DARKNESS AND RAIN
I woke up eager to get back on the bike after my `holiday` in Kyoto. Checked out of my hotel to find a big notice taped to the tank of by bike, lucky its a big tank. The bike parked next to mine had the same notice stuck to it so I guessed it was a don`t park your bike here sign. Mine had been parked there for almost three days now without having any warnings or the like so it looked like it was a good time to leave.
It has cooled down a bit in the last few days, only low 30`s which makes it a bit easier to ride in. Plus I`ve probably become used to the warm weather too (don't forget it was winter when I left Australia you Europeans!).
I took off up North to make my way towards Fushiki where I have to catch the ferry to Russia.
Had my first look at the Sea of Japan on an amazing piece of road that hugs that coastline for a bit. Look's like Japan's version of the Great Ocean Road, there were almost as many Japanese driving on this one too! And loads of trucks which made it interesting. Must of went through about 20 tunnels today, in some places I think they`ve almost outdone the Swiss with there tunnels, they love them.
Anyway I was being chased by a thunder storm for most of the day and about 3pm it caught me and properly pissed down! I actually enjoy riding in the rain and especially when the temperature is still warm (only dropped to around 27C) its great fun.
It fined up for a bit and I made it to what I had hoped would be my destination at around 4pm, Eihei-Ji. Eihei-ji is apparently one of the most influential Zen Buddhist Temples in the world so I thought I`d have a look. Had thought I`d try and stay at the hostel there, but upon arrival found it closed. I was putting on my backpack and going off to look for somewhere else when an old lady (seriously old, I`d say about 208, at least) came wondering over.
She was pretty slow, using her umbrella as a walking stick and I wasn`t completely sure she was coming to talk to me, but I thought I should wait just in case. Once she got close enough she started talking to me at 100 mile an hour in her finest Japanese. The conversation went on for way too long with a lot of pointing and waving, I told her all sorts of stuff about motorbikes and Australia that she didn`t understand. And I wouldn`t be suprised if she told me of several excellent places to stay nearby, but of course I didn`t understand a word. I said thankyou and goodbye (the 2 Japanese words I do know) and she said some stuff about something and I took off.
I did a couple of laps of the small village looking for somewhere else to stay with no luck. On my third lap I noticed a few locals were starting to give me pissed off glances, I guess they have yet to appreciate how Zen the sound of an aircooled big single actually is. I thought I better go and leave these people to their Zen-ness.
I kept going towards Fushiki into the night with the thunderstorm in full effect. Having broken my first rule of this trip, to not ride at night, on the first day I thought I should give "at night in a thunderstorm on a mountain road" a crack.
It was getting a bit stupid, it was really difficult to see, but I had decided to persist to Kanazawa and find a place to stay there. While tagging the lights of the car in front I noticed a Manga/Internet Cafe pop up out of the night and thought I`d see how long they would let me stay. After the usual pointing and drawing the dude told be I could stay 9 hours for $A20, and here I am!
I`ve got over my initial hesitation of these places and started to make myself at home. I guess taking your (very smelly) boots and socks off is one thing, but I`ve gone all out tonight and stripped off my pants and shirt to let them dry out. I`ve really truned this little cubical into a home, I`ll take some photo`s shortly.
Well thats it the blog is up to date for the first time ever and I have found a place to stay before midnight (well I actually have to be out by 4:45am so sort of a place to stay).
Almost looks like I`m getting the hang of Japan, just in time to leave for Russia.....