, Mount Mihara. It was a really fun hike. It reminded me of hiking in the Amazon because the trail was very hard to follow. We followed a canal for a while, then we went off trail, got lost twice, found our way again, and eventually found our way up to the mountain. My favorite part was the time we got lost and went off trail. We found a wall that stopped us dead in our tracks. I noticed a vine hanging from a tree and climbed it to see what was above the wall. We ended up following a false path, so here’s me posing, while climbing back down. During the whole ordeal, we sang the Indiana Jones theme song.
While climbing up we found an old shrine with 7 Buddhas. We paid our respects and threw some coins into their dishes. We got to the top of the mountain and found ourselves in a cloud. We couldn’t see anything! Nonetheless, it was worth it. We walked back down and cooked a pasta feast! It was glorious. We also found out we could borrow the hostel owners car the next day. Guess what we did the next day…?
We rented a cute asian truck! It was quite the experience to drive on the opposite side of the road.
We decided to hike the crater the next day. So we continued around the island and found lots of pretty sites.
I decided to hike down to the water. Here was the trail I had to take.
At the end of our day we found a free dancing performance. We saw 6 tiny Japanese women dance the local Oshima dance. They were so cute.
I’ll finish off Oshima in my next post. I gotta make some dinner.