After living in Japan for 7 years, this was the first time that I stepped into the land of Shikoku, Japan. Shikoku is an island constructed by 4 prefectures: Kagawa, Tokushima, Kochi, and Ehime. They are especially famous for old Japanese temples and many foreigners visit those prefecture in order to complete the 88 temples project in each year.
I went there not because of the temples but because of nature! Me and Freddy wanted to get into the nature instead of staying in a big city like Osaka, so we decided to head to Tokushima without any plan! After calling Tokushima bus company and the Kamiyama Onsen Ryokan, we packed lightly and walked towards Namba. The bus ticket is about 3700yen one way (I forgot to get my student discount but it’s fine) and the whole journey is abot 4 hours with an almost 30 mins stop at Umeda station. Along the way to Tokushima the bus will pass by Awajishima, another beautiful island that I had been there for 3 days in order to attend an interesting class called “sport communication.” What’s that? Well, it’s about using your body to communicate with others! In three days I tried so many different sports and even though I wasn’t good at all I had rea fun! What’s funny was that I was told by a machine that my body is like 52 years old already!!! And my response is LOL!!!
Anyways, the first day we arrived in Tokushima around 5pm and then we took a bus toward Kamiyama Onsen street. The bus ticket is so expensive we paid around 1000yen for 9 km and it took an hour to get there. The best thing was that Kamiyama Onsen Ryokan was very beautiful and the foods were delicious and fulfilling! One night stay together with two meals (dinner and breakfast) and a Onsen ticket was about 12000yen. So it’s a reasonable price! The room is very Japanese style and it has a big window with beautiful green fields and mountains outside. Totally YUM!
As we arrived quite late at that day we decided to go for the Onsen in the hotel at that night instead of using the Onsen ticket. So the next day after checked out we sunk our body into the natural onsen and sauna. After coming out from the Onsen, we did a bit of hiking around that area and we both fall in love with the mountains and nature there. We saw many tiny crabs while walking uphill toward the bamboo forest surrounded by cold and fresh air. It was raining the night before and it was still raining lightly at that time so it was slippery. But somehow we managed to walk through some unconstructed paths. So fun!
After that we hitched hike to the city and during the ride we found out that the host loves drinking and karaoke. He normally drinks from the morning when he is off from work. In the end he dropped us off in front of a karaoke place and from there we waited for out couchsurfing host to scone pick us up. We felt so lucky because our last minute request was accepted by an university student named Yusaku after we came it from the Onsen. While waiting for Yusaku to come we played badminton in a car park right across the karaoke building. Only by doing that we realized that the wind in Tokushima is so strong that old ladies have to hold hands in order to stand still!!
Our friendly host took us to his university, Tokushima Univerisity and we had a late lunch in the cafeteria there. Then he brought us to an international communication room to meet with some other foreign and local students. They were shocked by my agreesive way of playing Jenga!! From 5 to 6pm my host had a dance practice outside on the green grass so we went there and learnt a bit of the movements. It was lot of fun to dance like an angry bird! The dance is called “Awaodori”. Every year in Tokushima there’s a big Awaodori festival whereby lot and lot of people come to see. I heard the population gets double or triple during that time!
After Awaodori we went for Tokushima ramen and then straightly headed to the bar where Yusaku is working. If I’m not wrong the name of the bar is called “Genka,” which means original price. There’s an entrance fee charged for 1000yen per person but other than that most of the foods and drinks are listed in original price – very cheap! I only paid 2000yen at last for many drinks and foods! At midnight we walked back to Yusaku’s apartment with his friends an started our second round drinking again for a few hours. Yusaku was so funny he was rushing on his assignment while we were drinking and talking. Only until everyone was drunk and tired that we went to sleep.
The next morning we started our day in the Tokushima university’s cafeteria! After a 300yen breakfast, we drew “bound to Osaka” on a paper board and ready to start our hitchhiking journey. While leaving the university, two Japanese men called us and started talking to us. Then one of them found out that I had lived in Fukushima city for 4 years and he himself is a Fukushima folk, so in order to support me he gave me a thousand yen for drinking expenses!! What a coincidence! I cannot describe how lucky and grateful I felt at that moment.
However, the hitchhiking didn’t go well because no one stopped and we had to walk a long long way and then in the end we took a bus to Naruto and from there took a bus ride to get back to Osaka Namba. This time I used student discount and it only costed 2500yen!!
Finished! Nothing is planned in the earlier time and I love this kind of unexpected advantures that show up in my life!! Love the life you choose and choose the life you love!