Finding my way to my accommodation
Kutsugata Travel Blog› entry 11 of 52 › view all entries
I am enjoying the ferry ride sitting outside having a bit of a look around. Then when we are getting closer to the shore the Rishiri volcano is appearing in the distance. This is the main reason I have gone here - to try to hike this volcano - and it looks pretty big as we are sailing towards it. At first the view of the volcano is a bit obscured by the mist in the air but as we get ever closer the view of the volcano becomes increasingly clear and as we are getting close to shore it stands out there perfectly.
Just before we are getting to the harbor I double check my accommodation - it should be really close to the ferry port hence and easy walk from the ferry. But as I read the description of the place I will be staying I realize a minor problem - there are actually two ferry port on Rishiri Island - and my ferry is arriving in the opposite port to the one I am actually staying in. Hence I will need to find some sort of local transport to take me there. I go in and ask at the tourist information about a map and a bus timetable for the local bus. Fortunately there really wasn’t much of a queue so I get served fast - by the only English speaker in the tourist information - and possibly on the entire island. She is really friendly and when I say I need to go to the neighboring city she tells me I need to hurry because the last local bus of the day is leaving in a couple of minutes - she sort of give me quick directions and of I go.
I run out searching for the local bus - but I and I find one in the general area she had pointed me towards - but I am not sure if this is indeed the correct local bus or if it is running in the opposite direction of where I want to go. I try to ask the driver but I am not sure about his response - I think this is the right bus given I can’t see any other local busses around. So I move towards the door of the bus. And there at the door the lady from the tourist information is standing she must have rushed after me to make sure I got on the right bus - which I thought was really kind of her. I get in and the bus is going - but not all that fast. It is only 14ks to go but it takes a good 45 minutes to get there. And when we finally arrive I am met by the host of the Ryokan where I will be staying for the next couple of nights.
He is really friendly but speaks only a very few words of English hence conversation is a bit limited but it work all right anyway. He shows me some of the former European guest and a Swiss couple who had been there twice and even made a book about the island and there Ryokan. Then I am shown up to my room - which is virtually empty if it wasn’t for the TV in the one corner and a small very low table and a pillow to sit on in the other - no sign of a bed or anything like that.
Then I am invited downstairs for dinner - which is a part of the deal in such a place - and it is really good though I am not exactly sure what it is made of except there are a lot of fish, fish soup, some fried scrimps and more fish plus some meat I can’t really recognize - it does not feel like fish so it might be something else like horse or whale or a completely different sort of meat. There is a slight problem during the dinner - it is sort of a culture clash between my European upbringing and the traditional ways of eating in Japan.
There is a soup for the dinner - but no spoons. At first I thought this might just be a little mishap - but no it was intentional no spoons would arrive. Hence you actually need to drink the soup out of the bowl - which does not have a handle by the way. And there is a nice big piece of fried fish being served as well. And this too is giving me some concerns. I have tried to eat using chopsticks before - not that I am very good at it though - but the meals have always been Chinese or Thai only with the occasionally sushi to go along. And all those meals always seem to consist of nicely cut small pieces of vegetables and meat and in the case of sushi fish on rice. But never have I been served a large piece of fish like this before. I will have to cut the fish and remove the bones only using two chopsticks. How do they manage this? Well I guess there is no other way than trying it out and see how it goes. And much to my surprise I manage to separate the meat from the bones on the fish and I can actually eat it without chocking on a fishbone.
dinner I quickly head down for the water to watch the sunset - the city is
facing west hence there should be an amazing sunset. Unfortunately some clouds
have arrived blocking the view of the sunset over the ocean and the volcano as
well. The island is so close to Russia you should be able to see over there on
a clear day - which unfortunately is not today.