I woke up this morning to glorious sunshine, and decided that today was the perfect day for a boat trip. Hence I boarded the morning ferry to Shikoku (Japan’s fourth largest island), and enjoyed the wonderful scenery, clear blue skies, and blazing sun. I had decided to hitchhike to the top of the island (about 300km or so), and was expecting this to be exceptionally difficult, as I was literally starting in the middle of a small seaside town. However, after only 20 minutes of wandering alongside (in the middle of) the road with a simplified sign, I got picked up by a Japanese rugby enthusiast, who took me 1/3 of the way, stopping off at an offside shop to buy some satsumas (which the area is allegedly famous for) for me. At the next stop I got a lift after about 10 minutes, but not before another lady had taken pity on me, and bought me some snacks and a souvenir face cloth! For the last leg of the journey there was a slightly heated conversation between a truck driver and an Obaasan (elderly Japanese lady/grandmother) over who should take me to my final destination (Takamatsu). Eventually the Obaasan ‘won’, and she dropped me off near the outskirts of Takamatsu, but not before insisting on giving me the train fair into the centre of town. I am genuinely starting to run out of things to say regarding the generosity of my adopted country.
At Takamatsu I boarded another ferry to the island of Naoshima, and took a glorious sun set over the Seto Inland Sea. Naoshima is famous in Japan for a number of interesting art museums, sculptures, and architectures, the full extent of which I intend to explore tomorrow. This evening I made do with a visit to the famous ‘I love yu’ Onsen (a clever play on words, as ‘yu’ is Japanese for hot water), where I soaked in luxury, admiring the fine decor and architecture that was on display. Today was definitely one of those days where you feel not only glad, but privileged, to be alive.