Takashima Island

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In Gamagori there is an island, just off shore, housing a collection of old Shinto Shrines. It’s a small island, not even a mile across.

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Besides the shrines, there are beaches around the outer edge of the island which are known for their shellfish.

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After paying respects at the various shrines, it’s a quick walk back from the exit, though not necessarily and easy one.

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There is an uneven path set between the hill the shrines are perched upon and the surrounding beaches. Some places are quite steep, especially for those wearing inappropriate shoes. The walk is only about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many pictures you stop to take or shells you decided to collect.

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My friends and I took about 40 minutes for obvious reasons.

Waterday

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Have I ever told you about the time I worked in a sushi restaurant? I probably mentioned it in passing, but I wonder if I ever shared my story of how I put too much thought into the Japanese word for Wednesday.

You see, the word is 水曜日 or su-ee-yoh-bee. The first character means water. Personally, its one of my favorite words to write.

Anyway, when I worked in the restaurant, I used to believe that the reason we were closed on Wednesdays had to do with it being “water day”. In my mind, it made sense because fish come from the sea, rivers and/or ponds.

My boss was always so big on “tradition” and making “those (who came) before us proud”. He always pushed us to be proper (Japanese) ladies and gents while at work, and prided himself on keeping ” the old ways”, I thought the Wednesday thing was an extension of that mentality. I was certain there was some interesting back story to it that one day I worked up the courage to ask.

Me: Hey, boss, you’re really good at keeping the “sui” in “suiyoubi” aren’t you?

Boss: The what now? You sound like you’ve been watching too much TV. (He was referring to the pun-tastic ways that Japanese commercials sell their products.)

Me: I just meant that Wednesday thing. You know, we close in difference to the sea? Because of the fish and stuff?

Boss: Where did you get that idea? If my life said it, I think she might have been pulling your leg again.

Me: No. I noticed a lot of sushi restaurants close on Wednesdays. I thought there was a connection.

Boss: No, we close because of a lack of customers.

I quietly went back to boiling my soybeans after that. I never brought up my weird little observations again. At least to him… His wife on the other hand, always seemed amused by my ramblings.

Why am I bringing this up now, you’re probably wondering. Well, I saw my former boss’ wife today, when I went to the supermarket. She seemed surprised to see me.

Wife: Oh, Ren! Doing well?

Me: Yup. Working hard, but still good.

Wife: That’s good. You seem healthy (pointed my my tanned skin) so that’s good. You take care now, but stop by sometime and have some tea with us.

Me: O-okay. Take care.

Seeing her made me think of my old job and how far I’ve come since then. The only thing that hasn’t changed is my perchant for terrible word play…

By the Sea

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Didn’t get to go to the beach as much as I promised myself I would. Not by a long shot. I mean, the beach isn’t my favorite place to be, but I’m trying to become a more rounded person by not avoiding things that don’t automatically appeal to me.

There are many things I like and there are things I dislike. There are things I am alright with and things I can easily forgo doing. Then there are things I don’t do just because.

Beaches fit into this category.

But I do have to admit that they are very pretty. For the most part. Maybe the appeal of beaches have more to do with the memories made at them then the actual piece of land?

I remember the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean. My friend and I were returning from a great time in California. A little after lift off, my friend grabbed my arm and pointed to a patch of beach where the surf met sand, out the window. That was breathtaking. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be on that little bit of beach with my friends.

But that was years ago and my love of sand and waves never really grew beyond that. Except for the time brother and I watched fireworks on the dunes that time, I’ve never felt the compulsion take me.

And now summer is half over.

I’d better get off my backside and go at least one more time, other wise I will have to wait another year before I can try again.

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