Saturday, May 15, 2010

Walking Around Toi

Today I spent the day in Toi. I don't have any money to travel anywhere yet so I took advantage of the nice weather to walk around the residential areas of the town. I went on some of the smaller streets that I hadn't been on yet. They looked pretty much how I expected.

Then on another street I found a shrine.

Then I found a temple. It was nice and had some ponds and pretty plants and stuff.

Off to the side there was a parking lot, which was mostly empty, and a stone staircase going up the hill. I could see a cemetery further up the hill and I figured that is where the staircase led. Towards the top I could continue taking the stone staircase to one part of the cemetery or take a short grassy path to another part.

The cemetery was a lot bigger than it looked from below. It was a lot like a maze and it was tricky to find my way through it.

I eventually made it over to the area you can see in the picture below. Then from the top of that area I could see even more of the cemetery!

The views at the top were really pretty!

I saw beer cans on a lot of the tombstones (I'm not sure what they're called in Japanese). I need to look up stuff about Japanese cemeteries to find out the meaning of some of the things I saw. A lot of the stones also had small brooms and bottles of cleaning supplies tucked away behind them. I guess when families visit the cemetery they also clean the tombstones.

There's the ocean!

I was really surprised that I had not noticed this cemetery up on the hill yet. But then I noticed that it's mostly hidden by bamboo.

After the cemetery I went to the beach.

I stopped in Seven Eleven to get some water and a snack. I got some grape ice cream. It was kind of icy like sherbet but had a creamy taste like ice cream. It was very good though!

Then I followed the main road and found out that there is a large sidewalk along the road.

The views were really pretty along this road!

I shortly made it to a small town just north of Toi. That area is called Odoi, but I'm not sure if it's actually a separate town or not. I actually saw one of my students there.

I made it to the beach and was about to head back but then I saw this sign for a hiking trail. The map showed that I was on it and I wanted to figure out where it led next. However, I wasn't really sure where to turn and ended up at the end of a dead end street. I was about to turn around when a little old lady was coming towards me and saying something to me.

I couldn't really understand any of what she was saying. She kept pointing at my cell phone (I had it in my hands because I had just been taking pictures). She seemed very confused and I think she thought I was lost, especially since she had seen me get to the end of the dead end road and look around before turning around. So I tried to explain what I was doing there in my very broken Japanese. I said "sampo" which means a walk. Then I said, "umi" and "sasshin" which means "ocean" and "pictures." She didn't seem to understand at all.

Then she told me to wait there. She hobbled into a nearby building (a hotel I think) and I could hear her yelling, "Konnichiwa! Konnichiwa!" Then she came out with a man with her. He came up to me and seemed confused. He asked if I was okay. I said I was. He asked if I was taking a walk. I said that I was and was taking pictures of the ocean. He laughed and then turned to the old lady and told her that I was okay and that I was just taking a walk. She didn't seem to understand him either. Then he realized she was hard of hearing. So then he was speaking very loudly into her ear and had to repeat himself many times. No wonder she didn't understand me.

I'm not sure if she ever understood because she continued to keep saying the same thing over and over to him. He continued talking to her for a little bit and he smiled and motioned for me to go on. I think he was keeping her distracted so I could leave.

I headed down another street to try and find the trail. At a distance I saw that lady again though so I just turned around.

There's the map of the trail I never found.

I was pretty tired of walking by then anyways, so I headed back to Toi.

Here are a few more photos: Around Toi

I just added them to an older album. The new pictures start with photo number 45.


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